Better album browser please

I have asked this before but at this moment I’m finding myself using Roon less and less and this has a couple of reasons.
One of the reasons is the album browser. It is so basic, there is so little information there.
Yes I know how to use the focus feature but that is only o.k. for “searching” your music. When I just want to “browse” or scroll through my collection the album browser with only a grid of pictures with nothing more then artist name and album title is very minimal and not a very appealing way of scrolling through my collection.
Yes I know more information is available by clicking on one of the albums, but that’s does not give an overview of my collection. What’s wrong with some more info on the album browser? I would like to see things like a genre tag, release year, maybe even my own tags or even better yet, let me the user choose what kind of info I would like to see there. What’s the use of tagging when I can’t see the tags here in a collection overview. That’s what an album browser should be, an overview of my collection. Maybe some kind of visual album grouping instead of everything on one big pile.
For me the most missed info is a track title overview. Why? because it is the way I recognize my albums faster then any other info, but as it turned out I seem to be the the only one on this forum that actually recognizes anything by its content. In it’s current state there is no way to see if an album is actually an album, a single, an e.p. All are threated the same. .

I just hope an album browser overhaul is on the shortlist and not planned for release 9.3 or later.


Agreed fully, it’s less than basic. even a simple link of the artist name which leads to te artist is not there.

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I’m afraid I’ll have to disagree here: between Filtering and Focus, it is as full-featured as I need (and then some) while maintaining a nice, clean aesthetic when eh… browsing. There’s an artist browser for artists and a tag browser for tags (and a few others as well), with more or less the same functionality for zooming in. (In album view, filtering works for both album and artist names).

For me, this offers a nicely structured way of accessing all aspects of my collection – I’d hate to see Roon turn into JRiver. But as always, YMMV.


I’m with @rbm on this.
First, sure the artist name is there. It’s true, it’s not a direct link, everything in the Album browser links to the album, otherwise it wouldn’t work for fingers. But on the album page, the artist name is a link.

Second, and more fundamentally, it isn’t very useful to browse among thousands of albums. Focus and tags and bookmarks are key to browsing, because you can reduce the scope. It’s like walking over to the Jazz bins in Tower Records and browse, except you can be more fine grained, like Italian jazz, or jazz I bought in the last 3 months, or ECM albums I haven’t listened to in a while, which Tower Records couldn’t do.

And third (repeating myself), the real power comes from following links. Listen to a Beethoven album, Hélène Grimaldi is really good, let’s explore what she did. The reason I mention this is that when browsing albums, whether recognizing album titles or covers, we are really traversing that database of relationships anyway, except with other products or record store bins we have to keep the database of relationships in our heads. And that is really hard, so we reduce the relationships to the “biggest” ones, and then we listen to the same old stuff. This is why I use the expression “discovering my library”, yes it was all there and I could browse it in JRiver, but I didn’t really know the full scope of what I had.

If you have read my earlier posts you would know that I personally dislike anything that resembles J.river, Itunes, mediamonkey, etc etc. In fact, in my view Roon looks way too much like these programs in many ways. I hope they go as far away from these interfaces as possible.

As for the clean asthetic, yes that is a matter of taste. As far as I’m concerned there is nothing pretty about a page with just pictures with only an artist name and an album name. Can’t see any beauty in it. Besides, there is a line between keeping things clean and stripping it from funtionality. In it’s current form it is just stripped down to much in my view

We don’t have to agree Sjef – and be assured your opinion carries the exact same weight as mine. :slight_smile:

Just offering a different perspective here (mine), as will others. While all feature requests are read by Roon and all perspectives are taken into account, they do have a vision of where they want to take the product – and what fits and what does not.

As with all requests, differing opinions are good – even if only for giving Roon a broader perspective. So by all means, keep them coming. :slight_smile:

Perhaps tangential to the request, but the aesthetic I’d like to see in this feature request is the option to view the “back” of an album; perhaps by just hovering or some gesture on touch devices. When I search through my CD collection, I have the option of turning the the case around to see more information. It is a simple thing, but it adds great value to the physical artifact.


That is really a great idea. The back usually has the info that Nyquist has requested.

That said, what this really illustrates is that reasonable minds may differ and neither are wrong. There is a reason that most of the other popular media players have configurable interfaces.

Roon may just need to follow suit, at least to a greater degree than currently, at some point.

The issue with things like Album Browser and Theater View is that Roon is still building a lot of core functionality and views and such probably only get worked on when there are functionality changes associated.

I like the idea to enrich the album view with useful information. It should be optional like the codec. Btw, in my world the year or genre are a more useful information than the codec. I see that there is not much room. You could add a zoomed album view with bigger artwork but I also like the Idea to flip around the thumbnails for more Information. And if you don’t want to change the layout, let us choose what the view does show in upper left corner of the artwork: Codec, Genre, Year …

There is enough room as long as you move some albums to make some room. Also looks better in my opinion, the album art comes out a lot prettier when not so cramprd together like in the current view, it’s all just too crowded now, not a pretty view.

That’s a good point. It shouldn’t be hard to add an option to let us enable a third line below the cover.

A few things I’d like to see to help with my navigation would be:

  1. a list option rather than thumbnails.
  2. an alphabetical short cut within the navigation window as well as the direct search facility.

Other than that, I love roon.

Some suggestion are about flipping things around, clicking on things,.hoovering over things but that’s just what I would like to avoid. In it’s current state there is all the info available by clicking on an album wich gets you to the album page, wich is fine but does not provide an overview, it provides details. While Roon is good at details I would like to see a better overview, a kind of birds eye view of my collection and Tidals with usefull information.

Too cramped visual information works counterwise for providing an overview. Now there is so much graphical info from a cramped field of pictures while there is little to none info about these albums provided. The same goes for the Tidal page. When I look at the new releases there is only a picture a artist name and a album title, that’s it. No basic info on any genre or anything else at all that can give me any clue what kind of muisc it actualy is without listening to it. .It is all too basic. Well only the explicit lyrics logo provides some info ( it’s most of the times a quality mark, thanks mothers of prevention) Details ar fine, filtering is fine, hyperlinking is fine, focus function all fine but I would like to see an overview in one view, without going back and forth between pages without having to click anything at all. Just some more info per album in a better viewable total view

Same goes for the artists browser. I never ever use it because it is too basic. But on contrary to the album browser I can just leave it where it is beacause I simply do not need to use it. There is no information in an overview about the artists, no genres, no tagging, no albums on wich the artist appears no info if it is a main artist or just someone appearing on a production. All way too basic to be of any use. Am i looking at a hardrock band or just the drummer.? Offcoarse I can click around, flip from one screen to another to go into details but that does not create an overview, on contrary it is counter productive. Some more info in an overview would be highly appreciated.

Apart from the usual takeaway of Roon needing to offer lots of configuration choices so we can have what we want instead of what auntie thinks is best for us, this reminds me of a very specific request I have been meaning to lodge.

Once an album is clicked so we can see all the good stuff I would like to be able to click on to the next album without going back to album view.


There is some tone of this in a few posts by the Roon team. But I think largely they are limited in terms of configuration options due to (1) it is still a young product and core functions are still being either implemented or perfected and (2) they want this software to work across many operating systems and are thus limited in terms of what the interface can do.

That said, as mentioned, there is occasionally this sentiment from the Roon team, and I would gently (well sometimes I am not so gentle, but that is usually on a Monday morning and not a Saturday morning) remind the Roon team that there really is no way to please everyone without offering substantial levels of configurability.

Also, I like your idea - being able to just click next without going back would be a great add.

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Personally, I doubt that even that would result in being able to please everyone. I firmly believe it’s an impossible goal to please everyone.

Taken literally, there is no way to argue against this point. Some people cannot even be pleased when they get what they want :grin:

But from a practical standpoint, there are clearly various levels or layers of Roon users: those that are along for the ride, those that like a very simple feel, those that like their media player to be almost like a jet fighter cockpit, etc. What I loved about Foobar was that the volume of plugins and configurability meant it could work for almost anyone who cared to get into it, and J River has a lot of this as well.

Now, Roon is a mile better in terms of the Tidal integration, the multi-room playback, and SOME of the metadata. But I’d still like to get back to my jet fighter cockpit!

(I know, others will not agree…hence the point…)

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again - the last thing I want to see is for Roon to follow the path of jRiver, with its maze of twisty little passages of configurability. That goes for Foobar as well. The Roonies clearly have a vision for where they want to take their product, and thus far, it’s a destination that appeals to me far more than Foobar and jRiver ever did. Jets and Formula 1 racing cars are not where I’m at.


Some people would say it’s a sign of a more mature product that allows more people to leverage it for their needs.

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And some would say it’s like Topsy - it just growed… :grinning:

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