Boolean Logic in Focus

Jez, i think it’s really a function of being a relatively small company developing a very complex bit of software. Many things were done as a 1st iteration and now would benefit from further development but the priorities are just elsewhere. So we get frustrated at the lack of further “polish” on a great product. This thread has catalysed me to try and to sum up my own frustrations with the Roon development viz the forum feedback in the post I’ve just made and hopefully we can get some order into the refinement process…

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Prepare to be ignored :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:


Yep, @evand I am quite prepared, moreover I am prepared to be trolled and flamed for my efforts, by the hoy polloy :wink:

All for the greater good :slight_smile:

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You added the kiss of death word “Classical” I suspect all Classical Feature Requests get archived after reading

There are relatively simple request simply heading for the bottom of the list

I am fast heading back to JRiver for classical most times as I can control how I do it – SHAME . Yes I am losing patience not that I have any :nerd_face:


Could you please stick to the topic!? :wink:

Everyone agrees that the Focus tool could be improved.

My point is that there is a simple way to toggle between “OR” and “AND”, when using “Focus” with “Genres”, which means less user interface tweaking.

Is that a good idea?
Could that lead to some improvements of the Focus tool?

Better ideas are welcome.
Negative or out of topic inputs aren’t.

+1 from me. A Boolean search option would be very useful.

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Let’s be clear as to the request. While Boolean SEARCH capabilities would be welcome, the topic specifically here is Boolean FOCUS with TAGS or other FOCUS criteria, yes? Just want to be absolutely clear. That is also where I think it could be easily implemented.

Toggles between AND and OR would be workable. To address Anders’ concerns about the challenge of using that logic, it could also be presented as a filter.

It’s very likely that I do not fully get what you’re after but with a local collection AND albums AND :wink: a genre hierarchy this works without tags, doesn’t it?

BTW without very good metadata Focus results will always suffer - maybe that’s why it’s no priority to implement more specialized Focus functionality.

BTW2: good metadata and/or in-depth knowledge about the content it’s used with is essential for some of the services mentioned above to be as successful as they are. Ease of use is one thing, but not everything … and,

BTW3, research shows that customization options can play an important role in user satisfaction. So letting users access their collection in “more complicated” ways could be available on demand, like some kind of an advanced mode – or presented as (optional) logical operators.

Alleluia! :grinning::+1:

Someone commenting that actually did read the topic.

That’s exactly the goal. “Focus” uses an “OR” connector between its criteria. Being able toggle between “OR” and “AND” would be a great enhancement and would be equivalent to JRiver’s “Pane view”

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Focus is actually more intelligent than that.
Between criteria in different categories, it uses AND, in the same category it uses OR.

For example, if I say Genre Classical, I get 613 albums.
If I add 96k, that’s AND, more restrictive, and I get 52.

Ignore Classical, if I just say 96k I get 381 albums, but if I combine 96k and 88k, that’s OR, and I get 500 albums.

And altogether, Classical AND (96 OR 88) get 52.

That’s reasonable for most cases: obviously it makes no sense to say 96 AND 88, that would be no hits. And Classical OR 96, what would that mean?

So the defaults are good (@jez).

But sure, there are other cases, as @James_I suggests mostly about tags.


But in general the searching and focusing is poor. If you search for “Beethoven Piano Concerto 3” you get all sorts of stuff. Mozart Piano Concertos, Beethoven Sonatas, as well as the obvious (to me) result. And just try “Marriage of Figaro”, possibly the most well known opera ever. The top result is but a single track from the work. There’s no obvious way of focusing on the complete work. If you pick the composition you don’t actually get the full composition, you get anything with any (possibly tiny) excerpt from the composition on it. Not very helpful to me. I doubt I am alone.

Give me a good reason why I should not be allowed to specify an “AND” relationship between tags/ metadata tags?

When you go to McDonalds and ask for a Big Mac and fries what do expect to get? Every possible meal with a Big Mac in it and every possible meal with fries in it? Or a Big Mac and fries?

Folk who are asking for this are not asking for some esoteric, complex feature. Just something they take for granted in other music players.


Ok, how would you use AND to solve that problem?
In Amazon, searching for “Beethoven Piano Concerto 3” gets me that.
In YouTube, ditto.
So if Roon search is broken and can’t find Beethoven Piano Concerto 3 that should be fixed. Seems to me. I don’t think I would want tools that allow me to work around the problem.

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My #1 reason for having AND would be for combining user defined tags.

At the moment, I can’t rely on the Roon allocation of genres so I make tags such as a Blues, Rock, Jazz, Country and so on.

Now… If I want to make more specific tags such as Blues Rock or Jazz Rock, or Country Rock, Alternative Rock, Alternative Country, Progressive Rock, Progressive Jazz, or differentiate between Tracks and Albums, then I have to make specific tags for each which makes for a huge number of tags. Of course it would be very cool to have so many fewer basic tags like ROCK, COUNTRY, CLASSICAL JAZZ, ALTERNATIVE, POP, PROGRESSIVE, TRACKS, ALBUMS, CHAMBER, FOLK, etc, and then combine them with AND in almost infinite ways. I just dream of this flexibility.


There’s a dumb workaround. What you do is create the tag you want to use AND with, then double click so it is a minus sign. Then Tag everything that isn’t tagged with that tag (NotTag). Then you combine any other Tag with the NotTag clicked to minus sign. Effectively the logic is “Not NotTag.” It works but it’s too mind bending for a weekend activity.

Also, it’s damned slow. My gut feeling is the reason we’re not being offered Boolean AND may have something to do with the performance of that query.


i was testing this out just now, created ACOUSTIC, BLUES, COUNTRY and assigned 3 different albums with the genres and styles. Now… testing it it seems that to get for example the Acoustic Country albums to appear and not all the other acoustic stuff I have to list all tags then unselect all which dont apply. Ok if there’s only a few tags and styles but what if there’s say 5 base genres, then perhaps 10 or 15 subgenres and then other styles or applicators thereafter? Becomes pretty messy :frowning:

It works! but it’s not ideal, for sure :slight_smile:

Well if you have to retag your own music in a way that isn’t intuitive to get a result that you should have been able to get in the first place it’s not really acceptable. And it certainly won’t work if you have a streaming service like Qobuz or Tidal where you are dependant on the existing tags. Having Qobuz makes a bad search much worse because you get hundreds of results which you then need to scroll through. There are 546 results from Qobuz for the composition “Così fan Tutte”, many of which are for only an aria or two from the work, despite the fact that one has selected the composition. This is just not good enough by a long way. Don’t care what the reason is. Object models, small team, intransigence, disinterest, other things to do. It’s just not good enough. You are just wasting all that rich data if you can’t use it properly,


Sure, Jez, i hear you. because of the lack of consistency in the data coming in from, I prefer to tag my own stuff. As collections get bigger, even effectively to encompass the musicverse itself with the millions of streaming options, better search and filtering becomes more and more needed.

I don’t particularly like the fuzzy logic approach in place nowadays where google as example assumes you’re searching for one thing and you really have to struggle sometimes to convince it otherwise. It’s like facebook feeds where you are force fed a diet of news feeds which facebook algorithms decide for you, so you end up seeing posts of perhaps 10 or 20 people only in perhaps a friend list of 300 people or smth?

I don’t like it!

With the genres and such which Roon allocates it’s really arbitrary sometimes as to what is assigned to what, and many simply are not assigned at all, and to get into modifying genres themselves within Roon is not intuitive and a clumsy process at best.

You won’t have to do that if you not-tag everything in your collection except for what is supposed to be in the genre. But that is a hassle all it’s own.

Need a degree in boolean logic to get my head round this :slight_smile:

Yep that is why I mentioned it was not suitable for a Sunday afternoon!

To detail: while Roon does not offer “AND” logic with Tags, it does offer “AND NOT” if you click on a tag until it is a minus sign. So if you Tag everything that is NOT in a genre, then click until the logic is AND NOT, it will show you what is in the genre. And this can be combined with another Tag to effectively provide AND logic, however it is slow and the tagging is a hassle, especially since you end up with a lot of tags per object.