Boolean Logic in Focus

Personally, I would love to be able to create embedded chains of AND, OR an NOT.
I do wonder how many potential users are very good with Boolean logic. Roon users are a very diverse group - tech savvy users who log into forums daily, others who just want to play their music, others that just want hifi, including people wanting everything pre-made and set-up (such as some Nucleus users who don’t want to know anything about computers) and also other family members etc.

I have just spoke to my husband who teaches nursing at university. This takes a fair amount of time to teach them to do Boolean searches to look for articles and they frequently make mistakes at the beginning. This is a fairly young IT literate group.

I don’t know what the answer would be. Do we assume everyone know how to do searches? How does the google generation cope? (Just checked, and googling artist A and artist B on google is definitely no Boolean). Perhaps having it as and advanced option/ advanced search would be an answer.


It should be there for those that want to use it. Those that don’t needn’t interact with it.

I don’t think the knowledge of Boolean Logic is necessary. I am a retired Microsoft Developer so hopefully I can still remember the logic .

To me its more a succession of filters rather than full blown ANDs and ORs etc.

Consider a large classical library with complete work sets by Bach, Beethoven, Brahms , Chopin & Mozart not uncommon in this circle I guess. Getting to a specific album or work is a mission. Composer view simply doesn’t work under these conditions its far too cluttered Bach shows 1200 works !. My “other system” has a series of “drill down” filters eg,

Classical> Composers> Beethoven > Concertos> Piano Concertos

This presents either (there are 2 options) the Albums or Composition as filtered in my case may 20-30 albums, this is a simple example but scale it up to Mozart Piano Concertos and things get worse.

Roon offers a series of ways to do the same all of which involve fairly extensive typing as in the Beethoven Piano Concerto example above

In answer to Tony’s question above we must persevere with

Album Focus then “filter funnel” to refine or the same for Composition

Tags and Bookmarks can be set up to ease the search eg I have a Bookmark for Beethoven Piano Sonatas - Composition, but as we know Roon is sometimes not 100 % in IDing all compositions so the option of an orphaned composition is still there

I think Tony is right , there has been zero response from Roon about Boolean Logic despite many posts and I think its probably too big a coding issue to spend time on when there are so many more “popular” requests. The Classical fan I am afraid gets a slim deal at the moment. Whether its Roon Principal like DNLA I am not sure. I will be kind and suggest its simply “the best use to the greater good of the available dev time”.

I persevere with Roon because I believe there’s more good bits than bad, I even have an expensive DLNA streamer in moth balls, while i use a cheap Raspberry Pi, as a show of that commitment but I must admit I am finding the lack of progress (or even discussion or acceptance ) on any Classical features a bit frustrating, it stopped me from going Lifetime so far and I think will continue to do so . I have even moved a large number of big box sets out of Roon and into my “other system” where i can manage them and select them more simply. Box Set management is fast driving me away !!

The alternative involves a large manual tagging input, as does grooming albums to give Roon a better chance of ID in some cases . This is equally time consuming and should be unnecessary.

I am just looking for an easy life at my age , this is not providing me with one at this stage.

RANT over


This is exactly what I miss from my previous library managers.

This pane oriented search is extremely handy to CHOOSE MUSIC.

And that’s the point here :

Roon allows to search our database to some point, but not to choose music in a simple and elegant way like in a pane view.

They tried something similar with the “composition” view but, let’s be honest, it’s a mess.

The bottom line is that, at the moment, Roon doesn’t allow us to choose/browse music in a simple and efficient way

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To me anything including lists as a means for browsing and also for searching content is boring. Lists are for results (like the tracks of an album). In Roon I rarely use list views. So I’d vote down a pane view if Roonlabs would ever ask if that’s something which should be done. :sunglasses:

Applying search based filters to also narrow down what content is currently shown in a Browser view seems like to me the most Roon-like way to achieve results – also when you want to do that in a (pre-) structured way. What Roon still misses to achieve this are more cleverly implemented ways to filter on browsing views - and making searching (or drilling down) more efficient while also keeping the (visual) fun in the process. I’m no UI expert so don’t expect me to come up with something exceptional. Some examples of what I’m thinking of:

  • being able to apply a filter on the Genre Browser (for a performer or for a composer). That I believe would make the drill-down-to-a-certain-set-of-music easier without being boring. I mentioned it already somewhere above: the genre hierarchy - depending on how consistent genre assignements were made - could give a good foundation for focussing on classical content in a collection.

  • a real Composition Browser (not a list view).
    But looking at the metadata - and I don’t even use a streaming service - shows that this probably is too long a shot. For the roughly 7.5k compositions classified classical in my library more than 4k have no form assigned, 2K have no instrumentation and 1.5k miss periods. A Browser would be as useless (incapable of showing what’s really there) as the current Focus features in the Compositions list view are.

  • Focus tags for entity types - which would equal to more granular control - everywhere. Or - if the funnel filter gets used: the ability to apply an entity type to the funnel filter (like composer:beethoven or label:eterna so the filter would only apply to the respective field within the current browsing context, be it albums or genres or track lists)
    That could be done with an (optional) selection window for the funnel filter - or an expandable funnel search window which would - when expanded - show possible entities to narrow down the filter by type. For that the funnel filter window might better show up not in the corner but in the centre of the screen (as the search window does) - if that would lead to confusion (is it search of funnel filter what I’m using?) I don’t know.

  • Some kind of a “Breadcrumb navigation” for applied filters (focus tags) would help to go back and forth more easily when applying filters (a Focus). The standard navigation doesn’t remember that the previous view was actually one with an additional focus tag but goes back to the previous view so to reapply the last filter I have to go the long way to re-add the focus tag.

In one way or the other this was all already suggested - and not implemented. Therefore proposals on how to get to content one knows or believes to be in the library will come up again and again. Roon isn’t ready in this regard - but it also doesn’t seem to change.

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Sure, I would expect Roon could do much better if they put their mind to it. I posted my Foobar version, which is like the Panes view, to demonstrate the function, not the information design. I would definitely agree I’d like to see Roon combine implementing the capability with breaking the paradigm.

Exactly. Well put.

Spot on. I hope Roon is reading. That said, as others have observed, when Roon goes this silent, that often means a new release is coming soon.

Very interesting and constructive input. Thanks! :smiley:

Let’s hope Roon Team reads.

I admit that I haven’t read this entire thread, but it seems as though there was no resolution… I was looking for a way to open a playlist and the add a filter to .not. Play an certain artist in the playlist. Filter <>artist_name.

Depending on what you want to do, you can do this.
For example, if you want to play just your Alison Krauss albums that aren’t in AIFF format you can do this:
In album view, under the filter funnel type Alison. That will bring up all the albums by Alison Krauss (9 albums show up). Then click on Focus>Format and click AIFF (if you don’t have AIFF its not a choice). This will now show seven albums. Then click again on the AIFF tag. It turns red, and you will see just those albums that are NOT AIFF (two).
The general situation is that in some cases you can’t create the NOT intersection by Boolean logic alone. That is not resolved by this thread.

Some chronic serial poopooers in this forum. Cannot understand the need to do so.


Much like @James_I I was not suggesting the pane view as. A Roon Solution, it’s simply way out on the current interface

It was simply an example of how repeated mouse clicks replaces typing. In the iPad equivalent app for my example I can simply tap away and drill into Albums filtered by Composer, Genre and Sub Genre

a few taps takes me to all Beethoven Piano concertos for example. This would still be in keeping with Roon look and feel and far simpler to navigate for the average armchair listener



I didn’t really expect that you (or James_I) really want exactly that get implemented - I just used the example as a starting point when fantasising about implementation alternatives which could achieve similar results.

I would even consider a way which would require “more taps” (*) to be acceptable as long as I don’t notice 'cause the tapping is hidden in an enjoyable flow.

(*) In digital audio some say the more taps there are the better the result anyway … :upside_down_face:



How about just incorporating boolean logic into the search box, much as this article discusses with reference to Spotify:

If ‘tag:’ could also be used in addition to all the usual suspects (genre, year, artist etc) this would provide a very effective way to search a (local or streaming) collection.

This wouldn’t require any changes to the UI but would address a good proportion of the issues raised above.

What would also be nice is some way to specify the nature of the search result. Roon’s ‘top result, artists, albums, etc’ current method of displaying results is OK, for the most part, but I often have a very clear idea of what I’m searching for (e.g. a specific track, or album, or whatever) and would much prefer to be able to limit a search from the outset - something like output:artists, output:tracks, output:albums etc

For example, say I wan’t to find all the albums that are both jazz and classical in my collection from 2000 - 2010, but don’t want to see Brad Mehldau, I just need to type:

genre:jazz AND genre:classical year:2000-2010 NOT artist:“brad mehldau” output:albums

Or even simpler, if we can assume AND is implied (as with Google etc):

genre:jazz genre:classical year:2000-2010 NOT artist:“brad mehldau” output:albums

All that said, I’ll +1 any suggestion that gives me a bit more control over the search process - pane view, mouse clicks, whatever - because there’s a huge amount of data stored by Roon that I can’t leverage it in anything other than relatively trivial ways at present.

Oh, and being able to use brackets would be good too.

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Without being rude…

Wouldn’t it be better to provide a SQL command editor I am sure my SQL is up to it ,

I’d rather just tap an iPad , this suggestion is fine if you are sat at a keyboard but


Focus does your specific example already I think, though only for your library.

OK, so here’s a tap friendly solution …

At present Focus uses OR rather than AND, so how about adding a setting in preferences to display (or not display) the search logic as follows:

You could then tap the ‘OR’ and change it to ‘AND’:

NOT is already taken care of so there wouldn’t be any need to add it to the button.

This could be added as a simple preference setting. When set to No, Focus behaves as it does now, when toggled to yes the logic buttons are added.

Not quite. That does Jazz OR Classical, i.e. all the Jazz albums and all the Classical albums. Using AND would select the intersection of the two, i.e. only those albums that are in both genres.

To be honest I didn’t know that was a thing! I was surprised how many jazz albums showed up in my own collection as I don’t use genres.

@ged_hickman1, I use them quite a lot and as I have a particular interest in music that spans genres (jazz and classical would a good example, as would jazz and electronic, etc) being able to narrow rather than expand a search would be really handy. Interestingly, Focus uses a combination of AND and OR. When you specify two genres it’s OR - i.e. all the albums from both genres, but if you add a date restriction the logic is AND, i.e. just the albums from the specific date range.

I don’t know if Roon have any interest in implementing something like this, but I think the above would work well, particularly as there would be no need to use it if you didn’t want to.

I suspect @Thomas_Serra had something similar in mind when he started this thread.