Box sets - A nightmare - what's the best way?

I have some issues with Box-sets. I searched all over and found I am not the only one. Some Boxes are smaller and therfore easier. But others are far larger and far more complex. So I am wondering what solutions others have found (while waiting for Roon to come up one day with a solution)

By the way the best I found so far is this thread and comments by Mike_O_Neill
How do you tag albums in box sets…

Here a couple of screenshots to illustrate my issues:

LARGE Box-Sets:
98CDs for Pavarotti

how are you supposed to find anything here? If at least it would say what is on CD99, CD100 and so on. Like that you just scroll down and hope you did not miss…

SMALL Box-Sets:
or Box-sets with one type of recording only, i.e. Beethoven Sonatas or Beethoven Piano Concertos. Like that it’s OK to have just one box visible. Even with 20Cds if its only sonatas you can quickly find the one you are looking for.

LARGE Box-sets Organised differently by Roon
I have to say, Roon did this “on its own” without me asking anything in particular. Actually I like it quite a lot. 74CDs all Verdi Operas immediately separated by the operas.

ExLARGE Box-sets:
But what do you with that? Even Roon could not handle 340CDs, So I split it in 3. But still, you need to get the original booklet next to you so you find what is on which CD or you will never find it. It’s already difficult in the original box, as it’s large, but does not seem easier in Roon either. I might have to separate it like the Verdi Operas, even if they all have the same cover, that’s not really an issue.

I am most curious if anybody has a solution that works for large and very large Box-sets and how you all go about box-set in general. I must say I find it really hard.

I know what I would like. A single picture of that Box. And once you select (open it) you would get a new page like the standard Roon page with all the titles all the covers of what inside that box. Of course the inside of the box should be searchable like all the rest of all your music. But I think we are nowhere near that.


I have a lot of big boxsets. I tag the each CD or groups of CDs in the set as individual albums, adding a short prefix and a sequence number to the album names to identify the boxsets and sort the albums so that they are display “together” - that requires the albums are sorted by titles.

It’s far from being ideal, because the album names get very long andd truncated unfortunately.

I just use Focus on a box set to pick out what I want. Eg for the Delius boxset:


thanks. Looks like for my Pavarotti Box-set everything is correct and >Focus really does work. I can select composer, whoever I want with Pavarotti and of course what composition.

But why do I not see Focus on some Box-sets? What is wrong?

Or here I see very limited information

This looks indeed interesting. But it actually means you need to start with the “name of the box” in the Title, to make sure the box stays together. Therefore I understand you get really long names.

  • What do you put as Primary Artist?
  • And what do you add under Album Artist I see you put Herbert von Karajan

The boxset is Unidentified and likely only album level metadata is included – therefore Focus is grayed out as there is no further data available to distinguish subsets of content from each other.

Same as above about the boxset, but here at least some more metadata about the content is present.

PS: Missing a genre/sub-genre from the classical tree may lead to undesired results as Roon treats classical content specially.

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As @BlackJack says, those examples you show are both showing as “Unidentified”, which means that Roon is going to rely on the file metadata, and unless this is very complete, Focus is not going to have much to go on.

I can’t see the Philips set of Brendel’s complete Beethoven sonatas in Roon’s database, only the Decca version from 1996. And Roon knows about 908 albums and boxsets with Karajan, but unfortunately not the one you have…

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Brendel is in the db.

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I wonder where the difference in playtime comes from.

Ah - good to know - wonder why it is not showing up in his Discography then…

@Olivier_Lengwiler - since it’s there, you can try identifying the boxset manually to get Roon to populate the metadata fully.

Go to the Album page, click the “3 dots” icon and choose the Edit option. Then click the “Identify album” button to see if you can match it up with Roon’s database entry…

Yes, he can/should do that eventually, but the content should match the metadata or further trouble is incoming (see my remark about playtime).

Be interesting to see what happens. I notice that, at the moment, his Unidentified version says that there are just 2 other performances of Sonata no. 1, whilst my Roon says that there are 84 available…

For the Karajan boxset, I was a lazy so I just put Karajan as the album artist.
But normally what I do is:

  • For album artist: I put either the common artists or all the artists performing in the album, but it’s the same value for all tracks in the album.
  • For individual tracks’ artist: I put the actual artists performing the track

For naming the album:

  • I start with a short name to identify the boxset, e.g. “Pavarotti Decca
  • Then I add a sequence number or range to indicate which CD or CDs in the boxset are part of the current album, e.g. “Pavarotti Decca - 003-004
  • Then come the composer, actual album title and main significant artists, e.g. “Pavarotti Decca - 003-004 Donizetti - La Fille du Régiment - Pavarotti, Sutherland, Sinclair, Bonynge, Covent Garden

Focus only works if the genre is set to Classical, add the genre all will work

My pet subject but I cannot contribute much as am on the sick list :smiling_imp:

I will try and chip in

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Your Brendel Recordings are funny , PC Levine is 3 Cd the Analog Sonatas is 11 CD ?

I suspect you have extracted from the 114 set and renamed albums the same name hence 11 analogue + 10 digital +5 live etc

I suspect that technique leaves the album not IDed and with partial metadata

The best advice is leave boxes alone and import as one x CD mass then use Focus and Filter tools to find what you want as @Geoff_Coupe indicates

Splitting boxes only really works when the box is collection of previously released albums which often is not the case.


I use Roon in a special way in the sense that I don’t really care what metadata it can find and I don’t want to rely on Roon for identifying my albums. I spend a lot of time tagging myself everything explicitly.

As for the classical boxsets I have, many of them are compilation of previously released albums, sometimes with some slight modifications. As for the boxsets that do not consist of previously released original albums, I just make up the albums by splitting by work for example, and compose fake cover art.

That is exactly the set I have. Im not sure anymore how I ripped this as this is years ago I did that. Im wondering if I did something wrong.

I see with all the comments that were left here that some work perfectly, like one of the Karajan boxes with Tchaikovsky, I can use Focus and it all falls into place as it should.

I have also been able to “regroup” box sets I had just cut in two as they were too large and now Focus works there too just fine.

This Box here is not dramatic since I can select all discs and just scroll down to the sonata I want, it’s just really strange it does not work. But my be my mistake somewhere.

I think I found a possible reason. I am missing sonatas 15, 21, 25-26. So may be my box was separated in more than on “box” may be 1 or more additional CDs. I will try to locate and re-group them.

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Added the missing sonatas (why on earth they were not imported I really dont know) But now Roon finds the correct box-set and under Focus everything is fine now.

I guess I have to check the other boxes that are not correct. So far the ones I looked at are fine, and Focus does show me more or less what I want.

Phew… glad it works out