Box Sets Confusion


Absolute new comer , I’ll split my questions into separate posts for ease of replies.

I have an extensive classical collection , a lot of which are box sets. Take for example Peter Hurfords Bach Organ Works

I want to find a specific work , which I know is on Disc 2. When I see the array of artwork I see 10 + images all called the same .

Is there a way of Identifying

A) Which disc Is which
B) Some means of adding a “Note” that says - Disc 1 - BWV 890 - 895 in free text .

I think I have partially answered my own question

I have most of my Box Sets as a “Master” Folder with a set of sub folders one per CD in the set - these fail.

I have some where I have a single folder and the tracks are renumbered as 101 , 102 …201 etc and there are no subfolders per CD these show as Disc 1 & Disc 2 in the album view.

Is that the case that each Folder containing files no matter what the depth in a hierarchy is viewed as an “Album” that would seem to be the case

My problem is that 90% + have sub CD folders UGH …


Have you read this @Mike_O_Neill:

Most of my sets are

MySetName/cd1 - Descriptor
/cd2 - descriptor

They are set up to show the folder content as rge descriptor on a USB drive

Will that cause the issue


I own this box set by Peter Hurford, and I can share my experience on how I proceeded to load it in Roon library.

First, as a general rule used for any boxset, tracks composing a given disc n are tagged as DISCNUMBER n, and numbered 1, 2, … with DISCNUMBER tags.

If you choose to handle the boxset in Roon as one multi-disc album, all the tracks are tagged with the same ALBUM value and placed in the same directory. Handling big box sets like the Hurford one as a multi-disc album is however problematic in Roon, mostly because the current Roon UI does not support any way of identifying the contents of each individual disc. Roon simply presents a terse series of “Disc 1”, “Disc 2”, …, “Disc n” links at top of track list, making browsing in search of a specific composition quite painful.

As a consequence, I much prefer if feasible to follow a different route to handle boxsets, by not grouping all discs in one album, but rather identifying each disc individually, with tracks given their own significative ALBUMTITLE and stored under a different folder. A distinctive album art is also assigned to each disc, if possible. This way, the albums can still be identified by Roon as being part of the boxset (due to the use of disc numbers and track numbers), but more importantly, can be browsed much more easily by looking at the album titles and their album art.

This second way of handling box sets however highly depends on the feasibility of assigning good album titles to each individual disc., sufficiently precise to let you correctly identifying its contents. In the case of the Hurford boxset, the best you can do would be to name discs somewhat as follows:

disc 1
Toccata & Fugues, BWV 540 & 565; Preludes & Fugues, BWV 550, 548, 531, 549 & 532
disc 2
Toccatas & Fugues, BWV 564 & 538; Fantasias & Fugues, BWV 561 & 542; Preludes &
Fugues, BWV 533 & 551; Kleis Harmonisches Labyrinth, BWV 591; Trio, BWV 585
disc 3
Fantasias, BWV 572 & 562; Fugues, BWV 579, 575-577 & 581; Trio, BWV 583; Prelude &
Fugue, BWV 535; Fantasias & Fugues, BWV 537 & 570/946; Pedal-Exercitium, BWV 598;
Passacaglia & Fugue, BWV 582
disc 4
Clavier Übung III (Beginning)
disc 5
Clavier Übung III (Conclusion); Kirnberger Chorale Preludes

Alas, it is easily seen that many album titles would be way too long to be manageable, and Roon would truncate them so heavily as to make them useless in its album displays.

So what did I do in the case of the Hurford boxset ? I reluctantly sticked with the multi-disc approach, but managed to get a good listing of the boxset contents in pdf format, and stored the pdf file in the boxset directory. When displaying the album page, Roon now presents a PDF link which can be clicked to open the document in a viewer. Here are the pages covering the first 2 discs :

The PDF track listing can be easily scrolled to browse the boxset contents, and then click on the correct Disc n link at the top of the Roon track list to select the work of interest.

The track listing can be obtained by copying the pdf booklet issued by the publisher (do not know if this exists for the Hurford boxset), or by scanning the physical booklet. In my case, I went to the discogs web site, grabbed the contents of the boxset page, pasted it in a word processor, did some reformatting, and exported the result as a pdf document. This took some work, but I thing it is worth it.

Hope my experience can help you.

1 Like

Is the Composition Browser of use to either of you?

I have AN answer. I have been using my Streamer with an External USB drive as well as a network drive for a number of reasons… Hence as I browse the drive the Album Name shows as the “master” Folder but I have put annotations on the CD folder

F:\ Classical > B> Bach > Organ Works - Hurford > CD1 - Preludes & Fugues

… and so on

I assume that Roon reads this as an Album name . f it were CD1 alone Roon I assume reads that as a sub folder and includes it in the box set

Am I correct in my thinking ?

The big issue is that virtually all of my Box Sets have been annotated like this , and would be an enormous amout of work to reverse , not that I want to anyway.

I have found the odd one that is not and they behave by showing an album box set with the disc number “tabs”

Is there a way around this ??


I have difficulty understanding the point of your question. Yes, I do find the composition browser usefull to locate a given composirion. But not in the context of the issue on hand, eg easily browsing the Hurford boxset. To be usefull in browsing this boxset (or any other for that matter), the composition browser should give access to the performer name and album name, and then to the disc number/track intervals for each composition. If it did, we could produce a useful track listing (similar to the one shown in my post) by focusing on the performer/album, and then sorting on disc-number followed by track-intervals. Unfortunately, unless I am totally mistaken, I do not see how the current implementation of the composition browser can allow that. It would certainly be a good idea to include such a possibility in the feature request list.


@Andre_Gosselin You know what, I actually meant the Composer page… Admittedly, you have to know you want to listen to, say Bach, and then a particular composition. But I take your point about “browsing”.

[quote=“Mike_O_Neill, post:7, topic:25228”]as I browse the drive the Album Name shows as the “master” Folder but I have put annotations on the CD folder
F:\ Classical > B> Bach > Organ Works - Hurford > CD1 - Preludes & Fugues
… and so on
I assume that Roon reads this as an Album name . f it were CD1 alone Roon I assume reads that as a sub folder and includes it in the box set
Am I correct in my thinking ?
The big issue is that virtually all of my Box Sets have been annotated like this , and would be an enormous amout of work to reverse , not that I want to anyway.
Yes, you’re right, having folder names which are more than just CD1, CD2 etc will trip up Roon. If your file tags have all the same album name, and the correct disc number data, then Roon has a chance, but I suspect that is not the case.

If you edit the file tags (without changing the folder names) you may be able to get Roon to automatically merge them. Otherwise you will have to find them in the album browser and automatically merge them.

Getting albums - particularly box sets - to identify in Roon correctly is crucial to getting a premium experience. It’s worth getting this right, especially for albums like this.

I think what would really help @Andre_Gosselin is my long-standing request for a new layout for Albums (and Artists) which is a listing by Composer/Work/Performance, as an alternative to the basic track-listing. This would allow navigation of a box like this, which is currently basically impossible in Roon if you haven’t memorised the track listing.

With a 35 disc album it’s incredibly boring having to click on each CD tab to browse for something…



+1 from me for showing composer/work/performance on album and artist pages.

I’m still not sure about the way to deal with box sets in the meantime. For some of them who are built in the “original jacket” style, you could think of keeping them as separate albums with the correct disc# and merge them later.

But for other boxsets like the Brendel Collection for example, it makes no sense to me to split it into single albums. Really not sure what is the best approach at the moment.

If you mean the huge 160CD complete Brendel, it is pretty much DOA in Roon. The metadata is faulty, and has no dates (which with a multiple-performance box like this is useless), and the lack of the much needed Composer/Work/Performance browse mode makes it simple impossible. Frankly I needn’t have bothered rip. Going back to the accompanying book and spinning the CDs is the best way to get access… :frowning:

yep - I am talking abou the big Brendel box and I completely agree with your assessment :wink:

What I do is playing it via JRIver since I removed my CD player from my listening room quite a while ago…

which is also another argument for more control on maintenance of Roon specific metadata for users. I should not need to wait for content to be provided/corrected.

I don’t think @brian and the team need convincing that editing of performance dates and crowdsourcing of all corrections are essential. But it’s a matter of programming time time and, of course, of doing it right. (Defining “performance” seems to be slippery.)

But at least reminding them helps it not get pushed down by something less important. :wink:

For sure - just sending reminders from time to time ;-). As far as defining “performance” is concerned I’m not sure. I think it is more tricky to define the “work” properly, when I look how work collections like Vivaldis Concerti, some of Beethoven String Quartets etc. are currently determined. That’s far from consistent right now and I think it will not be easy to define what’s “right”.
A performance in my mind is the combination of performer(s), work and a recording date/place.

I can trip you up on each of those, I’m afraid…

Performers: what about operas where the metadata reasonably has different performers for each track?
Work: what about excerpts, or complete performances plus encore (cf. all concertos in the Richter complete Melodiya)?
Recording date/place: what about those performances where each movement is recorded separately (cf. Horowitz Beethoven Sonatas, Zimerman/Rattle Brahms Concerto, etc…)

Plus the difference between performances marked as such in TiVo/Rovi/Allmusic (often incorrectly splitting a genuine performance into many bits) and those which have to be munged from user tags.

Pretty complicated… And I’m sure @brian can think of a bazillion other reasons it’s complicated. But I’m sure they’ll get there!

I agree with @Ludwig.

Putting those at the performance level causes many problems. In fact, we are moving three performance level fields (credits, recording dates, and performance location) to the track level soon.

This change has zero impact for non-metadata-groomers. We’ll still de-dupe the data at display time to avoid being repetitive, just like we do with credits and lots of other things–so for the common case where all of the dates/locations are the same, it will feel exactly like today. But we’ll gain the ability to represent situations where they differ.

There is a second problem with putting those fields at the performance level, which this change is also going to solve: A performance without a composition is an awkward thing to permit (so we don’t)—but it’s possible for a track to have a known recording date, or performance location even when there is no suitable composition that we can attach to it. So moving those fields to the track also makes those cases representable without requiring anyone to define and manage composition-less performance entities.

Finally, by having those data at the track level, the can be reasonably imported from file tags without complex merging or conflict resolution rules (these generally make the product less comprehensible). That means that they can also participate in “prefer file data” behavior, and so on. Which is another thing that is needed here.

I think where we are going to end up is: a performance is a link between N tracks and a composition. It has identity–so it can be favorited, tagged, etc, but it doesn’t have data fields of its own.

This is very promising.

Presumably hand-in-hand goes the ability to group tracks which do not have the same date/venue into performances in some way? (Also allowing us to fix Rovi when they have screwed this up.)

By the way, Live not being de-duped looks like an anomaly. When a complete performance is live, we don’t need to be told on every track line and on the main heading.