Box sets with multiple CDs on my Mac (iTunes) is bundles together in Roon as they were on single CD

Roon Core Machine

Roon core 10 running on 27 inch iMac on latest MacOS version.

Networking Gear & Setup Details

Ethernet cable

Connected Audio Devices

Lyngdorf TDAI3400

Number of Tracks in Library

29000 tracks

Description of Issue

Some CD box sets I have copied into Mac iTunes (Music) are often in Roon displayed as a single CD. So fx a 10 CD boxset with Billy Holiday - Lady Day - is in iTunes listed as 10 separate albums.(Each album I have named for instance Lady Day CD1, Lady Day CD2, etc.) In Roon however I might for instance see such a box set as comprising of 3 single albums plus a giga album comprising of 7 CDs. Roon has further dropped CD1, CD 2 etc from the album title (which is used to identify each album) - i.e. each Album is in Roon called Lady Day, the CD number has gone.
In some other box sets Roon looses one or two of the albums - so instead of for instance 8 albums it only displays 5. Some of these albums I might then find in a different box sets!!! So for instance in the Roon boxset Tresors du Jazz 1957 I find some of the missing albums from the boxset Tresors du Jazz 1955.
On some boxsets however Roon displays all albums correct - including the “identifier” I add (like CD1, CD2, etc). So it is not a persistent problem - but it occurs very often.
I have tried to change the hard disc (containing my music collection) from which Roon import the data - but the problems remain.
I have tried to use edit function - but no changes appeared.

Add images

I had similar issues migrating from iTunes to Roon.
(But my preference is to have a multi-disc set display as a single album in Roon.)

I suspect this is being caused by discrepancies in the metadata tags in your files and/or the folder structure you are using on your drive.
And that Roon considers a box set to be a single album.

If your desire is to have each disc as a separate album:
Although the individual CDs may show as unique album names in iTunes: Album Name - CD1, Album Name - CD2, etc. This info may be coming from the iTunes database rather than coded into the file tags - which is what Roon is reading.
I’d suggest using tag editing software to have a look at the metadata field for Album in your files and making sure each individual CD is uniquely named to your preference and editing the field if not.
Then have each individual CD in its own Subfolder.
Finally make sure Roon settings are to use metadata from your files rather than from Roon’s database.

To appear as a single album:
Have all the files tagged with the same album name and with tags for Disc Number and Total Discs correct.
Keep all the files in a single folder and named: disc number - track number - title

Just noticed the latest Roon update included a fix for albums being split.
Not sure if related to your issue.

Hello Jeff

Thanks for your detailed mail. I will try your suggestion as I want to be able to identify each single CD in a boxset.

Could you please tell me what editing software I should/could use - I have no experience in this.

What I find strange is that very often (perhaps in most cases) Roon accepts the “CD1” or “Disc 2” (or whatever metadata**) I have added to the Album Name. Which indicates that Roon does read my added metadata in iTunes (??) and not just rely on some embedded metadata on the CD itself. Roon also correctly reads other metadata I have added - like Genre.

What do you think about that?

Hello Borge,
Try SongKong. If you’re a newbie to metadata editing, SongKong is a hands off automated solution. Been using it for years along with its Rolls Royce big brother, Jaikoz. Look at: SongKong Music Tagger
It comes with presets especially designed to integrate straight into the way Roon works. This way there’s no conflict in interpreting the contents of certain metadata fields. SongKong populates metadata fields in the same way that Roon expects to see the fields used. Especially important for Classical recordings and, relevant to your situation, single artist and multiple artist boxed sets.

If the album is called Lady Day , adding anything after that will confuse (not help at least) Roon


renaming the whole 10 Cd’s with album name = Lady Day
Set each CD to Disc # 1 , 2 etc
Rename the Actual disc folder to CD1 Etc

If the folders are simply CD 1…10 , Roon will group them

If you name them say CD1 - Lady Day disc 1, ie anything after the simple CDx , Roon will assume they are separate albums and split them.

The simple rule with boxes is leave them alone , don’t try to split them into “pseudo albums” Roon’s metadata sources will almost certainly not ID them

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Thanks for the suggestion.
I’ve been using the app Meta for tagging which is my favourite of the many I’ve tried - albeit a bit expensive.
But it threw me a curve last night which I’ll explain in my next post.
I haven’t heard of SongKong but it’s interesting that you say it plays nice with Roon.
I’m about to check it out.

I’ve been using the app Meta for tagging. Which I think is MacOS only.
I’ve tried many and I really like this one.
It’s a little more expensive than some (never mind there are decent free ones out there) and some of it’s features aren’t obvious at first but once I got the hang of it it’s great.
I haven’t tried SongKong which is mentioned above but I’m about to.

That said, I added an album to my Roon library last night - a single CD album that I first tagged with Meta as per usual but when I added it to Roon it appeared as 2 albums.
Something that hasn’t happened to me before.
One album was missing a track and the other album was just that missing track.
I double checked the tags and they were all good.
So I must confess I have no idea how Roon is grouping albums :sweat_smile:
But I think Mike might be onto something with his folder structure and naming convention.
I’d try that first before digging into tags.

Trying to figure out what was going wrong I opened the Roon track edit menu for that lone track and noticed a field called Media Number. Which is not a field I’ve seen before in tagging software.
Media Number was 4 and Track Number was 4. Seems logical.
I also noticed that when editing a track in Roon there is no Disc Number field.
Than I looked at the Media Number for the tracks in the other album and it was 1 for all tracks.
Changing the lone track to Media Number 1 caused that track to appear in the other album where it should be.
So it seems that Roon ignores the Disc Number field in metadata tags in favour of something called Media Number.
This might be your culprit.

For what it’s worth: I mentioned iTunes and tags in my earlier post because when I was using iTunes I had my entire library edited in iTunes and displaying as I like it.
I stopped using iTunes (before I discovered Roon) and when I viewed my music in other apps the metadata was a mess. Artist names and Genres etc. were inconsistent in some cases.
This led me to conclude that iTunes wasn’t using metadata tags but it’s own database.
This was years, maybe a decade, ago so I’m not certain this is the case now (or even then).
But this is why I suggested that perhaps editing your music with iTunes wasn’t having the desired effect when viewing that music in Roon.

I tried to install Audivarna.
All albums were now imported into this competitor app without any problems!!!

So I believe it is not a question of us users editing faulty metadata when albums are imported to Roon.
The answer is: Roon has serious bugs when importing metadata and should fix the problem urgently. Data cosistency is a must.

I haven’t used Adivarna but I think the difference here is that Audiovarna just imports your files with the metadata they have so it doesn’t care what your metadata is. Whereas Roon is reading in your files and trying to match your files to known albums in its database, so if the metadata is different or more importantly if there is any difference in the track duration this can prevent a match and identification.

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Sorry a Bit Late here.

Indeed Audirvana does no metadata grooming as per Roon. It does a once off MusicBrainzID lookup and stores it in it’s library. If it cannot find a match I suspect it just “misses it” .

I haven’t used it enough to prove that . The interface is so substandard compared to Roon I gave up despite having a years subscription

Metadata used for its initial displays is YOUR metadata as @paultaylor says, as opposed to Roon where what you see is “ROON’s”

When an album is opened it uses that unique ID to read MusicBrainz and present the data

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I also have a lot of boxsets which include individual albums inside and I want them to be displayed separately with their own cover art.

With Apple Music and Audirvāna, the way to accomplish this for me was to tag each album with the same ALBUM tag and the same ALBUMARTIST tag.

This doesn’t seem to work on Roon, which doesn’t rely on the ALBUM tag obviously. The only way I managed to do this with Roon, is to create a separated folder for each “album”, and the folder for each album MUST NOT be named with the pattern “xx” or “CDxx” where xx is a number.

My library is 87k tracks large, so I made a python script to automatically reorganized the folder structure of all my boxsets.

Now I wish Roon had a smart playlist feature so i can make playlist to regroup the individual albums back into their original boxsets.

Example of my directory structure:

And here is how the albums in the boxset are displayed individually, according to the ALBUM tags :

The simplest, if painful way is to create a “box” folder the individual folders CD1 - Album 1 etc , import into Roon where you will get a set of unidentified albums

They go Edit > Fix Tracks and set each album to disc no =1 then create the album

This will treat each one as a separate album but you kee the box structure on disc

You could create a Tag to manage them if you wish

Not pretty

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