Browser local files to organize them in library playlists - really it's a thing


As a user, I would like to browse music folders directly in order to add downloaded files to the library and organize them in playlists (and then forget about the actual path).

Story: I use mixcloud (which then transfers to juno for purchase), beatport and the like to discover electronic music and then purchase them as high-res and download the FLAC files.
An example of how it looks on disk:

As you can see with these sort of “standalone” entries (very common in EDM, Techno, House) it is cumbersome to access from the roon library for the first time after they are added automatically as there is no common attribute other than the folder they were downloaded to.

Today in order to do that I need to manually type the name (which I’m eyeballing from the difficult file names in the open folder side-by-side) one by one in roon’s search.
You can try and see, it’s a fun exercise. Not really :slight_smile:

Being able to navigate to the actual subfolder they are grouped in (since downloaded together) would’ve made this task a breeze.


Excelent example (one of many) of why on earth people are still asking for something like a folder viewer in some kind of way. And no this does not have to be a full fledged file browser, absolutely not, just a minimal function to simply view the content of a directory via the focus function so it is possible to tag or bookmark them like in this case.

1 Like

Does this approach work?

EDIT A shorter description:
1. To import the directory, drag-and-drop.
2. In the Album browser, sorted by Date Added, group the unrelated tracks: right-click, click, click, click; Edit; Group Albums
3. Give it a name, Frank’s Recommendations

I’m sitting on my Windows machine, where I have a subdirectory with unrelated tracks, as you describe. I’m looking at it in Windows Explorer, which is designed to browse directories. I drag the subdirectory onto the face of Roon, which downloads it to the server. If the tracks are identified as you suggest, if each track has metadata for album and artist, they will appear in Roon as a set of (partial) albums with the artist name.

(I also tried it with tracks that had no metadata at all, and they appear as tracks in an album which Roon made up, consisting of my computer name and date and time. And similarly if they had artist and track names but no album.)

In either case, in Roon’s album browser, Sorted by Date Added, the newly added tracks appear in one or more “pseudo-albums” in the upper left corner of the browser. I can select all of them, click Edit in the upper right corner, and select Merge Albums. Now they appear in one pseudo-album – “pseudo-album” is not an album at all, but it’s a grouping of tracks that you consider meaningful in some sense. You can give it a name, “House downloaded Dec 29 2017” or “Lucy’s recommendations” or anything that makes sense to you. Edit other metadata if you want.

Now, this grouping of tracks is available to you in all the normal Roon ways: you can play the whole grouping, individual tracks, add tracks or the group to playlists, etc.

Before you reject this as a complex workaround, think about what I’m doing here: the tracks originally didn’t live in a directory, they came from various sources. The subdirectory is a temporary holding place, just because Windows insists on keeping things in directories, but that’s a technical artifact. You use the Windows tools to manipulate that directory, but once the music comes to Roon, you can keep track of them in a more logical way. What the tracks had in common was something that made sense to you. Tell Roon about it, and move on. Forget the temporary storage location, it’s uninteresting.


If you have a collection of otherwise unrelated Tracks/Albums in a subdirectory you can tag or bookmark them as follows.

Create a new empty top level Roon folder, call it Temp or whatever else you want.
Move your subdirectory to Temp (don’t copy, move).
Focus/Inspector/Storage Location
Select All
Tag ‘em or Bookmark.
Move subdirectory back to main Roon folder.

I’d like to see Storage Location go one directory level deeper, as moving a large quantity of data at top level can be irksome.

If you place the temp directory on the same physical drive as the main Roon directory, the move operations are fast because no data is actually moved, only table entries are manipulated (at least on Windows).

1 Like

Well, for newly added folders - Yes!
Thanks for that creative use of another feature to solve this problem.

Of course, I wrote that statement in the parentheses (“and then forget about the path”) to confer that it is not about ‘folder love’ but a real problem for Roon adopters who also download loosely grouped content like this.

It’s not complex, but not a direct solution and probably not complete (in case the folder was not recently added).

It’s not creative.
And it is not a “solution” to a “problem”.
This is how you add new content to Roon.
Roon is an identity-based system.
If you have content that is identified, just add it, and you can add lots at a time.
If you have content that is not identifiable, or that doesn’t have an overall identity, because it is a random collection of music, you must identify it, and it is best to do that a little at a time. And this was your original question, wasn’t it?

  1. Import the stuff
  2. If it became a bunch of fragments because of its lack of identity, regroup it
  3. Give it a name so you can find it later. I chose to call it an “album” because that is universal in Roon, can be used for many things. But you could Tag it, or make it a Playlist, if you prefer.

This is the standard way of handling unidentified content in a content-based system.

That said, if you have terabytes of unidentified content, content without metadata so Roon can’t identify it, identifiable only through its path — Roon is not the answer.

You say this is not a “direct solution” if the folder was not recently added — yes, if you have previously added content that was not identifiable, you have in effect already “lost it”, it sits there without an identity, this is a problem. Folder-based browsing would be a possible way to solve that problem, although it is a weak solution because if the content has no identity it can’t participate in other functions. Better not to do that in the first place.

1 Like

If you can live with that fine.
I just shared a use case and a feature that would’ve been nice for me and save me time.
Apparently there are others who feel the same.

It’s up to roon dev team to decide if and where to put it in the backlog, according to their priorities.

Dissing a genuine use case isn’t helpful.

If there is a religious aspect to Roon, it is the anti-folder ethos. Might as well be asking to host a rave at the Vatican. I think there is a concern that Roon somehow loses its identity if this function is there.

lol should make an interesting rave though