Browsing by folder structure yet? Roon also used to mess up my folders... fixed? [no folder browsing, and no more organized folders]

Hi there everyone.
Decided not to go ahead with Roon after a trial subscription last year because of no way of preserving folder structure or navigating via folder structure.
Been keeping an eye on Roon for my Hifi System since last time. Just wondering if thats still the case. I wouldn’t want it to mess with my music folder structure. Also does it now have the ability to navigate via folder structure (if needed via simple toggle).

Oh for this particular system, Roon will be installed on an antipodes dx gen3 running into a DAVE and WA234.

Roon will never mess with your folder structure, but it will also never browse your folder hierarchy as a browsing mechanism. One of the core guiding principles of the Roon design philosophy is to stop thinking about files and directories.

The alternative to a fixed and rigid hierarchy includes using tags + focus.

Fast navigation can be done via keyboard typing to activate jump-to on browsers or the filter box.


While I used to like trolling the folders, but I find with Roon I really dont miss it that much - one gets over it and in all honesty pretty quickly…but YMMV depending on what you collection consists of and how readily it works with roon metadata

Tbh I can handle roon not displaying folder structure. But I just want to make sure it wont mess with it and I can use other apps to stream (eg logitech squeeze or TV media players) off an intact folder base.
Because i have heard of roon messing with peoples folder structures
I intend to use roon sometimes and logitech squeezebox other times on the same folders depending on how im listening.
The files dont have any metadata, they are just filenames

Would roon mess with the folder structure, move files, change filenames etc so the folders appear changed when using other applications? Thanks

No. I use Roon and also access the files using DNLA and Roon doesn’t alter them. It did once upon a time if you selected that option but that behaviour was stopped and the option removed.

As noted…this was an option that was removed many months ago as it was easily misinterpreted.

That said if you delete a track or album or from your library it will delete it with a series of warnings. But changes to data in your folders in not done otherwise.

Oh okay,
wow thanks for the replies guys!
I will give it a another shot. Who can i approach to get a retrial. The last one I only had as a trial was in Aug 2016 and I didnt go ahead because I didnt think I was ready to abandon folder structures, but now I kind of want to try it and use some of the other features as well.

I think @kevin will be able to help you with a retrial. You could also see whether the promocode that @HBz provided in his review of Roon will work for you. Han’s introduction to, and review of, Roon is worth watching in any event.

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Thanks guys, will trial it in depth with a view for lifetime subsrcription closer to Xmas when I have some time off

There used to be 2 modes in Roon for folders… Watched Folders and Organized Folders. We killed Organized Folders because they were too dangerous. Only Watched Folders remain, and they never altered your files.

my library messed by Organized folder once, never use them again… now move and re-organize manual one by one manually… you can’t imagine I have same album in CD quality, Hi-Rez PCM and DSD, now all inside single folder, before then I organize my music in 3 type, CD quality / Hi-Rez PCM / DSD so I can do backup / update easier, but now all mixed into single bucket…

yah, that’s why we removed the feature.

With a bit of scripting in mp3tag or puddletag you could undo that for the audio files

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Let me see how the script may help, Thank You.

I feel the Roon developers (with all due respect) seem to misinterpret how people listen to music. For example, you might have a folder on your computer with a mix of tracks, that was created for a specific occasion years ago. Or you simply forget all the good music you have stored in various folders over the years, and will never find this music using Roon’s ”non-strict, non-hierarchical” search. Personally, randomly browsing my music collection folder-style often makes me re-discover certain music, and bring back memories.


A playlist or Tag seems a better way to interact with a miscellany of tracks.

There may be some people who prefer folder browsing, but for many more the album cover and Focus tool browsing is far more intuitive and aesthetically pleasing. Roon comes as a welcome release from the tyranny of operating system hierarchies for those folk, hence the passionate resistance to any return to the cage. “The jail’s back in that direction” they say, waving at folder based browsers.

I suspect that quite a few people who seek to include a folder structure view in Roon haven’t played extensively with the Focus tools and discovered all that they can do.

You can currently, for example, view by storage location. This is only one directory deep at the moment. Making it another directory deep would solve most issues for people who want to bring a folder structure into Roon.

I don’t agree on the last post at all. I see at least as much ”tyranny” in the tag-reliant search/browse system as in the OS folder view browsing, in that it is completely based on at least two things:

  1. that all your files are tagged, and in a logical and consistent way (rarely the case in larger collections gathered over long time IMO)
  2. that the listener always knows what he/she would like to listen to beforehand, and then that the artist/album/genre etc. is known (not always the case)

At least folder view is totally up to you how to hierarchically organize. I do see the benefits of tag based browsing. But for getting a quick overview visually of your collection and what music you have, folder view can not be beaten IMO. And please, Focus is nowhere near the same thing.

In addition, browsing my local hdd’s music folders and (re-)discovering music i had forgotten is a great way to spend a lazy evening when you are in the mood for listening to music. Much like browsing through an old collection of vinyl records and rediscovering old favorites. But i rest my case, and won’t argue for this no more, since it won’t help anyway.



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Asking for folder browsing from Roon is like asking about a Windows update on an Apple forum. You will be ridiculed and reviled. How could you want such a stupid thing? Use tags. Use focus. Use discover. Use whatever, it is much better than folder browsing. How dare you think that you know better than the Roon developers how you should organise your music!

I bought a lifetime license for Roon about 6 months ago, which I kind of regret. I did it primarily for the excellent Tidal integration. If Tidal disappears - which is looking increasingly likely - I will go straight back to Jriver and never think about Roon again.

Although this is my first post in this forum, I have watched the many repeated requests for folder browsing come up with considerable frequency over the years, only to be met with disdain, condescension and patronising responses from both the developers and other users. A lot of users will actively resist any suggestion that you should have folder browsing, even if it is completely invisible to them, and doesn’t affect them in the slightest. They are offended by the very existence of folder browsing! The developers likewise have no tolerance for folder browsing. You can explain why you want it - hundreds have tried. They won’t get it.

I have been using Roon for 6 months. I have gotten used to many of its quirks. But I still can’t find much of the music I know I have in my hard drive. Music still doesn’t appear in a manner that makes intuitive sense to me. I find features like focus, playlists and tags useless and frustrating. As I said, the only real reason I use Roon is because of the seamless integration with Tidal, and perhaps 30% of my listening is now Tidal, so this is pretty important. But I am almost kind of hoping Tidal will fall over, so I can go back to Jriver and its primitive folder browsing, and find all the music I know I have in a matter of seconds, organised in a way that makes complete sense to me.

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Ahhhh, why it’s always so difficult to change?
I found the same discussion on folders and tags in photography with lightroom…
Folders are an old way of organizing your archive. Metatadas and tags allow a number of possibilities that, otherwise, we couldn’t use.
I love tags and metadata (years ago I had to update my library too adding the tags because I was using folder navigation). Where is the problem? My workflow involves the rip phase where i already compile some metatada (album, album artist, title track …) in order to use Roon in a satisfactory way. In the second phase, using the booklet and online database like Musicbrainz and Discogs, fill out all the tags I want…
I don’t understand :thinking:

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