Classical compositions and movements for streamed content not identified correctly

Roon has this machine learning thing back at base, on their servers, Valence is it called? I was busy being pedantic the other day and adding recording start and end dates, recording venue and other such metadata to several Jaqueline Du Pre albums recently remastered. It was fun and felt very satisfying, and then I suddenly thought, why doesn’t that clever Valence engine crowd source metadata from us, our libraries we have carefully updated with all the correct info. It would be a simple matter to aggregate for the most often used genre tags, location tags, recording dates etc. Letting the obvious anomalies slip through the net and only keeping data that is confirmed by numerous users data?

Anyway, doesn’t matter because these ideas are just that, ideas, they go don’t go nowhere near anyone who might implement them.


That is exactly the core of the problem I was trying to address. And yes, maybe we in the past were overestimating roon´s capability of correcting such mistakes. It can do exactly that to a certain extend if it is provided with consistent, correct and identifiable metadata which is the case only with a limited number of albums.

I am not loosing hope for a solution in the future. Hopefully something like a ´show only streamed albums with consistent metadata´ filter would appear, similar to the ´show only complete recordings of a composition´. That would help a lot without the user putting too much of effort into checking.

One thing I am reading between your lines is the dissatisfaction with one’s own feeling of uncertainty (especially when it comes to ´loosing albums´). I fully understand that. Listening to music via roon or using a service like Qobuz or Tidal is not about having 10M albums, it is about finding the right ones and sticking to them as a part of one’s collection. I would rather prefer a choice of 50 recordings of one and the same Mozart symphony with consistent metadata than a situation having 1,500 recordings but half of them inconsistenty tagged and loose single movements flying around.

Funnily I had the impression that Apple Music Classical despite from being much simpler and lacking a lot of useful features seems to have addressed that problem. I do not know what is the key behind that but I guess it is a combination of strictly consistent metadata, human (editorial) factor and straight algorithms for a limited number of usecases. I sincerely wished roon could do the same in the future even if it limits the choice of albums.

When doing the job of cutting down my core collection I caught myself on just deleting albums with non-existing or inconsistent metadata just for the fact that it is not worth the effort of tagging them.

We have gone somewhat off-topic here, and I expect that these messages be shortly moved away. But anyway, for a long time Roon’s interaction with users about product characteristics, shortcomings, desirable improvements etc. has quite dried up. So it’s impossible to know what those guys think about this;

I think our points were perfectly on-topic. The fact that roon staff is not taking all classical-related problems as some kind of priority might be a hint that the fraction of classical music lovers like you and me really using the musicological features and expecting them to function perfectly are simply a tiny minority among roon users. Sadly.


…and I feel this may be the case in point. Just as audiophiles and even just those who enjoy putting together a decent hifi are a minority among those who stream music. Still eventually streaming services releasing hires versions (regardless of their improved sound quality or not) became a marketing tool, so someone must have noticed us!

When Presto released their streaming tier I was heartened, but after trialing it has some way to go, and of course only caters for jazz and classical - although these are the genres traditional serious music lovers gravitate to probably still. We shall see.

But like I said earlier, if Presto can put together quite a mature looking streaming service, pulling music files presumably from a third party wholesale distributor… why can’t Roon? If Roon was a streaming service it would be worth its time tackling the metadata issue - passing the crowd sourced corrected data back to the servers and making life better for all? It could bundle a package of Roon + Streaming for a fee less than the two sourced from separate suppliers if only by a small margin.

Then we might have something worth getting behind.

As it is Roon’s continued focus on local file management for media collectors means it will fade slowly away… and like this insubstantial pageant, leave not a record rack behind!


I guess the difference is the number of albums and if you have control over the quality of metadata you get. I am not too familiar with presto but as far as I remember they advertise some 200,000+ albums in their library. That’s manageable if you as a streaming provider have a choice (and the possibility to reject albums with bad or inconsistent metadata, suspend complete record labels etc.).

Roon is expected to handle whatever Tidal, Qobuz and KK provide and what users have in their library. Again I do not have exact figures but Tidal and Qobuz alone I would suggest to offer a combined 1M+ recordings (not tracks but albums or recording per composition). If there is no source for reliable metadata and Tidal/Qobuz do not provide such - what would you do?

If roon was a streaming service I would expect them to filter the useful albums and suspend the rest (what presumably Presto and Apple Music Classical have done). As it is a player/library tool this would not be accepted by people not finding ´their´ favorite recording on roon despite it being listed on Qobuz or Tidal (and we have seen such threads here already). I have not lost hope that such filter will be implemented as an option which would really be solving the issue.

It would be deeply tragic if roon would be losing support. And I am not sure how lovers of non-classical music percept all these issues. So far metadata handling for pop, rock, even jazz works pretty well. Maybe with the exception of disappearing albums provided by streaming services being replaced/renamed. That issue should be solved first in my understanding as it might really be annoying loyal users.

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You are reading too much into it; my dissatisfaction is with some longstanding and well-known and acknowledged problems not being tackled. They are let stay and we are expected to put up with them and get over it. That’s the attitude I perceive, anyway, and this is what I am dissatisfied with.

Roon as a software system helps with the discovery of music or recordings of music, it assists with its playback with several advanced and interesting features, and it claims to enhance the listening experience with metadata and information around the music we are listening to.

With regard to discovery, Roon does a decent job, with its own limitations. For example, recordings with incorrectly recognized and marked compositions will be unavailable when looking up ‘All Recordings’ for such a composition. At the same time, I have learned to use other online resources to actively look for albums and releases I might enjoy, instead of passively depending upon Roon’s recommendation system.

With regard to playback, as I said before, my needs are very basic. I like what RAAT brings to Roon, even with my very basic needs. The ability to easily and consistently stream bit-perfect data from a server machine to an endpoint running Roon’s bridge component is brilliant. I don’t use DSP functions at all, I don’t have needs for multi-Room streaming (or not yet), but RAAT is what I probably will miss most.

Finally, when it comes to the point of ‘metadata-enhanced listening’ and all those marketing promises, I am quite content with perusing the Qobuz-provided booklets. I like reading booklets, and at the same time, I find myself ever more looking up information around music and recordings I like on the web, anyway. So, with regard to this point, I don’t expect Roon to perform any magic. I expect it to do some basic things right.

This thread was started by another user claiming that Qobuz presented the works and parts of a recording correctly, while the same album presented in Roon had lost part of the correct grouping of work movements. And this I see every single day while listening to Qobuz albums through Roon, and every single day I ask myself when at good last will the folks at Roon take things seriously and tackle all these old standing niggles and shortcomings. And they don’t or won’t…

There are other not so great aspects of the Roon experience I won’t mention here. And then there is the point of an ever more defensively managed forum moderation which adds to my dissatisfaction with Roon. There once was magic, but then I woke up and saw that there were no fairies…


Actually, yes I too find myself with my ‘Music’ saved tabs open in Safari on the Mac… so when I was researching the missing metadata for Jaqueline Du Pre’s recent remasters I had a tab open for MusiBrainz (which had pretty much everything once I could actually find the album), Presto, the music shop not the streaming service (because I find their search is excellent, they have reviews and also often metadata), Discogs (as a last resort for images of the rear of LP album sleeves where much metadata lives in print form!) and of course Wikipedia for date and the label information if has been entered.

So in one respect I am not using Roon to provide the data often, but I am using it as a library of music I have curated and updated with metadata myself?

PS. The sources I often find with the least metadata or any other kind of information are the labels, they just chuck out another remaster without mentioning who did it, what they did and why… just a marketing exercise I suppose. Naxos I find are often the exception, in the recent Delius Collection releases they even had start and end dates of recording and the venue, with the production team and the engineer and so on… much more than even I needed! :blush:

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To be fair I don’t need Roon for classical, as I can plug my MacBook into my headfi gear via USB and use Qobuz directly - the sound is amazing! But I do need it for the lounge hifi where my room batters the frequency response otherwise!

Same here, I don’t need it to play back music, but I wanted it to make the experience more luxurious. But to justify a luxury you must feel enthralled by it… And the thrill is gone…

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For my part, I see the Roon community moving more toward streaming services, in which I still have very little interest. When Squeezebox was my main digital streaming platform, Rhapsody was available for a while, and I subscribed, but it didn’t really take for me (of course it was all mp3). I have over half a century’s worth of personally curated recordings–LP and CD–and my main goal is to get as much of the digital content as possible into the more convenient format on a central server. But improvements in classical music handling–the bulk of my collection and interests–have flattened out.

Also, ARC is a nice feature but kind of restrictive, only working on mobile platforms, with no intent to expand that. Apparently, no service away from the Internet is the Faustian bargain we made for that feature. Apparently JRiver has a less restrictive protocol though I haven’t tried it. But to be honest, if I were paying monthly or yearly for Roon, I probably would have dripped it a long time ago.


I actually love Roon’s implementation of Crossfeed for headphone listening. It really increases my enjoyment of listening to classical albums that have a wide stereo spatial spread (not exactly sure what the correct audio term is) and cross-feed is great for that.

85-90% of the time, the metadata for classical is very good (and often there will be multiple versions of an album in the database, one of which may have better metadata than the other). It’s that 10% that’s just completely off that is quite annoying.

Here’s a particuarly egregious example (fortunately, the original metadata is better and that’s what I use:


At least this is your own files and you can tag them yourself… These things are common fare with albums from streaming services; here a nice release from just a week ago. And this is the only metadata available, I have checked…

So why the heck are the first two parts not considered part of the whole?

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I was able to fix that by going to Identify album and then choosing “None of these look right” followed by “Use basic file information.” The album cover disappeared, but I don’t think it’ll be too difficult to find the cover online. I also had to add Maurice Ravel as the composer for Roon to recognize the work.

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Yep, and this makes the album appear ‘Unidentified’, which in my mind should not be the way to remedy the problem…

Just as we say around here, la cura es peor que la enfermedad

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Yeah, I’m aware. The work is identifed, though, and if that’s the solution for a small percentage of albums, I guess I can live with that.

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Sometimes if you change the metadata in MusicBrainz, and wait 10 days and then re- identify in Roon you are able to select your new edits. Doesn’t always work though, and is a lot more work. But then it works for other users.

Not only classical, many other genres. Is difficult to accept that a software with this big following has so many flaws and bad search performance. I use it bacause is the only thing that works with my dac.

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I do sometimes wonder, how do the labels themselves catalogue and tag their own recordings? If I open up MP3tag and study what ways I can tag my files with the obvious composer and artist but also part works and so on… are these tags standardised across the recording industry?

For example, I am presuming a record company (the originating organisation of the media) will have tapes going back decades, these tapes will be housed in boxes, upon which will be hand written often the engineer, producer, artists etc. Plus in the case of classical recordings the work itself and its subsequent parts, opus numbers etc.Then I suppose there is database of all recordings with this informations as well.

With newer digital files of recent recordings, how do they store those files in way that encompasses all this information I wonder? Do they have an external database, with all the recording details and such with a link to the location of the master file itself, along with various mixes for different media maybe? I bet they don’t store any information in the file itself as tags, I would assume the file itself has a unique alphanumeric identifier that would tell the average user nothing at all, but this identifier is referred to in a separate database of all their recordings with full details contained within the database… perhaps? Maybe the file has no information embedded in it at all until it gets to the distributor, maybe even the streaming service? How does this all work I wonder?

i think the only solution ultimately to this situation is to have the original file, from the record label/recoding studio, through the distributor and out to the streaming service tagged with all this stuff right from get go. Then all Roon or anyone else would need to do is format it according to the features their software offers.

Of course the problem with this idea I suppose is the ‘album’ is not a object, never was, it’s actually an imaginary carrier for the files it contains. You can’t tag an album because it doesn’t physically exist, you can only tag the files. But if MP3Tag allows me to tell a file which album it belongs to, what it’s separate parts are, who the ‘album artist’ is then maybe this isn’t a problem after all. It just relies upon the software developer to put this information to good use?

PS. It might be just me, but a documentary on this very subject would be fascinating… how does it all work, from mic to speakers! :sunglasses:

I reported the Daphnis et Chloé example in the Metadata category, and @joel replied…

Yes, I saw, thank you. Again, yours are local files with which you are free to tag properly (WORK/PART) and import with local tags overriding Roon-supported metadata. That’s not possible with streaming service-provided albums and files.

There’s a great many albums like that on Tidal and Qobuz, some without any grouping into works at all. In the past, I often considered if it really made sense to report every occurrence of this problem, as it is too many. I am completely sure that Roon is well aware of this problem, and they very much should come up with some strategy to overcome or mitigate this.

I can’t say I really understand Joel’s explanation. But I am sure he has the in-depth understanding of the problem. Just take it serious and take it on…

In reality the discussion in this thread has gone way beyond what was originally stated as problem by the OP. I gladly recognize that Roon in general terms does a pretty good job with metadata, and gives us flexibility with editing some metadata entities. But the specific problem of correctly grouping the parts of musical works and compositions into their parent has not been solved, and it is very annoying indeed.

There are other specific problems. I have come across albums with parts (movements) incorrectly grouped into the wrong work or composition… the work title was wrong, and I have not found a way to correct this in the case of streamed albums.

I believe that all metadata related to albums and tracks, parts and compositions etc., are kept in a user’s database. Roon doesn’t modify local files, and obviously can’t modify streamed content. So, why not provide the tools to locally correct problems with wrong/insufficient metadata? Or, if thought of as a better solution in the long run, why not provide some mechanism to correct metadata errors on a central repository, as has also been mentioned in this thread?

Just saying ‘go and correct in MusicBrainz’, or doing nothing, or taking on the problems on a case to case base as submitted in the Metadata category, in my mind doesn’t cut it. This to me is a problem that cuts to the very core of Roon’s value proposition…


The lack of editing tools for streamed content is an issue going back many years. On the face of it, aligning local and streaming content editing features seems a reasonable request. There are several change requests over the years. Maybe there is more to it. I always assumed there must be a deeper contractual or copyright issue with the streaming content or metadata providers? Although I don’t recall ever seeing a roon comment.

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