Classical Metadata is (still) a big mess

Thanks, @joel
Filtering this sort of stuff for classical really seems like something an automatic filter (with subsequent human control of course) should be able to handle. Not many conductors or soloists called Beethoven. Or composers called Sviatoslav Richter. For the exceptions that of course do exist, there is a human check at the end. The few conductors who do or did compose (or the other way around) are known as well and could be flagged for a human check. For the remaining few that would go wrong, rely on forum feedback.
Seems doable.

But there’s always something out there to trip you up:

(my favourite example)

And just to be clear - this is a recording of Mahler playing the piano…

Mahler conducting Mahler is one of a limited number of cases that would be flagged as ambiguous and go to the human expert check. Same as Bernstein conducting Bernstein.

@joel What I really don’t get is that the Credits of this album are totally correct, but the album display is not. I struggle to see what this has to do with Musicbrainz. The album display is simply not getting its information in the right place.

It seems strange that (in a well designed UI) there would be a white and a blue entry for the album data with Sergej spelled differently in each. This is an album that has been identified by Roon, so there should be one set of data. Things might be different had I modified the Roon data (which is not the case).

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I’d rather correct the odd outlier like this than the bulk

Spotting the odd man out is a mission

IDAGIO looks good but I can’t figure out how to stream it to my main system a la Tidal

I can play on my iPad and AirPlay to my Cambridge Audio CXN but others always involve a mobile device , so far

Has anyone managed to play direct?

Ps IDAGIO is not gapless ugh…

Overall response…

Rubbish in Rubbish out, Roon can only be as good as the rubbish it’s provided with

Yes there are tricky lookups, regex and the like to sort out which part of the object model to populate but …

While there is no standards I sympathize, doing it manually especially to the work/part level is a life’s work , life’s too short

I live in hope some of the tricky transforms happen , maybe I should dust off VS 2017 and see how tough it really is :disappointed_relieved:

I have been out of the biz for a while. I am really glad to hear that. I think from some of your posts you are semi-rural? We are planning to do the same thing in Northern Zealand (north of Copenhagen). Comms a big part of this now that I have realised what I can do with a streaming service. Qobuz in my case. I really have been such a dollard.

I started ripping my CD collection about 2 years ago. At the start of that effort, I spent about a week deciding on the standards for metadata that I wanted to use. I ripped the albums for one composer that was fairly representative of the types of classical music in my collection, tried this and that, and settled on my own standards. I have fairly consistently applied those standards through the whole project, now over 4100 albums done and still another 1000 or so to go.

I’m fairly new to Roon and had a few fits adjusting its settings to be able to see things as I wanted them on the screens, but now, on the whole it is working very well for me. Nothing is perfect, but after coming from Sonos and its limitations, I’m in relative heaven! Thank you Roon!

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Well, as rural as it can be in the densely populated Netherlands. Because KPN refused to invest in fibre-optic networks in rural areas, we’ve had to wait for others to step in. It’s been quite a saga for the past 5 years. However, with luck we should have a brand spanking new fibre-optic network (FttH) in place by mid-year. No thanks to KPN, who refuse to deliver service over it…

I focus on album title, album artist and composer - which almost always need to be amended and occasionally the artist field. Nearly all my albums are automatically “recognised” by Roon, occasionally, I will have to search out a match. Multi disc sets can present a problem - sometimes disc numbers need to be added or amended on the digital file to get recognised by Roon. I always in Roon, prefer my file information for album title, the other fields, I generally leave to Roon.

For Qobuz favourites, I amend the album title only.

This means I can always locate a particular album both in my original files as well as on Roon (using the album view).

I may not have the biggest collection - but it is now over 3,000 titles (and many more individual “discs” given the number of operas and multi disc sets I own)

no problem.

I have seen sets where there is no composer, even asan artist !

Composer as artist is common and crazy

Quite often sets have no Disc#

I normally correct before I import , it saves grief, but it’s quitr laboursome

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It seems strange that (in a well designed UI) there would be a white and a blue entry for the album data with Sergej spelled differently in each.

I’m sure you are aware of this (I haven’t had time to read the whole thread), but the white and blue text on an album detail page reflects the differences between the data found in the Primary Artist and Album Artist metadata (sourced from local tags and/or web metadata).

The obvious difference with the spelling of the composer aside - as you know the composers Ravel and Prokofiev shouldn’t even appear in these fields, as they aren’t an artist - there are ways of improving the results you see.

I’m not saying something isn’t going seriously wrong in the example you provide of the identification carried out by Roon, but perhaps it might be worth experimenting with your import settings, either at the level of the album or your global settings?

a) Album detail page(3 dots)>Edit>Metadata Preference>Album Artist

b) Settings>Library>Import Settings>Metadata Preferences for Albums>Album Artist

c) Settings>Library>Import Settings>Metadata Preferences for Tracks>Composer Credits

a) and b) Allow you to perfer Roon or File metadata

c) Allows you to prefer Roon or File metadata, or to merge the two.

It’s also important to note that Roon will needlessly add white entries if the delimiters are different for the Primary Artists and between the Album Artists.

For example, the Roon metadata might use a forward slash to seperate the Primary Artists (as in the blue text of your example). But in your example the Album Artists are seperated by commas and semi-colons.

To remove the white text enteries, naviagate to Album details page (3 dots)>Edit>Edit Album>Album Artist

and copy the current data to the edit box, changing the delimiter between the artists, to a forward slash (with a space either side)…

Martha Argerich / Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra / Claudio Addado

After saving you should only see the blue text of these three enteries.

Although not directly related to the issues in your example above, experimenting with the following import settings can help if you are using the file metadata during import…

Settings>Library>Import Settings>File Tag Delimiters

Test the results if you add other delimiters to the list for Artist/Composer/Label (by default just a semi-colon). For example, if your tags are also seperated by forward slashes.
But be aware of adding commas if your artist/composer tags are in the format of “surname, firstname(s)”.

Just to say again, I would hope Roon could automatically avoid the issues you have highlighted with your example, and I’m sure you already are aware of the above - but for new users willing to manually play with import settings and carry out editing, this info might help, if they are concerned.

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Been there done that - but saves a lot of grief downstream.

Thanks a lot for the list, @SimplicityCompass

I have tried some (not all) of the possibilities to adapt / change the way Roon handles metadata. I can quite easily make one album look exactly the way I would like. However I have around 10k classical albums in my library, so I gave up on the album by album approach pretty quickly.

Over the years I have tagged my library quite consistently using jRiver. In order to get sorting right in Windows Explorer, all my names are lastname, firstname, which is of course 180 degrees opposite of what Roon is doing. To Roon’s credit, they usually manage to link my lastname, firstname tags to its own firstname lastname entry reliably (if the entry exists in Roon). So they manage to do the difficult bit and navigate around my comma separator.

So far so good. I can live with the situation as it is. I can always find what I am looking for and the blue and white entries are not detrimental to my musical enjoyment.

Now comes the however:

It is incomprehensible to me why Roon manages to do some very complex things (like fill credits with usually correct data) and completely fail to do simple things (like decide on what gets displayed where on the album page and fill it from the (existing and correct) credits in its database).

The point of my post is that I am trying to get across to Roon folks that they are stopping just short of the goal for reasons that are beyond me. It appears to me (I may be completely off here), that:

  • Roon has managed to improve the quality of its credits database over the last years. Hats off for that
  • no one at Roon has decided on what the album page should look like in different use cases (symphonic works, concertos, chamber music etc.). There should obviously be a place for the composer, but it is definitely not in the artist location (unless Mahler is conducting Mahler)
  • the data in the credits does not make it to the album page correctly

If part of Roon’s claim to fame were not the metadata, I would not even raise the issue.

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Yep, totally agree with all you have said.

I have a classical collections almost a tenth of your own, and of those 5-10% need the metadata sorting out - a daunting labour of love (along with finding decent artist images).

Anything Roon can do in improving how classical music is handled is very welcome, but the Primary/Album Artist formatting issue aside, it is a very complex area.

As it happens, Bach’s “Well-Tempered Clavier” has been one of my biggest headaches lately. I have one of pianist Andraes Schiff’s newer recording that I downloaded fro HD Tracks, with the title in German (Das Wohltemperierte Klavier) that Roon picked up just fine and I can, if I want, play through all of Book 1, and separately all of Book 2, without intervention. When I tried ripping harpsichordist Rebecca Pechefsky’s recordings, on the relatively obscure Quill label, I got a big mess: 13 of the same track listed multiple times. Part of the problem, I suppose, lies with Schmieder, for listing each prelude and fugue as a separate catalogue entry. It will require editing the tags, which I naively hoped when coming to Roon never to have to do. But it’s the kind of thing that leads me to just listen to the friggin’ discs.

I had another Bach related problem recently. When I first ripped a Helmut Walcha album containing “The Art of Fugue” and some miscellaneous organ works Roon correctly catalogued “Art of Fugue” as one work. When I subsequently ripped Angela Hewitt on piano it at first correctly catalogued it as the same work. Subsequently, though, the Walcha rendition disappeared under the work. The only way I could find it was to scroll through the albums. I have many more recordings of this work, on organ, harpsichord and clavichord, but I can see that getting them all correctly ripped and catalogued is going to be a job. Again, I know right where the discs are stored :slight_smile: So the thread “What to do with the discs after ripping?” never entered my mind.

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Full agreement with Paul Williams on this.

There is obviously no way Roon can be set up to satisfy everyone.

Just to illustrate, I’ve edited each and every album with artists shown in the order Soloist (if there is one), Conductor, Orchestra.

And if Roon has not bothered to list an orchestra, I’m happy to leave just the conductor. But if Roon has it listed with orchestra first, I edit it to put the conductor first and a soloist in front of that if there is one… And I eliminate the composer in the primary artist listing.

And I’m puzzled about a comment in an earlier post suggesting having the composer prominently is crazy. Yes, if as the artist, but not crazy if in the title where all the album is devoted to the works of one composer.

But of course it gets messy when an album has more than one composer involved. Maybe a case to still have the composer of the major work listed up front in the title but I’ve opted to edit all such albums with “Various” as the title header. Not ideal, but it works for me.

And I guess that is about all we can reasonably expect from Roon - that it works for individuals. No, it is not perfect and can be improved, but it is currently the best system for me.