Hi everyone. After using Roon for a week with a modestly large classical music collection (about 1000 cd’s), I’ve come to both appreciate what Roon is capable of and get incredibly frustrated by some deficiencies.
So first I will list my frustrations and requests for future features.
I do not currently see the ability to edit an album title. This has led to some level of weirdness and frustration. For example, I have a four-volume set of Paul Lewis playing the Beethoven Piano Sonatas on the Hyperion lable. Though I had correctly named these albums (Beethoven Piano Sonatas Vol. 1; Vol.2; etc.) in my iTunes setup, Roon renamed them - Beethoven Piano Sonatas Vol. 1 became “Beethoven 1”; Vol. 2 became “Beethoven 2”; etc. - only Vol. 4 appeared to get the name correct. I hope that the ability to rename an album will appear shortly so that these kinds of oddities can be fixed (or that Roon will update its own metadata to fix them). Similarly, though I had meticulously gone through the track titles to properly identify each sonata’s common number instead of Opus, Roon lost this information for one of the discs of Vol. 2. I know them well enough to select by opus number, but everyone refers to the sonatas by common number unless you are a musicologist!
The inability to rename album titles also means that when you want to just view your list of albums by composers, things get weirdly out of place. I have four discs of Angela Hewitt playing Beethoven sonatas, but three of them are named “Beethoven: Piano Sonatas” while a fourth is named simply “Piano Sonatas”. So when I look at a list of albums by album title, the Hewitt sonata discs are weirdly separated. Yes, I know that I can sort by artist and then they will appear together - except that this brings me to another problem:
Some of the artist metadata is also weird - like listing Ludwig Van Beethoven as one of the “artists” on my Herbert von Karajan two-disc set of Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis and my RCA recording of Heifetz playing the Beethoven Violin Concerto.
Some albums seem to be just totally missing from the Roon database. For example, I have a 11-disc set of Alfred Brendel playing Beethoven’s piano sonatas released by Philips in the 1980’s. Originally, Philips released these as three multi-disc sets, spanning Sonatas 1-12; then 13-25; then 26-32. But I bought them as a single set. Roon’s album database has the 3 individual volumes in it, but not the entire set, and I can see no way to take my entire set (which has discs numbered 1-11 and make them into a single album recognized by Roon, or even to break them apart into the three separate sets that Roon DOES have. Which brings me to a third problem:
When I use the “find album” feature and I find an album with multiple discs, often it lists my tracks out of order. Getting them in order is incredibly tedious, because you can’t simply drag tracks from one spot to another - you have to click on the up/down buttons to move the track. Try moving one of 100 tracks in a multi-disc set from the bottom to the top and see how long this takes. PLEASE implement drag/drop for this feature, OK? The buttons may work fine on single-disc pop or jazz releases, but not on 25-disc sets of Haydn Symphonies!
OK - that lists my current issues with Roon, but I’m still figuring out how to use the software. There is very great potential here, but the classical database functions need some work. I realize classical music indexing is several orders of magnitude harder than for pop/jazz, but there is SO MUCH POTENTIAL here that I beg you to work on this. Roon I think can be the answer all of us classical music collectors/fans have been waiting for, but it’s just not there yet.
But it has so much potential, and it is so good already with pop/jazz that I’ll almost certainly be keeping it and hoping for the best in the future on the classical side.