Classical Navigation Suggestion

I appreciate this is a hot topic . I have a Feature Request which I think will help

My method of selection is Composer> Genre > Album … mostly sometime Artist> Album (this is catered for adequately)

When I select Composer , I see compositions , in some cases over 1000 ! (Bach) which is fairly useless. If you have in your library any of the big “All Works” sets like Bach 2000, The Beethoven Edition etc this view is just swamped and adds NO value to me .

Also filtering to a work is not logical , take Chopin Waltzes , I tend to listen the album not a select 3 minute track

What I am suggesting is that

a) the Composer View shows Albums not Compositions
b) A central band of Buttons showing all available Genre , click on say “Keyboard” then Filters to a additive condition ie Beethoven AND Keyboard

This way you will see a limited Album view with a relatively small number to select from quickly with a couple of mouse clicks

I know there are already ways to do this with Album Focus ,while it is a very good way , it is not really intuitive to use on a quick selection basis




Hi Mike,

we definitely need a way to filter compositions on the composer view. On the composition view there is Style and Period which I would find better suited for this. Problem is that it is not very well filled by Roons metadata and it is not maintainable by the user either as far as I recall…

I do not see a proper use-case for Genre in classical music in Roon anyway… All I could see is using the Genre “Classical” on album level and have all other information about what most people call “classical genres” on composition level in Style and Period. I had posted this in another thread, but it seems that I am the only one thinking like that. :wink:

I agree the generic classical doesn’t get you very far

I come from “another product” where I defined Genre and Sub Genre as Custom Tags e.g. Concerto > Piano Concerto

allowing that sort of filtration may work. Roon has these Genre and sub genre but not easily (if at all) got at

The dependence on external meta data does spoil it a bit

At present I find Classical selection a nightmare , I now tend to go via Artist rather than composer as it filter the numbers down a good bit

Lets see if I get any other biters nd maybe it will start a discussion that coul dlead to some consensus


1 Like

I have used a similar approach in the past but did not apply it to my whole library. On what level do you maintain this? To me it only makes sense to be applied to a groupd of tracks that represent the work, so for a given WORK tag I would assign a GENRE and SUBGENRE or whatever you want to call it.

As I said: Roon already offers something comparable - Period and Instrumentation. (I was recalling it incorrectly as Style). For me that would already suffice to be able to focus or filter on those when in composer view.

In Composition view you even have “Form”. You can currently filter on those, but you can only put focus on Form and not on period and Instrumentation.

I think the data structure is already there and exactly on the level it belongs to (the work and not the album). What is missing is a smart way of making it useable to us. Another drawback if you are coming to Roon with a heavily “custom-tagged” library is that those fields to my knowledge cannot be mapped to tags nor can they be manually maintained. So you completely depend on Roons metadata sources.


I was a, and still am until I get Classical stuff sorted out and happy, using JRiver. The custom tag availability lets you define stuff easily.

I included Composition as a custom tag , they have since made this standard. I spent a lot of effort adding compositions to my collection. I used MusiCHi Tagger to help.

As for Genre , I defined as per Gramophones categorization eg Orchestra, Chamber , Piano , Instrumental etc and then sub genre a lot more detailed eg Piano Sonata , Violin Sonata etc

I could make Roon use the Genre I have defined that would really help if we could filter by genre

I started off with “Major Composers” which I split off into a separate view , but eventually did mre or less the whole collection. quite a chore I may add, One of the big benefits of Roon is that this is done for you

I guess I will have to modify how I fish out music to listen



1 Like

tool-wise we are quite similar :wink:

I’m still using JRiver for tagging

I must confess I am still torn …

The classical stuff is so much easier to configure in JRiver




How do Feature Requests work, on the face of this one only me and Klaus have an interest but how does it find its way onto a “Feature Request List” to be evaluated and possibly actioned

As I see it at the moment, it will just die through lack of interest …


I’ve got about 5,000 albums, all classical. The way I got round the browsing issue was in the way I tagged them all in MP3Tag. Every album is prefixed with the composer’s name, for example, Bruckner: Symphony No. 5 in B flat major. These albums have merely ‘Classical’ as their genre. In Roon, using the Focus feature, I create a button for the ‘Classical’ genre and then set the search criterion to “Album Title”. This way I get a complete listing of every classical album in alphabetical order using the composer’s last name. If I type in the first two or three letters of a composer’s name as a search, the displayed albums on the screen jump to that composer and I can browse his works from there. Compilation albums have ‘Classical Compilations’ as the genre and each track therein has the composer’s name appended to the start of each track title. Cds or LPs that have more than one composer in them are split and catalogued separately under each composer’s name. Simples!

I think you may have misunderstood what Mike was talking about. He was looking for a way to focus/drill-down on Composer-Genre-Album. I was thinking more of a grouping based on Form/Instrumentation (or Genre) on the composer page.

With your method you won’t be able to identify the Beethoven recordings that have string quartets on them, unless they are identifiable via the album title.

For me the question is therefore: how can Roon simplify this selection task in the following use case: being on a composer page with >100 works and trying to filter/focus on the chamber music only, for example

1 Like

“With your method you won’t be able to identify the Beethoven recordings that have string quartets on them, unless they are identifiable via the album title”.

That’s exactly how it works. In my case I have the DGG set of Beethoven’s string quartets by the Amadeus Quartet. They are all catalogued as if they were LPs with their original white LP covers and all titled Beethoven: String Quartets Nos. X & Y etc.
If the albums are tagged in an organised manner, my method works perfectly. I admit it takes some work in the manual tagging department but since most record tagging is haphazard and inconsistent at best, I considered the effort worthwhile to give me a consistent and predictable result with every album I have.

As I said: it works like that, as long as you write every string quartet in the title, in a way to be able to be identified as a string quartet by the album text. So if we are talking about other compositions for string quartet, that are not called “string quartet”, you’ll fail, unless you call it “string quartet” on the album title.

My argument is that the Roon database already has dedicated fields for this information that link them to the album, composer and work. Why would I want to use a database for organizing and playing my music if I didn’t want to take advantage of these links?
For your purpose I can use a file structure and search for an album or folder string. In the case you describe, I would not need a composer page at all… Why would I use Roon then in the first place?

I Hi Alan.

My albums are also named Beethoven: Symphonies etc so yes you method would work. Roon however identifies the Album and often renamesit. I guess I could opt for my album name in the set up or manually correct UGH

I listen 90% on my main hi fi system using an iPad as the remote. I find the iPad keyboard awkward so the less I type the better.

My idea was to set up Composer view so that you could get to a very limited number of albums with the minimum of taps

Eg Composer > Beethoven> String Quartets … that would give me maybe 10 - 20 albums to pick from in 4-5 taps and no typing. Is that too much to ask of such sophisticated software ( speaking as a retired Microsoft developer)

Keeping all albums as Genre = Classical loses this granularity. I would and have opt for more genres rather than less so that minimal type minimal tap approach would work best

I am not trying to reinvent my old system but that’s how I had it set up and it worked for me.

Don’t get me wrong I am growing into Roon , 6 weeks now after a few trial attempts, but the classical limitation is frustrating . So much so I am keeping JRiver live until I am really happy and even considering classical on J River, pop rock jazz on Roon

I need a bit of convincing

I also need to open my mind as to how I use Roon



1 Like

A last comment without being too lippy …

I thought Feature Requests were aimed at improving the operability of the product. I decided to “buy into Roon” so that I could legitimately add comments as a user rather than nag before I bought. That’s what I am trying to do

Improve usability rather than design workarounds. Workarounds are great until you get a new feature up and running


I’d be against getting rid of “compositions” altogether. But it would help if there were an “album by composers” view and not just a flat “albums” view.

Bach is particularly problematic, thanks to Schmieder and the Bach Gesellschaft: some major works, like the Mass in B Minor or the Saint Matthew Passion get one catalog number. Others, like the the Orgelbuchlein, get one catalog number per piece, some of which last under a minute. When I ripped Andraes Schiff’s Well Tempered Clavier Books I and II they correctly catalogued as two “compositions” with 48 “movements” each, even though each prelude and fugue has its own BWV number. When I recently added a version by harpsichordist Rebecca Pechefsky on an off label (Quill) Roon made a complete bodge of it, creating 13 separate entries and not listing them as different “performances” of the same work. It again drove me to throw up my hands and give up ripping for a while.

But aren’t Chopin waltzes collections under one opus number? Usually Roon deals with things under one catalogue number reasonably.

1 Like

The “Grosse Fuge”, for example, which in the Amadeus’ day was not that frequently performed in its original form as the finale of the String Quartet #13.

I still find JRiver the best for tagging. I don’t use it for anything else at this point. MusiCh tagger is good but a real counter-intuitive PITA to use. Every time I open it I have to re-learn how to do simple things. Also Roon chokes on the “MusiChi Clean” “composer last name, composer first” name format.

But sometimes all this is enough to make me throw up my hands and go running to my CD or vinyl collection.


Sounds like you have gone through the same software route as me !

I wasn’t suggesting scrapping the composition view at all, it has its uses if you want to select One Of Your Beethoven 5ths etc.

BUT Roon is not 100% on getting compositions first time

I have been using MusiCHI Tagger to add movements as well as compositions (have you tried doing this its quite simple) , this helps Roon do it right. I always correct Beethoven, Ludwig Van (1234-5678) back to plain Beethoven anyway that’s how I classed it in JRiver, much less clutter.

I agree MusCHI Tagger is no too intuitive but I think I have it tamed and it has helped a lot getting compositions standardised in Ron

My thought was to amend the Composer View so that you could just Tap Tap Tap Composer>Genre>Album , quickly to pick an album to listen “When Cooking” sort of thing, not really detailed listening

I think this would have value. As you come from a JRiver background you probably had that set up as a custom view for JRemote like I did.

I spent a lot of time and effort adding Composition to JRiver with th help of MusiCHI hence I am a fan of the Composition View in Roon, its just a bit busy with Bach & Beethoven … I ahve Bach 2000 in my collection ie 1050 + works …

I suppose I am after Sexy ROON with JRiver functionality . I am definitely sold on Roon by the way , despite any apparent whinges




Any thoughts …

Blockquote I always correct Beethoven, Ludwig Van (1234-5678) back to plain Beethoven anyway

Works for Beethoven, not necessarily for Bach, Scarlatti or Couperin. But maybe I’ll try that.

I never used JRiver for a player very much (in fact I get annoyed with it when it wants to play something and all I want to do is tag it). I used it to record OTA television for a while, before I found other means. I was mostly happily using Squeezebox as a multi-room player until Logitech summarily dropped the platform. But I’ve found if I want to change all those “Beethoven, Ludwig Van(1770-1827”'s to “Beethoven” nothing does it more conveniently or more intuitively than JRiver. One criticism is that it tries to do too much.

One annoyance with Squeezebox was all the information goes by at a slow crawl so less clutter was good. But I found my library tagged for LMS didn’t work out that well with Roon, so started from scratch.

The “Beethoven, Ludwig Van(1770-1827)” might be more useful if the renowned Kapellmeister of Bonn by the same name and grandfather of the famous composer had left us any compositions.

Also if you’re editing things after “MusiChi Clean” you run the risk of, say, misplacing a whitespace and mucking with the uniformity and consistency which is its purpose in the first place. I would far rather set it so it gives me the format I want, but I haven’t figured out how to do that yet.

(also it looks like I misused the blockquote feature the first time)