Crashes, iTunes Library Importing and Folder Watching

Recent days I have been fighting with Roon on the crashing issue related to importing my iTunes library of 80k tracks on a NAS. I have tried SMB mounting, change from sync iTunes library to Watch the music folder, complete uninstallation the software. Noon of them worked. Put aside the software bug, I start to wondering the design of library import logic. Why do you just allow user to turn off syncing but keep the library already imported?
Every time the software starts up, it will scan those 80k files on my NAS, there is no way to stop it. Why can’t I?
If I turn off the fold to watch or turn off the iTunes library sync, every track ever imported will be just gone, gone: hours of importing and identifying tedious works get in vain. Why can I just keep the track imported? What if I just don’t want to syncing but want to keep things already done there untouched?
By the way, you guys have to fix the iTunes library syncing issue, because changing to watch the folder is definitely not the same thing: I lost the information like when I added the tracks, for example. iTunes library has the info, but watching folder does not.

Thanks for this post @silentwind – lots to unpack here.

One thing we’ve seen over the years in iTunes is the “missing file” experience, where some percentage of your library has been moved, or renamed, or deleted, but the songs stick around in your library, waiting to disappoint you when you try to play them.

This is one of the reasons we use watched folders – we can monitor your library, detect changes on the fly, and follow your music to its new location, so you (and others in your household) don’t end up with missing files right at the moment you actually want to listen to them. We think this is a huge improvement over the iTunes behavior, but not everyone will agree :slight_smile:

So, we monitor your folders for changes, and when the app starts up, we walk the directories searching for any files modified since we last saw them. We call this “rescanning” and to be clear, this does not involve opening each file – we would call that “importing”, which is a much heavier operation, and only happens once.

Can you give us a little more information about the issue you’re seeing here? We expect watched folders and iTunes import to differ.

When importing via iTunes we pull in your music and playlists, as well as iTunes-based info like Import Date, which we don’t have access to when we look at the files directly.

We do have access to Created and Modified times from your OS, but there are a few issues with that which we’re still looking into, and which you can read about here.

Interested to hear more about your iTunes issues @silentwind! Thanks!

@mike Thanks for taking my advice seriously.

  1. About Syncing
    Well, syncing is good. Detecting changes on the fly is good. I am not denying it. What I am talking about is the software behavior, or rather the product manager’s decision, after syncing is cancelled: It completely removes any library items belongs to that source. Let me take 2 examples. a) you make a copy of document using a copy machine. When the copy machine is removed, the content on the photocopy just magically disappears. b) you dig a cannel from a reservoir and lead water to a pond then with a gate you cut down the cannel and then the water in the pond just magically disappears as well.
    So you must now know what I am trying to say. The items in the Roon library are photocopies from the original, either iTunes library or the music folder itself. Syncing is a continuous action to make the photocopy update to day with the original. Copy, Link, Original these are 3 different things. Stopping link could possibly make the copy go away, or the opposite, copy stays. Copy must be gone if the original is gone. Copy is not necessarily gone if only the link is gone. In the case of Roon, what I was trying to do is just temporarily stop the syncing( to prevent possible crash because of the syncing). I may reopen the syncing in just 5 seconds but the library items were immediately removed by the software already. All I can do is to start the importing process over again, from scratch.
    In reality, link can be down for numerous reasons. Some are permanent, some are just temporary. iTunes’ behavior is to keep the library item but mark with an exclamation mark and a pop up “do you want to search for the missing file?”. I encountered such kind of case for many times because of the mounting of network drive is not always stable.
    Syncing actually is a very complex issue. There are a lots to talk about. iTunes itself is notorious with syncing. With the way how Roon manages the various sources of files, I believe that could be some essential task you have to be good at. BTW, It is also possible people will want just a copy of the iTunes library and start from there, without any further updates from the iTunes, right?

  2. iTunes library issue
    I tried importing the iTunes library for many times. Most of the times, the software will crashes after 30k tracks. Changing to folder watch does not really helps. It crashes as well. And, the crashes happened most likely with the library is dirty, that is, on the base of partially imported or Tidal collections in place. I could see from the log files there are many many conflicts. The only trick worked is to completely uninstallation. After several reinstallation and importing, it finally settled down. I am now keeping the software always open because if I close it and when it re-start the “syncing” process it may crashes again. Man, like I told you, syncing is the most tricky thing to do… :))

Have a nice holiday!