Better handling of box sets is something very much on my plate, but it’s not an easy thing to “fix” when (a) everyone wants something different and (b) box set metadata is far from ideal. That said, I appreciate the suggestions.
Disappointed to hear from @joel that a grouping feature including box sets is not yet completed (or not yet nearing completion, from the sounds of it). Good to hear that it is on the plate though Seems to be to be a very important feature that has been repeatedly asked about.
Oh, something I forgot to mention in my description of the Roon grouping feature mentioned above. Each “group” would have it’s own page, with a description of the group, some form of banner art and of course the group items listed - kind of like an artist’s page, but for a grouping. The description and art would of course have to be added by the user.
For example, take the “Cafe Del Mar” series of compilation albums (I have quite a few). They would be grouped as a single item on the “albums” list, which when clicked, opens up the Cafe Del Mar page with the above information. Take a look at the Cafe Del Mar website:
As a rough guide it could look something like that, with the user adding a personalised background/banner image and some text at the top (like Roon does for artists and albums) describing what the series is and what it is about.
Another example might be that the Roon user may wish to group together various manifestations of a band. So rather than having “Mr Blobby”, “Mr Blobby & the Blobmasters”, “Mr Blobby with Mrs Blob” etc listed as separate artists (and hence cluttering up the artists view), they could be grouped together by the user into a group name of their choosing (e.g. “Mr Blobby”) which, when opened, would contain all the various manifestations and permutations.
There’s no silver bullet here, but there are a few principles that can be followed.
accept that there’s no consistent metadata for these and that user intervention is generally going to be necessary as far as tagging is concerned, e.g. Rovi tend to (more often than not) ignore disc numbers and number the tracks 1 to n where n is the number of tracks across all discs. Discogs and Musicbrainz tend to do a better job keeping the discs within the set discrete.
anticipate and cater for artwork for the box set and the individual discs. If there’s a folder.jpg or whatever other files Roon considers cover art in the root folder, use it for the box set and each disc. If individual disc subfolders have a folder.jpg or equivalent of their own, use that file as the cover art for that specific disc.
respect discsubtitle when it exists in a user’s metadata. Rovi has the terrible habit of taking box sets comprising numerous albums in an artist’s canon and considering it a single album, thus losing the individual album names. Where box sets comprise individual albums users should be able to identify an album by name within the boxset and play it. Perhaps discsubtitle can be displayed underneath disc1, disc2 etc. as each disc is selected.
Every attempt to simplify the metadata (using “Tag” on Mac to edit) STILL results in the first 3 tracks of CD 1 being split into 3 separate albums. Within the folder for the set it is “CD 01” and lableled in metadata as disc 1 of 5. I’ve tried to tell Roon to read everything from the “file”, tried to re-identify, taken it out of the watched folder, put it back after further metadata editing. Why is there no way to merge misidentified albums such as this? I must admit this is one of a number of such multi-disc problems I’ve been having and I would love to have a solution to further possible recurrences, rather than the hours of head-scratching.
You will want to select the 3 albums with one song in each album (or is it 4 total to make a complete disc?), click edit and then merge. After that, you can repeat the procedure to merge the 5 complete albums into a set, if necessary.
Since many box sets aren’t just collections of the original individually released albums, but also contain alternate versions of the originals and collections of unreleased songs and single B-sides, I would like to see a way to name the individual discs in a box set other than Disc 1 | Disc2 | Disc 3, etc. For example, the Jethro Tull compilation - “20 Years Of Jethro Tull: The Definitive Collection” has 3 individually named discs, and slightly different album art for each. So I would like to see: The Radio Archives And Rare Tracks | Flawed Gems And The Other Side Of Tull | The Essential Tull instead of Disc 1 | Disc 2 | Disc 3.
If that’s not possible due to UI constraints, then if different album art is provided for each disc, maybe Roon could pick up the art from the ID3 tags or images in the disc folder and then change the album art that is displayed as each disc is selected in turn. Like so:
I would love this. I haven’t dared import the Rubinstein 144-disc box set because it would be a nightmare to navigate. The box set reproduces all of the original album covers and they look beautiful; it’s a real shame you can’t get them to appear in Roon (unless of course you import them as separate, unrecognised albums and group them together with a tag - not ideal but a workaround).
It is recognised by Roon though, as one big box. I only have three discs from it (I was able to buy them separately to add to the old Rubinstein box which I have) but they come up with full details and performance dates/locations.
I agree entirely that one needs the individual album covers, but for that box at least you can navigate quite well already.
I’m also trying to figure out a way to sort collection, anniversary and deluxe editions. As mentioned above the Steven Wilson remixes are a good example of when things get a bit messy. On these usually the album comes in different flavors - flat transfer, new remix, new remix multichannel etc. Currently I can sort them into different disc sets, so far so good, but then you have no idea which version you’re playing as all you see is “Disc 1”, “Disc 2” and so on.
Was there anything implemented in the more recent versions that would make this any easier?
Still no way to display DISCSUBTITLE field in Roon as of version 1.6 (Build 401)? I don’t understand why not? We can have every kind of display for the Queue/Now Playing screen, but lack, IMO, display of critical library information for choosing what to put in the Queue in the first place? Not cool.
Please let us know if this is on the roadmap or in the trash bin. We shouldn’t have to see Disc1, Disc2, etc. in box sets or multi-disc albums at this point in Roon’s development.
https://www.amazon.com/s?k=ZYX+Italo+Disco+Collection&ref=nb_sb_noss_2 has 26 boxsets each with 3 discs (some with 4). How do you thing that a list of 78 discs will look like interface wise? What I’ll like to see from a proper implemented collection manager is a single item in Albums view, called “ZYX Italo Disco Collection” for example, when I click on it to see the 26 boxes (each with her own art) when I click on a boxset to see what you see (Disc 1 | Disc 2 |Disc 3). Or any other variation on this implementation will work. It can somehow be achieved with TAGS but is not the best way and it’s a pity that a $500 software is constantly ignoring any improvement in this area…