A great starting place to understand how Roon leverages file based tags is the knowledge base:
Unfortunately these guides leave many unanswered questions (which I’ll add to the KB if I figure it all out). To better understand how Roon leverages file based tags and behaves when encountering tags in various fields I created a dummy album and started experimenting with the tags to see what Roon does with them. Here are my findings so far:
artist field only = maps to Roon primary artist
adding a second artist to any track makes Roon assign the album to both artists … or as many as you add to artist
Assigning a value to a performer field makes the performer a primary artist in Roon, but leaves the album attribution to the entry in the artist tag
albumartist overrides all other artist and performer fields insofar as whom the album is assigned to
At a track level the albumartist is never listed as “Performed by” even if explicitly included in as an artist or performer in a track
Adding a tag called release is ignored within Roon
Adding a tag called version is shown on the album cover and as Type under Album Info
A number of inferences can be drawn from above that will influence tagging scheme. I’ll add more observations as I experiment to learn how to make the most of metadata for those albums that Roon cannot identify. Classical will be interesting. Following that I’ll try summarise the inferences that can be drawn from what’s observed.
Questions for Roon @support : what is a Primary Artist in Roon and how does that differ from Artist and Performer? I’ve always added guest appearances to a track by setting artist=name of album artist\name of guest artist. Should I move the guest to performer only?