Different artists due to the word "the"

I’ve looked at the Artist Equivalence Issues thread, but didn’t see a way to fix the following problem (or a definite “it’s not fixable yet”). Apologies if I missed it.

The issue: you get an artist twice, one with “The” at the beginning, and one with “The” at the end. And if an album is not in the database, you can’t match it to the artist to fix it.

Here’s a specific example: I have The Raconteurs “Rolling Stone Original” album (bought way back from Rhapsody when it was trying to compete with iTunes).

Unfortunately, it shows up in Roon as “Raconteurs, The”, which is how it’s listed in the ID tag. The other Raconteurs albums show as “The Raconteurs”.

If I edit the Album Artist field, I just get two “The Raconteurs”. So am I missing something, or this a case where it’s just not possible to fix it yet?

This is one example of this problem – I did a quick search and it occurs elsewhere as well, so I figured I’d ask as I learn Roon.



What are you editing with?

If you view the extended tags in MP3Tag (other taggers are available) sometimes you find that there is an “AlbumArtist” tag as well as an “Album Artist” tag, or another tag that still has the wrong nomenclature in it.

Removing these can help.

Thanks for the reply.

I have MP3Tag and/or MediaMonkey (which has addons that can make mass changes like this), but the issue isn’t that there’s wrong nomenclature in the files themselves. They’re purposely set as “Raconteurs, The” because lots of other software will list it incorrectly if it’s not that way (they’ll list it under T rather than R).

I guess if I choose to fully commit to Roon I could do the work to change all the ID Tags throughout my entire collection, but before I do that I’d like to make sure there isn’t going to be another solution…

Thanks again,


Hi Peter,

I believe the issue may be the lack of metadata available for this album. If you display the album in Roon, does it say Unindentified, just below the Play Album button and release date?

Just to confirm, are you seeing two artists in Roon? One The Raconteurs and the other Raconteurs, The?

Cheers, Greg

Yes on both – “unidentified”, and two artists “The Raconteurs” and “Raconteurs, The”.

If you click “unidentified” and then “Identify Album”, there’s no album to match it with.

Thanks for working through this with me,


Hi Peter,

I believe if you change your artist file tags for this one album, as a test, it may at least lump the album with the other Raconteurs albums, and leave you with one artist. It won’t help with Identifying it, but at least they’re all together.

Worth a try to see if it helps.

Cheers, Greg

Hi Greg.

I did the test, and it indeed works – if I change the Album Artist tag it lumps them together, which is the important part.

Interesting sub-note for anyone else who might read this: changing the Artist tag does NOT work if there’s also an Album Artist tag. Album Artist tag is the dominant field for Roon. In fact, I tried changing the Album Artist tag and not the Artist tag (Album Artist set to “The Raconteurs” and Artist set to “Raconteurs, The”) and it still worked.

So now I’m faced with a choice of changing all my Album Artist file tags…

A suggestion to the developers: whenever Roon sees a “, The” in the Album Artist field, it should always reverse it. Then I (and others) wouldn’t have to change all our tags if we have it that way…


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Hi Peter,

Great news that it worked. I should point out that, in most cases, Roon will successfully Identify your albums, even with “The” at the end of the artist (album artist) tag. The reason you had difficulty with this album was that there was no metadata for it and Roon couldn’t Identify it. So, it used your file tags to get it into your library. I assume your other Raconteur albums imported into Roon properly, even with “The” at the end of the artist in your tags.

Anyway, probably no need to edit all your file tags, only the ones that were Unidentified. To find them, go into Album view and click Focus. From there go all the way to the right of the window and select Inspector. Now click Identified. With the green Identified box showing, click the + sign to make it a -. Close the box, and it should show you all the Unidentified albums in your library. If the Artist has “The” at the end, then you can go and edit the tags for these albums, just as you did before.

Hope that helps.

Cheers, Greg

Thanks, Greg.

Nice trick with changing the + to a -. I would never have thought of doing that in the UI, so I appreciate it.

Unfortunately that still leaves me with a ton of unidentified albums (thousands), so is there a way to further refine it just to bands with “the” in the name?

Otherwise, I think I’ve fixed many of the more egregious folder directories. The rest I’ll just correct as I go…

Thanks again,


Hi Peter, I have had the same problems with ‘the’ and unidentified albums.

I fixed them by adding a tag called ‘AlbumArtistSort’. I added Raconteurs, The to this tag, and made AlbumArtist The Raconteurs.

This works fine with Roon and also enables the best of both worlds, as other software will use the sort tag and list the band under R.

I didn’t bother touching the albums that aren’t an issue though.

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Thanks, Nick. I’ll try it.

I appreciate your letting me know…