Directory Size - Performance

All of my albums have their own directory. Is there a recommended Maximum Size (Number of albums) of a Scanned Music Directory that should be considered for potential impact of performance? I am not having performance issues, but I was curious if Roon’s performance could be impacted by the directory size / structure in any way.

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Unless you have thousands of tracks in one folder you should be ok. But even then the OS might have issues before roon might.

There could be potentially thousands of album directories in a Root Album Folder, but tracks themselves would be stored with each album directory. There is never many files in a single directory.

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Different OSs and file systems do have limits on the number of files and folders on a device. It’s usually a 32-128 bit number which is effectively billions at least. It’s also predictably more complex, some systems pre-allocate a smaller number (effectively a limit) than the theoretical maximum, here’s my Debian Roon system showing the inodes available for some ext4 formatted devices;

cfw@roon:~$ df -i
Filesystem       Inodes  IUsed    IFree IUse% Mounted on
udev            2032895    440  2032455    1% /dev
tmpfs           2036601    655  2035946    1% /run
/dev/sda2       1525920 193906  1332014   13% /
tmpfs           2036601      4  2036597    1% /dev/shm
tmpfs           2036601      2  2036599    1% /run/lock
tmpfs           2036601     17  2036584    1% /sys/fs/cgroup
/dev/sda3       4890624  51371  4839253    2% /var
/dev/sda6       1222992   8952  1214040    1% /home
/dev/sda5        244320     19   244301    1% /tmp
/dev/sda7      52109312   3196 52106116    1% /music/m2
/dev/sdb1      61054976  27493 61027483    1% /music/ssd
/dev/sda1             0      0        0     - /boot/efi
tmpfs           2036601     10  2036591    1% /run/user/1000

So only 250K on my temp drive but 50-60 million on the music drives. Windows has a similar set of rules but doesn’t use the inode terminology. Performance may start to degrade before these limits are tested.


This is a good question. I have the standard [Artist Name] \ [Album Name] structure and there are 2,500+ artist folders in the main folder. Have wondered if there would be any benefit creating A to Z folders and breaking up the artists into those.

Remember that every directory also counts as a file allocation table entry. This means that while you “tame” a directory, this approach in theory adds to the issue.

In practice you’re likely still way off any limits so the extra directories won’t hurt.

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I have a very large local, e.g. external USB hard drives based, music library of flac files (over 750,000 tracks) and Roon does not seem to have any performance issues with my library. Each album is in its own sub-directory so there are tens of thousands of sub-directories spread across the three hard drives.

The two areas of performance issues that I do experience with Roon are:

  1. Having to wait for the external hard drive to wake up and come up to speed. However once the hard drive is active there are no other issues.

  2. Slow downs caused by Tidal and/or Qobuz. Roon support officially denies that Tidal and Qobuz cause performance issues but the end users know this is not true.

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This could just as easily be attributed to cloud infrastructure Roon uses too. Network congestion too is outside the control of users and applications.

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