One feature that I really like in iTunes, even if it never worked as well as it should have, was Genius playlists. Roon’s granular control is very good and allows me to slice & dice pretty well, but my impatience (& my ADD) would be better served by a version that worked with less conscious input from me.
I’m going to demonstrate what I have in mind with a “key track,” which is Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere [henceforth AAA], by David Bowie. If I play that song and then immediately play radio, I get other seventies-era classic rock, which makes sense.
The behavior I’d like to see, though (and I’ll try not to get hung up on the UI, just trying to be clear):
I’d like to have a little area on my screen (which could be disabled in prefs, of course, for users who didn’t want it), and I’d like to drag AAA into that area. Then I’d like to drag other tracks into the area alongside it and press a little blue button.
If I drag in AAA, “No quarter” by Led Zeppelin, “Money” by Pink Floyd and “Evening blue” by Traffic, Roon generates a 50-song track list that consists of songs released by English pop musicians in 1973.
If I drag in AAA, “Suffragette City” “Fashion” and “Kooks,” Roon generates a 50-song track list of recordings by David Bowie.
If I drag in AAA, “Won’t get fooled again” by Van Halen, “Pinball wizard” by Rod Stewart and “Drowned” by Phish, Roon generates a 50-song track list of songs written by Pete Townshend (or originally performed by The Who) being covered by other artists.
if I drag in AAA and cuts from T. Rex, Roxy Music & Sweet, Roon picks up the ‘Glam rock’ tag and assembles a playlist drawing on it.
And finally, if I drag in AAA, “Fight the power” by Public Enemy, a cut by Bix Beiderbecke and one by Penguin Cafe ORchestra, then Roon deciphers that I’m just feeling schizophrenic and would like a nutty playlist from all across my library. Maybe it limits itself to recording released after my earliest and before my latest, or recordings whose timings mirror those that I dragged in.
Maybe there’d be a “word cloud” component where I could see the metatextual web Roon is drawing so I could cut some lines and draw some other ones, or drag in artists or genres that I think belong.
Mostly, though, I’d like it to be simple and have a graphic component so I can drag and drop without thinking very hard.