File type folder structure in your libraries - useful or OCD?

Hi all,

I wasn’t sure where to add this topic, so I hope I made the right choice!

Up until now I have added all my music files into a root “ROON LIBRARY” folder under this structure:


Most of my collection is made up of CD rips and digital lossless downloads with a few lossy albums here and there (mostly bootlegs.)

Have you added a file type folder structure to your files and, if you have, have you found that useful? So, as an example:

> MP3

It is probably my OCD asking this perhaps irrelevant question, but it would be great to hear if people are dividing up their files like this (and any benefits) or adding all types of file types under each artist folder.

Thanks all!

OCD probably, but if it helps you then why not … the Roon application will be indifferent.

My OCD couldn’t “live” with:


It would have to be:


But then what’s more “important” that files are LOSSLESS or they where DOWNLOADED.

Also in you example: should AAC and MP3 not have sub categories as well, and then how far do you take it?

OR should it be just file format at the top level? Say:

  • AAC
  • ALAC
  • DXD
  • FLAC
  • MP3

Such are the dilemmas with hierarchical structures, there is always a compromise.

What I do (because I never got the arbitrary folders to my liking) is:
Roon Watched / Artist / Album / 01-01 Track Name
Roon Watched / Artist / Album / 01-02 Track Name
Roon Watched / Artist / Album / 01-… Track Name
Roon Watched / Artist / Album / 02-01 Track Name
Roon Watched / Artist / Album / 02-02 Track Name
Roon Watched / Artist / Album / 02-… Track Name

With compilations being filed under Various.

I know there are good cases for having a different filing system for ROCK/POP vs CLASSICAL.
I don’t, not that dislike classical music it’s just not my main focus.

Ultimately there is no right / wrong here … it just down to personal preference and the effort to maintain.

Roon doesn’t let you make any significant use of the folder structure, arguably for good reasons, so why bother setting one up? Just make sure your files are well tagged with good metadata and use it to find stuff using Focus. Whether a track is mp3 or FLAC doesn’t depend on which folder it is in. Roon could for sure give you more powerful ways of searching by metadata, but as it stands it’s ok you just have to get used to it.

True, for Roon it doesn’t make any difference, but if you use any other music apps, or just want to be able to easily find something on a specific drive, it makes more sense. I have quite a lot of albums so added an alphabetised layer as follows:

Totally irrelevant for Roon, but useful for other purposes.

1 Like

What I have done one time: let Roon export my entire library and then use this export as my new library … as a structure I got “artist / album / tracks” and all the compilations under artist “various” …

When my girl friend and I moved together and I had to bring together our music collections and eleminate redundancys, I did this the same with her collection and finally ran a file compare (in my case: beyond compare, strongly redommended) to amalgamate our collections

1 Like

I don’t even merge my and my spouse’s collections. I keep them separate and far apart from each other, i.e. not even on the same storage servers.

1 Like

I responded to something similar just recently, I’ll link my post there

fortunately: I didn’t do that with the collection of my first spouse, but this time I am 100% sure :smiling_face_with_three_hearts: we even merged our collections :smiley:

Guys, when you get into streaming all this folder stuff is a non-runner.

That assumes you are or ever will be “into streaming”.

1 Like

Ok, thanks Daniel and everyone else!

Will stick with my current Artist>Album>Track structure.

I used to be consistent until I started using Roon. Now, the only time I give two flips about structure is box sets so Roon groups them correctly (see KB).

Roon doesn’t care and it’s liberating. There are some very real reasons to limit the number of directories / files within a single directory on most OSs so I still like artist / album minimally but sometimes I use artist_album and can’t be bothered by it because Roon isn’t bothered by it.

I’m sure, at some point, I’ll get the itch to use some new thing out there and that software will be all kinds of confused because it does care about folders. I do hope Roon keeps up the dev pace / industry leadership so that never happens. w

Spend more time listening and less time doing file management. It’s better for your health.


Yes, you’re absolutely right. Agree completely.

This is the approach I have always used. The only reason I had for further categorisation was when, before adopting Roon, I had different players that varied as to which file formats they would play. So I had a hi-res (24bit) category and a standard res (16bit) category and could point each type of player to the appropriate folder from which to build its library. Some player apps also allow music to be selected by navigating the folder structure so I needed to know where the playable files were for a given player.

Post-Roon it’s less of an issue but the basic Artist>Album>Track structure is still useful for managing the files outside Roon, e.g. when ripping CDs and keeping track of where you’re up to.

Do you happen to know the file path character length on a Nucleus? I am thinking about getting one and could such a sole directory (that is no artist>album>track folder; instead one folder per album “artist - album”) be better?

I think Nucelus is Linux based? I know Fat32 windows has directory limitations.

Many thanks Miles

I can think of 3 reasons why a directory structure of some sort is needed:

  1. to enable the existence of tracks from different albums which could be named the same;

  2. to allow you to find a given album for other uses beyond Roon, i.e. to put it on your phone or copy it to a different computer for whatever reason;

  3. to store additional material related to the album, like jpg art or PDF files, so Roon can pick them up and expose them through their interface.

Number 3 is the one that exposes a bit of a contradiction in Roon’s discourse, as they keep saying that directories don’t matter, however they do honor them when surfacing additional documentation placed in a given album’s folder.


In essence, yes.

“Why have software and bark yourself” ?

Mine for historical reasons is

Rock, A-Z then Artist then Album
Classical A-Z then Composer then “Broad Genre” (symphony, keyboard etc) then Album

I use to run a streamer via a USB drive where that structure was all I had to navigate

Then I found Software , I still keep it because I find it works

My 2p


I posted this recently in a thread discussing the max number of files/folders on Synology.

This structure is borne out of necessities. My first streamer/file player, a Bladelius Embla from 2009 or so, liked external USB drives best and had rudimentary options for navigating.
What this doesn’t show is that i have more than one root folder, and they are, like other people mentioned sourt of source/origin-oriented. I have one for DSD, where all my SACD rips are located. Another for Classical and even one named for my friend who i hold a backup for (as he does mine).

Anyway, this has stuck and suits me fine. It also works well for both maintenance and for my other playback software, such as Minim2, Bluesound, Lightning DS and the generic mConnect UPnP app.

1 Like