First impressions from a classical music perspective

Hi Guys,

I’m on my second week for the free trial and I thought I share some of my thoughts on the software. My collection consists entirely of classical music and is around 8000 albums of size.
As probably a lot of other classical music fans I have created a lot of custom tags for work, performers, conductors, reviews. Currently using JRiver to manage my tags.

I like the look and the usability of the software a lot. In a way it’s very close to what I always was dreaming about. However, the big showstopper for me at the moment is that I do not have control over my own metadata. I have exactly the album covers I need, I hava all the work and performer information in my tags (and in addition my work tags are in german as opposed to english…). So if I’d have full control of mapping my tags to Roons tags it would be a killer application for me.

What happens for me at the moment is the following:

Case 1: Roon doesn’t find my album
in this case I keep my tags and my album cover, but in some cases the “Ronn work tag” seems to be determined and filled (by whatever algorithm). But sometimes the work is not determined, although the filenames and title tags are exactly the same.

Case 2: Roon finds my album
in this case my original album art is often replaced and I don’t like that :). Addtionally I normally get the work tag populated based on Roons own metadata, but not in a consistent manner.

So for recordings of Holsts The Planets for example, I will end up with four different ways of data display:

  1. not identified albums with 7 single tracks (not grouped)
  2. not identified albums with with a work grouping of “Die Planeten, op.32” (as used in my title tag and my custom work tag). No idea how this is determined by Roon. Title tagsare absolutely identical among case 1 and 2.
  3. identified albums with a work tag of “The Planets”
  4. identified album with a work tag of “The Planets Op.32”

This of course is in no way consistent and is worse than with my own tags. So please give me control back over my tags! It would be cool to be able to set-up a tag-mapping between your database and my custom tags. In addition I’d like to at least basic tag editing within Roon.
Before that, I can’t really use it to its potential, so I’m not sure that I will subscribe yet.But I’ll certainly keep my eyes on the product.

Best regards


Full meta-data editing is on the way. Hang in there.

that’s what I read somewhere else and that’s good news. However, my tags are already complete and consistent, so what I am hoping for is a kind of tag-mapping that would me allow to display my custom tags in the Roon way. I spent about three years getting my tags right, so I will certainly not want to correct or modify any tags that Roon will propose based on its metadata reference db… Best would be to be able to select which tags should be “updated” (I know that the physical tags are not touched in a watched folder) by Roon and which ones should be mapped to existing ones.

I really think Roon has a big potential, but I would expect that serious classical collectors all have their own personal tagging system evolved over the years that they want to bring over to Roon. For me the language thing is also important. I work with english software every day, but I do kow my classical pieces by their german name and I don’t want to translate them.



Hi Klaus,

not only classical collectors have their own metadata system :wink: I am hoping on functionality alike too and also had some interesting talks to Roon team here already. It is a high priority at the moment for them to support people who have highly groomed metadata so we have to be just a little patient I think.

Hi Machine,

thanks for the insight. I’m willing to wait - I have waited for years already… :wink:

I’m just not sure for the moment whether I’m ready to invest in it.


Maybe you can let your actual trial run out and ask for another 14 days (or a week) when the awaited functionality is there… They’re a really cooperative developer team.

Hi everyone,

after having reported my first impressions about 6 months ago, I wanted to follow-up on my initial post. I had finally decided to subscribe to Roon but I am not absolutely sure I should have done…
Don’t get me wrong, for most kinds of music Roon seems to serve its purpose very well and it also seems to add value for exploring ones library.
For classical music, however it’s still not usable in my viewpoint. I guess what I miss most is the control over my meta-data. I don’t care about any Meta-Data Service telling me on how to tag my classical music - there will never be any consensus on that. In addition to that, I have maintained my custom tags in my mother tongue, and as opposed to “normal” music, the title of a work is not language independent. That’s true for both names (Symphony vs. Symphonie, String Quartet vs. Streichquartett vs. Quatuor a cordes, etc…) as well as keys (a minor vs a-moll) etc.
NowI have my whole collection tagged in the way I prefer and now Roon is “overwriting” it.
I initially thought the concept of Roon was adding value for me, because it has a proper notion of composer, works and credits. But why can’t I map those objects against my existing tags? I have noticed that there were some improvements for selecting file tags over Roon tags, but that seems not to be possible on a global level, i.e. telling the system to always take a given tag priority over what Roon proposes (but maybe I missed that function).
So here I am with my properly tagged library running into situations where the detection of works even from Recordings that have been identified by Roon are not consistent in their naming, let alone being consistent in naming conventions. So I will certainly follow the development of Roon, but I have little hope for me due to the fact that classical collectors are in a minority anyway.


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You’re being melodramatic, you can already tell Roon to prefer your metadata over that it provides and as far as I know it can be done as a global setting. The next release also has had significant effort put into allowing users to deal with their own metadata. A little more patience and I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised. Furthermore, if after seeing the next iteration you still have requirements specific to dealing with classical music the way you’d like to see it why not raise a feature request spelling out what you’d like to see. I am pretty sure that Roonlabs have handling of classical music pretty high up on their agenda. They’re music lovers, and music lovers (incl. you) are their target audience.

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Hi Klaus

You can prefer your tags globally. Go to Albums, Select All (Ctrl-a, or longpress top left menu on a tablet) then use the Edit menu to prefer your own tags.

This will prefer your tags for all existing albums in your library but you will have to tell Roon to do the same for new albums as you add them.

sure I am :). But on the other hand I have seen so many attempts to catering for classical music lovers in the past, that I also got a little bit frustrated. As I said, I think I am in a minority and I try not to complain too much about it ;-). With the existing system of file tags for digital music files it is quite a task to offer something that tries to “solve” the “classical music problem” and I certainly appreciate any effort in this area.
So I’ll be patient. I also will certainly raise feature requests in the future, but at the moment my only request would be to have a kind of tag-mapping possibility for composer (incl. biographical Info), work, credits and album reviews.
That’s my personal “hurdle” at the moment to use the software more often and with regular use may come other requests. I have long time ago accepted the fact that no meta-data service will provide tags for classical music in a way I like and therefore my utmost hope in such a software like Roon is a relational DB approach with regard to classical music data (which certianly is there) while at the same time allowing me the lfexibility to fill in there whatever I want as opposed to any data provider.
I think there is great potential here but I also see quite some development effort - at the end it will be a business decision whether to invest in such a minority topic. Still hoping and following up regularly.

Thanks for your comments!

Thanks for pointing that out. I will give it a try. Of course it would be cool to be able to set a preference for each tag globally.


another question… is there a mapping of Roon tags vs. let’s say ID3v2 tags? How are original release date and release date mapped, for example? How is label mapped?

Thanks a lot

Hi Klaus,
take a look at the preferences options. I think it will cover your questions above

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