Fix the "lyrics" function

Okay so when Roon’s lyrics function works it is wonderful but…

  1. why are lyrics found for some versions of a song in one’s music library but not for others - with the same artist?

  2. The lyrics appear to tied to the metadata for a recording and NOT to the song itself - this is WRONG!!!

  3. If the lyrics to a song are found for one version of the song why, oh why can’t these lyrics be linked to all the other versions of that song in one’s music library, whether or not the recording is “identified” or whether or not the “identified” metadata contains lyrics?

In short Roon is a slave to the metadata rather than a master of the metadata.

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Be careful with your terminology. Dynamic lyrics (a.k.a. karaoke) cannot and should not be linked to every version because of varying arrangements and tempos.

Static lyrics could be linked automatically IMO, but some people object to “automatically”
linking because, e.g., the lyrics may be in different languages, stanzas may be changed or omitted, and so forth.

Finally, I feel sure copyright laws inform their practice to some degree, but I don’t know the nature of any limitations or requirements.

Roon IS a slave to the metadata. TMK, they generate no metadata on their own. So if a lyric is embedded in an album’s tags, e.g., it does not automagically propagate to all other recordings of that song.

Roon has gathered user comments about a feature involving the display of user embedded lyrics (tags). As always, no notion of implementation details were given.

PS: Danny disavowed the idea that dynamic lyrics could be converted into static lyrics and vice versa.

Didn’t we have this conversation a few months back?

Ralph, I think there’s a fundamental point-of-view issue here – lyrics are for a performance (track), not for a song. That’s the reason for your (1), (2), and (3).

As a jazz fan, I’m sure you’re well aware that performers often twist / modify / ad-lib / scat the words of a song. Heck, composers even change the lyrics over time. Sure, most of the Great American Songbook has standard lyrics, but they’re often not sung that way. Folk music is even worse. Pop songs, OK, I could see it, they’re pretty standardized, and often there’s only one track you’re ever going to hear – I’m thinking of Shirley Bassey’s “Goldfinger”, for instance. Even there, she must have made dozens of different recordings of it – are they all the same?

I could see linking to different copies of the same track, but there you can tell it’s the same track by fingerprinting the audio.

Static lyrics would be fine.

I made no mention of lyrics embedded in the file tags - don’t use that function since I like to use very minimal file tags since each and every program uses file tags differently, which is a topic for a different discussion.

My point about Roon being a slave to metadata is that Roon Labs makes a big deal about how it gathers metadata and builds it’s own unique metadata based on the data from different sources, including one’s own edits. So find the lyrics in one set of metadata for a given song and add those lyrics to metadata for all versions of the song with the same performer.

Yes we may have had this discussion a few months back since is one of my pet peeves and does not seem to be taken seriously by the Roon development team (whose salaries my annual membership fee helps to pay - yes we are all paying customers and the customer is always right :smile:)

To your points:

From what I can tell based on my own very large music collection is that:

  1. Roon will only show lyrics for songs on “identified” recordings and then only if the lyrics are available in the metadata.

  2. I have many, many collections and anthologies, such “The 60s Biggest Hits” or “60’s Mega Hits”, etc. These collections have many overlapping songs on them. Some of these collections are “identified” by Roon while others are “unidentified”. Some of the identified collections have lyrics, either static or dynamic, while other identified collections, with some of the exact same songs, have no lyrics. And of course none of the unidentified collections, with some of the exact same songs, have any lyrics. This is totally unacceptable.

As I stated earlier it’s well past the time for Roon to become a master of the metadata rather than a slave.


I apologize for bumping such an old topic. I hope I haven’t committed too much of a forum faux pas, but, I did a few searches and this was the just about the most relevant topic I could find which wasn’t locked.

I had ripped my old CDs from high school of Pantera’s discography in my Roon library. More recently, I decided to get their “Complete Albums” boxed set from HDTracks, and, I deleted the original versions from my music server, since I felt they were now redundant.

Unfortunately, due to whatever the situation is with the set, I no longer have any lyrics for their songs. If I re-transfer the old albums, poof, I magically have lyrics. Why is that?

Same songs, same albums, in the exact same running order. Is it based on the product code? What am I missing? Any help appreciated, thanks!

Thanks for bumping the thread! As I stated in some of my posts above, the lyrics function in Roon is badly broken and the Roon team simply refuses to fix it. I guess the programming required is above their pay grade.

I’ve no issues with the lyrics function. As mentioned previously the lyrics are attached to the track and may well be altered from another version on the same song. He may be replaced by She for example.

So because there may be a slight difference in the lyrics we get NO lyrics!?!? I believe that’s known as throwing out the baby with bathwater.
This isn’t rocket science, it’s entertainment and slightly “incorrect” lyrics are still much, much better than NO lyrics.

I used that as a simple example. What if there are multiple songs of the same name? This is quite common.
There are many variations of folk songs with the same name but different lyrics.

Bill, while I greatly appreciate your response, are you saying that the sole answer to this issue is to go through all of my files and manually add my own lyrics, despite the fact that everything about both my individual Pantera albums, and, those albums contained in their discography boxed set, is exactly the same?

I’m sorry, but, while all respect and appreciation to your response and offered solution, when Roon is continually adamant that they are not a mere music management app, and when they elect to restrict user customization because they feel that their solution is far superior, the expectation should be a tad higher than that.


Joe, what exactly is it you think Roon should be doing here? They get their lyrics data from a number of services, who apparently don’t have it for the “boxed set”, which I’m sure has a different UPC. So, not exactly the same.

I think what Roon did do, add the ability to add our own lyrics, was a good response. Check out SongKong, if you’re not familiar with it. I personally have added lyrics manually, but using a program is much easier.

Huh? I don’t understand what you’re driving at here. They added a feature to support user customization, didn’t they?

They’ve clearly supported user customization in this instance, yes, of course, but, overall, in the main, you’d have to be honest & say that, by and large, over the years, Roon has definitely taken a “we know better” approach to the notion.

I’m not knowledgeable in this regard, though, I can tell you that I’ve just opened Apple Music, clicked on Pantera’s Cowboys From Hell album, and read the lyrics. I then clicked on the same boxed set I’m referring to in my collection, and, lo and behold, I still have access to the lyrics.

It may be a different UPC, it might not, but, with Apple Music, it doesn’t matter. Perhaps Roon should take a second look at where they’re sourcing their lyrics from?

Roon prides itself in all of its marketing as a “set it and forget” experience. It’s admittedly a bit disappointing to discover that I need additional software to provide my own lyric sets to supplement what it offers.

In any case, I don’t wish to drag anything on unnecessarily. I genuinely thank you for the option you’ve offered, and, I will certainly take a look.