Folder Browsing [Never happening] 2016-03

Lovely straw man argument. The file based browsing players are not taking my money every month. Plus, as many have mentioned, this is not about just being able to browse by folder. It is about interoperability with existing curated libraries to allow for much easier porting.

And, for me although I haven’t seen a lot of others mention it, being able to play a media file without adding to the library by accessing it in its folder based location. The fact that I have to add a file to the library just to see if I want to add it to the library is, well, silly.

I look forward to that. I just think it will take a lot longer than you think. Maybe generations. Roon or this community is not going to decide that debate. In the meantime no one is proposing to roll back the clock or call a halt on the roon “vision”. As far as I can see the folder requests fall into two main categories:

Depending on the type of library you have you may have to do a lot of ripping, tagging and conversion mostly using a variety of relatively primitive open source folder based tools. I use 5 or 6 on a regular basis. They are not going to change how they work. With roon in the mix, I personally find the workflow to be very awkward as there is no common folder view. You may have a library that requires little or no pre/post processing and this is not a concern. I would have preferred that as well. But that is not the case with the current state of standards work on the metatdata of my musical tastes. This is not a philosophical position. It’s just a pragmatic reality check. I notice that the more efficiently I am able to groom my library the better the results I get from “radio” for example. That is the roon “magic” I am looking for and this feature request is for a little bit of help in making that happen.

Functionality Gaps
Several feature requests are now years old with little sign of immanent delivery. I have the sense that a folder view is often requested as a better than nothing work-around as most roon users would still prefer a “roon” solution if that were possible. One persistent years old request is box set handling which could benefit from a folder view in the absence of a more comprehensive solution. From roon comments about some of these long-standing requests I have the impression that a truly roon solution may simply not be feasible given the current state of standards and technology. I think others are getting that vibe as well and is at the root of at least some of these persistent requests for a folder view.

Having said all that, anything I have read indicates roon is not interested in a me-too folder view. Still, I live in hope.

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“Adding to the library” sounds like it is a large effort.
Drag it onto Roon. Click on it when it shows up. Play.

Similar to many other operations we do: drag a photo onto Lightroom, click on it when it shows up, Print.

Simply not true. There’s well more to it than that, and the process has to be reversed to keep the library clean if it’s not supposed to be there permanently.

Here’s what I just don’t get, although it’s been said before: other than the tug-of-war over scarce development resources / i.e. different priorities, why such a strong, almost religious objection to something that you don’t have to use, and that isn’t intended to change your Roon experience 1%, which others could really make use of? And many don’t even plan to use it to access media regularly, but rather as the easiest way to Tag something.

This isn’t my top priority either. I just find the resistance to be strange. What I’d really like is the ability to port in custom embedded metadata to convert that to Tags. I take it by the silence on that point that few others use custom metatags. Too bad, that is a great way to curate one’s collection without having to do too much when changing software.

My holding to this debate is that, in general, I believe Roon needs to be more inter-operable, and to allow access, and then Focus, by various standard means, including folders and including custom metadata.


I’ve only managed to read about 100 messages in this long thread, so sorry if this is not an original suggestion.

I am one of the many that really want folder based browsing and playing. I can do that now in BubbleUPnP in Android (my previous app of ~2 years use). But now I am using Roon’s DSP and going over to BubbleUPnP would bypass this and affect sound quality.

Would it be feasible to allow BubbleUPnP (and any app that would be feasible) to play through Roon? Pick the file in Bubble and it routes through Roon to the player while keeping the interface in Bubble.

I’m not a dev, so I don’t know what’s involved but, intuitively it seems that it would be easier than programming a new folder access interface for all the different platforms when many such choices already exist.

Hi, have a look at this feature request topic

Apologies @11117 if you are surprised by this response. It is a repost of a split-post above. But it supports your point and it is close to where the original post was so there is less confusion.

The biggest gripe I have with the lack of a folder view is that everything else works by folders. Most of us live in a windows, IOS, android or linux universe. Not a roon universe. Roon is quite idiosyncratic in providing a quite proprietary navigation experience that has, I am sure, the unintended consequence that it is very awkward and slow when inter-operating with other, usually, folder based tools.

For example, I find I have to do a lot more tagging and conversion than I used to do to get the best out of roon. Radio, discovery, hyper-linking etc. really benefit if you go to the trouble and for me is the whole point of roon rather than multi-room, DSD, MQA or the nth degree of SQ. But this creates a workflow where I am usually first identifying in roon by some “focus” mechanism, an album that would benefit by tidying up the tags or converting (an unsupported cue for example). In the folder structure, which all my other tools use, these albums can be anywhere so then I have to identify the folder location using “view file info” in roon. That is usually some long indecipherable path which I then use in mp3tag, CueTools or iso2dsd to re-tag or convert.

The whole process is very tedious and tiring as it needs a lot of concentration swapping in and out of very different interfaces and philosophies of doing things. Personally I find the lack of folder support idiosyncratic to say the least but there is little prospect as it seems to be a red-line for roon that many of us, myself included, just don’t get.

As to your more fundamental question: it is not my job to decide whether Roon should do it. I’m glad it isn’t: I have had this debate dozens of times over the years when it was my responsibility. There is no universal answer: Microsoft was very focused on backward compatibility with Windows Phone and Windows 8 and failed, iOS broke with all conventions and succeeded. And the opposite case, failing by breaking with the norms, is of course common.

I’m mostly trying to help my fellow users to see the light. A new way of thinking if very difficult to adopt, but I know that this one is well worth it. Not just for music, but for all information (as I have said). So I’m trying to show people the benefits of the new model (have written at length about various scenarios, mostly about “serendipitous discovery”), and the ways to deal with common scenarios in this new world. And that the challenge is mental, but it isn’t such a great effort in most cases.

This is why I am more sympathetic to the migration cases. It is often difficult to migrate if you have a large investment in the existing way of doing things. Sometimes the effort is prohibitive: it grieves me to see (hospitals running Windows XP) but if we can’t, we can’t. Sometimes it is pretty tractable. And sometimes, it seems forbidding but we can find a clever way of doing it, and I have tried to suggest some.

But this is different from cases where people just don’t want to accept the new way. This is my argument about your case of playing the throwaway recording. I suggest a couple of clicks. The exact same way I print a photo. You objected

Do you clean up your disk? If you delete it on disk, it disappears from Roon. Or you can leave it be, why worry? Or if you dislike the idea of unidentified, unfindable stuff in Roon (as I do), give it a name, who knows, maybe you want to play it again next year. So I don’t buy this case. And there are others.

So it was a good idea to split off the migration case.


Thanks. Just read that thread. There was no mention of the output channel implementation as a potential solution for access to folder view so I added it in a reply.

It sounds to me more and more that this is a viable approach to allowing folder view without offending the sensibilities of those who object to allowing this kind of thing for the many here that want it since it would provide flexibility and power far beyond folder viewing (as indicated by all the scenarios in that thread).

While you may want other users to see the light, what you write comes off as trolling. This is feature request and it is up to the developers to handle. All this noise from people who philosophically opposed to the idea should, frankly, stay out of the conversation. This thread has been going on for over a year and those who are interested in a folder view to find albums have needs that are different from those who like browsing from metadata.

Please stop debating what people request, frankly it has become rather offensive.


Development resources are limited. Explaining why a particular request is not a priority for another user is a valid part of a Feature Request discussion.


Agreed. Anders might be wrong but he’s not offensive :open_mouth:

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Maybe it’s just me, but I find this discussion surprisingly heated — at least in parts. I can only speak for myself: I ABSOLUTELY LOVE the manifold browsing options Roon offers me!!! In fact, I can’t say that I’ve ever been interested in going back to browsing my music by folder structure. Yet I can understand people who think differently.


That’s the crux of it. We are all open to a “new way” when one comes along which is successful at displaying the data more effectively than our old way, but until that time we are pleading to be able to have some compromise which will allow us at least to enjoy it in the meantime within the new framework that we have learned to love. Simply, we cannot find the music we want to listen to using the “new way” and so we have to resort to other programs and systems to be able to locate and listen to it!


Anders, I am 100% in agreement with you - new ways of accessing data are needed. it’s just that Roon is simply not 100% effective to locate everything (or at the least, locate without frustration) I and other requesters have on HDD. Until it is, we beg for a temporary solution.

It’s like one-click play, or vertical scrolling, etc. We are asking for an option to be supplied to the people in need.


It’s not that we want to use folder browsing exclusively, but when Roon can’t find a particular piece of (mainly classical) music for me, it’s very frustrating, as I have to get out of Roon and open up folders to locate it.

Oh, the simple joy of being able to type in Mozart Piano and for Roon to throw up all the instances of Albums in folders with Mozart and Piano in the folder name.

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I knew that. All you’re asking for is an additional browsing option. I’m not opposed to that at all!

That’s exactly what happens when I use the search option in my Roon library. I have more than 5,000 albums (all locally stored) and only 47(!) of them are unidentified. Whenever I rip or download an album, I make sure every track is tagged properly. In the vast majority of cases (>90 %) I don’t have to add or change anything, because the correct metadata is provided automatically. If it isn’t, I use a tag editor. In other words, I always find everything I look for — within a split of a second. Couldn’t be any happier with how things work!


Oh, the simple joy of being able to type in Mozart Piano and for Roon to throw up all the instances of Albums in folders with Mozart and Piano in the folder name.

Assuming you have Mozart and Piano in the name of the folder that contains your files and on the file names themselves, I see no problem just having this information converted to album and files tags by a free tool like mp3tag and then use Roon for that.
I may still miss something, but I really do not understand why the feature is needed for the use case you desrcibe. There was the argument from some, that folder view in Roon should be a temporary solution, because it would help people “clean up” their files. Why not clean-up “up front” a little bit?
As far as I am concerned, I still use JRiver and mp3tag for tagging purposes. Having a library of 8000+ classical albums I complained a lot about Roons handling of classical music in the past. But after using it for two years now I really notice that I don’t use JRiver anymore to browse my collection at all.

In the end it is like @AndersVinberg said: we are not the ones to decide anyway. And to think that any given feature requested in a forum where only a little part of the whole user community particpates would have a “majority” of users wanting it, is an illusion anyway… :wink:


I just typed Mozart into the Funnel on the Albums page and it all showed up. What’s the issue?

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aha, i must be doing something wrong :slight_smile: . im getting 10% unidentified albums, mostly classical.