Folder Browsing [Never happening] 2019-10

Roon doesn’t use folder search. Period.
I would suggest that you find a piece of software that more fits your needs.

That’s how things were back in the days of Microsoft DOS and still are when I log into my Linux based server. I’m still alive. :rofl:

It’s not a matter of if we agree with Roon. We know Roon’s position on this and that it is not going to change. You need to come to grips with that fact…


Couldn’t you just just use Windows Explorer/Mac Finder on a computer or a folder style app? I keep a constant backup of my music on two separate hard drives and when I plug them into Windows I know the same number of tracks are consistent across them and Roon.

As for knowing what you have, if anything I’m more aware of what is in my collection because of Roon.

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Roon (probably) isn’t going to add a folder browser function for the reasons cited above.
However, it is helpful for Roon to understand exactly what you can’t accomplish when you can’t search by browsing folders. I think you started to get to this earlier in your post.
Roon has a design philosophy they want to stick with. But I get the impression that if there are things that are important to a lot of users, they will try to find ways to provide a function that fits their design philosophy. The tool may be different, but you may be able to still get the task accomplished with a different tool.

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Moving on from folder browsing, there are some things that can be done to enable easy access to folders that contain music that may not fit usual Focus criteria for easy bookmarking.

Firstly, the Focus/Inspector/Storage locations tool enables you to Focus on top level folders, so if you have a folder of recent music on your desktop copied from a USB stick, for example, you can add that folder as a top level Roon folder and Focus on it with this tool.

Roon Tags are a way of organising music outside of Focus tools or folder structure. You can create a Tag by selecting all albums within a view and add to it from other views or Focus bookmarks.

There is a longstanding feature request for Roon to recognise a file tag created in a third party tagging program and use that file tag to generate or add to a Roon tag. Roon has already implemented ROONRADIOBAN file tags so there is good reason to be optimistic about this request.

If you get stuck with a particular use case then there are many experienced users on this Forum who are willing to describe what they do or what can be done.

Hi andybob, the Focus/Inspector/Storage feature I have used and it works but is stil more work than using file explorer via windows/ipad Qfile and then look for that in Roon.

I must admit that what Mark_Hyland states is also true. I did find music I had forgotten trough the Roon interface and that is great as well.

But I got the message … see below

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Good luck in finding the right piece of software for you.
It’s obvious that Roon just isn’t for you.
Just move on, rather than moaning about it.

Oh I am very happy with all other features of Roon, so for now it is what it is.

You might have solved my issue.

I created an extension to play tracks to audirvana using Roon as the library. And using the data in the process I created a page to view the library in the folder format.

I just tried it after turning on the “path” for searching and it seems to work (although I only have about 300 tracks on my laptop now as I’m traveling). I’ll do some more test when I get back in about 2 weeks.

If anybody want to test it, you can find the repository at

Please note that i’ve only tested it on MacOS.

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Maybe a compromise is a file explorer extension that lets you right click and “play with roon.”

I have used a folder for each of my albums and always have. Even my mix tape albums are in folders with appropriate names. Roon doesn’t identify them, but still displays and plays them. I just search for the folder name.

I don’t know that there are many “anti-folder” people here. As I pointed out previously, it’s Roon that has stated categorically that folder searching will not be supported…ever. I would not care if it were a feature as long as it did not take away from the current user experience. I wouldn’t use the feature as I have never needed it in all of my time using Roon.


One outstanding Roon feature is that it manages to preserve all of its database information even as the storage layout for your music changes. That has helped me a lot as I’ve moved my music between different servers and folder structures. That benefit implies that music storage layout cannot be taken as a part of the Roon database that drives music selection (I’m making this short and simplified, but I’ve worked on these kinds of problems multiple times over a multi-decade career and I can add more detail if needed – just one historical comment, in the original Unix file system – which many more recent file systems imitate – files have unique IDs (inodes) but file or folder names are just labels for a path of inodes leading to a target inode; thus, there’s no such thing as a file’s folder, a file can be in many folders (hard links)). However, I can think of a useful compromise: an option to set a Roon tag (ROONSOURCE?) to a source folder suffix on import.


Like you, I’m also more aware of what’s in my collection with Roon. :+1:

This is the solution that seems somehow obvious to me. Most people are comfortable with a folder system precisely Because it is usually a classification system, like “genre” and “sub-genre”, that makes sense to the user. Being able to add roon tags based on user folder names (classifications) would be helpful to users.

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Probably the main reason why I am not as active in user groups like this one as could be is that they are populated by users who are only too willing to defend the makers of a product rather than addressing the issue being raised. Please stop asking posters why they need X or trying to tell them they really don’t need it and if they feel they do they just do not understand the product, its philosophy etc. This is not constructive. As to the point made by the OP, I could not agree more. I find the arguments by the makers that it is against their philosophy and everything Roon stands for not just infuriating but arrogant to the extreme! I have been a long time user and I too came originally from Sonos. For classical music lovers and possibly some others the ONLY (sorry for shouting) system that really gives complete access to the music is one that also allows folders to accessed directly. Now that its search facility has been improved Roon does a decent job finding my music but it is not perfect, whereas direct access is. When you are balancing composers, performers, opus numbers and all the rest any search system based on metadata will miss or confuse things. Direct access is the only answer. Consider a structure like the following (Debussy’s piano works only) and you may see what I mean (but arrogance may stand in the way):


I said above, I never really use browse by folder, but fact is I use it every time I copy music to my Core. For as long as my music collection lives in organized folders and sub-folders, I will want to browse them. The fact that I can’t do that in Roon is definitely restrictive and cumbersome.

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I use jriver mediaserver to maintain my library. jriver offers a folder view plus database views driven by metadata. I never use the folder view in my maintenance actrivities, rather I use the metadata to write to the folder structure (lossless/lossy on two different drives, artist, album, disk-track-trackname. This would not bee needed, but it keeps everything tidy on disc.

Having said this, there is really no need for this structure when listening and discovering via roon, given the metadata is present and or provided by roon.

Its a completely different approach than accessing music via a static structure. I fully understand why roon is not willing to support folder browsing. They are completely metadata driven.


I personally didn’t respond that file browsing is right or wrong, per se, just that the roon stance has been one of their few unequivocal decisions.
When roon first launched, with no streaming, it was a decision that challenged a large proportion of their user base. I presume as the user demographic moves to the majority being mainly streaming , as stated by roon, that the use case is decreasing so it becomes less likely that they will shift their decision.
Is that right or wrong, I have no idea.