Frank Zappa is gone

Content you’re reporting an issue with

I edited all my albums to my personal taste and mostly according to discogs data. I spent a lot of hours in doing so, but again, roon thinks it could mess this all up. Today I found that Mr. Frank Zappa is not available in the database. roon converted all entries to “Mothers of Invention” and merged FZ with the Mothers into one entry in my data.

This is also true for all albums which are definitely FZ albums and not Mothers. All compositions are now also converted to the Mothers. I have all composers properly added into the file metadata (and there is - of course - still FZ and not the Mothers).

Have you made any edits to this content in Roon?


Is the album identified in Roon?


Is this content from local files, TIDAL, or Qobuz?


Screenshot of import settings

Description of the issue


This isn’t the first time roon provides a lot of messed up into the clients data and my finding about FZ is more randomly as I wanted to listen to one album. Unfortunately I do have a lifetime license, otherwise this would be it…

I meticulously groom my own metadata and got tired of Roon messing this up so I changed my Import settings to prefer the file on almost everything. Much less frustration. :slight_smile:

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That’s what I have as well, but it does not prevent these guys to mess up existing links to artists, etc. The composer - as far as I know - cannot be set to “read from file”.

Hey @Ralf_Karpa,

Thanks for getting in touch. Let me give you a quick piece of advice.

Actually, your import settings screenshots do matter. Well, I should clarify that they only matter if you’d like help with your issue.

Providing the necessary information is paramount. The attitude that you also included is not, you can leave that out in the future. If you’d like assistance with your report, please edit the template and include the requested information - complete with screenshots.

If you’ve set your metadata preferences correctly, what you’ve described shouldn’t be happening. The screenshots will help us immensely.


I have added the requested screenshots. However, they do not matter because roon has merged FZ into the Mothers. So, no import was done, it happened on already long time existing data.

In the screenshot below, you can see that suddenly there are 2 Mothers of Invention. The first one was previously the “Frank Zappa” tag.

@jamie Yes, it was inappropriate, but as said, I have spent so many hours in getting my data and images right and then with “a new version of the database was installed”, I can nearly always see messed up album data. This is very annoying.

I understand your frustration Ralf, but this doesn’t appear to be a Roon issue. It looks like it’s being caused by your file tags.

Frank Zappa & the Mothers is not an authorized alias for Frank Zappa in our database. We use Frank Zappa & the Mothers of Invention. And Roon hasn’t replaced Frank Zappa with an alternate name. When I search for Frank, this is what I see.

This tells me that what you’re seeing is an issue that was caused by local tags, and possibly not Roon metadata. Can you post a screenshot of your metadata for this particular album?

I didn’t change anything since some time on any Zappa related stuff. In the past I had a tag for „Frank Zappa“ and one for „The Mothers of Invention“. This worked all the time until I noticed this issue today. Also I cannot get any FZ from the data.


I have this same issue. My settings are almost exactly the same as yours @Ralf_Karpa. I use JRiver for tagging and Discogs for info. My stuff gets changed all the time somehow. Can not figure out why. There are others with this issue. What I started doing is listing all Genres and then how many artists are under each genre. I check it once a week. There are always some that have changed. I find out that a random artist just gets added to primary artist. My latest example would be Sketches of Spain by Miles Davis. Gil Evans appeared as a primary artist even though I only have Miles as artist in my metadata and also using ‘prefer file’.


Hi @Ralf_Karpa. Is it possible that somehow your Frank Zappa artist and your Mothers of Invention artist have been merged? It’s a bit of a long shot but I can reproduce exactly what you describe by merging these two artists.

This I think this the situation you started with:

If I then merge Frank Zappa into The Mothers of Invention then I get this.

Also what happens is that Frank Zappa is now “gone” if I try to add him back in:

All that roon offers is “Frank Zappa & the Mothers”. In fact in my roon I am offered no less than 7 Qobuz “Frank Zappa & the Mothers” albums quite distinct from any Frank Zappa & the Mothers of Invention albums. Maybe there are more on Tidal.

If I go to Settings → Library → Un-merge artists, then I can unmerge “Frank Zappa” and “The Mothers of Invention” and everything goes back to normal. Does this work for you? If it does I do not know why Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention were merged.

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I always thought one of the main selling points of Roon was NOT having to groom metadata .

Put a randomly arranged set of albums on a hard drive and Roon will do the rest :smiling_imp:


Ah! C’mon, please…

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Yes, Tony, that was the case.

I do a tons of merges in the my data but I am 99,9% sure that I never touched that one. I merged “The Mothers of Invention” with “Frank Zappa & the Mothers of Invention”, definitely, but not FZ with them. I don’t think this can be triggered by roon, however, I am not sure about that.

Whatever happened, I probably will never find out. Although, it would be great if roon would provide a sort of “change log” when data in my library is being altered, be it changed, added or whatever could happen to the database. It would be similar to what discogs provides when you have added an album to the library. Whenever a change affects that particular version of the album, you can see that change. It is just for information and cannot be changed, but at least the users would know.

Who are you responding to - a little vague ?

I think a lot of problems are caused by the rules with which roon is treating artists, album artists and primary artists.

For example, in general I want roon to populate my artist tags. It is not ideal, because roon seems to be using multiple artist metadata sources that it does not equivalence, but after a lot of trial and error I have set all the performer, composer and ensemble credits to “merge roon and file”. That I find, is the least “grooming” for me personally.

On the other hand I prefer a simple uncluttered album view so I want control over album artists and have set them to “prefer file”. However, roon doesn’t seem to work that way. This is particularly annoying with Opera where recently roon has added sometimes 10 or more unwanted primary artist links to my album views. This is effecting hundreds of Opera albums although many other albums are effected but just in smaller ways. So for example:


Has gone to this:

The reason is that recently roon has added a large number of primary artist links like this:

In order to put it back the way I want it I have to do this for hundreds if not thousands of albums:

What would be better of course is if roon looked at my album artist settings and set the primary artist links on/off (blue/red) appropriately:

This is clearly not happening and leads to a great deal of frustration on the part of roon users (perhaps much more than we know) or other users using the nuclear option of switching off all roon tag population and reverting to tagging by hand.

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Yes, that issue happened a while back, not only for classic albums.

For many people, it will do that well enough. For some of us, nobody’s metadata is good enough. It’s probably why I have submitted over 25,000 edits to MusicBrainz. :slight_smile:

I had major neck surgery 15 years ago and it looks like at the tender age of 72 I will need a repeat operation

So my wife nags the daylights out of me whenever I spend concerted time at a screen. It is thought by the original neuro surgeon that bad posture in front of a screen was the cause

Hence i try (Not succeed) to not adjust metadata too much . You must have a MusicBrainz Gold Star

I also experienced exactly this quite recently, and it is really infuriating having it just appear without any prior warning. I don’t care about adding primary artists too much, so long as it doesn’t change the selected album artist for sort purposes. But it does.

I thought I saw in another thread an admission that these changes are an unintended consequence of work Roon is doing behind the scenes to prepare for some future change.

There were, but the fix was deployed a week ago and your library should be back as it was by now. As I said in that other thread, please accept our apologies for the inconvenience.