Grouping tracks into works

The secret lies in Consistency I believe . While doing lookups from an “Uncontrolled by Roon Source” there is little hope of this

My view would be a db of Composers , Artists , Compositions and Movements with an appropriate lookup so that no matter what the tag holds , eg Simon Rattle , Sir Simon Rattle etc , you always get the same answer eg Simon Rattle and the same with Composers & Compositions

BUT I suspect this is against a perceived Roon philosophy of using metadata that is existing rather than maintaining a metadata source of its own

It seems to be that the external source isn’t always consistent in what it calls a composition hence Roon by definition cannot be

I don’t know what the answer is other than suffer (or offer to buy MusiCHI’s DB that contains these elements of consistency , I am not sure they would be open to this )


I actually downloaded the free demo MusiCHI over a month a go. I think I got the impression it was Swiss from something in the download process. But no matter, if the DB is American English that may be the single most important factor. It is a big source of problems from my experience, maybe the biggest.

I let the licence expire because of the COMPOSER formatting and I am able to do all the title pattern matching and splitting into WORK/PART with scripts in mp3tag that I am used to. So I didn’t get very far. How do you get around the incompatibility with the COMPOSER formats?

But thanks for the tip. It is clearly working for you. Maybe I will cough up my 20 euros and have another go. Maybe others have also tried with success?

I don’t think this is correct. Yes, Roon will use external metadata, but uses this to build its own object model, which it then maintains. See here.

Hi Tony

I handle the Composer format Thea’s was , I change it back

Normally I do my tagging in JRiver so I just look I’m JRiver Composer view for the wrong format and edit back to straight Mozart etc

I assume mp3 Tag can do the same


Thanks Geoff

That implies a comprehensive dB , I would love to see a dB model , still a techie developer at heart, just to see how they do it

If that is the case the dB can have a master composition table with a Foreign key reference that forces consistency. Ie you store a Composition by number and look it up when you need it. Same number each time hence same lookup

I suspect from what we are seeing this isn’t the case ?


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Unfortunately, uniquely identifying compositions is hard. Is a composition a particular score edition, printing, original performance, recording? Even in fairly recent classical, it’s not so clear, just check hour many Stravinsky Petrushka’s there are. Are you sure that the one in that older CD you got is any of them, or some other variant? And when we get into jazz, with improvisation, all bets are off. The challenge of creating a reasonably complete and deduplicated composition database is not just technical but also critical: is this variant really distinct from that one? by what criteria? Much bigger and richer outfits than Roon have put a lot of resources into this problem with results that are still unsatisfying.

As another example, who are the performers in a particular recording? Amazing how many mistakes one finds, even with different releases of the same original recording.

I suspect that the closest you’ll get to this, is the metadata model page in the KB. Probably for at least two reasons: a) it’s part of their IP and b) it is constantly evolving…

It was a “wish” I assumed the lP bit would prevent it


@Geoff_Coupe interesting link! If you look closely at the Slatkin / Barber you will see that this 1990 performance “features” Samuel Barber himself.

That caught my attention because Samuel Barber died in 1981 as is quite clear on the back of the disk:

It is also quite clear from the back of the disk that Slatkin is the 2nd pianist not a dead Barber on the piano piece for 4 hands.

It’s very dis-heartening to see that the issues we are discussing here even propagate through, unnoticed it would seem, into roon’s own support and marketing material. Maybe things are improving in the background. I really hope so. It just feels as if roon has dropped the ball on metadata when before it had such a focus.

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ah, missed the Clean Up step. Its easy if you know how. :slight_smile:

I got Metadatics and it is pretty cool, looks better than Yate which I have used so far.

Question: Is it possible to make it use’s database? It seems to be using Musicbrainz - forgive my ignorance here… :slight_smile:

It doesn’t look like Metadatics can use AllMusic, unfortunately.We should write to the developer asking if they can add that…

Are there any tagging apps that can use allmusic?

There are a few search templates available for Yate - but you’d still have to c&p the info manually. Earlier versions of dbPoweramp had AMG support for tagging CDs when ripped - but that’s gone since version 16 and may not be of much help for what you wanna do anyway.

Tony, re the Barber conundrum, you (and anyone who relies on a DB-based tagger) are the victim of a kludge tag job.

Most music apps didn’t and don’t recognize the role of Composer in their screen presentations. Users might tag them as such, but early pop-centric software didn’t care to display composers; no vocal demand for it. As a quick fix, some users, advised by the self-same apps, started adding a Primary Artist tag to the Composer. Problem solved: now you could show the composer beneath his/her work! BUT,

The side effect is that this tag turns the Composer into an Artist, a.k.a., a performer of the work. While “real” performers (symphonies, conductors, soloists) deserve the Primary tag, Composers usually do not. The should not be so tagged UNLESS they are also performing the work they wrote. Roon explicitly recognizes Composers but is prepared to ALSO recognize them as a “Primary Artist” (read performer). They allow for dual roles, which is a good thing for Rachmaninov and Joni Mitchell.

To fix your Barber album, Select All Tracks (on Mac, command A), Edit Tracks/Remove Credits, find and remove the credit that shows Barber is a Primary Artist. Instead, add him (if not there already) as a Composer.

Then, Edit Album, find Primary Artists, and delete Barber as a Primary Artist if there. That will remove him as a PrimaryAlbumArtist.

If you are feeling frisky, you can take care of this kludge across your library in one command. Go to the Tracks page, Select All tracks (yes every one in your library), Edit (button top right), and Remove Credits. “Change” Barber from Primary Artist to Composer (actually two steps, a Remove then an Add). Accept the non-existent risk that you have an album where Barber is a performer :slight_smile: [This is a bit trickier with someone like Rachmaninoff who performed a number of his works

If, after reading this, you’re thinking, “Roon should figure this stuff out not me” well, right now it doesn’t. Maybe it will improve, but only if there is a profit motive found in it for someone. I hope it might be Roon, but they allocate resources too.

Probably TMI, but there you go. John

@John_V I think there is a misunderstanding?

That example is not mine. I do not have that Barber album. That example comes from roon’s own website (knowledge base), where it is using that particular Barber album as an example to illustrate the superiority of its object model approach to the other players.

All I tried to highlight is that the same issues being faced by all of us are even being faced by roon themselves when they prepare their own marketing material. As it happens, there have been many requests for “smarter” business rules to handle the case of dead composers. Roon’s position is that automating that is harder than it looks so it has very low priority as is obvious when you see the consequences slipping through even to the knowledge base as above.

Unfortunately I am painfully aware of the composer in the artist field issue and the level of manual intervention in general required with a Classical library, especially if you used the same metatdata suppliers in the past as roon is using now to automate the ripping process in the first place. I find issues with almost every album and I am surprised that others do not seem to. I rather suspect that the issues are there but go unnoticed just like the roon example above.

I do however have a completely unrelated point with Barber’s adagio in albums that I do have but I haven’t got a response:

After 6 hours trying to get Roon to recognize my CUE + FLAC file system, by splitting the FLACS, carefully arranging the WORK and PART metadata. Roon kept separating into two albums, and what’s worst, one album contained only one part of one symphony. The other album was perfectly grouped.

I had to manually go over the metadata in and change all my tracks one by one. Most of the changes were minuscule, like Arabic numbers instead of Roman ones for PARTS.

This is quite frustrating!

I managed to get it to work on one of my six CD box collection I had ripped a long time ago and never had problems with, And I did it just because I wanted to prove to myself that I could.

Now that I know how labor intensive this is, I will not go over my entire collection to do this.

Shame on you Roon,

I don’t think Roon is at fault here. The root cause of this problem is that labels don’t give a rat’s behind about providing accurate metadata for reissues, and especially for boxsets. Reissues are pure profit for them, as the original production costs have already been recouped by original sales, at least for major artists. So why bother making life slightly easier for music lovers? Yes, I’m being sarcastic, but I never met a major record label that impressed me with customer focus.

I’m professionally very familiar with the state of the art in algorithms for metadata reconciliation and I’m very impressed with what Roon has accomplished with the junk that record labels and metadata providers supply.

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But in this case, when I ripped, I made sure to correct the metadata.

And now to transfer to Roon, I splitted the CUE + FLAC into separate FLACs and carefully entered the WORK and PART tags as suggested by Roon tagging best practices, and even doing all this it did not work.

I had to copy manually the EXACT WORK and PART names from for it to work.

I believe that if you are telling Roon that a song is part of an album, part of a work, and it is found in the same folder as the others, Roon shouldn’t split it into two albums.

Yes, that’s what did for most of my boxsets too, if I recall correctly (it’s been a while). There are a bunch of options in Roon on whether to prefer embedded metadata or Roon’s for different tags, but in the end it’s a bunch of fallible tradeoffs when the metadata Roon purchases from Rovi/AllMusic does not match exactly the embedded metadata. In other words, allowing approximate tag matches between embedded tags and Roon’s tags for identification might lead to misidentifications elsewhere. This is especially problematic for reissues, especially boxsets, because the same actual tracks are present in many different releases, but metadata may be spuriously different. Even worse, whatever app you used originally to rip the boxsets may have had its own opinion about which metadata sources to use – after all, most CDs and certainly older ones have no metadata on the CD itself, so it is the ripping app that figures out what tags to place on ripped tracks, if any.

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