I have a large-ish music collection (~5500 discs), all inside Roon. Quite a few of these are inside large box sets (~100 discs in 1 set). Roon detects these box sets for me with no problem. But the GUI for browsing and discovering music in those box sets is very cumbersome.
Here is what I see for my box set for Yo-Yo Ma’s 30 Years Outside the Box:
Hmmmm. I have no idea which music is on which disc (unless I dig out my physical box and its liner notes). I usually end up randomly clicking on a few discs in Roon, and then giving up. ‘Discovery’ tab doesn’t help get into these sets. The iPhone/iPad interface is even more cumbersome. Large box set are hard to explore.
The current Roon GUI for box sets works well for 5-6 disc sets, but actively becomes a barrier to exploring music in large box sets. This is a rare case in where is easier to find the music with the physical CDs than with Roon. That should be a sign that the GUI needs attention.
A user needs to know what is on what disc. One way would be present the user with a more informative key than just a list of disc numbers. Here are two ideas. First, how about a list of works for the box set: clicking on one work would take you to the right disc? Second, how giving names as well as numbers to discs inside box sets (e.g. ‘Bach: Cello Suites 1’) – that would match how the physical CDs are labelled with most classical box sets?
What really needs attention is the underlying metadata related to box sets. Many box sets (like yours) are comprised of individual albums, sometimes completely unrelated e.g. classical box sets and other times bonus disc(s) or a series of related albums such as live performances etc. Regardless, Roon doesn’t have metadata for these and thus cannot show the discs in a meaningful manner.
There’s a need to accommodate the discsubtitle tag and to use it when it’s present in a user’s tags to make what you show above meaningful (and yes, the GUI would need enhancement to facilitate this). Each disc should also be capable of carrying it’s own cover art whereas the box set should also have cover art for the overall box set.
I suspect Rovi doesn’t carry album title info (discsubtitle) for box sets. It’s thus likely we’d have to manually add same to our tags to benefit from this…something I’ve already done by populating discsubtitle where applicable and filing such box sets as
‘artist - boxsetname/cd1’, ‘artist - boxsetname/cd2’, ‘artist - boxsetname/cd3’ etc.
storing folder.jpg for the boxset in ‘artist - boxsetname/’
storing the album specific folder.jpg in ‘artist - boxsetname/cd1’, ‘artist - boxsetname/cd2’, ‘artist - boxsetname/cd3’ etc.
It’s worth saying that the current metadata inside the individual discs of these box sets (click on ‘disc 63’) isn’t terrible – it’s ok. But there is no metadata about subtitles of the discs. It would be good if users were able to somehow enrich their metadata here and it gets pushed to the cloud for everyone, rather than everyone having to manually edit their tags (or on waiting on Rovi magically doing it for us).
One thing that could be done now, without enriching existing metadata, would be to give a view on the large box set that splits it by works rather than discs.
Let me know if you want to discuss. It’s a big deal: a major block to finding stuff in a classical collection, and is “only” a matter of leveraging metadata you already have. Hopefully it’s low-hanging fruit.
I’ll second that. Poor handling of large box sets is one of the really big drawbacks of Roon.
I found a way of manually dealing with box sets where each CD contains an individual album:
Let Roon identify the complete set.
After everything is identified, take apart the box set. Remove the CDs one by one using the “Fix Track Grouping/Remove Disc” feature from the box set. Be sure not to change the CD number. Then you have an individual album with Roon tags intact. You can edit album title and album art manually.
Do the same with the next CD in the box set.
In this way you can “disassemble” the box CD one by one while keeping the Roon tags. It’s a complete mess, but it works. It’s a process that could easily be automated if we had a “Split into individual CDs” button.
Are you seeing any practical limits on the sizes of box sets? Maybe past 100 or so? Or even roon crashing with very large box sets? I don’t mean the general unusability, just the basics of practical GUI response and performance. I had tried with a few box sets up to about 60D’s and although pretty much unusable I hadn’t noticed any basic response/performance issues.
I finally got around to the Decca/DG complete Mozart (200CD). Apart from an unusable screen of [Disc 1] . . . [Disc 200], I found I couldn’t even physically navigate at all because of such slow response when clicking on the individual disk links. It also crashed roon a couple of times when I attempted to groom the metadata. The box naturally splits into five “vols” of 20 to 50 disks each, so I split it up and now these problems seem to have gone away.
I don’t find roon’s box set handling usable beyond about 10/12 CD’s and often unmerge box sets but I still like to upload and groom the data if necessary because the individual performances then usefully show up in other much more usable composition or artist screens. I really like the way roon does that as otherwise in most of my box sets, beyond a few favorite performances, I often don’t really know what is on them.
There seems to be a conspicuous absence of developer input into this thread, despite the issue having been raised by many and on repeated occasions. Perhaps a comment from the devs may be helpful at least to acknowledge the issue, or even to provide a little information regarding the Roon team’s thoughts on the matter?
(The truth is out there but not necessarily here)
Things seem to go quieter in the weeks/days preceding a significant release. Maybe we’re in for a treat!