Have the full album experience ? - make it extendable, editable and social

I just hooked into Roon some weeks ago. I’m quite satisfied about it’s overall performance and I agree with many other contributors here, that it is currently is the best music management software to handle a local music collection.

Roon’s front page marketing claims to bring back a full album experience “with excitement and engagement” in form of “a searchable, surfable magazine” - and this triggered expectations on my side, which the product in my eyes does not yet live up to.

I subscribed to it anyway, but after some time using it I ask myself, how this full album experience" is supposed to translate into user experience when using Roon on a daily basis - as contrasted to information-sparse playlist browsing and listening.

Just to drop a few ideas on the feature fantasies I indulged in:

  • Links / excerpts: compile my favorite sites, articles, texts from the web and attach stuff to albums and artists in my collection
  • Notes: add personal notes to collection items
  • Suggestions: add suggestions about and link to similar artists or music
  • Community: connect to the community of users
  • Sharing: browse contributions of others and flag or like them; change visibility of your own contributions; follow other users

Today, I gather much information adhoc from the web. I do research on artists and take notes. I let all sources available inspire me. I think about music, albums, artists. I compare musical style, content and ability and search for similar works. So, to support engagement and excitement today there is much more available than just album covers, artwork and cover texts. Against this background the ‘surfable magazine-ness’ of Roon still appears quite limited.

What are others expecting? What did you expect, when you had your first contact on the Roon website? Tell me …

(2019-06-29) After discussing this with the commenters below I think that it is necessary to boil this discussion down to a less comprehensive Feature Request:

Provide a mechanism to embed or link to own content on the web. This could be web pages, or markdown content from your favorite web storage. For example, there is this link to album pdfs on Qobuz, which opens in an external browser. This should be extended to custom content, which may be added on the album edit page.

@community: if you think this is a good idea, please like it !


Follow the hyperlinks. Examples:

  1. Some tracks show how many other versions of that track are in your Library or Tidal. Who else has done that song too. Just click on the icon and find out.
  2. Almost any contributing artist, either credited on the track or under the Credits tab is hyperlinked. Who is this guy? What else has she played? What other artists did they produce?
  3. In the Bios or in other attributions to the artist there are links to other musicians they have worked with. How does this saxophone player that played with James Brown end up on a Keith Richards track?

This, to me, takes it way beyond the ‘album experience’ in the sense that the album experience is visual, but flat in broader dimensions. The linked metadata take the ‘album experience’ to another, much more expansive experience.

From your description it doesn’t sound like you’ve explored this aspect of Roon. I’m not dismissing your suggestions, but it seems you might be missing what I cherish most.

Have you scrolled down the artist page far enough to see the similar to, influenced by, followed by and associated with links?

Scott, you’re right, this is really a great feature. I don’t claim, that I have explored Roon to full extent already. I’ve used hyperlinks embedded in artist or album texts and I appreciate it - only sometimes, there are no texts. Not all albums and artists are covered

That is true, especially for the less known artists. Sounds like you want sticky notes to paste on your albums! :wink:

Hi phil, yes I did and the infos given are also very good to have.
Perhaps, I have to clarify a little bit the intention of my initial post - I think it would be great to have Roon’s content being editable and extendable, and enable users to contribute to the experience - aside from me individually taking notes about the music I’m excited about and engaged in.

Exactly :slight_smile: you got it. I’m also much into classical music, playing piano myself, so occasionally I hear and compare many different interpretations of the same piece. This is one occasion, where sticking own content, notes and stuff to items would be handy

Interesting idea. Many moons ago I used MOG (I guess this is now Apple Music?), a streaming service that had features to share your playlists and had artist-designed playlists (hint, David Byrne has very eclectic taste in music). While I didn’t publish my playlists, I loved having playlists of interesting people available to me. It sounds like your concept of “social” extends beyond this to interacting with other members on groups, composers, albums… I like the idea, and at the same time I find the Roon “dynamic” mostly but not universally friendly, so I’d want the ability to hide content from certain authors.

The second part of your request seems like a kind of free-form meta data. I’m still getting my brain around meta data in Roon. On the one hand it seems to be the main reason that it even exists (if you consider it in the broadest terms); on the other hand it seems frustratingly limited. I think my reaction to Roon when I first started using it was similar to yours, having heard so much about it in the press - some combination of “that’s cool!” and “is that all there is?”

In the end I guess it comes down to “for how many people is music an active vs. a passive activity?” Clearly for you it’s an active one; my guess is that you are in the minority. It is a shame - I think the upside is higher for a tool that gives the user more input.

Hi Frank,

you’re right with your remarks and the fact, that active usage habits are in the minority will probably prevent this from ever being implemented - at least in such a comprehensive way as described above.

Since I am a software developer myself, I was first having a look at the API, looking for some way to extend the Roon UI. But that is not possible and I understand that this would introduce additional complexities into the user interface.

A alternate and less costly approach could be to provide a mechanism to embed or link to own content on the web. This could be web pages, or markdown content from your favorite web storage. For example, there is this link to album pdfs on Qobuz, which opens in an external browser. Having sth like this for custom content would already be a great step forward.

It would be interesting to get some feedback from Roon Labs on this.

Interesting idea! I was actually thinking about how the current content is rather like Microsoft Encarta (remember that?), while what you’re proposing is more like Wikipedia.

The main thing to develop in my mind is a “UML” (Universal Music Locator) :slight_smile: that can get my local rip, the Tidal MQA version, the Qobuz 24/96 version and the Qobuz 16/44 version all pointing at the same external resource. Roon seems to have this concept internally, at least within Qobuz. Does it extend to all sources?

I got down in the weeds looking for solutions and started looking at MusicBrainz, but that’s an implementation issue for much later if this were to get some legs.

Just as an aside, many of those Qobuz PDFs are amazing, aren’t they? I’m a classical music novice, but I think I’ve learned more since I got my Qobuz subscription than the rest of my life.

Hi m8.

I asked for much the same thing years ago… Stony ground sorry to say.