Help with "Section" Feature

Roon’s KB reference here: https://kb.roonlabs.com/File_Tag_Best_Practice

I’ve read this over too many times now. Roon explains many wonderful ways that it reads file tags like SECTION, WORK, and PART, but it doesn’t explain how to insert the SECTION, WORK, and PART file tags to files of how to have them appear in Roon.

I edited the raw file metadata on the files themselves by creating an id-tag field “Section” for a number of files. When I looked at them in Roon, Roon doesn’t show them as sections anywhere, and Section doesn’t show up in the edit/metadata/file edit selections in the Roon edit features, either for Album or for Track.

If I create the Section tag (or Work or Part, for that matter) on the original file, how do I then get Roon to show those files with these new tags? The KB shows it is possible.

Thanks in advance-

To clarify, these are the steps I’ve taken/tried:

  1. Removed album from Roon core database to separate non-scanned folder.
  2. Ran Roon “clear up database” to delete references to removed album/files.
  3. Used dBPoweramp to add file id “Section” to files in non-scanned folder.
  4. Imported modified files to Roon core database.
  5. Modified Roon album view to “use file” for multi-component album.
  6. Re-scanned imported album with Roon.
  7. File id “Section” shows up nowhere in the Room analysis.
  8. If I select the three-dot edit in Roon for an individual file and inspect the file data, Roon shows a file id field named “Section”. So it is there, but Roon isn’t doing anything with it.

The Room KB is unclear whether “WORK”, “PART”, and “SECTION” are hierarchal, i.e. if you have to have a “work” before you can have a “part” and then a “section”. So I tried the same procedure for “WORK”, beginning with removing the files from the core. Same result: can’t get Roon to see the labeled files as either “works”, “parts”, or “sections”.

I’m obviously missing some toggle switch in Roon. The file id is there, why won’t Roon recognize it?

hey @robert_vanarsdall,

check if you have the import settings like this:

The composition/part grouping option has to be set to “Prefer File”, otherwise your file tags are always overruled by the settings coming from the Roon database.

I am using WORK and PART tags without problems. SECTION seems to be a new feature implemented with version 1.7. I didn’t try it so far.

I tried to set the PART and SECTION tags without a WORK tag. The PART and SECTION information was not displayed in this case. If I added a WORK tag all three tags were displayed.

In terms of hierarchy I would say that WORK is on top and WORKID, PART and SECTION only work if WORK is set.

I am not sure if it is relevant, but use capital letters only (as written in the KB and in my post)
Hope this helps.

All three work simply by adding them to the files’ tags. They are not hierarchical.

Check Pap.jay’s suggestion.

Still not working. Let me show you what I’m doing and how it isn’t working.

I deleted the album and tracks from the Roon core, then cleaned the Roon library. Note 0 files left to delete.

Then I changed the Library=>Import Settings as papa.jay suggested to “Prefer Roon”. I saved the change and then shut down Roon entirely.

I went to the folder containing the album and tracks I wanted to modify. I added the file id “SECTION” (all caps). In this example it is labeled “BEG”.

I then copied the album into the Roon core watched folder and checked to see they were intact. I started Roon and it showed 6 albums for discs 1-6. I then merged the 6 discs into a single album, keeping my fingers crossed that the six discs would then be organized into SECTION.

No joy. Here is the single box set with the 6 merged CD’s. Each CD shows as a “version” with no reference at all to SECTION.

One other anomaly. When I check the Album=>Edit three dots and check the “Metadata” tab, the “multi-part composition grouping” buttons aren’t set to either Roon or file. When I click on “File” and try to save it, Roon will not save the change.

I will admit I’m trying to do an end-around play here, Roon-wise. I’m trying to organize a 6CD box set into 3 SECTIONS of 2CDs each, which is the way the box set is actually organized. While it is almost there currently with each CD listed as a “version”, the “version” name confounds selecting a section. For example, I may be in the mood for party music and want to select “SHOUT”. SHOUT doesn’t exist except as CDs 5 and 6.

Any way I can get this to work, or am I using the wrong crowbar?

Hi Robert,
I am afraid your problem is that your use of the SECTION tag is countrary to how Roon intends it to be used. SECTION was intended to allow creation of sub-groups within the parts of a work, for ex.scenes of an opera, Spring/Summer/Autumn/Winter in the Vivaldi Four seasons. Without WORK and PART tags, SECTION tags will have no effect.

Roon supports Tags to organize your Library further than the usual Album|Artist|Genre|Track, so you might be better off using ROONTRACKTAG instead (Tags can be hierarchical/contain Tags).

Note: Following the path you’re upon might lead to unwanted side effects should you manage to make it work as the display of tracks changes in favour of Work / Part titles and Roon Radio / Shuffle Play plays the whole Work in order and not individual tracks of it should it come across a multi-part composition AFAIK.

I suspected they were hierarchical from the KB writeup, but JohnV said they were not.

I will try yet again using WORK instead of SECTION. For what I am trying to do the label itself is meaningless. We might as well call them COWS. All I’m trying to do is have three distinct groups of tracks within a single album, such that I can can choose to play one group at a time if I choose.

I’m hopeful there is some way that it would show up like the classical example below. From a database point of view there should be no difference between “Suite for Solo Cello No. 1 in G Major” and “Beg”

Then WORK has to be Beg, Scream or Shout, and PART should equal track title. There is no display of Work titles without Part names and Sections can be optionally added to the mix.

Good point, though I wonder if Roon shuffle or Roon Radio works that way. They may, but that certainly isn’t how most people listen to music. Think how often one hears just an adagio, sarabande, or prelude on over-the-air or streaming stations.

I understand your data logic, but that’s far too much work for what I’m trying to accomplish. I was just hoping to be able to create a name/tag/label for a group of tracks that would then be visible and accessible without having to re-label each track - 144 in this case.

I’ll keep experimenting. With databases there is usually some backdoor way of (almost) getting them to do what you want.

I guess I’d have to ask Roon to look at box sets as a “type”, just as with classical music. Most box sets have some organization; they aren’t just a big collection of tracks. This one, for example, is six CDs, two each organized “Beg”, “Scream”, and “Shout”. Others just off the top of my head: the “Fare Thee Well” concerts from the Grateful Dead, organized by days, July 3rd, July 4th, and July 5th; worse, the Grateful Dead’s “30 Trips Around the Sun”, a huge box set representing one concert per year for 30 years - 3-4 CDs per concert.

Or box sets represent a collection of discs also available individually. The box was later added for the convenience of the user to easily buy the whole bunch together. IMHO you’re better off importing the individual discs in such a case. If you wish to, you’re still able to put a “box set” tag on them.

As for the Roon metadata matching, it will depend on the available metadata for the “box set” and its organization (available as individual discs (also), discs of a multi-disc set or as a single disc with some hundred tracks (limited to digital distribution for obvious reasons)). If you want to force a representation that doesn’t match with the metadata available from Roon, the album(s) will most likely end up unidentified by Roon and you will only get/see the metadata that’s present in the files.

As of now, the support for box sets in Roon is more or less non-existent. No individual covers/disc titles and, as in your example, no possibility to group and label discs of a disc/box set. Roon’s support right now can only be called “good” for multi-disc albums (a.k.a. Sampler) without individual labelling needs.

See also: Search results for 'box set #roon:feature-requests' - Roon Labs Community

Maybe I’m missing what you want to do, but, why can’t you just create playlists for those album pairs and have the playlists call Beg, Scream and Shout. That way you can shuffle or play them, playlists can even be added to a Tag.

Hi @robert_vanarsdall,

The Section tag is primarily meant to be used with multi-part works. For what you’re trying to accomplish, playlists or tags would likely work better.

Rugby and Dylan-

Playlists and tags can easily accomplish the task of grouping a bunch of tracks. But think for a moment how you use them. Using the same box set example I’ve been referencing, if I want to hear the “Beg” part (discs 1 and 2) of “Beg, Scream, and Shout!” and I have those tracks either playlisted or tagged, I then go to “Playlists” or “Tags” and scroll through innumerable other playlists or tags to try to find it. Since there is no reference to the original box set there, it all depends on how specifically I’ve named the playlist/tag and all those names are in one huge flat file. Six months from now will “Beg” jog my memory to know what the playlist contains?

Here’s the same box set where I’ve highlighted the “version” Roon brought in directly under the “total Time” and “All Tracks” and “Disc1-Disc6” below that. Roon brought over version since they were in parentheses in the file-id tag.

Think how much easier it would be if the “version” were listed instead of “Disc 1”, etc. You could select "Beg 1 and “Beg 2” from within the box set, rather than outside of it.

There are many other examples where one might want to listen to only part of a box set through a reference within the box set itself. Another quick one: the Byrds box set. McGuinn supervised the box set, selected the tracks and versions, and named the 4CDs, “We Have Ignition”, “Full Throttle”, “Cruising Altitude”, and “Final Approach”. You can see the names as “versions” as with the prior example, but “Disc 1” is still “Disc 1”.

I’m afraid that is exactly how roon works. Roon does not distinguish a deliberate choice to listen to a 3 hour opera (when aggregating the tracks as a single work makes sense) from a more casual radio or shuffle of several arias (when for many it does not). So if you have 1/2 an hour to listen to roon radio, don’t seed it with a large multi-part work, unless that’s what you really want, because that is all you will hear. Of course, this consequence makes roon radio redundant in this scenario. There have been several feature requests but there appears to be no interest in a change in this behavior.