How do I get a text-only interface that respects MY labeling?

It is impossible to find things in my huge collection of classical albums. historically, I started labeling my albums with the composer as artist (since there was no composer tag). And they are labeled LastName, FirstName.
Then, my album titles are not necessarily the same as the actual album title, since I like to list the pieces on the album rather than some meaningless album title. I also put the performers in the Album Title.

  1. While Roon indexes by LastName, it only displays Artists, Composers as First Last. This makes it really hard to find things since one must ignore the first name and skip to the second field (which is at a variable point depending on the length of the first name).
  2. Roon ignores what I put in for Artist, and lists all performers rather than my Artists (Composers). And it is listed FirstName LastName. The extra artists make it impossible to find things.
  3. If instead, I search by Composer, what I want is a list of the albums (with my titles) in alphabetical order. Instead I seem to get a list of pieces, or even movements. I always want whole albums!

    The discography shows albums that have little to do with the composer. I get essentially the same display when searching by Artist.
  4. Why can’t I get a simple non-graphic interface??? It is sooo much easier using BlueOS:

    The Roon interface is truly unusable.

I’m not sure if it will solve your issues but the RoonCommandLine package provides a command line interface to control and query Roon. Once installed and configured you can query your Roon Core to retrieve things like a list of artists or albums or playlists. And more.

For example, to get a list of all artists in your Roon library, issue the command:

roon -l artists

To get a list of artists whose name contains “Steve”, run the command:

roon -l artists -s Steve

Similar commands can be run for genres, playlists, albums, tags, and zones. No support for Composers yet.

That may not help in your case, I don’t fully understand what you want or how you have setup your library. The output from these commands can be piped to various other commands to do things like sorting or filtering.

I just wanted to call your attention to this package. Maybe it can help you. RoonCommandLine can be installed on MacOS, most Linux systems, and Raspberry Pi. It does not go on the Roon Core nor does it modify what is on the Roon Core. It needs to be on the same local network as the Roon Core.

What I want to do is simple:

You can see how my folders are nicely arranged. Why can’t Roon display them this way? Isn’t it much neater than all the froufrou that Roon presents?
I use an Android tablet in my listening room.

I think your needs are inconsistent with the way roon works.

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That may be. But I do not see how I can find a particular album to play, for example Symphony No. 7 in the above picture. Surely this is a basic need??

I didn’t really understand all the things you had done to your netadata but you did mention renaming albums, if that is the case then I don’t see why it would find them.

Because it is supposed to look at the ID tags on the tracks! I go to a lot of trouble to label them the way I want to.

Looks like Windows Explorer or Mac Finder are your best bet. Roon doesn’t do folder browsing and if you mangled all your metadata it won’t be able to identify your albums either.

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Well it’s good that you have everything set up in a way that suits you it just won’t work very well with roon.


Overall you can’t get what you want from Roon as that isn’t a design goal.

However, I think you may want to spend some time figuring out how many of your albums are unidentified by Roon. If this non-standard way of putting together your own metadata prevents Roon from identifying your albums then this unidentified problem + no browsing by file / directory structure may simply mean your collection isn’t going to jive real well with Roon. Depends on how many of these unidentified albums you have though.

I don’t see any egregious tag abuses here - the tags in the screenshot actually seem very well done! That said, I see an opportunity here. In Settings > Library > Import Settings, have you experimented with switching most of the settings from “Prefer Roon” to “Prefer file”?

EDIT: I just noticed that Roon doesn’t allow you to do much with composers on that page. That said, I think it’s worth trying to change the settings for “Track’s Composer Credits” and “Track’s Conductor Credits” because that MIGHT take care of it IF all tags for the album are identical that way. Otherwise, you might have to go into individual composers and change their display format in the … > Edit dialog box. That is unfortunate. Roon should add global Composer controls to Settings > Library > Import Settings.

Try JRiver , you can configure just about everything , once you have mastered the Expression Language

Roon simply isn’t designed to do anything like what you want

Well, I paid a lot of money for the Roon Server. Its BIG advantage for me is that it accepts Apple m4a files which BlueOS does not.
I had prefer file as my library preferences.
So, I am still waiting for someone to tell me how to find my Symphony No. 7 album (not by album name).
And it should be really simple to have an option to display things by LastName, FirstName.

Did you try my Settings suggestion above yet?

As I said, I looked at everything in the import settings, and selected prefer file.

Oh sorry - I missed that. What a drag.

Logitech Media Server is free, accepts m4a just fine and allows for folder browsing - just saying…

Please don’t interpret this as being rude , I will try to put some of your perceived shortfalls in context.

Roon states quite clearly that Composer is First - Last and does not support Last, First

Using Artist to tag the Composer is asking for trouble especially as there is a Composer Tag which Roon honours (Many tagging programs will allow you to swap these over should you wish which I suspect you don’t)

Roon works by finding metadata from 3rd party sources and is effectively album based , changing the Album Name and a non standard Composer format gives Roon nothing to work on . Roon’s metadata is imported and presented in a standardized format (unfortunately not matching your standard)

Some specific comments from your examples.

Your Franck example above shows Sorted by “POPULARITY” there is an option for Album Title and Release Date which would help your cause. (Roon’s idea of popular may not agree with your or mine)


You can tell Roon to use your metadata on Import see Settings>Library>Import Settings as mentioned above.

And you can rest this at Album/ Multi Album level.

Asking Roon to display a Folder Tree view will fall on very deaf ears , there are many request for this view in the forum and a CATEGORIC statement from Roon that this will NEVER happen (excuse my caps)

I hate to be unsympathetic but it seems you have subscribed to a Server without fully understanding its features (call them vagaries) and dare I say it without some basic research on the Knowledge Base a lot of what I am saying is published. Equally a browse through this forum may have guided you better.

Classical Metadata is a nightmare with little or no standardization even by the big labels, DG, Decca etc. Modifying what is there eg your album names is heading for a “hiding to nowhere”. Even leaving stuff as is presents challenges with searching and Album identification. If albums are not “Identified” by Roon searching becomes more troublesome, often Compositions are missing/inaccurate

For info , I am a 6th year Roon subscriber with >5000 album classical collection. I have learned how to work around any limitations in Roon. Roon’s major advantage , to me, is the Graphical View and the fact that I don’t not have to groom my metadata just to make things work

My only advice is to look at JRiver or at Audirvana Studio as alternatives both of which provide a folder structure view BUT none of the richness of Roon’s GUI and Streaming Integartion, AS attempts Tidal/Qobuz integration but (IMHO) poorly

Both offer 30 day trials for Windows and Mac, JRiver does Linux too

Best of luck


I have and use LMS. But it does not hook into my 15k$ DCS Bartok DAC

So how do I find my symphony album?