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

I completely agree with Mike_O_Neill.

I think I can relate to the OP. My collection is predominantly classical music (with a smattering of jazz), and I also came from an LMS-based system. I was obsessive about metadata, meticulously curating it, even though, as Mike_O_Neill pointed out, there is no industry standard. I developed my own format of sorts. Within the LMS ecosystem, I was able to search, browse, and listen to all of my music with ease.

When I switched to Roon, I found the transition jarring. I was particularly hindered by Roon’s lack of a simple directory tree type of browsing facility. I struggled to understand Roon’s logic, but, over time, I came to appreciate it. I simply let go of my old way of doing things, and allowed Roon to be my guide. I find that, esp. with more obscure albums (and box sets), I need to nudge Roon a bit to identify my files properly, but, in most cases, it does. Currently, I have over 2000 albums, and only one unidentified. Yes, only one!

I mostly use the fantastic Focus feature to find any composer, performer, album, composition, track with ease. No, it’s not perfect, but, most of the time, the problem comes from the lack of metadata standardization, rather than from Roon’s own architecture. Having said that, I can think of at least a dozen features I would love to have in Roon, but the core functionality is very good already.

I am hopeful that the Roon team will continue to care for classical music listeners and improve/develop features that are going to make our experience better.

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How do I see my Unidentified Albums?

Mike, that is logical. I still get the Rachmaninoff plays Bach album. But it is part of a box set, so maybe it is on a different disk?

Anyhow, sorry to complain so much. I can now at least find things, although it is not easy.

If I understand what you have done, then you will always have to live in the land of “workarounds”. As I understand it, you have re-named the titles of each to reflect what is on them, as well as, set the primary artist to the Composer in LastName, FirstName format. Because of this many of your albums are and will remain unidentified unless you manually make the ID.

Given that, your best option, imho, is to use filter in the album section. Filter will filter the partial text entered against BOTH album title and album artist.

Also, you might try disabling any streaming services and then try searching.

In Focus / INSPECTOR / Identified. This will show all of your Identified albums, to see the unidentified, simply touch/click the blue label. This will deselect it - it turns red in my Remote - and show all your unidentified albums.


Albums > Focus > Inspector > Identified:

Press + in purple Identified button to create a negative selection (= Unidentified):


Go to Album View
Select Focus
Look for the Inspector section
You will see Identified - click
It will show Identified + in purple just against the word Focus
Click the purple section and it will turn Red

These are your unidentified albums I have 104 out of 7000 , most of which I can explain

Rene & Nick beat me …

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of the 2600 albums in my library 500 are unidentified.

oof. Live shows.

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That’s incorrect. I have thousands of m4a files that play in BluOS. Here’s a screen grab from BluOS:

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On a Mac, Yate is truly an excellent tag editor. XLD is donation ware and can convert file formats though to read ALAC it needs an extension which is also free and easily installed.

Oops. BlueOS does not connect to my Bartok DAC. Misspoke.

I found something that might sdolve many of my problems:

Version 1.1 introduced the notion of metadata preference. By selecting “Prefer File”, you are telling Roon to flip the order of the two bottom layers like this:

  1. Edits

  2. File Tags

  3. Roon Metadata

Metadata preferences are set up on a field-by-field and object-by-object basis. This offers extreme flexibility. You can prefer local data on an album-by-album or track-by-track basis to fix isolated problems, or you can select your entire collection in the album or track browser (Ctrl-A on Windows, CMD-A on Mac) and prefer the track titles from your file tags globally.

How do I edit something?

Roon supports manual editing of many metadata fields at the track, album, genre, and artist level. You can access the editing screens by clicking Edit (under the “3 dots” menu) on the album or artist page, or the Pencil on the genre page, or by selecting (right-click or long-press) an album, track, or artist and selecting “Edit” from the command bar at the top of the screen.

The editing functionality supports editing single items or multi-selecting items to edit several items at once. You can perform high-level operations (like setting metadata preferences) on many items at the same time by selecting them in the album or track browser, and clicking the “edit” button at the top of the screen.

This works if I select all Albums in the Album View–I can prefer my album names.
But if I select the Artist View, there is no edit choice when I click the 3 dots:

Is this a bug?

No. Prefer metadata applies to Albums/Tracks. So , you can set and album to prefer file metadata like Albums Artist from the file and not Roon. That has nothing to do with actual Artist objects.

The second part How do I edit something? refers to Editing existing Artist information, not “preferring” information.

It says I can do this on the Artist page:
“You can access the editing screens by clicking Edit (under the “3 dots” menu) on the album or artist page, or the Pencil on the genre page, or by selecting (right-click or long-press) an album, track, or artist and selecting “Edit” from the command bar at the top of the screen.”

Access the editing screens, not metadata preference. Like so…

You mentioned several times that you need roon because other solutions (BlueOS, LMS?) cannot connect to your Bartok DAC. Why not add some intermediate device, like a Raspberry Pi with a hat that outputs SPDIF? You can connect your DAC to the PI/hat with a BNC cable and then stream from BlueOS or LMS to the Pi.

Some possibilities:

Just adding my 2c worth
My collection (62k tracks) is about 50% classical, and although I still have some issues, it’s not as dire as the OP opening post.
In my case, I would recommend:
1 Use Yate to alter your file tags. Within Yate, download and install the dedicated Roon template for displaying what Roon is looking for.
2 In Roon Settings - Library - Import Settings,
set Album - Title and Album Artist as “Prefer File”
set Tracks - Title as prefer file, composer credits as Merge Roon & file
3 Although this is contrary to “industry practice”, for Classical Albums, I use the Composer name as the Album Artist (where the content is predominately from that composer).
The Album Artist that you supply needs to be manually added to the Primary Artist link in Roon, to make the internal connection. For this to happen the exact name of the composer (as found in Roon) must be used (eg Fryderyk Chopin not Frederic Chopin nor Chopin, Fryderyk). Saving time, this can be done across multiple CDs in one edit.
The filter option (and type ahead) in Album view then becomes very powerful for searching. I find I only use one sort view - by Artist.

Roon does not reference storage folder names as their data model makes that irrelevant.

Attached is a screenshot showing how ‘Beethoven’ appears in my Album view. This does show my tagging and my album names. (I do wish Roon would allow the user to specify what the secondary sorting criterion is, as using the default original release date is not helpful in classical music)

For those particular about my English, I use the singular of symphony in my album titles to give consistency in searching

I hope this helps

Much has been said above. I still contend the best advice is to “leave well enough alone”.

An album NOT ID’ed by Roon is not necessarily a problem , but in Classical music Work/Part ,or Composition/Movement is a critical piece of metadata that Roon picks up externally. Failing that you have to provide the values manually and externally. I did it and I can assure you it is not something I would undertake from scratch again.

Have a look at MusicBrainz (unfortunately I cannot see the detail on AllMusic , one of Roon’s Primary sources). Look at the structure they show … This is what Roon is going to query.

The Album name given by the record label is one of the Primary Reference Points in any database designed to identify recordings . Along with Artist & Composer .

Changing any of these will lower the chances of Roon ID’ing the album. Once Roon has no ID it will struggle with Composition and Movement and will then MAYBE not group Compositions together properly hence negating the Composition View.

A good example is Box Sets , they fall into 3 broad types

  • Collection of “Previously Released CD’s” which can be IDed OK eg Emerson DG
  • Collections of Random Tracks eg Bach 333, Karajan
  • Collections of previously released Vinyl or CD BUT with extra tracks added to pack the CD to 70 minutes eg Brendel Phillips

If you split off CD and pretend they are “albums” discretely then you will find many will not ID , many will but NOT all.(eg Brendel is about 80% ID’ed)

If you leave the BOX as is it is likely that Roon will identify it and then you can use the other Roon tools to select your listening choice. Focus, Composition , Composer views etc

Just a little food for thought. I have not used Yate but I hear its very like SongKong in querying the MusicBrainz Db . Using these tools will put the metadata where it should be. For example I am adamantly AGAINST putting Composer in the Artist Tag , to ME it makes no sense now there is fairly universally accepted Composer tag.

I have around 5000 classical albums , many are Box Sets counting as one album. This approach leaves me a small number of unidentified albums . It gives me a “relatively” trouble free navigation of my library.

Just my 2p -

Agreed. Personally, I think the practice is somewhat perverse, and only serves to try and confuse Roon… :grinning:

There was no composer tag when I started the tagging. I agree with you.
The best advice it to leave well enough alone.

There is one other problem with using the “exact” album and track names. Some characters, notably ", /,: are illegal in file names depending upon your OS. I have my music on Mac, Windows, and Linux, so none of these can be used.

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