How does Roon handle external metadata updates?

In this particular scenario, what is Roon’s approach to externally updated metadata?


  • I add the “Stranger Things 2” soundtrack to my library from Tidal on day of release
  • There is no extended metadata such as genre tags, review etc. on day of release (not unusual)
  • After a few days, still no update so I decide to add my own tags via Roon’s editor (Soundtracks, TV Soundtracks)

Now, what happens if Rovi/Allmusic add externally updated metadata to this title? I envisage one of three outcomes:

  1. The external metadata is added, overriding my edits. Possible sadface.
  2. The external metadata is merged with my edits. - How are conflicts handled?
  3. The external data is never applied because the album is flagged as having manual edits. Definite sadface.

And while we’re on this subject, please can I circle this back to a Feature Request I made a long time ago which would allow use of the Focus Inspector to look at changed metadata in the last x days?
I still think this is a great way to showcase the dynamic nature of our library information as artist bios evolve and new reviews are added over time.

To understand how automatic metadata updates interact with your edits, the main concept to keep in mind is the idea of things being “frozen”.

So, two ways this works:

  • If you’ve edited anything on an album, the track listing is frozen, and the contents will never be “clumped” into a new album, which could happen in other cases, like if you edit the Album field in your file tags for example

  • If you’ve edited any fields in the album (album title, release date, credit, etc) that field is now frozen for that album. Other fields you haven’t edited can still be updated automatically, but we’ll never overwrite an edit you made


I was going to start a thread but found this one.

Is there anything else that prevents automatic updates? Back in July I added some TrondheimSolistene albums (based on some thread in this forum) from Tidal. I realised today that I hadn’t got around to listening to all of them. I found that the metadata was still sparse and, on a whim, hit identify album

…hello, hello, I find new and improved metadata! I chose as the album to match the one that was already being used. i’m pretty sure that, apart from adding some tags, I hadn’t altered any metadata for these albums. (TrondheimSolistene reflections will suffice as an exemplar)

This is not the first time I have noticed this. Is this expected?


1 Like

What’s the album?

There are times when a TIDAL edition of an album is similar enough to another edition with richer metadata that it will show up first in Identify, even if it’s not similar enough that we can make the match automatically.

Making changes to the equivalence logic can have wide-ranging effects across thousands and thousands of albums, so we’re very careful about making changes to this logic and risking false positives.

I’m sure @joel would love to see any examples of this you come across.

TrondheimSolistene reflections was the one I mentioned. I added it as a Tidal album in July, but probably did not hit identify at the time - can’t remember. I expect i just accepted the Tidal metadata which came along with it.

Anyway, I acknowledge your reticence in altering metadata - better safe than sorry. It’s not a big deal to check manually, but I wondered what the rules were for auto updating.


In my experience TIDAL albums can have identical track timings to the TiVo data (and sufficient number of tracks), and still not be identified when you add them to your library. Proof is hard to come by though…