How is Roon designed to handle track dates from Greatest Hits albums?

In my FLAC library on disk, and in my iTunes library, I meticulously added release year data for the Date and Year tags for each track in a Greatest Hits or other compilation album. I even added “Original Year: xxxx” to the Comment field for each track in case playback software or iTunes “accidentally” changed the Date or Year value to match the date of the album release.

I could search, sort and create playlists based on the year of the track, which is what I prefer. For example, if I’m listening to a 70’s mix I don’t want a Herman’s Hermits 1968 track to be played just because it came from the Greatest Hits album that was released in 1973.

How can I get this same behavior in Roon, please? All of my carefully-added year tag info is still intact in the tracks in Roon, which I verified by selecting a track, selecting track info and then selecting File Tags.


Hi Jeff,

If I’m understanding you correctly, try this.

Select the Greatest Hits album and click on the Edit Pencil on the right of the screen. Click the Metadata Preferences tab and scroll down to Original Release Date (and any other field you’re interested in).

Click Prefer File next to Original Release Date and save.

See if that works.

Cheers, Greg

Hi Greg,

Thanks for helping me troubleshoot. Unfortunately, your method only changes the date for the entire album (if I’m doing it correctly), and doesn’t seem to make dates for the individual tracks available to a Focus Search.

I need the date for each track in the compilation album to be checked when I do a Focus Search, so albums that, for example, span more than one decade don’t have all their tracks showing up in the decade that the album itself was released in when a Focus Search is performed.

So Chronicle by CCR was released in 1976. One of the tracks in that album is Proud Mary, which was released in 1968. I have tagged Proud Mary with 1968 for the Date and Year tags. When I do a Focus search for tracks from the 1970s, I don’t want Proud Mary to show up in the results. It shows up currently because it’s part of an album that was released in 1976 even though it has tag data that says 1968.

Does that make sense? I may not be explaining what I want very well.


Hey Jeff,

Ok, I understand what you’re looking for. Unfortunately, that isn’t possible right now. If you are displaying an album and right click or long press a track, you can then select edit. There you can see what’s currently available to edit on track level.

The next major release that the Roon guys are currently working on will be expanding metadata editing. Whether it will include original release date per track, I don’t know.

Maybe others can offer some suggestions for a workaround, I can’t think of one off the top of my head.

Cheers, Greg

Me neither. :slight_smile:

Thanks anyway,

Is “Import Date” something that you use or of interest to you??

If not, then maybe you could consider adjusting that on a Track-by-Track basis using the Edit tools described above

Only you can decide if the effort is worth it

Hi Ronnie,

That’s a really good idea, but I can’t find a way to specify any import date earlier than 2013. Do you know how to specify custom dates in the Import Date parameter? If I can find a way to do that, I will use your method until Roon can search on tag data.


I have just now specified a January 1973 date for a specific Track on an Album

Opened Album in question ----> Right Click on Track you wish to Edit ----> Edit ----> Edit Track ----> go to Import Date ----> change Date to 1973

Note that you have to change the Year, Month, Date, Hour, Minute, & Second…and then click ‘Save’…each of the 6 parameters have to have an entry before the Save option becomes highlighted and available

The short answer is Roon (correctly) uses the album release date for all albums rather than the the track release date of any particular track. If the track release date were readily identifiable from Roon’s metadata sources this could be added as another datapoint and incorporated in Focus. It’d be pretty handy.

Sorry, Ronnie. I didn’t specify where I couldn’t set the Import Date earlier that 2013 – it’s in the Focus Search window/dialog. My bad and I apologize again. I can definitely set a custom Import Date for any track in my library using your method. Do you know of a way to go back before 2013 in the Focus Search window?

I agree. It would be nice though if I could set Focus Search criteria based on user-entered tag info. I’ve already done the hard work of tagging all those compilation tracks, so no need for Roon’s metadata sources to add that information if it’s not already there. :wink:


Sorry Jeff, I didn’t check in Focus before posting

There doesn’t seem to be a way to Focus on Import Dates before 2013…which of course makes perfect sense, when you consider how old Roon is :wink:

So I don’t think that workaround will work…and to be honest, it was more than a bit of a kludge anyway

Another thought that may be more workable…

Previously in iTunes, I used to add “'60’s”, “'80’s” etc., to Tracks so that I could create Smart Playlists using that criteria

My best guess is that you are interested in the DECADE of the Track…rather than the YEAR??

If that is the case, then you could Add 60’s, 70’s, 80’s Tags to Roon

And then go to an Album…Multi-Select those that are from e.g. the 60’s…and Edit to add the Tag “60’s” to those Tracks

Likewise, the 70’s Tag could be added to the Tracks from the 70’s…etc., etc.

This would then allow you to create Focus and then Playlists based on these Tags…which IMHO is a better way forward…and much easier than adding specific years to specific tracks…but YMMV


Absolutely brilliant, sir. Thank you very much!


Is there any plan to change this anytime soon? I have 40,000 tracks, all with meticulously-maintained track release dates (a lot of compilations). All other software I have allows me to create lists based upon track dates, rather than album dates. I would love it if Roon permitted this.

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