How to add "characteristics" to albums [Tags]

I’d like to add “characteristics” of my own making to my albums. This capability sounds like defining my own tags, but I’ve not found how to do what I want.

For example, I’d like to define a characteristic DOWNLOAD, which when present means the album was downloaded. There could be a corresponding characteristic RIPPED, which would mean the source is a ripped CD. These 2 characteristics could, I believe, be managed by the “Manage Tags” editor (or browser).

But I’d further like a characteristic SOURCE, mostly to be used for downloads. How would I define, say, SOURCE=PrestoClassical or SOURCE=HDTracks or SOURCE=PrimePhonic? And how would I view albums with such characteristics?

Could you create tags in the same way as TIDAL collections? For example, TIDAL: Essentials, TIDAL: Rock etc. I’ve also added my own TIDAL: Master. So you could add SOURCE: HDTracks, SOURCE: PrimePhonic etc.

Alternatively, you could use bookmarks and create collections for each source etc. I’ve done this to quickly show all albums that have a physical CD in my collection.

Creating Tags for different sources is one of the example use cases in the KB Tag article.

First create your bottom level SOURCE:Presto Classical, SOURCE:HD Tracks etc. These have an OR logic as per the screenshot below when selected in the Tag Manager in the Albums browser:

At this stage you could just create a Bookmark called DOWNLOADS that simply recalls the Focus on those Tags. I created an ALLTEST Bookmark:

Alternatively, you can nest Tags by going to the Tag browser, selecting your bottom level Tags and creating a new Tag that holds them. I created a TESTMASTER Tag:

This is what TESTMASTER looks like in the Tags browser:

And in the Albums browser:

If I select one of the Albums displayed in TESTMASTER then it shows as a member of TEST:One Tag but not of TESTMASTER itself because the items in TESTMASTER are the bottom level Tags:

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I use tags similarly. It is pretty effective for quickly bringing up objects with the Tagged characteristic. You can also include a key word in multiple tags and then bookmark a filter of that keyword to always quickly bring up that group of tags.

Three issues that keep tags from being more useful:

(1) availability of only OR logic - i.e. you can bring up the sum of two tags, but not the intersection, unless you use workarounds;

(2) complex tag queries are slow, especially involving objects that are only indirectly tagged (i.e. bring up all albums under and artist tag);

(3) no custom graphics/logos/images for tags - it is forced to be a mosaic of the object members – should be optional

Even so, they are useful to sort collections.

Thanks for this information. I have got things to (start to) work.

It is NOT true, however, that the KB shows how to create a tag with a value, eg, TestIt:ABC or TestIt:XYZ. The KB shows only how to create a tag without a value, eg, TestIt. The KB at merely alludes to the possibility of setting a value, without showing how. Maybe the “how” would be obvious to some people, but not to me (and I was in the IT industry for decades). But, as I said, your information helped me guess that, say, TestIt:ABC would work.

If I’ve missed something in the KB, please show me where.

I don’t think it really is a Tag with a value, per se, although you can use it practically that way. It is a single tag, you are just bifurcating it between what you consider a kind of category or parameter and then the value for it. In reality, it’s a single tag.

I’m not concerned about what to call it. My point is that the capability is not made clear.

And my point is that it is not a capability at all, except as a workaround. I thought as someone who was in the IT industry for decades, you might appreciate that distinction being identified.

Tags don’t have values. TAG:Value is just a string that a user can adopt for their own purposes. The KB mentions that Tags can be included in other Tags here:

“You can add tags to Artists, Albums, Tracks, Composers, Works, Playlists, Genres, or other Tags by clicking the “three dots” button: “

Until now, my understanding of “tag” was more along these lines (from

“Each ID3v2 tag holds one or more smaller chunks of information, called frames. These frames can contain any kind of information and data you could think of such as title, album, performer, website, lyrics, equalizer presets, pictures etc.”

But … I will accept your claim that Roon tags don’t have values but are rather strings.

Roon Tags are distinct from File Tags. The nomenclature is confusing. Roon Tags are internal to Roon and stored in the Roon database. File Tags are external to Roon and embedded according to the file format.

Thanks. I knew that (eg, Roon doesn’t change music files except when directed to delete) but didn’t think to mention it.

Because of the possible confusion over what “tag” means, I started with “characteristics,” since I’m not concerned with where the information is kept.

You might want to rethink that. It depends on how much time you’d spend working on labeling your content. If Roon were to disappear (since it is a service, after all, and not software that would work perfectly if the service element disappeared, especially if Tidal goes out of business), you’d lose whatever is strictly within Roon, except to the extent you can export it in a reusable fashion. This is why I’ve been begging for a file tag import feature that would allow the same information to be imported from embedded tags - that way one could embed this info in the files, not the proprietary Roon DB.

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I think it would be more accurate if I had said the Roon Tag name doesn’t contain a value but is just a string. The Tag itself can contain a number of objects as per the KB.

I believe I now understand what a tag is in the Roon universe. But I think we’ve not settled on the proper words. Specifically, you said earlier a tag is just a string, eg, TAG:Value. Now I think you’re saying a tag is something that can point to 1 or more strings (or point to nothing). I myself favor “a tag is a container for 0, 1 or more string values”; but I’m not sure that’s actually different from your term.

The risk of Roon disappearing did occur to me. A start to exporting the Roon tags would be to export the entire library to an Excel file: The tags with values appear as a column in the spreadsheet.

Well, yes, but I wouldn’t want to put in the time to try to get the tags from a spreadsheet back into the files. You can also export your media and while I’ve never tried it, I assume that the metadata from a Roon-exported media file contains some reference to the tags that were applied to it within Roon, but maybe not.

Either export or import might work. My gut feeling is that import is likely to maintain inter-operability with other media players and how they read and organize based on tags.

The KB Export article says that a common reason for using Export is:

To make a copy of your library tagged with Roon metadata

I had understood that this meant Roon Tags would be exported as File Tags, but I think someone checked and found that wasn’t occurring. I will test it later tonight and report back.

Yikes; CPR here…but there are soooooo many threads on tagging, hard to know where to put it.

I’ve just been delving deeper into ROON lately (tried it for a year; kept it simple. Got auto-renewed, so I guess I should embrace it). I saw a pic once, and really wanted to follow up on how to do this:

It was like a “comment” tag, IIRC opaqued over the art. Somewhat like this (crude mark-up)

How do…I do?

What you’re describing is the album cover art overlay which has been removed from 1.8 - it now sits under the primary version of your album, in this example ‘album version’ is ‘Deluxe Edition’:


Where the whole thing falls down now that the overlay has been removed is if you tag albums, for example I have a tag called ‘Rock’, the only metadata you see is title and artist, meaning you are unable to differentiate between different versions of the same album:

This has really p***ed me off big time!

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