How to force Roon to take into account album tags?

(JEAN-CLAUDE BOUILLET) #1

Core on Synology DS916+ with more than 17000 tracks / Latest Roon build / Linn Akurate
through Ethernet

Description Of Issue
Hello,

I’m Roon’s recent client and not yet knowledgeable of all his subtitles; I did not find how to force Roon to consider the tags contained in files to create different albums rather than using the organization known by Ronn on one album.

Let me explain: my problem only concerns albums containing a large number of files and a smaller number of musical works; for example, the last Haitink - Mahler by Decca (The Symphonies and Song Cycles), which contains 102 files for only 15 works.

The navigation between all these 102 files is really not easy and I prefer for over ten years to change the tags “album” to create a virtual CD per work (for example a symphony). This allows me to easily compare different executions of the same work. But Roon does not take into account the “album” tags that I modified and still presents me only one album with 102 files.

I sspecify that I have set the parameters of Roon (metadata: prefer files) and I have not found an easy way to split the album with the “Fix Track Grouping” command.

Am I really required to manually create 15 directories with the Windows File Manager and then move the 102 files?

Thank you in advance for your help.

(Tony) #3

Hi Jean-Claude,

Roon does allow you to group and navigate your library via “composition” but it works in a very different way to the virtual CD strategy you have adopted in the past.

In order for that to work, in general you need to keep the published CD structure so that roon can identify data items and draw links between your library and online databases and streaming services. An exception is large box sets where many roon users have developed different navigation strategies because roon doesn’t handle box sets well.

The first step in this identification process of albums, compositions, composers, conductors, performers etc is usually the “album”. A lot of how successful roon is in identifying all these data items and drawing the relevant links will depend on the quality and completeness of your tags but that is another story. However, in principle, taking your Haitink Mahler as an example you will end up with an album page like this:

This tells me that I have 16 local versions of Mahler 1 and Qobuz has 141 versions. These are hyperlinks and easily takes me to all available versions of Mahler 1 for easy comparison:

Thus functionally accomplishes what you are tring to do with virtual CD’s and this is typical of roon. It will often work in a different way than you are used to. The plus of course is that roon is providing a much richer hyperlinked data environement. The minus is that there is often a lot more manual tagging effort involved to accomplish your goals than you are used to.

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(JEAN-CLAUDE BOUILLET) #4

Dear Tony,

Thank you for your answer and congratulations for your 16 versions of the Titan Symphony!

I had actually noticed this interesting possibility displaying (and to be able to launch the local and Qobuz versions). But my problem occurs upstream, before selecting an album. For example, to stay with Mahler, if I look for all versions, local or not, of his third symphony, I first use the search area (with the magnifying glass at the top left) and I get the screen following :

Hence two problems:

  1. The selection is incorrect (among the first 8 propositions, 4 do not correspond to the third symphony);
  2. Even more embarrassing, if I choose the version Haitink / Concertgebouw, I find myself with the 102 files of the full package, in which I have to navigate to find what I’m looking for, which is really not practical.

Hence my wish to be able to handle large box sets differently - and only them, especially since it is very easy by modifying the “album” tags of the files, for example with MediaMonkey.

However, Roon continues to see the full version Haitink as a single album, while he sees the full Mahler as separate CDs (which was not the case when I bought this complete Qobuz in 2013).

Hence my question, what should be done to force Roon to read the tags rather than resume the description that is in its library?

Thank you in advance for your comments.

(Tony) #5

Where you start with the search will make a big difference.

If you want to do a composition search you are usually better off starting from the “composition” screen rather than the “album” screen. You can find “Compositions” in the main menu on the left hand side. There you get the option to specify, work, composer etc. and you will get a list of all compositions roon has “identified”. This is not a list of albums. Although there are links to the source albums.

In principle this will provide the sort of targetted composition search you are looking for. However, this search will only be as good as your tags and may require a great deal of manual editing to be consistently successful. That has certainly been my experience.

I don’t think you will be able to accomplish what you want from the albums screen. The search there is more like a “google” browse than a targeted boolian “find”. So in general you will get a mixture of exactly what you are looking for (although incomplete as you point out) and also related items that may set you off in a different direction that you hadn’t initially thought of. Personally I quite like this fuzzy “discovery” focus but many such as yourself do not.

(Dylan Caudill) #6

Hi @JEAN-CLAUDE_BOUILLET — Welcome to the Community!

Unlike some other apps that focus on file management, nearly everything in Roon revolves around the identification of albums. Trying to split albums in a way that interrupts Roon’s identification of the album will cause certain features of Roon to not work as they should.

This is going to use our search function which tries to display a variety of results, both in and out of your library. If you’re looking for content that is specifically in your library, you can use the Composition browser and use the filter options to find what you’re looking for in your library.

(JEAN-CLAUDE BOUILLET) #7

Hi,

Thanks to Tony for his advice on “Compositions” rather than with Google’s type search, but I encounter the same difficulties with both methods.

Thanks to Dylan for his answer, but I have to explain something for having a effective advice.

I waited for Qobuz Integration in Roon for buying a Roon’s license and I consider that the management of Roon is very powerful and efficient, especially thanks to the many links it allows. However, I encounter two difficulties, including a crippling one:

The first, reported in my previous posts, is with big boxes, which have very many tracks and a smaller number of works. Roon selects the entire album and go to its first track and not at the track I’m looking for, which can be several tens of screens further.

The second difficulty, much more serious, even crippling, concerns unrecognized albums by Roon. Or, if I bought about 300 albums at Qobuz since my subscription in 2012, which has never been a problem for Roon (except the big boxes), I also bought before subscribing nearly 1.500 CDs that I absolutely want to continue to listen, which is often not possible with Roon.

I verified the “skipped files” in Library Settings, the list is empty. However, Roon indicates during the course of import: 17.386 imported tracks and more than 36.000 scanned.

Hence my question: What are the rules to follow in file tags for having accessible Roon’s unknown albums? In fact, it is understandable that many links are loose, it seems to me quite abnormal that we deliberately ignore all albums unknown to him, while their tags are fully informed.

After a long waiting time for integration of Qobuz in Roon, I hope it’ll be possible to continue to listen to my albums bought before Qobuz and avoid giving up Roon.

Looking forward to your help.

(Geoff Coupe) #8

Something odd here. If Roon cannot directly identify an album during the import process, then it will fall back on using the file tags to construct an album entry (and show it as “unidentified” on the album page). It shouldn’t “deliberately ignore” albums that it can’t directly identify…

(Dylan Caudill) #9

Hi @JEAN-CLAUDE_BOUILLET,

If an album isn’t identified by Roon, the tags will be used. However, it sounds like you’re experiencing something a little different here — Based on the above, it sounds like some of these albums aren’t appearing in Roon at all, correct?

I’d like to point out some documentation we have that may be helpful here. In our KB we have an article about why some files might be missing from Roon .

I’d like to recommend looking at a couple of specific examples of tracks that did not get imported into Roon. Are they supported files? If it looks like they should be importing, let me know! Screenshots of these files in their storage location, along with a screenshot of Settings > Storage, would be helpful for discovering what may be happening.

(JEAN-CLAUDE BOUILLET) #10

Hi Dylan,
My answer will be a little bit long. Sorry for that.
Let me first be very happy to have confirmation that Roon allows TAGS to integrate unknown albums. A previous answer made me fear the worst! This encourages me to continue my efforts to help you identify the problem.

To begin, I confirm that I’ve read - and I try to respect - the FAQs "Why did not Roon find any metadata for my album? », « Why are some files might be missing from Roon »and « How can I ensure multi-disc sets and box sets are identified properly? ».

I mention that my library includes several multi-disc sets well recognized by Roon, as, for example, the album Mahler / Boulez. And yet, the track a number of virtual CDs do not all begin with 01 (for example 29 for the fifth symphony below).


However, this does not always work, as we will see for the recent Mahler / Haitink multi-disc set. To be clear, I propose to carry out the following operations successively:

  1. I load in my NAS the album Mahler / Haitink bought at Qobuz, without any modification on its tags. Roon does not recognize the album (1st anomaly), but all tracks are present and can be listened to. For me, this is a very penalizing weakness of Roon, because when you select such a large album, you have to scroll more dozens of iPad screens to reach one work at the end of the album. Here are the screenshots of Roon, Windows and MP3Tag:



  2. On Windows, I erase the previously loaded directory and force Roon the scan. I get the following screens, which tell me that about 20,000 tracks have been skipped (17,000 tracks imported from 37,000 scanned), although the “Skipped Files” screen is empty. I specify in the CD library directory, there is a subdirectory containing a hundred albums ripped in WMA, so not processed by Roon, but it does not explain the large number of Skipped Files.


  3. I modify the tags of the Mahler / Haitink album outside of Roon (via MediaMonkey), in order to separate the multi-disk into virtual CDs, to correctly fill in the Artists tags, but without modifying either the track numbers, or the file names. I get the following tags, similar to those of the multi-disc set Mahler / Haitink:

  4. With these new tags, Roon crashes completely: only two albums are visible instead of 15:

  5. In addition, the album of the second symphony includes only 2 tracks instead of 9 and the eighth symphony includes all the tracks of the multi-disc set. Here are the screenshots:


  6. To conclude:

  • I did not find how to identify the Skipped Files, even using (wrong?) The Inspector;
  • I do not understand why what works well with the Mahler / Boulez multi-disc set does not work with the Mahler / Haitink.
    Thank you in advance for your help.
(Geoff Coupe) #11

Where did track 13 suddenly spring from? it’s not in the first two screenshots of track listings, but is in the third…

Frankly, this Qobuz set of the Haitink Mahler cycle is a metadata mess. I have it via Qobuz streaming, and it’s a case of garbage in, garbage out.

(Tony) #12

Hi @JEAN-CLAUDE_BOUILLET

  1. I have a big descrepency between scanned files and identified tracks as well. I think you will find the extra scanned files are jpg’s and pdf’s. It doesn’t sound like any of your audio tracks have been skipped.

  2. I also have the streamed version (Qobuz) of the Haitink Mahler. As @Geoff_Coupe mentions the metadata is a complete mess. I remember spending hours cleaning it up. There was no composer and no composition hierarchy for example. Although from your screenshots the downloaded version seems to have more metadata you are going to find that this is not an isolated example. Quite common with roon/Qobuz integration and rather a reflection of priorities in the computer audio industry. I am hoping that roon are able to improve roon/Qobuz metadata integration in upcoming releases but for the time being you are correctly identifying issues we all endure I am afraid.

  3. Box sets are not in general handled well in roon. There are endless posts on this topic going back years. It is common for roon users to break up big box sets if they are an “original jackets” style. But this is at a media level (i.e. CD level). As several have mentioned it is not a good idea to break up box sets at a composition level. roon simply doesn’t work that way. You might get results you wanted like the Boulez Mahler sometimes but often you will not. Just like the Haitink Mahler. So I rather suspect that your strategy of trying to make roon behave similarly as the previous player you were using is just not going to work. It is always possible others have found a work around. So let’s see if anyone comments.

PS. Looks like that Haitink Mahler is in an “original jackets” structure. It is work hunting down the artwork, original CD titles, catalog numbers etc. and then identifying each CD individually. You have to be careful to remove the disk numbers and change all the CD titles so they are different, otherwise roon will keep trying to put the box back together again. I will probably be doing this myself with this box set. I just havn’t got round to it yet.

1 Like
(Mike O'Neill) #13

Have you tried SongKong sometimes it works magic :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

(Tony) #14

May work for the OP’s downloads but fixing streamed stuff inside roon is really painful as the available editing features are so basic. And that’s when a manual edit works at all. Often it does not especially with composition hierarchies I find.

(JEAN-CLAUDE BOUILLET) #15

It is true that the metadata of this album are a real mess. But this is not the fault of Qobuz but that of Decca. Also note the duplicates of the first symphony at the beginning and end of albums (tracks 1 to 4 and 99 to 102).

However, the interpretation by B. Haitink is excellent, so it is worth working on the metadata. Especially since I have many meta-disc sets divided into several albums that pose no problem to Roon, except for the loss of some links, which is normal.
I still hope that in the case of unidentified albums by Roon (which is also the case of the multi-disc set Mahler / Haitink with its original metadata!), it is enough to modify the albums tags to create virtual CDs without being obliged to recreate as many directories as works.

Maybe I’m too optimistic?

(Geoff Coupe) #16

Do NOT create directories containing works. Far, far better to create directories mirroring the original CD album releases. Roon has then a chance to identify the album.

(Tony) #17

I don’t think these are duplicates? The timings are different. There were a lot of published/unpublished scores of the Mahler 1.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Symphony_No.1(Mahler)#Versions

Unfortunately because of the poor state of the metadata I cannot work out which version is which. ArkivMusic says the second one is "(Original version with 2nd mvmt., “Blumine”). But that still leaves me in the dark. I don’t have the pdf from the original box set which I assume has all this detail.

It is a very good example of something else that roon doesn’t do well. If you want to identify your compositions (which I do) then it is not possible to annotate multi-part works with the score, instrumentation, version or date so as to avoid this sort of confusion. Bizarly it is possible with single part works.

Unfortunately, as several have mentioned now you are probably being optimistic about finding a way of forcing roon to split albums by composition. It just doesn’t work that way. It sounds like you have managed in some cases but that will be an un-engineered side effect. Not only is your fix not working in all cases now there will be no guarantee that your successful cases will work in the future as this is not a roon design goal. There could be any number of processing logic changes that roon may introduce in future releases that would have the unfortunate effect of breaking your current partial fix. New releases used to be very frequent with roon but even now as roon has matured it seems to have settled down to quarterly releases, so you can expect quite frequent change. It’s entirely your choice of course but you might want to consider breaking old tagging habits before you have invested a great deal of manual tagging time and effort that a future roon release breaks.

(Geoff Coupe) #18

If I look at these two versions of the first symphony using the Qobuz app, then I see that tracks 1-4 are from a recording made in 1962, whilst tracks 99 to 102 are from a recording made in 1972. Not that the Qobuz metadata supplied to Roon bothers to tell Roon this…