How to handle individual tracks within Roon?

Agreed, there is a feature request to that effect.

Edit: This is the feature request I was thinking of. It looks like its mainly me asking about increased folder filtering in Focus. This is a separate issue from browsing by folder which has another feature request thread. If you think greater capacity to filter by folder would be useful in Focus (or if you think it would be the end of civilization as we know it !), please pop into the referenced thread and comment.

Thank you. I’ve spend some time trying to figure this out, but apperently it wasn’t me. Hopefully it can be fixed because it doesn’t make a lot of sense to me.

I think it may form part of the metadata revisions coming with 1.3. See the posts by Mike in this related thread. If it is a 1.3 thing then that may mean a longer wait for implementation than the usual bugfix cycle.

I confess I haven’t been paying a great deal of attention to metadata changes. It may be that @Carl or @Ludwig have seen mention of proposed changes to Album Artist - Various Artists references in Tracks, History etc. I’ve got a feeling in my waters that there was another thread about it, but can’t find it now.

That would indeed be very helpful.

I just found out that there is a 120 track limit for albums. I guess that needs to be sorted first to be able to continue this route of making my DIY albums… :frowning:

Playlists also show Various Artists in stead of Track Artist, probably sharing the same view.

It’s kind of ironic that after spending hundreds of hours of tagging my library, and spending $499 on Roon to enhance this meta data, I can’t see “track artist”, arguably the single most import piece of data of a track after track name maybe… :slight_smile:

On a more serious note, I really would like to hear from a Roon rep. whether or not this will be fixed (as well as the 120 track limit for albums). If not, I will have to reconsider my lifetime subscription. One of the reasons to subscribe for life is this community and what seems to be a very competent and responsive development team, so I’m confident that it will be solved.

If there is a better area to report bugs, please let me know.

Let’s flag @mike or @joel for you.

Thank you!

Already asked - but I think Mike is enjoying his last day of holiday - as indeed he should.

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Indeed he should! :slight_smile: I will just wait patiently…

I have around 20000 singles in my collection and like to arange them in DIY albums. Some are 100 tracks, some are 300 tracks, but the biggest DIY album is 4600 tracks. For all the tracks in an album I set the Album Artist tag to Various Artists and each track has its own Artist, Title and also its own embedded Cover Art.

So I agree to what is mentioned about the 120 track limit and the track / album title issue, but I would also see the embedded cover art shown for each song when I set the option “Use cover art from file” for that album.

This handling of individual tracks or DIY albums is the only thing I miss from squeezebox

Agreed! I also have cover art added to my (individual) tracks. It’s a shame they don’t show up now.

I really love Roon already, but IMHO it’s model is too much centred around complete albums from one particular artist. That of course is a very important use case, but Roon should be able to handle collections of individual tracks better than it does at the moment.

Maybe Playlists are the best method to handle these track collections?

Do you mean this thread, as being the related thread maybe?

[Edit] I think this one might be even more relevant…

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Yes. That was the discussion I was thinking of.

Let’s flag @mike again and see if he can tell us if Track Artist instead of Album Artist in appropriate places (Tracks, History, Playlists) is on the way ?

I haven’t got a response from Roon on these issues (yet) and after reading the other related threads it’s still unclear to me if this Various Artist issue is considered to be a bug.

So to answer my own question from the original post: I’m not yet handling my individual track collection with Roon, because unfortunately I can’t. :confused:

A comment from Roon / @mike on these issues would be much appreciated.

  • Is displaying Various Arists in Track View and Playlists (when Artist Tags are set correctly) considered to be normal behaviour or a bug?
  • Will the 120 track limit for albums be changed to a bigger value?

Thank you! :slight_smile:

I just found this thread so that answers my second question about the track limit for albums.

I’m sorry @dibb that we haven’t got a response for you yet about Album Artist / Track Artist issues in History and Playlists.

I’ve just reached out more directly to the devs as I don’t think this is working as intended. I still suspect, however, that it may be wrapped up into 1.3. I think we should hear more soon.

hey Andrew,

Thanks a lot for your reply and help. I will just wait for 1.3 then. It’s just that a response from Roon on these matters would have been nice.

Until that time, I have more than enough work to do on fixing my album library. :wink:

Hey folks, sorry for the slow response on these – we’re actively designing and implementing a number of related changes right now. In addition to me being out for a few weeks, I wanted to spend some time pondering these requests and making sure our current planning took them into consideration. These questions all seem reasonable, and I would agree that a good deal of it could be handled better in Roon right now.

So, I’d like to give everyone some background on why that this, and what’s likely to change in the future. I’m going to break up this answer up into two pieces: What Roon is designed to do, and what Roon needs to do better on.

What Roon Is Designed To Do

A big goal of Roon is to stop treating music like a bunch of files sitting on a hard drive, and get back to how it felt to actually build a collection. In many apps, the iTunes-style playlist grid became THE way you viewed your library, whether you were looking at a playlist, or your favorite album of all time, or even your entire collection. For us, the origin of a song isn’t just a text string stored in a file’s “album” tag – it’s critical context that’s worth preserving.

Digital music offers almost unlimited flexibility for organizing your music, and we feel there’s a lot more to do there. Playlists, tags, personal favorites – these are all deeply flexible and personal ways to arrange music that weren’t possible with physical media. With the flexibility these tools afford us, there’s no need to affect the music’s underlying context – in Roon, each song ultimately lives on an album or artist page that’s built to preserve that context.

So, Roon’s look and feel is built with a sort of mission – Roon respects each song’s lineage in a way that goes beyond managing files, by treating artists, composers, albums, and works with reverence.

So if you ask me how I personally would want a folder full of singles identified, I would say that I want each track matched to how it was released, whether that’s in the context of a single, an album, a compilation, etc. Even if an album is missing half its tracks, when Roon retrieves the associated credits, label information, release and recording dates, influences, etc, the music can be viewed in context, unlocking the full spectrum of browsing experiences that make Roon unique.

And if that folder has personal significance, I agree you should be able to preserve that context as well, using Roon’s tools for personal organization – a playlist or tag called “Mike’s Singles”, for example.

What Needs To Improve

So, understanding that many of the product design choices are focused on preserving “where did this music come from” while still allowing for “this is how I organize this music”, I can definitely acknowledge that there are areas where Roon needs to do a lot better.

We’re currently hard at work on additional visibility for your files in Roon. Allowing visibility into the folders on your hard drive is an important diagnostic tool for locating files, but Roon should also allow for personal organization, so it’s easy to say “all the files in this folder should be tagged as “Mike’s Singles”.

There are other areas where Roon’s interface needs to be retooled or overhauled. Our Tracks browser grid (also used for Playlists and History) needs to be rewritten to support customizable headings, so columns like Track Artist can be added or removed on the fly.

A while back, we found that our Album page does not perform well with large numbers of tracks. When we tested with sequentially-numbered box sets (say, tracks 1 - 450), the interface slows to a crawl and many devices choke as Roon’s custom graphics engine is pushed to the limit.

Roon’s interface is built more like a video game than a music app, and while the engine is designed to hold huge amounts of content in some screens (tens of thousands of albums; hundreds of thousands of tracks), the architecture of the album screen wasn’t built for these cases. As digital releases eclipse physical media completely, loooong sequential albums will become more and more common, and so this screen will absolutely need a redesign under the hood.

All of this work is on our roadmap. Rebuilding entire screens takes time from every member of the team; the product needs to be defined, the underlying engine or database may need to be modified, the new interface needs to be designed and then coded from scratch, and finally the whole screen needs to go through weeks of testing with our internal QA and our alpha testers. For a small team, these are big, costly projects. And they are absolutely coming.

So that’s a not-so-short summary of where we are on this class of issues. We’re always open to feedback and requests of all sorts, and we try to be as transparent as possible with this community, as priorities inform the work that’s done every day. Our hope is that people can understand that a 500 track album called “Mike’s Singles” isn’t something Roon was designed to handle, in a few different ways. Putting all 500 songs in the best possible historical and personal context is our goal, and the ongoing feedback of this community will determine our methods for getting there.

Thanks all!


Thank you Mike for your very elaborate response and for taking the time to share your thoughts on these issues.

It’s very reassuring to hear you are working on new ways to be able to organise your tracks in a more flexible and personal manner. The ability to tag all files in a certain folder and customizable headings for the track browser, are both very welcome features.

I also work in IT development for quite a while now, so I really understand the complexity of refactoring an already complex product. I think you already have build a great product, but I’m really curious to see where Roon is heading in the future. I signed up for life so I’ll be here to witness that and along the way will help wherever I can. :wink: