How to organize and access your music in Roon - show your approach

Hi fellow Rooners,

after mentioning my bookmark-heavy “workflow” Roon in the thread about the Apple TV extension, @RobOK asked to hear more about this in a separate thread. I couldn’t believe that such thread didn’t exist but I found none so I open a new one.

I want to show/explain how I organize my music and how I access it in Roon. I would love to hear your comments about this and how your approaches are.

The music I have in Roon are mostly self-ripped CDs and bought digital media files. Only a few are from Qobuz or Tidal. All in all there are currently 966 albums. All my owned media is tagged manually with the following specialities:

  • All Classical Albums are named “Composer: Album Name”
  • I make heavy use of genres with multiple entries in the genre tag (eg. “Metal/Death Metal” or “Classical/Baroque/Opera”)

I set all Roon import settings to “prefer file” (except recoding date & location and lyrics). Imported albums from streaming services are at first edited to add proper genres. Additionally I have 3 tags: Soundtrack, Sampler and Neu (New). [I just noticed, Soundtrack would not be needed anymore].

To access my music I created several Bookmarks. Each has its own filter and sort settings:

The first one “Albums” are all “normal” albums from artists - so no sampler, soundtracks or classical music - sorted by artist:

Another one is “Klassik ohne Oper” (classical without opera). It’s sorted by album title - and as I mentioned above, all classical albums are named “composer: album title”:

All other bookmarks are set accordingly. The “Neu” tag and bookmark is for music I added temporarily to listen to it and decide if I want to keep it - no matter what genre.

I’m very happy with my setup because it lets me access my music in the way I’ve done it since good old Winamp: separate access to classical and non-classical music with its own sorting.

Now I’m curious what you all think about this and how you organize and access your music with Roon.

Happy listening


Thanks for sharing and genuinely interesting with some good ideas. I’d contribute but I’m pretty much in the “let Roon sort the metadata” camp. A few well thought out bookmarks/tags might help in fact…

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I just let roon get on with it.

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I was also started with specifics and wanted to save my favorites from other players via an additional entry. Since Roon doesn’t take all fields, I added e.g. Rate5 in the genre.

Later I had the idea to just put all favorites in a separate folder and make a second Roon database out of it.

Today I think like the previous speakers, all this is not necessary. We come too much from the traditional way of thinking and actually everything is already there:

See here:

Coming from Holidays to Christmas, Easter…

I come from classical music to opera, chamber music…

Roon actually wants to take all this off your hands, and with a division into over 1,000 musical styles, the only thing left to do manually is the occasional addition or correction according to your own sensibilities.

Here Pop/Rock - styles with Metal

Here Metal - Styles

Das macht Roon alles automatisch!

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I tried this in my first 14 days test period one year ago and it led me to cancel it :slight_smile:

I don’t know if it has to do with my music selection (lots of 90s Gothic & Darkwave, obscure 1-man Metal bands, etc.) but I really didn’t like what Roon did to my meta data - especially the genres but also the cover images (and because the base of my collection are my own ripped CDs, I wanted the images to be the “correct” ones).

But I’m glad I gave Roon a second chance, this time with the “I control everything” approach. Maybe I’m just a control freak but I really love when everything works exactly as I want.

But what I would like to know: How do you access your music? When you sit down to listen to something - do you drill down this genres to get inspired? Or do you know exactly what you want to listen to and use the search function?


I don’t use the search function in Roon very much. With 900 albums and artists and self-selected genre classification, everything remains very clear.

I jump into a genre, an artist or an album and research further there.

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Allsorts really, I listen to a wide variety.
Depending on mood and time to concentrate.

Just play a playlist.
Explore the daily roon or qobuz playlists.
Start off roon radio.
Play a particular song or artist and explore from there, who played on it, who produced or engineered it.
Browse the forum “what I’m listening to” threads.

I let Roon get on with it as it’s supposed to. I have a few saves focuses as bookmarks, lossy files are on one share, flac on another so I can focus on one or the other.

Mix of all genres and I find it’s fine. Lifes too short for meddling , it’s why I got Roon so it curates for me.

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Interesting to see what you have come up with Stephan.

If you listen to Metal and Metal sub genre’s then Roon doesn’t just handle it at all and about 80% of albums become Pop/Rock.

For most other music I let Roon handle it, but for Metal I generally create multiple genre/sub genre entities to cover these as needed.

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Exciting topic of this thread, it promises a lot!
I start from the idea that each listener is different and their way of access is also different. The more expert and with large and complex libraries will tend to have more control than the less expert and with simpler tastes and collections, who will tend to use more AI suggestions and general searches.
In my case, with a clear preference for building systematic reference libraries in classical and jazz (+8,300 albums), bookmarks and genres are clearly insufficient.
I have developed my own system of Tags (about 500 and growing) that allows me total control of the subset of albums that each one contains. In this way, eclectic but effective, I solve the very complex problem of genres (they cannot be attributed to artists or albums except in a crude way and it ends up being useless to organize with precision).
The search tool is useful if you know precisely what you are looking for (an artist, a work), but it does not serve to guide a desire based on moods, time, style, etc. Hence the need to build a reference system using personalized tags, which adapt like a glove to our language, technical lexicon, historical and stylistic concepts, etc. The complexity is enormous but it has the advantage of growing organically with us, from our own preselection of our library and tastes.
I will be delighted to learn about other approaches and deepen this reflection, which is at the basis of our love for shared music listening. Greetings!


500 Genres only for classical and jazz is actually more than all services provide. Spotify divides the whole music universe into around 1,300 genres, but it also has other determinants even in the 10-pack to get really homogeneous and suitable in the discovery.

For access, I’ll start with a recommendation from the forum, or something from the, now difficult to find, discover page. I’m not much of one for playlists or Valence. I do use the new releases page from Qobuz quite a bit as well. For me, Roon earns its corn from the metadata linking and discovery features. I like little better than spending an evening reading about artists and albums and using that to discover new stuff. I also like using the “covers” feature to find different versions of songs I’m listening to.

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I exclusively use tags, the genre system of Roon and / or Spotify only serves to discover, it does not serve to “recover exploring”, let me explain. If you know what you want to hear, you search for its artist or title, but if you want to see what you have of a certain type of music but you don’t remember exactly what you have (what ALWAYS happens after a certain volume of albums (+1,000? ) or from a certain age … :scream:
My labels are not exactly genres, but homogeneous subsets by some criteria: era / country / author / genre / instrument / others
The labels are gradually created as the subsets begin to exceed 20-30 albums. In this way the total number of labels and the labeling of each album is kept to a minimum proportional to the size of the library. Your favorite genres are subdivided into many specialized ones and the least favorite ones into very few. When adding an album to the collection it is enough to label it with 2 or 3 easily remembered labels, eg: “Beethoven Chamber” and “Violoncello & Piano”. When “Beethoven Chamber” has more than 30 albums I will create “Beethoven Violoncello & Piano”, etc.
The tags allow access to the album from different criteria (Author-Genre and Instrumental Formation, in the previous case.
To reduce the number of albums in the more general labels, in these I include only the sub-labels, for example: At one time I include the country labels and in these the authors. That is, it is a hierarchical tree of labels within labels, like folders within folders.

The genre taxonomies on sites like or are absolutely insufficient in some genres (classical and jazz) and conceptually imprecise in the rest.
The AI app can be very useful for discovering remote genres and artists, but very clunky and useless for what is most obvious to a human. At the genres from Spotify’s Big Data are mapped, more than 5,000 currently. But if you look for Mozart’s main genre, one comes up … “ambient music” … :man_facepalming:

1500 Genres found here:

For the complex analysis of these parameters, Spotify has been using an AI since 2015, which currently breaks down the songs into more than 1,500 different genres. The Spotify algorithm also takes regional differences into account.

Every Noise at Once describes it like this:
Every Noise at Once is an ongoing attempt at an algorithmically-generated, readability-adjusted scatter-plot of the musical genre-space, based on data tracked and analyzed for 5,602 genre-shaped distinctions by Spotify as of 2021-10-05

It will surely be due to the different counting method ( regional differences) and the daily update with fuzzy logic.

United States of America 1589
United Kingdom 359
Germany 184

austin singer-songwriter
british singer-songwriter

Yes almost all services fail, but those who collect both track, artist and album genres can achieve somewhat better results and automatically applicable intersections with them

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