How to preserve MY metadata when moving to Roon

I have made a difficult decision to abandon my Naim Uniti Core and its nice iOS interface and move to Roon. I have been meticulous with my Metadata which has been well managed by Naim’s product. How do I get Roon to give my metadata priority when I turn my SSD file over to Roon. I did a brief 5 day trial with Roon and was not happy with the choices Roon made with its metadata decisions.

Can I override Roon? If so, how do I do that?

FWIW, the reason I’m switching away from Naim and moving to Roon is because I have four stereo systems and I’d have to buy a lot more Naim gear to get them to play together. Roon will do that for me without buying anything else.

Hi Janet,

When running Roon for the first time, it will scan your files and apply Roon’s metadata. Roon won’t touch your files (except delete, if you choose to delete something).

After you import your music, you will be able to change Roon’s import settings to use Roon’s metadata, your File Tags or both.

You can read about it here.

You can also edit metadata preferences on a by track or album basis.

More info here.

Here’s a link to the Roon User Guide.

Feel free to post if you have any questions.

Cheers, Greg

I am full of questions. Here’s one.

  1. My metadata has one field for Artist. Much of my music has multiple artists, so I add their names as a string, so For example, my artist field might look like this
    John Smith Barry Jones Jack Armstrong Sonia Nelson Arthur Peterson
    What will Roon do when it sees this? I don’t want to have to edit them in again if I can avoid it.The documentation talks about using nulls as delimiters. It looks like a lot of nulls. So I’m worried I’ll have to re-edit everything.

  2. Most of my music has a composer and title. Usually the Title field is filled in nicely and automatically using this convention:
    Composer: Title
    Occasionally the metadata doesn’t come in this way, instead the System does this to the metadata:
    Artist: Composer
    . I override that and I have edited all my metadata so it follows the more common convention, Composer: Title, and then I remove the composer from the Artist field and add the string of performers as in the example in 1 above.
    I don’t really understand the documentation here. Does it say that Roon will override my editing when it first runs and I will have to go in and re-edit it all over again before I can force Roon to accept my version?

  3. I’ve called Artist, Title, etc fields. Does Roon call them File Tags?

If you tell Roon to prefer your metadata (yes, File Tags in Roon parlance) over what it knows about the album in its own online database, then Roon will create an artist called “John Smith Barry Jones Jack Armstrong Sonia Nelson Arthur Peterson” instead of five distinct (and already known to Roon) artists. To help Roon distinguish between multiple artists, you need to use delimiters, thus: John Smith; Barry Jones; Jack Armstrong; Sonia Nelson; Arthur Peterson. So I’m afraid to help Roon recognise artists from your metadata, you’re going to have to do some editing.

The default of Roon, and what will happen the first time it scans a watched folder, is to use its own online database first to try and identify albums (and hence compositions, performers and composers). If it can’t identify an album, then it will use the files’ metadata to try and construct the data about the album (and the compositions, performers and composers). That’s when properly constructed metadata becomes important. This article lists best practice for metadata (file tags).

You can change the import setting defaults at any time, and Roon will use the changed setting to reconstruct what it knows about your library. You can also change the preferences (Roon’s database or file tags) on a single album or a selection of albums to fine tune its knowledge. That’s done by first selecting an album or albums, and then going into the album editor.

The important thing to remember is that Roon will only read your file metadata, it will never write any file metadata during normal operation. Any editing you do in Roon is done solely to Roon’s internal database. If you want to edit your file metadata directly, you will need a third party editor (e.g. Mp3tag or dbPoweramp).