I am having a huge issue with my classical music library

Good day to all! I am currently running the Roon trial and was impressed with the ease of installation and how well it works for Sonos and iPad (not iPhone since equalization is not supported - lame). But I have one big issue (besides the iPhone issue) which probably will make me not purchase a lifelong license:

The identification of classical music is outright terrible. Roon can probably not identify around 50% of my classical albums. I tried to fix some manually but major 80s releases, e.g. from Karajan, are not in the database. My Bela Bartok complete edition can be found, but only half of the 30 albums. The Deutsche Grammophon 100 CD edition - all unknown to the database. The list goes on.

Since I believe Roon argues that its extremely high price is due to the database access the company is paying for … I wonder if some additional sources can be obtained. JRiver and even Plex (!) does a better job on this.


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Welcome. You’re not alone in complaining about box set metadata. The main problem is the proliferation of big, bargain, classical box sets. The Rovi metadata supplier seems to avoid providing anything except cover art for box sets with more than four or five discs.

The situation is better for individual discs (and discs from box sets that match previous individual releases). I find that it helps to play with the artist and album fields in the “manual search” dialog.

I’d cut Roon a little slack on the multiple supplier idea. When I rip CDs, a disc with no metadata is extremely rare. That’s because the ripper program uses many metadata sources. But for the same reason, the data is very inconsistent, with problems such as composers in the artist tag. Unless Roon can learn to map metadata from multiple sources into consistent formats, using more data sources invites problems.

If you do a search on classical box sets, you’ll find more than you’ll want to read.

Best wishes,

Hi @Jan_Michael — Thanks for reaching out!

Generally, if you can find information on an album on AllMusic or MusicBrainz, we will have metadata for an album.

When it comes to box sets, I definitely recommend that you take a look at our article in the Knowledge Base on this subject. This article details the best way to organize your box sets so that Roon can best identify them.

Thanks for all your helpful replies. I renamed my 29-disk Bartok Set according to the given conventions. It helped “somewhat” but is still a mess. E.g. do my tracks (all identified) from disk 4 onwards not match the data provided by Roon. I know that mine are right (ripped the set by myself) so I wanted to tell Roon to use the local file data. Will using under metadata selecting “use local file name” for disk apply to all, or only a selected disk. In this regard, I also seem to miss how to select multiple albums all at once? If so I could not find how to do this. Sorry for the noob questions.

You can select multiple albums in the album browser and then use the Edit function to set them to prefer your file metadata, in preference to using Roon’s metadata.

Selection can be done by right-clicking or press-and-hold (for a touch interface). You can also select ranges (e.g. in Windows: select the first album, then Shift-left-click the last album in the range. Ctrl-left-click will toggle the selection of an album).

Once you’ve got your albums selected, see the “Bulk Edits” section here .

BTW, a “box-set” is treated as a single album with multiple discs, so selecting “Prefer File” for metadata fields will apply to all the discs in the set.

Thanks for all the comments. But I show you here an example of my problems with classical music. I have two 111 years collections of Deutsche Grammophon, these two versions were issued with different sets of 56+55 cds. I followed the guide and renamed based on the instruction. So, now the first box set shows up perfect, the second not at all despite all being properly named. Since it is not showing up in Roon even under not identified or any search, I assume it is not in the library. What steps can I still do after reripping, tagging, and seeing that the first set is perfectly there and the second none at all…

I think you’re going to have to give us some more information to help diagnosis. Is it possible that Roon thinks that the two versions are duplicates of a box-set called “111 years of Deutsche Grammophon”? What happens if you go into the Album Browser and use Focus/Inspector/Duplicates - does it show the two versions then?

Thanks for the reply. No, “111 years of Deutsche Grammophon” does not show up as duplicate.

Hi @Jan_Michael,

Deutsche Grammophon released several variations of these boxes all with similar names. Roon is aware of several of these boxes but you will need to “manually” identify them. It’s not clear from your post but I think you are trying to identify a 56 CD Release 2 version. If you go into “3 dots->edit->identify album->none of these look right” and put these search terms in

“Various Artists” in the artist field

“111: The Collectors Edition 2 [Limited Edition]” in the album field

Then a 56 CD Release 2 box will show up (you might have to scroll down the list a bit). Not sure if its the one you are looking for but it is worth a try.

You probably just want to get as many identifications as you can at the moment but you may want to consider a different strategy with large box sets like this. You will find boxes this big very difficult to navigate in roon and may prefer to identify each CD singly rather than as part of a box, especially if the box is structured in an “original jackets” style. There are endless posts on this topic going back years so you are not the first one who is frustrated by box set handling and classical music handling in general in roon.

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The issue is that the 2nd box set does not show up in the library at all (and yes, it is the version 2 release). Only release 1 is showing up, and is properly assigned. I am now trying to combine both sets in one folder sorted CD 1-111 since there entries in the database covering this combination. But thanks anyway, willkeep you posted.

When that has happened to me it is usually because roon has split the box up into separate CD’s. If you have uploaded a lot of albums in one go it can be confusing as it is not obvious where the box is as in this scenareo it can be scattered all over the place on the albums screen “hiding in plain sight”. Because of outcomes like this I only add one album at a time to roon so that I can see what exactly has happened. Especially if something has gone wrong.

Make sure you have a backup. The best thing when roon is in this state is to delete the box and “clean library” so that you can start all over again. Apologies if you have already done this but I find the following editing steps normally does the trick.

  1. Put everything in subdirectories named CD01, CD02, CD03 etc.

Big Box

  1. Label all the disc numbers 1/56, 2/56, 3/56 etc.

  2. Make sure the album title is exactly the same for every CD. For example label all 56 album titles as just “Big Box” and not “Big Box CD1”, “Big Box CD2” etc.

  3. I often find that tagging with the record label and catalogue number helps with troublesome albums. If your tags are not in great shape many have had success with auto-taggers like SongKong.

  4. Upload the album to your watched folder again.

I would be surprised if the box set does not then show up in roon but you might have to go through the manual identification process in my first post.

I tried all and latest put all 111 albums in one folder to correspond with the identified matching entry in Roon. Still, album 56-111 (the second set) is not recognized. I even tagged both sets with tagr, no change. I REALLY do not understand why Roon is not recognizing the set, it bothers me not to find the reason. Anyway, giving up now with the set and probably Roon. But thanks for all the advice and suggestions.

OK, not giving up on Roon yet :). The tracks finally appeared in the library, after

  1. I changed and re-changed all permissions on the NAS (no difference) and
  2. rebooted all - Nas & Computer

Working now. Phew!

Get SongKong and your problems will be over.


Thank you!!! SongKong looks very promising, I am currently getting the lite version and will upgrade if I like it.

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I do like it!!! Thanks for the recommendation, it helped a lot with identification. Some CDs still remain unfindable to Roon, but they are admittedly obscure. Regards

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For artist-based large classical sets, I mostly use my own metadata, derived from the box set itself notes, and from the web, especially Wiki and Google Image searches. If the contents of the set are really important to me, I break it up into individual albums (mostly 1 Disc, multiple if a single work crosses multiple discs). I choose the most appropriate covers if the disc did not exist as a single disc in earlier release, and photoshop the hell out of them if necessary. If it’s an unreleased broadcast concert I create my own covers from web photos, with a little Nipper EMI thingy in the upper left corner and nice fonts and colors for the lettering. (If you don’t want to pay the now obligatory Adobe PS subscription, I find that Affinity Photo for $50 outright purchase is a really good substitute, with a fair learning curve).