I meticulously manage my tags, is Roon right for me?

As the title states, I take my tags very seriously. Genres, artist names, album titles, release dates, etc. are all chosen by me specifically because of how I want them to be represented in a list. I’m currently using JRiver and functionally it works great but the UI is clunky. So I’m looking for other options.

After playing with it for a while, I’m wondering if Roon is right for me. When I first added my audio library to Roon, it added lots of its own suggestions and groupings and in general made a mess of things. So I set everything to prioritize file data and re-imported the library. However, many of the old groupings still remain. Is there a way to delete all of Roon’s local meta-data? Will un-install+reinstall clear this out?

I don’t want Roon to group similarly-named albums together (e.g. the original release + the remastered edition.) I don’t want Roon to advise me of similar artists. I don’t want Roon to look up composer or producer information and associate it with my albums. In short, I don’t want Roon to do anything but tell me what is already in the tags.

So my broader question is: Am I going to be constantly fighting Roon on these matters, or is there a way to make this work? I figure there’s got to be someone else out there like me in this regard.

Any feedback is appreciated.

Probably. My experience has been that Roon works best (and your satisfaction using it peaks) when you let it do its thing.


Unless you want to use roon for specific reasons on playback/DSP/multiroom I can’t see what you would get from Roon.

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In my opinion, the value of roon is in the database, similar artists, and the weaving in of Roons knowledge of my music. It seems that if you don’t want to use that, there isn’t much left except the mechanics of bit quirting. For me, roon wouldn’t be worth the price without the polish Roon adds to my music.

I am very careful with my tags, genres, names, etc and I came from nearly 20 years of iTunes where my tags determined how things looked in my views, as well as where the files were stored on disk… I let Roon molest my music on import and with only a few exceptions it got things the way I like them. But I don’t mind the grouping of different versions of the same album (mono, original, import, remaster etc).


Yes. If you’re meticulous about displaying things your way, Roon will bother you endlessly. For me, Roon’s advantage is that I don’t have to enter everything into tags.



I am like you with my music and my tags but I really like Roon. Usually when you change your import settings, like using your own tags over Roon’s tags, Roon automatically Re-scans your library and makes the changes like they were new imports. If this does not work and you want to try a fresh start, you have to delete the Roon database and all backups before you re-import everything. Un-installing and re-installing doesn’t get rid of those always depending on your set up. There are plenty of import settings that you can use to have Roon use your tags instead of Roon’s data. One example; If you don’t want Roon to group the different versions of the same album together you can turn on the setting called “Show Hidden Tracks and Albums” in the “General” settings tab. This causes Roon to show all different versions of an Album as if they are separate albums.

As for tagging albums, there is only 1 app that I know of that has settings specific for Roon and that is Yate, but it is only for Mac. So if you have a Mac, it is the tagger to use as it has settings to automatically format the tags and how they are written into the file so that Roon recognizes them, but other apps and programs still recognize them as well.

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I also manage my file tags thoroughly. I love roon:

  • No other system that I’m aware of combines it’s ease of finding music in my library via links between artists, composers, compositions, etc.
  • roon is scrupulous about preserving sound quality
  • roon’s tags, focus, bookmarks, playlists, etc allow me to structure how I listen exactly the way I want to. There’s great flexibility, and no imposed structure.
  • roon allows me to manage my collection the way I want to. I can keep the 75% of my collection that I am rarely interested in out of view until the moment I want to track down a specific rendition of something I have.
  • roon works flawlessly on my network and with my distributed audio systems
  • roon keeps getting better

Thanks for the replies, all.

I can keep the 75% of my collection that I am rarely interested in out of view until the moment I want to track down a specific rendition of something I have.

How exactly are you doing this, are you using Roon’s tag concept?

I also manage my tags but like Roon. You can set Roon to prefer your tags over it’s database. It doesn’t work perfectly, so you will have to do some management, but it works pretty well. The rest of the features of Roon are so good that I put up with a bit of playing with the tags to get it all to work the way I want.

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I actively use JRiver (9 years) and Roon (3 years) in parallel. I also meticulously manage my tags in JRiver so my comments are from experience

Firstly the 2 packages do very different things, they share a common set of features such as playback but when it comes to display, navigation etc they are quite different almost to teh point of not being comparable.

JRiver allows the customisation of Views via its expression language so what you see on your screen and more importantly on your “Remote” , iPad etc is very much down to your design .

Roon is “what you are given”

The big difference to me is that JRiver requires a lot of manual input to achieve the end result , Roon is pretty well automatic . For me after years of computer bashing , its quite a relief not to have do this manual tagging with the consequent ailments, neck issues, capel tunnel etc . BUT by not doing it you are at the “mercy” of Roon. Roon auto data is not 100% but its pretty good unless you are into obscure genres etc.

The other biggy is Tidal (& Qobuz) integration , it is very tight in Roon and much better than the Tidal native app and API. If you ant to stream this will persuade you. JRiver on the other hand “Will Never” , according to their CEO, support on demand streaming a la Tidal . He doesn’t see it as a finacially viable option

Roon’s Discovery options are to me a major selling point.

I am an avid classical fan and find navigation very different between the 2 systems, simply to use Roon for classical you may have to rethink how you get to the piece you want. Box Sets are a nightmare , there is no facility to identify individual discs within a set.

I could go (and do !!) .My best advise is to complete your free trial and sign up for a “Long term paid trial” ie a One Year Subscription. 2 weeks trial simply doesn’t scratch the surface , if after 12 months you still don’t get on with it its $120 spent BUT …

My vote FWIW, I use Roon 95% of the time, JRiver via DLNA for occasions where box sets are an issue. I navigate now by Artist not by Composer as I did, I tend to use the Composition browser occasionally and set Bookmarks and Tags to ease the searching . You need time to see if this type of approach suits you . I am very unlikely to abandon Roon in favour of JRiver.

Best Of Luck – Go For It and see, you will find this Community very supportive and helpful in your journey. If you wish to PM me feel free.

sorry for the length…



The approach I use is to keep different tiers of music in different folders. I then enable and disable those folders via Settings > Storage [enable/disable].

I have three tears/folder:

  1. Music I always want to be available. This is roughly the 1200 albums that I want to visually browse through and always be present.
  2. Another, much larger set of albums in another folder hierarchy of things that I want to have for occasional listening when the mood strikes me, but don’t want to have cluttering my focus results.
  3. A third set that are reference only. I keep them for very occasional (a couple times a year in total, perhaps) use.

I then toggle them as sets in and out of active database use by enabling or disabling them in Setting > Storage.

I realize this is eccentric, and not really conceptually on how roon is intended to be used, but it works super well for my needs, and highlights roon’s flexibility.

Doesn’t that thrash your HDD ?

Putting a folder in will start the import process , analysis etc . I assume you don’t clean your db very often, not doing so may keep the data ?

Even changing one tag sets off reimport

From the knowledge base.

When browsing your library Roon hides duplicates by default, but you can turn this off at any time from the General tab of Settings by toggling the Show Hidden Tracks And Albums option.

One could also do it with Tags. Create a tag for each tier, and then use the “not Tag” (unselect) to hide that set of music. A Bookmark for each collection of tags would allow you select the respective views easily.

Given your description of what you want, or don’t want, think Roon will frustrate you.

Exactly! roon gives us structural freedom to solve challenges in a way that works well for us individually, rather than forcing us down a single, compromised path. You can accomplish this (and any number of other challenges) via storage, tags, ratings, bookmarked focus, etc.

I don’t know of another system that provides this kind of freedom

Regarding fighting roon inre tags vs their database, I find that roon never overrides my tags. That said, I benefit from the roon db associating tracks into works even when I don’t have works tags in the files.

I disagree completely. JRiver let’s you construct arbitrary views of arbitrary complexity. You want Jazz music sorted by Bass Player in reverse date order you can have it. Roon can’t do that. JRiver lets you search using any of the tags you have or can compute. Roon can’t do that. And the query wizard lets you construct queries giving you the equivalent of AND And OR. Roon can’t do that. What you get with Roon is integration with Qobuz or Tidal, a very poor search, fixed views, and very restricted ability to construct your own versions of views using Bookmarks. You have to decide whether the advantages outweighs the disadvantages. If you have a meticulously curated library, dont use Qobuz or Tidal, aren’t fussed about reviews, and want more than the standard Album/Artist/Track view then Roon is quite possibly not for you.


I’m afraid I’m not familiar with JRiver so I can’t compare them.

That said, doing something like:
Composer = Beethoven OR Mozart
Artist equal to Barenboim
and reverse date order it
is straightforward in roon (as would be Artist not equal to Barenboim)

It’s true that it does not support the full boolean complexity of a robust db language, but I essentially never run into a query that care about that I can’t satisfy in roon.

Right enough, I picked a poor example, so I edited it out of my post, but more generally I would expect to be able to use any arbitrary number of tags, including ones I had defined myself - after all, why have tags if you can’t use them - and to be able to combine them in any way I fancy, both for queries and for views. Roon constrains you to it’s way of looking at things. There are so many frustrating things. The queries don’t work over Qobuz, just your library. You can’t find just whole works, Roon treats an aria as being an example of a whole opera, - Roon tells me there are 1243 version of the Bach Matthew Passion when there aren’t. Many frustrations. I live with them because I use Qobuz. But if I was the o/p and had spent a lot of time with JRiver getting things the way I liked them, and I didn’t have Qobuz, I would find Roon frustrating and inflexible.

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