I'm losing faith in Roon

[quote=“o0OBillO0o, post:3, topic:7399”]
We all want the Metadata and Art to be near perfect on our computers, you decide what level of mediocrity or perfection you are willing to live with.
[/quote]Agreed, and in the physical media world the record co’s handle all the metadata for product packaging. It’d be great if the record co’s / industry could agree on a common data model for provisioning metadata and collectively contribute their data to a centralised industry repository which interested parties can subscribe to or lo and behold, access gratis… Companies like Rovi could then enhance that metadata and provide it to others for use on a subscription basis, much as they currently do. However, judging by record co’s commercial antics and interests (e.g. Gracenote) and attitude towards digital delivery thus far (read absolutely crap, bare minimum metadata [and independent artists are guilty of this too]) I doubt that it would ever happen.

Roon is showing many shortcomings in Rovi’s metadata and I’ve personally discovered 100’s of mistakes over the years prior to using Roon…but it’s better than nothing. I’m not sure what metadata sources Roon uses (I’m guessing primary sources are Rovi and musicbrainz), but perhaps there’s an argument to supplement it with discogs as well as it seems pretty comprehensive and is free to use. Then there’s Gracenote too…but that again comes at a cost and I’ve no idea whether it’s any better than Rovi’s data. What I will say about Rovi’s metadata is the quality and completeness has declined quite markedly over the years that it transitioned from being owned and managed by passionate music lovers under the guise of allmusic.com to becoming a commercial database that is no longer under the control of allmusic.com.

In due course we’ll have better metadata editing and customisation capability and a cloud based, user groomed data repository has been alluded to so I’m pretty comfortable we couldn’t be in better hands.

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When I first heard of Roon (less than a week ago), my immediate reaction to the person who mentioned it was: " I am suspicious of claims that online music services can do a decent job of curating metadata better than I can". I’ve been burned too many times in the past, particularly by various iterations of Microsoft products that stomp all over my metadata without so much as a by-your-leave…

I’ve just started a trial of Roon to see whether it can do a better job than some of the other services out there. It’s early days, but I’ve already seen that it ain’t perfect. Some album covers are not right. And a quick glance at some lyrics caused my heart to sink. LyricFind is patently bad; typos and transcription errors seem to be the order of the day. Garbage in, garbage out…

Having said that, I fully agree that nothing is 100% perfect, and the question will be is it good enough? That’s a question that everyone has to answer for themselves.

[quote=“Geoff_Coupe, post:5, topic:7399”]
I fully agree that nothing is 100% perfect, and the question will be is it good enough? That’s a question that everyone has to answer for themselves.
[/quote]Agreed and I’ve no doubt that given what will emerge in time the answer for all but a tiny proportion of OCD users will be yes. Personally I’ve been doing computer based audio since the early days of the Squeezebox - I know of nothing that delivers anything remotely comparable to Roon and there’s no way I’d even begin to contemplate going back to a world without biographies, album reviews and the means to explore my music in ways I’d only dreamed of prior to Roon. If you prefer your own metadata configure Roon accordingly and all you’ll see is just that.

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I agree. I have been using Squeeze and Sooloos for 10+ years. Both systems make us use certain somewhat idiosyncratic methods of folder and file management as well as meta tag management.
I also thought “my way” was “correct” and it worked for me.

What I have found with Roon is that I mostly need to revert the CD rips back to native state for the ID to be fully automated. Any of the OCD “correct” management that I did previously becomes largely redundent when using the Roon rich UI.

Examples:-

I appended [192/24], [96/24], etc to all album titles to help me distinguish in squeeze and Sooloos. I don’t need this here.

I ripped 2CD sets as 1 CD with 40 tracks 1-40 rather than CD 1 1-20 and CD 2 1-20. Again, previously systems led me to that.

Fortunately, the forensic focus options in Roon make dicing and slicing some of these historic things very speedy. Using external tag tools to fix or revert data is also quick to do.

As previously mentioned, the UI benefits that are available make the shift away from those previous OCD methods well worth the effort.

That is of course just my experience. Others may feel that their carefully curated file and folder methods must be preserved at all costs. That is fine too.
Roon design can help with some of that but naturally there will be some stuff that it just cannot do

E.g. Unusual characters at the start of tracks and folders.

E.g. Unusual characters at the start of tracks and folders.

Yeah, that’s a bummer. But I think the devs are right to choose cross-platform compatability as a higher priority than those relatively few cases.

cellison - I have exactly the same problem with The Advisory Circle too (great band BTW); see this thread:

I understand that these kind of issues (and a whole host of others) will be fixable when the Roon team implements full metadata editing functionality for users.

In the meantime, they have asked for these kind of problems to be brought to their attention on a case by case basis, on this thread:

Hope this helps!

Thanks for the comments everybody. I think I should explain that I really love Roon and tell everyone I know who is even remotely interested in computer audio about it. It’s because it’s so groundbreaking and unique that it gets me down when something doesn’t work the way I expect it to. When that happens in other software I just shrug it off.

I think my near obsession with tagging and getting my music library “perfect” is also getting in the way. Old habits die hard.

I’m going to do as proposed and point it at my 560GB music folder on my NAS and fix things as I notice them.

Thanks for the very civil replies to my somewhat passionate original post.

Chris

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I agree Roon has great potential to be something special and maybe with that potential we’re willing to wait on Meta Data issues that are causing liner notes and album art mistakes. However the one area that Roon has to get right is ingestion of albums and maintaining the album in its entirety.

There is a good post by roon staff in this forum on how to organize your music before roon does its ingestion. There is no magic there, pretty simple structure that iTunes had already made the standard. But even with this very simple structure after ingestion Roon struggles to get the albums right. Now I’ve seen some meta data issues with my files (e.g. different values in album names, artists, etc) that possibly explains the ingestion errors, but I also see many 100% synchronized meta data that still results in album splitting and totally lost tracks.

Roon needs to consider the file structure as the default album configuration, meta data second. Heck they said as much in this forum regarding the ingestion source.

I can stomach, wait and hope for error free liner notes, album art, etc. But I can’t accept albums split and tracks totally missing. It’s a deal breaker.

What would be extremely useful is a log file of the ingestion so that one could go through it, more easily find the problems and hopefully fix them (Roon are you listening?). A detailed log of ingestion could certainly help and could also help roon too as a bread crumb file to help debug these errors.

Interesting discussion… I, too, felt that I was pretty damn meticulous about tagging my music. When I first used Roon, I found a number of albums that it couldn’t recognize which made me initially question Roon. After all, my tags are right so what’s wrong with Roon?

In probably 95% of the cases I dug into, the problem was in my tags - either bad tags or just inconsistent tags - so not only did I find Roon to be an awesome tool for music playback, but it also greatly assisted me in “cleaning up” my stuff… bad tags I wasn’t even aware of that other tools politely ignored.

Yes, I’ve also found a few areas that Roon struggles a bit with. Like ‘Advisory Circle’ vs ‘The Advisory Circle’, I had problems with ‘Eagles’ vs ‘The Eagles’. (I still wonder… the Eagles or The Eagles?)

In any event, Roon makes it easy to spot and fix these issues by looking for albums not identified and that’s a good thing.

Pretty clear that the band is call Eagles, so the Eagles would be correct.

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Right - In digging I found that the band itself was quite consistent with just ‘Eagles’. but the press and tribute albums not so much. My problem was that a couple of my Eagles albums were incorrectly tagged with ‘The Eagles’ as the Album Artist and the rest just as ‘Eagles’. Roon didn’t identify them all and it took a bit of digging on my part to realize it was my fault with inconsistent tags and folder names. Problem quickly fixed once noticed.

sliced white bread? Roon is beyond macrobiotics, it’s the ongoing process of whole music.

Please see the linked topic for solution to the file/folder munge problems. Short story is that it is all related to SMB having for more character restrictions than AFP. Clean up the restricted characters and problem is resolved.

Except that I’m pointing Roon to an external hard drive attached to the Mac Mini so no SMB in use. Still getting split albums.

I found split album/artist issues also related to track meta data. Some of my ripped CDs resulted in having one or two tracks that identified the album or even the artist differently than the rest of the tracks from the CD. I used XLD to rip CDs to my NAS. I’m unsure if XLD added the inconsistent meta data or that the inconsistency was already there.

As an example I found that XLD ripped one of my live Grateful Dead CDs with the artist set to ‘Grateful Dead’ for all but one track. The one different track had the artist set to ‘The Dead’. It appears Roon made this CD into a compilation, listing the artist for the album as both Grateful Dead and The Dead. The album got stuffed into a separate Artist bucket for this erroneous compilation. Once I found it and confirmed it by reading the meta data via XLD from my NAS, I edited the one song via Roon to Grateful Dead and thought I was done. Well unfortunately not. Roon now list the album as compilation by Grateful Dead and Grateful Dead, still making a separate artist entry for this double artist Grateful Dead album.

I tried then to change the meta data via XLD but for reasons unknown at this point, XLD only is keeping the meta data change on the memory version of the album and isn’t writing it back to the NAS. My only option might be to re-rip the CD to my NAS, making the edits first via XLD before it moves the files. I’m hoping to first find a way to get XLD to fix this than go that route. If anyone knows…

Long winded example but point being to check the meta data track by track carefully to see if there are artist or album inconsistencies there.

Remove the album from your watched folder.

Clean up database (in settings)

Move album back to watched folder.

See if that cures the issue.

Thanks Nick but this won’t resolve the first issue - that the meta data stored on the NAS is incorrect. I first need to clean up the meta data in the FLAC files and then do as you say. Once I figure out an easy way to fix the meta data then I’ll do as you suggest. The hard way to fix is re-rip the CD, making sure the meta data is consistent for all tracks.

Figured out how to save the meta data fixes via XLD. Edit the meta data for the track in question, in this case changing artist to Grateful Dead to match rest of tracks and then hit the Transcode button.

Then when it came to Roon I was able to do it a little easier. Just opened the Edit window for the album and selected the “Re-Scan Album”. Roon fixed the album and properly filed it with all other albums by the same artist. Was pretty simple once I figured out how to re-save the meta data with XLD.

There’s a couple of metadata editing apps for OS X that you might want to check out. Metadatics and Yate are both good. I use Metadatics most of the time. No need to transcode with XLD if the files are already in the format you prefer.

Chris

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puddletag is also worth looking into.