MusicBrainz correctly identified George and Ira Gershwin as the composer and lyricist, respectively, of “Someone to Watch Over Me.” Roon correctly identified the composer and lyricist for one performance of this song, but did not include this metadata for a different performance of the same song. Every performance of this song should credit George Gershwin as the composer and Ira Gershwin as the lyricist. I don’t understand why Roon doesn’t do this automatically.
We’re told that if we correct the metadata in our own files, we will miss out when Roon finally corrects the metadata. Yet, if Roon can’t handle a simple case like this, how likely is it that Roon will be able to fix the more problematic cases? I’m not trying to give anyone a bad time here, but this situation is pretty frustrating.
In your screenshots you have an example where roon has “identified” the composition and one where it has not. You can tell whether roon has identified the composition if there is a “library” and/or a “disk” symbol with a counter next to the track. So for example in my roon I have 42 local identified versions of “Someone to Watch Over Me” and 1,643 Qobuz versions:
If roon has identified the album but not one or more individual track performances, then you are going to see exactly what you describe. An inconsistent population of composer/lyricist fields. In these cases you are going to have to manually add the composers and lyricists to your local files and/or go to the composition editor and “merge” the unidentified performance with the identified ones. Unfortunately, there is no guarantee this will work as it is not at all clear how roon decides a track is a composition so that these sorts of composition edits may or may not work.
Of course it is not practical to manually identify every Pop/Jazz composition in your library that roon has not identified. There doesn’t seem to be a sufficiently large critical mass of motivated users to report and fix these problems at source either (unlike the valence artist art excercice where crowd sourcing did seem to work). Personally I just limit the editing effort to a handful of favorites with Pop and Jazz genres. Many with large Classical libraries however spend a great deal of time manually identifying compositions as beyond a certain size library it becomes impossible to navigate in any other way.
PS: Also from your screenshots you seem to add dates and recording locations etc. to the track names. My experience is that I get a far higher proportion of identified performances just using the canonical composition names that roon is expecting. It was common in previous generations of players to overload album and track names with all sorts of identifiers. But roon has separate fields for this sort of information which can be stored in the ID3 tags instead.
Yup. Confirm I do this. The “unidentified” Focus filter is very helpful to see how much is there. But I really take these one at a time when I stumble on one.
Yes. I’ve had good results using Picard to tag my albums with the “Classical Extras” extension enabled. It’s very slow - especially with some larger box sets - but the result is very rich ID3 tags and standard filenames. I’ve also been able to make it recognize all box sets instead of scattering them as separate albums by allowing Picard to restructure the output to put all disks in the same location and numbering them as “[DISK]-[TRACK INDEX] [TRACK TITLE].flac”
Occasionally there are inconsistent Composition IDs (e.g. I think Vivaldi’s Quattro Stagioni exists as different compositions) but on the whole the success factor with Roon is astounding. It literally brought my 900-cd collection to life, ~15 years after I ripped them. And I get to find alternative recordings in a way previously only tediously possible via allmusic.com or concertmaster.com
I only mentioned Classical in passing. The OP’s concern is Vocal Jazz standards. I have a very mixed library and my experience is very much what the OP is describing. Once outside Classical the identification hit rate by roon is much poorer and requires a lot more manual intervention. I’ve tried using auto-tag tools like Picard and Songkong, but in the main they did not work for me, especially with non-Classical genres. Those sorts of tools may help those with libraries with few tags that rely on overloaded album and track titles for navigation instead.
Didn’t mean to focus on classical, just mentioned that I use the extension. I’m not sure in how much it affects the Roon identification/meta-data results.
My collection is maybe 60% classical (due to box sets), rest jazz (and a tiny bit of pop). I do recognize it’s sometimes harder to identify the correct release especially with compilations/re-releases, which happens way more frequently than with classical. When it happens for classical, though, I find it is at least as hard/harder to resolve than for my jazz collection.
I tend to resolve the unidentified releases with the help of Picard/Discogs though, and after doing that it typically identifies correctly in Roon or there is simply no online (valence) metadata for it at all. Even in that case, the enriched ID3 tags lead to a decent experience.
Thanks for your quick and detailed reply. It’s nice knowing what those little album symbols mean. FYI, I began using Roon in last month.
One of the things about software that drives me crazy is inconsistency for no apparent reason. As you noted, I often add metadata to the title of the song. In fact, I generally cut and paste the metadata, so the title of most tracks of the same song are identical except for the release date or sometimes the recording date. Thus, I had to wonder why Roon recognizes one track but not another track. Another thing I find annoying is that some tracks identify the composer and lyricist separately, while other tracks combine them as “composer.” The same can be said for combining the composer and arranger as “composer.” Now, I have a better understanding of the problem. Of course, another problem is the lack of agreement regarding the definitions of “composer,” “lyricist,” and “songwriter.”