Sounds like roon didn’t identify many of your albums. Most of the views you are having trouble with will not work until you do that. You can get a handle on that by doing a “negative” focus on “identified” albums.
Unfortunately, that may require a lot of tag grooming on your part depending on what your habits were in the past.
Personally, I have had a great deal of trouble importing a large classical library so I just do it album by album. Others have had more success with a batch approach. Seems to vary. You might want to retry an import, maybe of just your Brendel albums to get a handle on what the issues are.
Perhaps it’s worth giving an answer to the title of this thread… My answer would certainly be “yes”.
It’s certainly true that classical metadata from Roon’s suppliers leaves much to be desired. Nonetheless, I have only 19 albums out of 379 classical albums that Roon has not been able to identify, and for these Roon uses the metadata that I have supplied via ID3 metadata tags.
I think my answer would be until the next new thing comes along. I hope roon finds the bandwidth to re-prioritize at least some of these navigation and library management issues. I notice on other threads that issues first being raised by a small classical group are now emerging in other genres on the edge of mainstream pop and jazz.
I think I’ve avoided (in part at least) the “unidentified” albums by setting the import options to “Prefer File.” It means that I’m not really making best use of Roon’s database but I can use Roon as a front end to view and play my music library.
I’ve just been through my entire collection, tagging each album Orchestral, Chamber, Instrumental, Choral, Vocal, Opera. Being able to tag multiple albums in one go meant that the process wasn’t too arduous.
The biggest challenge I seem to have now is that Roon hasn’t imported the “Composer” metadata from iTunes. It’s where I stored information about the performers. So as things stand, the only way to tell who the performers are is by scrutinising the album art. Not ideal. Any suggestions for resolving this?
Now I’m off to audition the microRendu, which I’m interested in using as the interface between my iMac and my Quad hi-fi set-up.
This is a problem brought on by historic workarounds to deal with the reality that composers did not used to get tagged as such. To call attention to the album and make it discoverable, labels and databases did and do still flag composers as Primary Artists, which Roon interprets (or categorizes) as Performers. That’s why Brahms is still around, pounding out new performances.
These false performers can be bulk edited away in Roon, but that begs the issue. Roon should have a DB of composer names and should be able to intercept many/most of these tags from becoming Primary Artists in their system. I’m guessing at this, of course, because they do not discuss how their system works.
Once you cull the composers posing as performers, things generally start working better – suggestions and such.
Thank you for all those suggestions, Mike and John.
Yesterday I went to audition a microRendu to bridge between my iMac and my Quad system. I was impressed and bought one. So today I’ve been setting it up and listening to some music, which after all is what Roon is all about. It’s been great.
It’s left me with little time to investigate my library issues. The issue I’ve come up against already, though, is what to do when an album isn’t on Roon’s database. I’m struggling to understand how one’s supposed to use the following in the Edit Album tab of the Album Editor:
Primary Artist Links
Particularly on a compilation album, there’s more than one album artist but Roon only lets you choose one. What’s your approach?
But my biggest challenge is definitely looking like merging back all those albums I carefully split up. What a nightmare
John, how does one bulk edit away false performers?
For Classical stuff, here’s how I do it (by no means THE model, just an example):
Dvorak: The Complete Edition
Bruckner: Symphony No. 4 in E Major
These I type manually. Early on, I entered these in Roon’s Album Title. Now, I use a tagger to make changes on “live” albums being watched by Roon (yes you can). Roon almost immediately reflects your edits.
Primary Artist Links
There are two flavors: Album PAs and Track PAs. For Album PAs. If I use Roon’s Album Edit, I enter the people and entities that appear on the album cover, including Conductor, Orchestra (or Ensemble), and Soloist(s). See my comment about Roon edits below.
I use Track PAs (edited in Roon by selecting tracks and pressing Edit button top right corner)/ Edit Credits) to add or change any credit particular to the selected track(s). If its a compilation, with different performers and composers on each track, this gets time consuming.
I confess I can’t possibly have the correct workflow here, but this works. After entering your PAs, click on the AA edit box, and manually type each PA in there exactly as it appears, separating them with a ’ / '.
Work first at the track level, then to the album level. For Album Primary Artist(s), you can either: include everyone, choosing one at a time; create one “artificial artist”, e.g. “von Karajan & LPO”; or just use Various Artists catchall. I usually go with #1 unless there are many, in which case I go with #3. #2 irks me because the resulting link won’t link to anything.
The good news is that Roon never touches your files when you are “editing”. That’s also (perhaps) the bad news. Depends on your perspective. Personally, I have mistakenly wiped out an album’s edits by thoughtlessly re-identifying it or changing its numbering in Roon. So now, I do most all edits in a tagger, then switch over to Roon to see my changes reflected.
I agree, Philip, that merging back all those albums will be a challenge, and I’m not sure how to advise you on the best workflow. My approach, were it me/I, would be first to physically move all tracks of an album into one folder. While not strictly necessary (at all), it provides an audit trail of sorts should any merges go astray. Then, either with taggers or Roon, I would renumber tracks to their original state. THEN, see what Roon spits back at you.
That is freeware technically yes but please support the continued development of mp3tag if you use it regularly. I have been using it very occasionally over the years but constantly since becoming a Roon lifer, so please support it if you use frequently:
This will be the main reason roon is not making identifications in your library. Putting everything back into album based sub-directories however will likely not be enough. At the very least you are going to have to re-number all your tracks. You might be lucky but by the sounds of things you will likely find there are a lot of gaps and inconsistencies in your tags. This has probably been long hidden if you were successfully using your directory structure as your primary navigation tool. Roon just doesn’t work that way. It needs a critical mass of clean, basic tags in order to make an identification.
You don’t need to tag everything. If roon makes an identification it does a pretty good job of filling in the gaps but it does need a critical mass of basic tags in the first place. You will need to straighten that out with a 3rd party external tagger. Trying to do that from roon is not really the way to go. I use mp3tag for this which has been mentioned by several posters.
This long list of editing workflow rings very true to me. I would say on average it takes me about 20 plus mins to upload and id a single album.
The low hanging fruit in my library has long gone. What’s left are unsupported cue’s, apes, iso’s and complicated box sets. As I have started to understand roon better I am finding that 20 mins often turns into an hour. Merging compositions for example often leads me down a rabbit hole where I end up re-tagging or re-identifying other albums I assumed were ok from batch uploads months ago. It’s been quite an eye opener to realise that Just because roon makes an id does not mean it got it right.
I have used iTunes to record my CDs and save purchased music. I find that iTunes typically doesn’t get the metadata “right”. I usually need to correct the “artist” and “album artist” and always uncheck the box saying it’s a “compilation”, as that messes up the organization of the album. I do that just after downloading and importing, or recording a new CD.
Roon seems to figure out all the stuff that iTunes messes up, at least most of it.
I find that iTunes does this with all sorts of music, including classical.