It must be possible to play from folder

I’ve bought a Roon subscription

I like what it does, however I have one main problem.
I need, quite often, to find a specific folder in my 6TB music collection. I first try searching on roon - and if I can’t find it there I go to foobar and search there using ‘folder view’. Then I can generally find my folder. I need a way to play this in Roon without delay. Is this possible?

thanks for your help!

I’m sure there’s many ways to do this. However, Roon does not and will not support folder view. With that out the way. I sometimes make folders with random music in them as playlists. I then set it as a
compilation and then number the tracks 1-50, etc. That then shows up in Roon as an album and I play it from there.

Another way would be to make playlists which mirror your tracks in a folder.

Others will be along and offer their suggestions.

Roon are absolutely against Folder Browsing as @Formula says. It been raised endless times and the COO has replied categorically NO

I have to ask why do you need to find a folder to play music. I have not done this in about 9 years using LMS and now Roon. Search or filter to find what you want. If it’s a mixed up folder full of random stuff then find them all once and add a Roon tag to them, then use a focus for that tag and save it as a bookmark. You only need to do it once and then it’s easy to show what’s in it.

If you insist on folder browsing being the only way to find your music then look elsewhere as Roon isn’t for you. There are many ways to do what you want in Roon that initially take a bit of time to get used to or are just a one off and then you wonder why your ever thought folder browsing was a good idea.

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Did you try “filter” instead of search?

Before I purchased I did understand that I’d have to compromise and find a new way of working - I still think it might be worth the effort. However - not all folders show up in Roon despite being in a sensible place in my file system. I’m willing to learn how to make to them work - but meanwhile - and 6.5TB is a long meanwhile, I need to find stuff that I need - and play it with minimum fiddling. (Music is my profession). If I can’t do that I have to use another program for search, which I’m happy to do, but then I cant use Roon’s amazing network playback - so, i dunno.

I’m not sure this helps, does it?

I’ve tried ‘filter by path’ in the Tracks view but this isn’t very readable unless the track can be somehow grouped into the folders they are in.


Just so I can be clear - this is what I was looking for this morning - Roon found only 4 instances of ‘swan’ - I know I know, I’m sure I could put some work in to make it find more.
Meanwhile, foobar finds things in ‘unexpected places’ that my Human Intelligence finds very exciting. Sometimes I can re-search roon in a different way so that it finds them - but thats a hassle. I just need a ‘play in Roon’ option!

Ah I see. Seems like I’ve touched an already painful nerve!

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Sometimes I find it easier to find files using the artist/album/track filter instead of search, when search doesn’t find what I’m looking for. But files still need to be properly tagged for this to work.

Looks like I made a mistake with this purchase doesn’t it.
How many people in here with large collections have the time to check everything is properly tagged? And how can you check - without looking at the folders/files themselves?

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Roon expects to see the contents of an album as tracks in a folder, and it will associate the folder with an album release, when it successfully identifies the tracks as belonging to that particular album.

If you have ripped your CDs such that the tracks of each CD reside in a named folder, then Roon is in a good position to identify the CD and the album release that it represents.

You have your own structure - mixing up the tracks from different CDs and putting them into folders following a Composition naming structure. Roon is not going to be able to identify the source CDs, and will mark the resulting “albums” as unidentified.

Roon will then fall back and use any file metadata that is present in the tracks to display the content of the albums. Have you got the Settings > Library > Import settings set such that your file metadata is preferred? That may help, but I fear you are going to be fighting Roon all the way with your current files and folder naming structure.


There is a free trial option and a monthly subscription.

Personally, I don’t have a problem with this. I have Roon precisely because I don’t have time to tag everything in detail, and Roon did most of the work correctly for me, which enabled me to take care manually of the artists that I care most about, if Roon didn’t get it perfectly (smaller and non-Anglo-American, so to be expected)

It’s not generally necessary to have file tags (beyond album artist and title) for Roon to do its magic.

I still sometimes check my folders in the file browser of the computer. Roon doesn’t take away the File Explorer of Windows, the Finder of Mac, or tagging tools like mp3tag. The only thing is that it doesn’t have a folder view within Roon.

But yeah, Roonlabs has a vision and one either goes with it or uses other software

Thanks. I don’t have much mixed up stuff - most folders have just one ripped CD with varying levels of metadata. And yes, I have file preferred in Import settings.

My point is that I do understand how Roon does things and I AM willing to change my habits of a lifetime! But the lack of a reasonable workaround until I get everything tagged means that I’m always going to be missing stuff.

Also the ‘filter by path’ in track view is buggy? Some quite reasonable searches come up with ‘Try removing some focus material’ - for example ‘op.20’

I agree, what it does is great. However my 6.5TB is a lifetimes music collection and its absurd to blame the files themselves for being invisible - they’ve just been sitting there waiting to be played for 20 years sometimes.

There is no point to a folder view, even externally, if you can’t play files from it.

Please no more replies saying ‘Personally I don’t have a problem’. Good I’m glad you don’t!
I think I have set out my problem clearly and am willing to look at and discuss any possible workarounds.

Composition browser should help better for finding specific compositions

No one, but at the end of the day, roon does what roon does.

I would take a closer look at mp3tag. It has a lot of bulk editing features that enable the auto extraction of tags from your folder structure. It looks as with a folder structure as organised as yours you would benefit. Another route is something like Songkong which autotags on the basis of sonic signatures rather than folder structure. Both options will help shorten the migration process but it could be a very long road depending on how large your library is and how you have organised it.

TBH, if I was starting again I wouldn’t start from here. I would start by re-building my library with a Qobuz or Tidal subscription. I would only fill the gaps with my local files where the streaming platforms don’t have a copy or don’t have the master I prefer.

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