I've gone metadata crazeee... Help is needed

Hi all,

Since moving over to Roon from iTunes in March last year a whole new world of music enjoyment has opened to me, but also a lot of headache… Let me explain.

iTunes only had a limited number of meta tags supported while Roon has a lot! I decided to start over with my ripping project when I moved to Roon but I am increasingly getting very “tired” of my process. The problem is I tend to add TOO much information. Or at least that is what I think I am doing.

Previously I used to dispense with composers and leave it at artist, album and year. But now I find myself adding composers, producers, remixers, etc. all for linking in Roon so that I can explore these links and go further down the rabbit hole…

What is the general view on this in the community? I am reluctant to leave the fields to Roon although I am very impressed with what they provide through their meta data providers.

Do you:

  1. Put in the bare minimum? Life is too short.
  2. Bare minimum plus some extras?
  3. Full monty?

Let me know your thoughts!

All the best

But isn’t the point that roon adds this information for you. That’s kinda what you’re paying for, a metadata service.

I didn’t add any of that information to my library but it’s all there courtesy of roon.

Sounds like you’re doing a little “belt and braces” here

I’d recommend doing the basics for non classical - album, artist, album artist, title, year, genre, track no - and a bit more for classical - composer, conductor, etc - load it in Roon and see how it looks. To the point @David_Crosbie1 made , Roon will add much if not most of the other info your adding without your work. Then if you see albums that don’t have what you want you could do more work on them. The ones that need work will typically be the ones Roon can’t identify and you can find these by using focus on albums (albums -> focus -> inspector -> select identified -> then click on identified to turn it red). Have fun!

Hi David, yes, I am thinking about “life after Roon” sort of speak if I ever change my music software. I would then like to have everything load there as well, but on the other hand what’s not to say those tags will NOT show up properly in that software.

Thanks for your input!

Hi Craig, yes that is actually a good idea. Perhaps load it into Roon and see what the result is and continue (if needs be) from there.

Is this the approach you apply to your process?

I found out the other day that if you decide to leave roon you can do an export. The export adds the basic metadata to the files for you. So you’d never be left with nothing.

You basically hit the nail on the head - when Roon identifies a recording then the metadata is usually fleshed out to some degree. What I have noticed of late is that for many new recordings that are identified by Roon the metadata is rather poor, which was/is not the case with many older recordings.

There are other options:

Create and keep a simple text file with information on the recording. Since Roon is network based you can then view the information file on whatever device you are using to view and control Roon. However this approach does not give you the hyperlinks that make Roon so useful.

Any time a discussion is started about metadata I tend to chime in since I find that Roon is going one way (collecting as much metadata as is available) while the metadata providers upon whom Roon depends are going in the opposite direction and providing less and less useful metadata. Meanwhile Roon continues to charge it’s users for access to metadata which just isn’t there.

1 Like

Yes it is Ralph. I take some careful care with classical albums also make sure Work, Work ID, Section and Part tags are filled in (I’m using Yate from www.2manyrobots.com for meta data editing and this is possible there) so that if the Roon classical info is bad, I can revert to my file tags and still see a properly organized album. You may or may not want to do this.

Thank you all for your replies.

I also use Yate and find not only the software but the customer support to be stellar. Highly recommended app!

One question that just occurred to me - if Roon’s tags are sparse and the meta data on Roon’s side gets update - will that filter down to the album in my library or doe sone have to re-scan/identify the album for those changes to take effect?

1 Like

Hmm. A really good question. I don’t know. Let’s see if @support can answer this one.

I can highly recommend Beets (music library management) https://beets.io/
I use it as a “pre-processor” before importing my ripped discs into Roon.
It allows me to choose the specific release version with data from Musicbrainz and Discogs, which greatly helps Roon’s identifying capability.

It filters down, but may not be immediate. Think of your Roon database as a constantly evolving repository of information.

Prior to 1.7 I did a lot of work on file tags to get consistency and to fill in holes in the data Roon was supplying. Since 1.7 Roon’s metadata is hugely richer and less error prone (I’m looking at you TiVo), so it’s become unnecessary to do much at all unless the album isn’t recognized by Roon.

Thanks. I’m clear on how additional metadata - credits, lyrics, etc - can be added to the db over time and enhance an already identified album, But if an album is not identified because there was no metadata for it and later it the meta data becomes available so it can be identified and populated with rich info will this happen automatically?

No idea, albeit i don’t think I’ve ever seen an unidentified album change to identified unless I’ve intervened.

I have seen photographs appear where previously there were none, specifically on a rare CD mostly distributed as merchandise at gigs. Very new CD’s have their metadata fleshed out over time.

Well, it seems logical that the database is rechecked each time a storage location is rescanned. However, i have a feeling thats not entirely true.

@Henkemannen, i also have a feeling Roon is not the journey’s end and would like to be able to use any and all other playback software. Therefore i have a process of manicuring the metadata of my files, not as elaborate as @evand though :sweat_smile:
My basic info for each album (yes, album level) is AlbumArtist, Album, Year, Composer (where applicable) and also DiscNo if part of a set. And then for each track; Title, Artist, TrackNo.
Of course the folder path and file name will be representative of this metadata also with the ussual structure:
AlbumArtist/Album [Year]/TrackNo Title.Filetype

I use this setup to reasonable effect in Roon, JRiver, Logitech Media Server, Minim Server, Twonky, Auralic Lightning Server, Bluesound OS and actually even a few more…
I rarely have difficulties finding a particular album or artist, even in my very rudimentary UPnP browser in the Bladelius Embla. And this is in a library of 150K tracks in various resolutions and formats.

There’s no way it’s rechecked each time it’s rescanned. Updating metadata is a background activity and no idea on what basis it tackles albums for refresh.

Checking this morning (on numerous albums I added to MusicBrainz prior to Christmas) I can say that albums that have been added to MusicBrainz are subsequently automatically identified within Roon without the need to rescan, so if you take the trouble to add them to MusicBrainz, Roon will at some point automagically identify them - if this works with MusicBrainz additions I imagine the same applies to other Roon metadata sources, only TiVo doesn’t seem to improve its metadata, just add more incomplete or erroneous entries.

We collect the same metadata, mine is just sense-checked against the existing library to fill composition gaps and ensure consistency with what’s already in the library. In an extensive library the benefits warrant the effort, which is in my case largely automated.

1 Like

The problem (if you want to call it that) is that if I add more I will in the end add more and more. Producer, mixer, arranger - you name it.

I’m pretty OCD on these things but would like to “let go” and perhaps stop with these - most are added properly at the CD ripping stage anyway:

  • Artist
  • Album Artist
  • Album
  • Track no and disc no
  • Year
  • Composer
  • Discogs ID

I do not have any classical music in my library - mainly pop, rock and jazz.

Many of these roles can be added via MusicBrainz Picard, or even better, SongKong.