Large box set issues

I realize there have been other discussions about specific box set issues–and I know some metadata/tagging fixes are ‘in the works’, with other higher priority items ahead of this, no doubt–but I just wanted to put in a plea for some enhanced ergonomic functionality for managing large box sets in the future. I’ve spent perhaps 10 hours over the last few nights trying to get a 16-CD box set of Angela Hewitt playing Back keyboard works to be mapped correctly by Roon–and I’m no closer now than I was 3 days ago. I’ve tried various folder naming schemes (mostly focusing on the traditional “organized folder” protocol, but I’ve tried variants as well); I’ve tried both my organized and watched folders.

The most frustrating part is that Roon knows about this box set–it’s one of the choices for ID. And–in theory!–I could ID each CD as the box set. But if anyone has spent any time trying to “move” tracks around in the current interface, it’s an insanely time consuming and frustrating process. Example: I spent a couple of hours identifying the 1st three CDs as box set and then moving the tracks over from left to right and then moving all of the tracks to their proper location as CD2 and CD3. But every one of the remaining disks is still treated as it’s own independent album (as they were, initially), so each one is still identified as “CD1” or “CD1 and CD2” if it was originally a 2-disc album). So now I have to go through the ID process for disc 4, then move those 30 tracks over to the box set on the right. And each track has to now be clicked down, one step at a time for each track, from disc 1 location to, say, location 150 (where disc 4 begins). Do I’m moving 30 tracks x 150 steps or 4500 clicks (for just disc 4, with another 11 discs to go and each one growing proportionally worse–i.e., that many more steps each time). And, to just top things off, at the end of the process, one has to then select each of the 180 new tracks individually–because Control A or Shift-Click for contiguous selection does NOT work on my Windows 7, 8, or 10 machines–to create that ‘new’ album. So let’s just round things off and say ~5000 clicks to get that 4th disc officially recognized as being part of the box set. Only 11 discs to go…

I know–I should just wait for the updates that I’m confident will show up eventually. And I will. But I wanted to make sure that some of the specific problems with the current design, in terms of manually overriding the inevitable mismatches in identifying the items properly (which I fully understand and appreciate as lying at the CORE of Roon functionality), are fully appreciated. Please give us drag and drop or ability to tag and act on batches of tracks at once, etc. Just the simple act of being able to say that 1-1 through 1-30 tracks are really 8-1 through 8-30 of this box set would save 10,000 clicks, in my scenario above. I don’t have a lot of experience with some of the other popular music managers, but I’m sure there are some very good systems for doing this kind of thing.


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How did you rip the 16 discs? Are they all named as individual albums?

Sounds lik you are grouping the individual discs afterwards in roon. And yes that process involves a lot of clicking. Hope roon finds a better way for moving tracks as it is now, I avoid it and solve it by changing what I present to roon.

You probably read my entry regarding the 47 disc Bob Dylan Boxset.

The trick to get a boxset recognized in the right order is to rip them with the same name.

Angela Hewitt/
Keyboard Works [Disc 01]
Keyboard Works [Disc 02]

In this way roon knows to group them as a boxset.

Having all tracks in folder worked fine for 2 other boxset I have.

Angela Hewitt/
Keyboard Works
All tracks number sequentially

But I am not sure if that is the best way, since the large Dylan set did not work in this way.

When you need to change tags after ripping, I would look at mp3tag. Super easy and free.

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I have a lot of these kind of box sets. Your life will be hugely easier if you get the FLAC tags correct (using an external tag editor) before Roon even tries. That means: correct album name and artist, according to, and correct disc x of y numbers.

If Roon sees a disc x of y Tag which is incorrect, it will fail to match the set entirely. This is quite important.

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Hey @jpowell – thanks for the feedback. I really appreciate your attitude on this. We know there are a couple spots here that are incredibly frustrating and we’re thinking about whether there’s even more we can do to make this better after our upcoming 1.1 release.

For 1.1, I’m happy to let you know we have some fixes coming that should make this much better. We’ve added some more powerful editing features to the track grouping screen, so you’ll be able to enter track and disc numbers, group the whole set, and nail the ID. This should eliminate the need for the widely-hated up and down buttons, which will still be available for basic matching, but won’t be needed for giant sets requiring millions of clicks.

For now, my advice would be to get your files as close as possible to the original release, and organized as per @jeremiah’s post here.

Also, I’m always on the lookout for painful examples I can torture myself and the team with :grimacing: @jpowell – would you mind dropping a link to the Angela Hewitt album’s page on AllMusic?


Thanks, Rob, for the suggestions. And I did read your Dylan experience with interest! I did try a number of different folder naming schemes, but with each disc as its own sub-folder in each case. To wit:
\Angela Hewitt
\Disc 01
\Disc 02
\Angela Hewitt
\Bach Keyboard Works 01
\Bach Keyboard Works 02
\Angela Hewitt
\1. Fantasia and Fugue, two-part inventions, three-part inventions, chromatic fantasia and fugue
\2. English Suites 1-3

It just really, really wants to treat most of these discs as independent releases (as they were originally).

What I did not try–though considered it and I guess that’s my next step–is to combine all the tracks into one huge sub-folder with sequential numbering, 01-01 to 16-23, preceding each track name. That seems to be one approach that worked for you, I gather.

The other possibility that had not occurred to me but which your message suggests, perhaps, is that there are tags that Roon is referencing apart from the folder & track titles. I had to re-rip a couple of these discs and generally use my copy of dbPoweramp on my PC for reripping, whereas my normal ripping machine is my dbPoweramp app that runs on my old Windows Home Server–so its conceivable that the tags might be different on a couple of the discs. I can check that out.


Thanks for the quick reply, Mike, and to Jeremiah also for his suggestions. Clearly I should be looking at the tags as well as folder\subfolder\track naming conventions. So I will dig out my old tag editors tonight and ‘play’ with it some more. Anything is better than the up/down buttons :cold_sweat:.

Here’s the allmusic id. And very happy to hear about the upcoming fixes in 1.1 (and beyond). I am 100% committed to Roon, speaking as a former Sooloos user, so just want it to evolve continuously.

The trickier box sets to tag are the anthologies like The various RCA Living Stereo boxes, The Decca Vienna Philharmonic Box, the Deutsche Harmonia Mundi boxes, the Mercury Living Presence boxes, etc., where there are different artists throughout the box. Right now Roon splits these up by artists. I wish there were an easier way to recombine them.

If all the albums in the set have:

  • the same tag for Album
  • proper media numbers (Disc 4 of 12, for example),
  • the same value ( or “Various Artists”) in the tags for album artist

We should group them properly, assuming the folder structure is similar to what’s described in Jeremiah’s post.

It’d be a nifty enhancement if Roon would support the discsubtitle vorbiscomments tag, which is there specifically to cater for instances like those mentioned in this thread. Whilst I think in general Rovi has great metadata they’ve also missed a few fundamentals like understanding that very few people would consider something like Andrea Bocelli - Andrea Bocelli: The Complete Pop Albums to be a single album. Whilst it is a single entity (as the box set) it is comprised of a number of albums that each have their own album names. Same goes for the Harmonia Mundi, RCA, Living Presence etc. box sets. Rovi should be applying/ providing the discsubtitle along with the other metadata rather than feebly referring to them as disc1, disc2 etc. This would enable more meaningful matching and presentation of such box sets within Roon. A user would then also be in a much better position to decide which of the albums in the box set they would like to listen to.

I also think it’d be hugely beneficial if Roon incorporated support for discsubtitle and its mp3 equivalent so that where files are scanned and the tag is found to be present it is used.

Those folder names are not going to make life easier. The folder names ought to be


within a folder for the whole box set. Do not add extra text to those (English Suites etc) as that will stop Roon from seeing them properly.

The above will help a lot, but to make it even easier the FLAC tags needs to have the correct Disc x of y in them as I detailed above.

All the new 1.1 tools will help, it makes sense not to put Roon off from the start with folder structures which put it off! :smile:

Well, in the interests of research and reporting, I’ll report what I got after making the following changes to my Hewitt 16-disc Bach box set:
File structure was set to:
\Angela Hewitt
\Disc 01
\Disc 02

The tracks were autonamed by my tag editor to a fairly standard
Angela Hewitt - 01 - filename
Angela Hewitt - 02 - filename
with each disc being numbered sequentially (each sub-folder starting with 1 again).

Then I edited the tags that have been reported as being looked at by Roon:
album = Bach, Disc 01
Artist = Angela Hewitt
Album Artist = Angela Hewitt
Title = full name of track (e.g., Chaconne for harpsichord in G major…)
Track No = 01
Disc No = 01

Then I restarted Roon and it correctly identified each of the albums–as independent albums! It at least got them all correct this time, but no suggestion of a box set. I’m not unhappy with the result–it at least gives me 11 albums with gorgeous cover art, which I’d miss if it were correctly identified as a box set with a single cover. But I think I followed most of the guidelines suggested–my tag editor didn’t obviously allow for track no to be x of y, so I used its field types, for example–and still got independent albums.

Anyway, as I said, just reporting my results, fwiw.


Still strange, since you have correctly changed the tags as needed. Only difference I can see, if I read it correctly, is that your album name (tag) now differs from your album name (folder).

@mike Does roon look at tags and file/folder names both, if so could this not create a conflict?

We should look at both, but I believe we give higher priority to tags.

There are a couple minor issues I can see with how you’ve edited these, but to be clear, our goal isn’t to make you endlessly tweak your tags or dictate what’s right – we want to support as many common tagging formats as possible, and give tools in Roon that will allow you to display your music how you want. For now, I just want to communicate some structures we know to work with the current implementation.


If you want all the disc of this set to group together, they should all have the same album title. Just like at the AllMusic link above (which I can confirm is in our database), this album would be called Bach, and numbering of discs would be handled in the media number tags.

You may get more accurate results numbering for the whole set, so 1/16 then 2/16 and so on. Again, this is a clue that helps Roon confidently know that these files/folders are all part of one big album.

Appreciate all the feedback guys. I’m looking forward to even better handling of these large sets in the future, although perhaps not as much as @Ludwig :wink:

We’re on it guys, just keep the feedback coming!

Okay, in the further interests of science, here’s the update:
I retagged album = Bach for all tracks and then renumbered disc # to be 1/16, 2/16, etc. Then I deleted and reinstalled all 16 albums, restarted Roon, and got something close to a box set. I’m not sure of the semantics here, but I got 11 albums (which is correct based on the original albums, some of which were 2-disc albums) all identified with the same disc ID, but still treated as individual albums, as opposed to a multi-disc album (e.g., open album and find disc 1, disc 2, disc 3). These shared the same cover, however, so were not very useful, since there was no differentiation until I looked at the track list for each.

Upon further investigation, I discovered that not only could I select an original album cover for each one–but that Roon had identified and provided the original album cover as being available for each one, without me having to “add” the cover manually. So at some level, it still basically treats these as individual albums, though it treats them all as part of a larger set (though not a multi-disc set; more as a compiled set of original albums, which it basically is). The one truly ‘new’ album in the box set is treated as the only true member of the set with no independent cover or identity.

At the organized folder level, it combined them all into one \Bach subfolder under \Angela Hewitt and numbers them as though they were a true multi-disc set: 01,02…2-01,2-02…16-01,16-02.

In the end, this ends up probably being as good an overall approach to this particular box set as any other approach, though it would be nice to pin down exactly what parameters ‘push’ Roon into treating a set as true multi-disc vs. a collection of independent discs. Perhaps it’s just whether the discs can be identified as pre-existing in essentially the same form prior to the creation of the set? I’m curious–though not enough to recreate the experiment 2 or 3 more times!–as to whether implementing just the album tags or just the track numbering would have worked alone, or if both were needed.

Finally, I used 3 different taggers to help with my experiments, since they each seem to do some things well and some not so well–mp3tag, Jaikoz, and Tagscanner. But I could not see an easy way either to create the track numbering scheme (1/16, 2/16) nor automatically reference AllMusic standards with the taggers (though I’ve not done a lot of tagging, admittedly, in quite a while–so am rusty with the available tools). But if tagging to AllMusic standards is key to getting good Roon matches, perhaps there should be a separate thread on which tagger(s) best applies those standards automatically.

@jpowell I like your tenacity. Did do the same for the Dylan set.

But I think it is obvious now that roon needs to look at an improvement in regard to these large boxsets.

It should not be that users re-tag their collections for hours just to get identified by roon. And even after re-tagging roon will not always accept the boxset.

EDIT: @Not_Roon This is meant as constructive criticism.

Have you followed the advice above from Mike and myself? Mike pointed you to Jer’s posting about folder structures, and I specifically pointed out that your folder structure is not what is recommended for a box set.

Please confirm whether you read these posts and what you did as a result.

Ludwig, I’m a little confused; to whom were you addressing this last comment?

To you Jerry, @jpowell.

OK, still confused then, since I’ve posted multiple messages noting that I’ve tried ‘your’ recommended folder structure (among others) and reported on my results in each case. It seems that I’ve more than confirmed that I read all of the posts and reported on the results in each case. Have you been reading MY posts?

OK, roon finally accepted my Dylan set. Although with wrong cover and manually identifying the boxset results in not all tracks being identified. To me that is weird, roon automatically identifies the whole boxset, but trying to manually identify results in not all tracks being seen… :confused:.

How did I get here.

Bob Dylan
/Complete Album Collection Vol. One
/ 01-01, 01-02, 02-01, 02-02, … 47-01, 47-02 ( so all individual tracks number as per jeremiahs post, first example).

Discnumers and tracknumbers have also been tagged in the same manner as above.


Could you try

Angela Hewitt
/01-01, 01-02, 02-01, 02-02, … 16-01, 16-02

Although when I read correctly, you already tried that.

Make sure that also the track number and discnumber tags are equal to what they are in the track filename. That is why I asked mike for possible conflicts. You might be having this happening. Tag differs from filename, resulting in incorrect matching (tag superseeding filenames).