Lessons from MediaMonkey (for collectors)

Roon has some amazingly sophisticated features, but they seem to boil down to three: (1) a beautiful GUI (though somewhat hard to read sometimes), (2) the RAAT protocol and the fact that they’ve convinced a number of hardware vendors to support it, and (3) the DSP processing. And the recent radio rework seems to have signalled a move away from collectors, in the direction of streamers.

Given this, I’ve been looking at other software packages, to see what they could provide that Roon doesn’t. Looking at the MediaMonkey feature page is interesting. Consider these features which Roon could have:

  • Managing movies as well as music. I’ve got a lot of ripped video which I currently need to manage with something other than Roon.

  • Use various metadata providers. MM has a plug-in architecture for metadata search which allows access to things like the Discogs DB.

  • Ownership of tags. MM uses native track format tags, so that if you shift music management software, your tags go with you. It has an auto-tagger (don’t know how well that works) as well.

  • Playlist management combined with an Auto-DJ function that will create a mix for you from your collection. Would be interesting to see how this competes with Roon’s local-only radio function.

  • Integrated podcast “catcher” monitors your favorite podcasts and downloads new episodes to your library.

  • Sync to mobile devices. The previous two are particularly interesting because with MM, you can sync your playlists and associate music and listening history to your mobile devices to take along with you.

  • CD ripping and burning, built-in.

  • A publicly documented database schema (yes, that can get you into trouble :-).

  • There’s a “Virtual CD” system which allows you to keep track of your physical CD collection.

  • There’s a public roadmap page.

Note that MM can also play to your devices, though it uses DLNA instead of RAAT/AirPlay/Chromecast/Sonos/KEF protocols that Roon uses. However, MM 4 seems to have Chromecast support, and I see plugins for AirPlay as well.

I think MM loses on the GUI front; this is a typical problem with open-source projects where there is no overarching design talent built in.

Additionally, there are a raft of DSP plug-ins; not sure any of them are any good. Anyone know?


I’ve tried MediaMonkey for a short time before I stumbled onto Roon.

Before that I used JRiver for playback and Musicbrains Picard for tagging.

Back then I was still in the process of digitizing my collection. When I first started up MediaMonkey, it started retagging my collection and totally screwed up my tags, especially the genre tags in a way that I couldn’t find half of my stuff in JRiver anymore.

I wasn’t too happy with that. Don’t know if it was something I could have avoided, but it really P’d me O.

Neither had Tidal integration, which is why I moved to Roon.

It’s been a while (3+ years) so I don’t know how MediaMonkey behaves now.

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Yeah, I always like to test this stuff on a copy of my music first, to see what it does. MM 4 came out in 2011, so that’s probably what you were trying. It’s still the current version.

As I recall, MediaMonkey needs/takes total control of your PC’s output and won’t let go.

It’s been awhile, so maybe I’m misremembering, but there was something very intrusive about it.

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I tried (and paid for) every mainstream music player (including MM) for Windows, and settled on JRiver. Then I tried roon. Now I’m using roon, but I keep JRiver around, mainly for mobile sync.

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Audio output? Or everything (shades of Colussus!)?

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I used MM for many years and still have it. It was always buggy and it still is. Does it work? Yes. Does it seem like a kludge? Yes. Hence why I switched to Roon.

I also used MM for many years; but solely for ripping and metadata editing. Never used it as a player (it would be rather like using an Excel spreadsheet as a player IMO). A few years back I moved to using dBpoweramp for ripping and metadata editing, followed shortly by moving to Roon as my player.


Did you know , Matt Ashland the author of Media Monkey is the CTO of JRiver ?

I think he maintains MM as his “side project”

Interpret as you will

Are you sure? Aren’t you confusing Media Monkey (a music player) with Monkey’s Audio (a lossless format)?

It might be hard to run both JRiver (located in MInneapolis) and Ventis Media (the company that owns Media Monkey - which is in Montreal).

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According to the credits in MM, Matt Ashland is the author of APE audio format = Monkey’s Audio. Not MediaMonkey.

I use the Media Monkey auto-organize function to copy albums into my Roon library using a consistent scheme for folders and file names. I tried it for tagging, but didn’t like that function as much as MusiCHI’s. The player seems clunky.

I like the idea of a “virtual CD” library manager for physical CDs that are not in your electronic library. It would be good for LPs also!


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Sorry I mixed up my monkeys , oops

Been using MM for ages now. There is a stable 5.0 version that can manage my +200.000 items database. I use MM mainly for managing and the autotag function. When using my headphones on either PC toslink/USB to M1dac and amp I use it as a player. Overall it’s a great interface.
I recently bought a powernode M330 - the output either optical or USB RCA USB is bad from the laptop. So I play from the Bluesound interface wich has adopted all my MM tags without any problems. The sound is amazing on floor speakers and the network connection to my NAS is flawless. A USB drive attachement is bad for the sound quality.
I’m very interested in a Roon server and the interface but for a piece of software it is just too much money. I don’t mind paying for quality but Mediamonkey gold is 50$ for a lifetime app and the android version less then 10$

I made a blog about this some time ago, for those so inclined (though unfortunately the screenshots which I had laboriously created no longer exist, due to Tinypic shutting down in 2019):

I have used pretty much all of the music management softwares. After trying a few other apps I moved from MediaMoney to JRiver to Foobar2000. Eventually to Roon. Roon remains my favourite, for obvious reasons, though the apps mentioned above do have some features which are lacking in Roon. Hopefully Roon will continue to develop the UI and metadata side of things, rather than focusing on expanding their empire via partnerships with audio manufacturers and marketing their own hardware.

Regarding the OPs suggested features, I would replace “sync to mobile devices” with the work that is currently going on around streaming to mobile devices. I don’t think that Roon should become a jack-of-all-trades by becoming a movie manager also; there would be a danger of it becoming bloatware. I use Plex for that. Linking the metadata scraper in with Discogs would be excellent; there are a number of posts on the forums about this. CD ripping and burning…well there are dedicated apps for that. And yes, I and many others have championed the idea of a public roadmap, though the Roon team have decided against that.

i do it exactly the same way with MM 4 for tagging, cover into the tag of each file and sorting files to folders (strg - R)
dbpoweramp for converting and ripping
roon as player (and foobar on PC for opening single files without starting R.O.C.K. server)