Library Organization

I have just imported my existing library – fairly large, with over 12,000 albums – into Roon. I find the organization by Roon genres completely unworkable. How can I reproduce the Windows directory tree I use to organize the data on my hard drive in Roon? This involves directory tree includes 30+ high-level folders (roughly equivalent to super-genres – e.g., Africa, Cuba, Brazil, Classical, Jazz, Blues, etc.) and many sub-folders within each of these (e.g., within Cuba, Son, Rumba, Charanga, etc.). It would be impossibly tedious to do this by retagging every file. This problem doesn’t come up in Media Monkey – the MM library simply replicates / mirrors the file organization within Windows.

A simple reply to that: give it some time. Get used to Roon. Really, it may be worth it. :slight_smile:

Roon does things differently compared to other software in this area. It’s putting albums in the centre and organizes things around them by trying to enrich it with metadata it has in it’s cloud or can gather from your files. You just won’t get the same experience as in a hierarchy oriented software. And this can actually be a strength.

Also browsing the knowledge base and the forum to get a bit more accustomed to Roon’s concept is usually helpful.

If you still feel that you need to somehow restore your directory encoded genre system that is possible. There’s tagging software out there which can work with path information. So with some rules / batch operation you can probably transfer folder names to genre tags and then tell Roon to prefer (or only use) file tags.

One thing you may never get in Roon: a directory tree view.

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Surely, the work to organise and tag is worth it to get your specific take on order.
The up side is you listen while you work, surely thats Nirvana

Sounds like you need a folder view, so I don’t think you and Roon will get on.

That’s you’re only option if you want to use the folder names as a means of navigating. set the genre tags = your super genres, then add a style tag into which you write your sub-folder names.

This is a static solution and lot’s of work for something that was allready organized to begin with and it needs constant curation. What if you decide to move files to another folder?, what if you add new content?. In the way the opening poster had organized his music he didn’t have to do anything more then just moving or adding files, and done. Much simpler and much less prone to mistakes than any “workaround” I have seen so far.

The underlying problem of cases like that of the O.P. is that with the decision to not rely on self containing metadata for media organization makes one dependent on whatever third party tool got used - be it some library software (and I’m painfully aware of the fact Roon falls under this category too and I should think about a clever exit strategy but that’s another problem) or a folder structure or a mixture of both. There will always be problems if one tries to move on. Should Roon cater for this? Maybe. It probably depends on the effort needed compared to the gain in it for Roonlabs.

As for “constant curation” - once you’re inside of Roon things work; differently, but - some will say: more than - sufficiently. It’s not that you wouldn’t need to take care of a folder structure, too.

The people who seem to be in tune with roon are those who don’t really have a handle on all of their music collection and use roon as a happy medium to discover and remind themselves of what they have and that seems to fit in with roon’s abilities.
Those who have ultra organised libraries with Dewey decimal system equivalents applied to their libraries are the least as it isn’t a great fit with roon’s abilities.
I’m not sure that there is any resolution to the problem as those who have created a micro level curating system for their collection are probably those least happy with any deviation.
Maybe roon just isn’t for everyone. I gave up on jriver because it grew too many capabilities and didn’t have a philosophy other than to be all things to all media and all ways of working. Roon attracted me precisely because I didn’t have to know my collection, each to their own :joy:

I just chuck it in the pot and Roon sorts it out. Never wanted to be a librarian…

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Just one tiny little example of Automated, computed, robotic “Roon way” curation and Human curation.
I have a large collection of Cannonball Adderley albums all filed under bebop in my own system. In Roon’s system they are labled sometimes just Jazz. Well might have tagged is just as “Music” in my opinion. Tags are all over the place while for me Cannonball is in the first place a Bebop Saxofonist, so that’s how I want to see him come up in search results together with other bebop albums/artists. Now if I want to listen to bebop and filter on this genre only half of my Cannonball Adderly albums show up. So who has it right, I don’t know. Offcoarse I could go and edit/tag/bookmark the albums but that’s just absurd. It was allready perfectly organized in a way I know where to find things. I didn’t have to change any tag whatsoever, in fact I didn’t have to do anything other then put new Cannonbal album in the directory Cannonbal and everything was doen, just that simple. So now come up with an “Roon alternative” that works that easy. For me to correct this in Roon it takes ages of searching the problem, correcting it with the very minimal tools provided etc etc. So yes, like I said, Roon system is a nice addition but not a total replacement. This is just a tiny little example of many wich is why sometimes a “human” curated collection works beter then a “computed” collection. I would like to see Roon evolve in a perfect marriage between man and machine. For now it’s too much of a machine to me.

I don’t want to be a librarian either, but Roon forces me to be one because it’s automation is far from perfect. That’s the whole problem. I didn’t have to do anything other then storing my music ones and that’s it, nothing more nothing less. Just that simple, never did any librarian work because it wasn’t needed.

Whilst I don’t think I’ve ever played a genre in my life. I’d just pick up the artist or album or playlist then play about on the links roon throws up.

rember I said this was just a tiny little example of many.

I’d just search for the artist and it would come up, all grouped. I could tag that search if it was important to me.
Roon does things different and maybe it just won’t suit you.

I’ve to admit that I don’t care how Roon does handle and assign genres as long as it respects my genre tags I curated into the audio files / metadata - and I still do this with an external file tagger. When I first tried Roon I had a short look on what Roon did with genres but wasn’t satisfied. Since there’s a simple switch and also a manageable way to have genre tags from files sorted into the genre hierarchy Roon has implemented I was fine. Therefore I’m convinced if one uses file tags (not file system structures) things will work. Yes, if one wants things to be special manual curation is necessary. Inside of Roon or outside. My point: if a collection is curated the best way to do this is in a way the curated files contain the resulting information.

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I don’t think I have ever used genre in 10 years of digital file listening to find anything, artist and album suffice, it worked this way for my LP’s and CDs. I love that I dont have to care about this stuff with Roon. Rip it, buy it, it just appears and is easily found again.


One of life’s coincidences, I was listening to Adderley’s solo on KOB’s So What as I read that, hah! :slight_smile:

I was expecring these kind of reaction from the fanboys. Discussion stops here, goodbeye

Sorry, must have been my Cannonball Adderley comment that did it :slight_smile:

I agree with you in fact about the less than perfect way Roon handles things. I’ve spent a long time adding Roon tags to albums and made a big mistake by moving some of the albums about 500 of my studiously tagged 1500 or so albums to a separate folder to a cloud folder. Now Roon has decided they’re all new albums and removed the tags from them, I gave up completely, reinstalled Roon. I don’t quite understand why, as I pointed Roon to the new folder where I moved the files to, prior to moving them, and usually Roon sees the files as old files, moved, so to speak with no issues, but this time not.

I know, i could restore a back up, blah blah, but it means that some of the most powerful features in Roon are fragile to say the least and one slip in protocol can undo ALOT of work. It hardly inspires confidence to really invest heavily in the Roon ecosystem.

Ps… most of my tagging was to be able to try and duplicate the way my folder structure works - ie one folder per album, numbered sequentially by acquisition. I had also gone through creating genre tags for all albums tagged in this fashion. A lot of work.