Limitations for Classical music - overcome?

Core Machine (Operating system/System info/Roon build number)

1.7 on 10.14.6

Description Of Issue

New to Roon… in the trial period (thanks!).

I listen exclusively to Classical music, where complete works (not tracks) and composers (not artists) are what we want to focus on to find and listen to.

During my research I came across these two discussions suggesting that Roon was working on improving its support for Classical music:

(How) have things changed since these threads?

Am I right that if I go to my Library and select Compositions, for instance, there is still no way to see them grouped by Work/Composition (e.g. Mendelssohn ‘String 4tet Opus 12’) - and not a long list of unrelated tracks:

  • 01_String_Quartet_in_E_flat_major_Op_12_Adagio_non_troppo_Allegro_non_tardante
  • 02_String_Quartet_in_E_flat_major_Op_12_Canzonetta_Allegretto_pi_mosso
  • 03_String_Quartet_in_E_flat_major_Op_12_Andante_espressivo_
  • 04_String_Quartet_in_E_flat_major_Op_12_Molto_allegro_e_vivace_L_istesso_tempo_L…

Is it a question of Grouping or somehow letting Roon prioritise/rely upon my metatags?

I really want to like Roon. May I ask for clarification and re-assurance here, please?

Thanks in advance!

It’s better, but not perfect.


Thanks, antonmb!

How did you get the layout in your screenshots, please… I should be able to try for my library if I know which Settings you used?

For some albums, the metadata that Roon retrieves from its metadata providers is enough for compositions to be grouped correctly. For others, you need to use an external metadata editor (I use Metadatics on macOS) to add WORK and PART tags to tracks to help Roon recognize compositions. If you do this, ideally you should use the exact same composition name as Roon uses, which in most cases you can find by looking in More details here

For some older or reissued material, especially boxsets assembled from older material, getting it all right can be a lot of work, in part because the reissuing labels don’t bother to provide good metadata to AllMusic.


That’s the Compositions view from the hamburger drop-down, I didn’t do anything special, just selected compositions and sorted by composer. That’s on an iPad.

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Thanks, @antonmb!

It must be different on an iPad…

If I do the same on my iMac, I do get a long list of tracks grouped by composer, rather than the whole works.


Could it be that I need to change the Grouping meta tag in the case of each composition work? I just put the title.

Thanks, @Fernando_Pereira!

I use Yate and am quite happy to spend an infinite (well, almost!) amount of time editing (and, if necessary, adding) my metadata just as Roon wants it.

I added data for Work Name and Part there as shown here; I entered the String Quartets’ ‘Titles’ - as well as having them in Title itself.

Restarted Roon - no difference. Still a long list of tracks - in alphabetical order. No sense of each group of four (these are quartets) belonging together.

In no view could I get the display that @antonmb posted.

Have I maybe overlooked sorting by something else, perhaps, please?

Quite honestly, if I can’t get works to display that way, I don’t think I can take Roon any further.

And because I so want to like it, I really hope I can get this as I’m sure it’s supposed to be.

Thanks in advance for your help!

This link might help.

Once you have figured out how to configure Yate to manually structure your albums in terms of compositions that roon understands, you may find you are approaching this the wrong way. Judging by the lack of album art in your screen shots you are not getting any roon identifications, either at an album or a compositions level. I would work on trying to understand why that is happening first. If you first get a roon identification of your albums, you will often find that roon is able to structure your album in terms of compositions without any further editing or intervention on your part. You then use the WORK/PART editing feature as a last resort to force roon to recognise the composition structure in your albums when auto-recognition has failed. This will save you a lot of manual tagging effort and is one of the main advantages of roon.

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Welcome to Roon. Yes its not perfect for classical music but you seem to have some funnies in your metadata making things quite confusing. What librarian software is your library based on (looks like iTunes)

Roon works on 2 elements Work & Part (read Composition & Movement in other systems)

So in your case the Composition Tag is switched with Movement from the Composition View posted above . Grouping is not recognized in Roon so if your tags are based on Groupings and Composition set to the Movement name you will see “rubbish”

The other question is have you forced Roon to accept YOUR tags ie Checked “Prefer File” this is on album level or Global level ?


If you have Roon will be confused unless your format is what its expecting. in most cases “Roon knows best”

Maybe start by posting a screenshot of the Album in question

Secondly do you have a third party editor that will show you the Tag Values something like MP3Tag, specifically Composition, Grouping (if it exists) and Movement

My suspicion is you have Work & Part (Composition & Movement) all mixed up.

If Roon ID’s the album it sorts all that out for you

I have around 3500 classical albums and while not perfect Roon is not scrambling mine like it seems to be yours

Lets get some data to work with . There are a few avid classical fans (@Tony_Casey for example) we have all been through it we should be able to guide you

Hang in there

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You can sort out the top image by Merging the Compositions , that will give you one value per symphony. Just left click to select the 2 versions and the Merge Composition button should show

The same question as above are you forcing Roon to use YOUR tags , it does better if you don’t unless you really need to.

Classical Metadata is a nightmare :nerd_face:

If Roon cannot identify the album, it will use the data embedded in your tracks. If you have such metadata, like album art, that will show up in Roon even if the album is not identified.

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I’d say that is what is happening here. The album is not identified and there is also not enough information in the local tags for roon to make sense of the structure of the compositions in the unidentified album.

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Roon has a way to go with Classical management but your original links in your original post are 3 or 4 years old now and there were alot of changes. For the standard repertoire roon mostly has few problems these days creating a hierarchical view on your compositions. Taking your Mendelssohn String Quartet No. 1, Op. 12 example. This is what you should be seeing:

Roon is obviously having trouble interpreting your tags. It may help someone see what is going wrong if you make a screen shot of what roon thinks are in your file tags. To do that

  1. Highlight one of the tracks from the album view
  2. Click the three dots
  3. Click view file info
  4. Click file tags (top right)

You should come to a screen like this. As you can see in my tags both the work and the parts of this quartet have been set:

If you make a similar screenshot this might give a clue to why you are not getting a display like this.

But TBH before digging around in the bowels of roon you should try getting roon to identify your album in the first place and then in many cases you will not have to resort to this sort of detailed editing and tagging.

It’s difficult to diagnose without seeing the actual tags, but sometimes you have to make Roon forget about the album(s) completely before the new tags are incorporated. Here’s what I’ve done when I’ve had this issue:

  1. Move the about-to-be-tagged album(s) away from the watched folder(s)
  2. Ask Roon to rescan the library (Settings>Storage>Force Rescan)
  3. Clean up the library (Settings>Library>Clean Up Library>Clean up … Deleted Files)
  4. Retag your album(s) in their temporary location
  5. Move them back to the watched folder(s)
  6. Force rescan again
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Thanks so much, Miguel!

I agree, the process in Yate is not so clear, is it.

Fortunately I’d figured it out when I first bought Yate so that I could fine-tune my metatags.

Or thought I had :slight_smile: !

But nothing changes when I perform your Step 1.

Do I perhaps need to download such a set of presets first?

One of those (RoonMapping or RoonWorkPart?) Plists here:

It’s the same on my iPad and on my iMac. As others have pointed out, the issue may be in your tags. I don’t tag compositions in my files, I let Roon identify them and it works for all but a few more obscure recordings that Roon doesn’t recognize. The simplest answer might be just to wipe out all your composition tagging and let Roon do the work.

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We need data to help !!

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@Mike_O_Neill, thanks of course!

I missed that step, didn’t I :slight_smile:

Which one of these two Plists is it, please:

  1. RoonMapping, or
  2. RoonWorkPart


@antonmb - that would certainly save me a lot to time and trouble. I’ll try that first - and see how Roon copes. Thanks. Literally delete all my own Yate-filled fields for, what:

  • Work
  • Composition
  • Title
  • Grouping?

But not the basic Album title?

My reluctance until now derives from how under-served classical music is - even with MusicBrainz.

I have found that the author of Yate, Barry, is more than happy to tell you how to get Yate what you need to do. It is a massive, and massively complex, program.

Email him at and tell him I sent ya… well, mebbe not :slight_smile:

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