Limitations for Classical music - overcome?

With Classical, roon makes generally a very good job of the standard repertoire. There are things it doesn’t do well. Large Classical box sets for example. Non standard repertoire and Vinyl rips are a bit of a turkey shoot and wherever historically there is more than one cataloguing system in place (Ravel) or it is very complex (Teleman) roon will loose the plot. Equivalencing artist and composer names is still an issue (Sergei Rachmaninoff vs. Sergey Rachmaninov etc.). There are other niggles, that you will learn over time. My biggest gripe is that the editing features you need to use as a last resort are unavailable if you stream Qobuz or Tidal. On balance though, for Classical, roon is quite unique and my starting point when importing an album is doing absolutely no editing at all unless I have to.


Thanks, Fernando - Yes, I’m beginning to see that.

I’m sure my experience isn’t all that wide… I’ve only recently taken the digital/download plunge; I like my physical CDs too much. But now I can see how a really good DAC and high-spec iMac really can sound better.

But I’ve never been happy with online databases. Roon seems superior to anything else available - once I do what everyone here has suggested :slight_smile: !

I’m strictly classical as well. I ripped my own CD collection of 6000+ albums, done over the course of 4 years and now done. I was quite religious in editing the composition to my liking and have chosen File as the source for composition. The compositions show up under the composer, grouped together for the same composition. Sometimes the name I used varied a little and Roon doesn’t quite recognize they are the same, but it is easy to merge them when I find such (right click on each and choose Merge). I did discover that Roon uses the Opus number to compare and match compositions. In one case I had different compositions incorrectly assigned the same Opus, and Roon put them together as one.

Welcome to Roon. I hope you enjoy it as much as I am. It’s not perfect for us classical folks but it’s better than anything else available.


Yes, I’m discovering just how good Roon is, Tony.

From my small experience with Rebeka and the whole Roon system, it has got much better in the last couple of years, as was pointed out in response to my OP. And can only grow from here.

I shan’t ever (I don’t think) want Vinyl because I have ‘replaced’ (almost?) everything from my collection begun in the 1960s, although I do have an old turntable, arm, and cartridge. Who knows? Maybe?

Large box sets I’ll be more than happy to ‘manage’ myself now that I understand the importance of PART and WORK (thanks to folk here). I am getting to know Yate more and more - and get more impressed with its capabilities; but, as @John_V says, it is massively complex.

I do veer well beyond the standard repertoire, though: early and contemporary in particular. I guess I’ll see soon enough.

Any ideas about ‘Sergei Rachmaninoff vs. Sergey Rachmaninov’? I guess it tends to be the Russians, and others whose names (in English) are really transliterations - of Cyrillic etc.

I have Primephonic, so not too interested in Tidal. Though that may change.

Thanks, Stephen. That’s very encouraging!

Wow – I never knew about this view! I just happened to glance at this thread, and learned something incredibly useful. (And, very impressive about Roon). Thanks, @antonmb

And @Mark_Sealey – I did very little to get my library into a state where this would work – I unfortunately have little patience for metadata editing. The one thing I did do was make sure that each album of mine is identified by Roon. (Perhaps easier to do with a classical library of a few hundred like mine – not sure how large your classical library is).

I have the same Mandelring set BTW, and it shows up organized in this view. (All I did was make sure those albums were identified by Roon when I added them).

Haven’t read all of this thread, so not sure if that helps at all…

Thanks @otinkyad; it does help. I am getting an overwhelming sense that ‘all’ (!) one has to do is respect the form and format - and the arrangement of files - which come with each download and Roon does the rest.

(It still seems too good to be true, when set against classical music lovers’ experience of other online music data services.)

But thanks to Tony and the others here, it seems to be working as planned.

Great, glad that was somewhat useful. Interesting to hear that your experience with other classical data services was underwhelming. I’ve never tried them – had always just used iTunes until about a year ago). So I seem to have lucked out in stumbling into Roon’s classical music organization. (I’ve been just navigating by album covers – again, probably more feasible with a library of a few hundred).

BTW I just saw another thread of yours that mentioned Audirvana. I do have Audirvana, and found its organization to be such a nightmare that I quickly abdandoned it … I was probably doing something wrong. (As I said, I don’t have much patience with managaing metadata… :slight_smile:

@otinkyad - Yes, I hear you loud and clear.

For a while I tried Jaikoz. Equally complex tagging solution. Its developer was extremely helpful and takes as many pains and as much time and trouble as Barry does with Yate.

Tagging is… well, tagging. I am meticulous with my photos… at first with Aperture, now Photos. It seems to make sense to have as many ways of getting at one’s data as possible.

As for what is supposed to be the best (organized) online resource (and I don’t want to be negative… I’m sure it works well for most music genres except ‘Classical’; I’ve learnt to be acceptingly sanguine about being in this minority :slight_smile: ), this is what I get if I search on/for ‘mandelring mendelssohn chamber music’ for ‘Recording’:

So to have, as you say, ‘stumbled’ across Roon is a huge bonus.

I’m going to investigate storage and Nucleus next :slight_smile:

@Mark_Sealey Interesting about the other organization schemes.

To clarify, what I meant by ‘stumbling upon’ is that I chose Roon for other features (and am generally very happy) – I would have chosen it even with much worse classical music organization. So the classical music organization is what I’ve stumbled upon! (and even more so after what I’ve learned today).

BTW I have just gone the NUC route myself. (Nucleus is out of my budget. Also, I believe it locks you into a machine that cannot be used for anything else, whereas a NUC can be used for other things such as running Windows/Linux down the road).

After some bumps in the road (see UPDATED: Any experience with NUC10i7FNH + ROCK + Qobuz? [Was: Intel NUC + ROCK -- Qobuz won't work] if interested), I’m cautiously optimistic that it may give me a seamless “appliance” experience. (I haven’t yet updated that thread with my current optimism, because I’m still testing…

I can try to give pointers on NUC if that would help –

Thanks, @otinkyad.

I see what you mean about exactly what you came across by chance. Yes, Roon is clearly exceptionally well thought out.

I’m still at the very early stages of thinking about extra hardware. For years I’ve stuck to having all but the most ephemeral data and files on my main Macintosh HD volume… if for no other reason than ease of backup, about which I’m fanatical: multiple clones as well as Time Machine (I’m Mac only).

So one criterion for external storage would have to be ability to clone it and keep copies offline - not because I couldn’t download the FLAC files again; but because they may well end up having had a lot of work applied to them with meta tagging. Although much less than I thought a couple of days ago - thanks to this thread.

I’d be grateful for that, please; especially if macOS compatible and able to be backed up. My FLAC files have quickly grown to take up over 250 GB of my 1TB drive. And some of my external storage devices have begun to tug at both elbows.

@Mark_Sealey – In your case it seems like it might make sense to work backwards from storage, as you want Mac-compatibility even if using NUC/Nucleus.

Given that you want to be able to manage metadata on the music files you feed Roon, that means your music storage has to be readable+writable by Mac. That means you have to use an external drive with a NUC/Nucleus (my understanding is that either machine will impose its own format on internal storage drives). [EDIT 1: I suppose you could maintain your reference copy of tagged music files on a Mac-accessible disk and keep syncing this over the network to a disk attached internally or externally to NUC/Nucleus. That could obviate the need for an external disk attached to the NUC/Nucleus].

IMO an external drive attached to a NUC/Nucleus has other advantages as well: it gives greatest flexibility for music storage (as compared with using an internal drive in a NUC/Nucleus). This is because you can move it around, attach to other machines if needed. The downside is the NUC/Nucleus now has a drive hanging off of it.

A Nucleus does allow Mac formats for an external drive ( whereas a NUC running ROCK only allows ExFat (, which is a very space-inefficient format in my experience. But if you don’t need more than say 4-5 TB of space then ExFat’s inefficiency may not be a problem.

Per my understanding, you would be able to access any storage attached to a NUC/Nucleus as an smb:// share, and use Mac tools to back up.

[EDIT 2: Using a NAS could open up entirely different storage procedures, but I have no experience with using a NAS…]


@otinkyad - Thanks for that. Makes perfect sense.

I’m actually doubting that I need such an external device like this at all.

My ideal environment (at least at the moment) is to have the best player on my Mac:

  • for listening in one room
  • exporting analog via a DAC (Dragonfly Cobalt) to Sennheiser HD 800 S headphones, and
  • exporting via direct USB to my hifi system (Parasound Halo P6 + A23)

In the future, though, I may want to go multi-room.

I may be wrong, but I am beginning to think that perhaps I just need good external storage.

Even a nuc might be overkill for what I want.

In the case of storage I need to be able to make backups and not have Roon slowed down if it’s getting its FLAC files from an attached volume… so SSD or 7200 rpm spindle?

Hi @Mark_Sealey - Late again I must stop this sleeping habit :rofl:

We are obviously on different time scales I am South Africa GMT+1

Box sets can be a mixed blessing . The rule of thumb with Big Boxes is leave them alone.

Take for example Alfred Brendel the Complete Philips Recordings . In most cases the individual CD’s we “Released” as you see them in the set. BUT not all. Some have additional tracks added to the “original CD” take for example the Brahms Piano Concerto No.1 , it has The Ballades added to the original layout.

This is common with compilations especially where the original release was an LP and restricted to maybe 45-50 mins, so they pack the CD to 70-75 mins and now Roon cannot ID it as it was never released as such. There are many examples.

So splitting a Box into CD’s won’t normally work , there are of course exceptions as ever.

To give yourself (and Roon) the best shot just set each CD Folder to CD01, CD02 etc and import the Box as is . Chances are Roon will ID it

The drawback is the “Hyperlinks from Hell” effect of big Boxes where you can’t find anything

Roon is not good with Big Boxes !!! You have to navigate in other ways eg via the Composition View

As an aside , if you add anything after the CD01 eg CD01 - Brendel Plays Bach , then Roon will see that as an album , so CD59 - Some Music Name will be treated as a solo album , Roon will try to ID and likely fail.

“words of wisdom” from some one who has got the T Shirt :sunglasses:


You will find the author is active here too @paultaylor he wrote Jaikoz & SongKong

He replies here normally quite quickly

Have you read the Knowledge base on Bookmarks & Tags they can add another dimension when you want to split out “favourites” eg

Thanks, Mike. Yes - you’re about nine hours ahead of us in California (although I’m from the UK).

Much appreciate your digest on big boxes. I doubt that I’ll be importing that many CDs My aim is to build up FLAC files.

But you never know. Now I’m hooked. Yes, Paul has helped me when I was using Jaikoz.

Am still discovering the hidden corners of Roon - like favourites.

I’m from the UK originally , Hyde in Cheshire , I’ve been here 25 Years

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I suspect you weren’t doing anything wrong !! I mistakenly bought an Audirvana license I have never really got it to work properly also it too is a nightmare for Classical . Only having Artist and Album and not being able to differentiate Classical in any other way is just too limiting

I stick by JRiver where I can decide what the view look like

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As a very light uneducated classical listener this thread has been fascinating and educational. Thanks to @Tony_Casey for the masterclass.

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