Metadata Sync between Server and Remote Computers

I’m a Mac OS user, and I am trying to learn more about the metadata management. I made some edits in genres, etc on one of my remote machines. I was glad to find that the changes were reflected on the server machine, but not on the other remote machine.

As a general question, suppose I am using Roon on three different computers: server, remote 1, and remote 2. Each machine has its own library folder (under /Library/Roon) where the metadata are kept. How do the edits done on one machine get synchronized on others?

This is related to another future issues of having to change my server or media storage HD. How can I keep all the edits and customized metadata on future hardware changes?

There is one database which is on the Core. The Remotes access that database. You can (and should) regularly backup that database as soon as you have any investment in playlists, edits or metadata which is not embedded in tags.

When you change server you move the database from the old server to the new server.

Changing a library on a single HD can be problematic currently so far as preserving edits etc if files are copied into a new volume name. It is better to clone the old HD onto the new and swap them. Using a NAS with a RAID configuration is better.

There is continuing work being done on stabilising edits when files are moved.

Thanks for the quick response. I get the idea about how the database is managed, but I am still puzzled about this issue. Here’s exactly what happened.

On my iTunes database, i organized all PCM HD files in “HD Music” genre, which showed up as an “uncategorized” genre in Roon. On Remote 1, I went into the “uncategorized” genres, selected “HD Music” genre and moved it up as a “top-level genre.” So now “HD Music” shows up on the top page of “Genres” browser which includes all my 163 HD albums. When I check on the Server, I was glad to see that all the changes were perfectly synced on the Server.

Now here’s a funny thing, which I suspect is a bug. On Remote 2, I see that “HD Music” is created as a new genre, but inside it I only find a couple of albums. When I check one of the missing 161 albums on Remote 2, check the "Edit Fields"tap, I see “HD Music” genre icon showing up, BUT it is not recognized as a top-level genre and the album is not searchable under that genre. I have to manually re-enter the same “HD Music” genre name into the album and it properly shows up.

Furthermore, both on Server and Remote 1 where all albums are properly included in the new top-level “HD Music” genre, but now under the “HD Music” genre it incorrectly indicates “0 Artists”.

I hope I made it clear. Any diagnosis?

I’d suggest:

  • Settings/Setup/Clean up Library; and
  • Select all the PCM files with Focus/Format and Focus/Inspector/Storage location and then Edit/ rescan them as a batch.

If those things don’t work, post back here and I’ll shift the thread to Support and we’ll get someone who knows far more about genres than me to check it out. :smile:

I just revised the explanation above to make it clear. I think I found out what went wrong. Your first suggestion of cleaning up the library did not solve the problem.

How do I edit 160 albums at the same time and rescan?

Focus/Inspector/Storage location to show iTunes database
Focus/Format to show PCM albums
Select All (Ctrl-a)

Sorry, but it still doesn’t solve the problem. However, I followed your tip and batch-edited the genres for all these albums. Still the “0 Artists” errors remain. I guess i will just have to reassign a new genres from scratch.


The settings for “Show Genres from File Tags” and “Show Roon Genres” are display/browsing settings–so if you want to set them up on multiple remotes, they need to be set on each remote.

Is it possible that you set “Show Genres from File Tags” on the server and not the remote? That sort of sounds like the behavior you’re describing, but I’m not 100% sure.

This was the first time today I tried to mess around with the metadata. I have not done modifying the genres on my server machine. It looks like the current two new genres I created got messed up and I will have to try it out and see for myself.

Still what is puzzling is the inconsistent behavior. How come the changes in Remote machine get reflected on the server but not on the other remote machine? Also, if the browsing settings are local in each remotes, why does the genres setup propagated everywhere?

Also another question: So do the modifications of display/browsing settings done at the server propagate to all other remote machines?

Hi Hong,
Pleased to hear you were able to batch edit OK. I’ll set a notification for @brian so he can see your questions, (which I’m afraid I don’t know). If he thinks your system is behaving unexpectedly then he’ll arrange further investigation.

Also another question: So do the modifications of display/browsing settings done at the server propagate to all other remote machines?

No, they are intentionally per-remote.

Being able to have different browsing settings is crucial in households with different kinds of users. We have noticed that in many such households, mobile devices (remotes) are personal, so making these settings per-device is a lot like making them per-person.

It means that your partner’s iPad can have a more user-friendly view (Roon genres, no additional format information, no displaying of hidden items), while yours is set up for a more technical view (Show all genres, show format info everywhere, display hidden items, etc).

We’ve thought about moving these settings to be per-profile. That may happen at some point.

Hi Brian,

Thank you for the clarification. I just found out that it was the “Show Genres from the File Tags” which was turned on on Server but not on Remote 2.

I still feel that the way it is set up is somewhat inconsistent. The new genre that was set up as a genre tag through iTunes setting was moved up as a top-level genre on Remote 1. This should not have happened on the Server and Remote 2. Furthermore, it looks like non-Roon genres fail to pick up the total number of artists under it (which is the case for all three machines).

I’m going to create a whole new top-level genre on the server and see what happens. In any case, there seems to be a need for clean-up on this tricky issue. It’s not a big deal, but I like Roon so much that I cannot tolerate anything but perfect. :smile:

@Brian is describing how things are displayed Per client.

I think @hgim82 is talking also about fundamental data structure changes
E.g. Genre mapping.

If these are fundamental to the core database they should be available to all clients??

Need for clarification here I think.

Genre mappings affect the core database in the server, and affect all clients equally.

Client-side genre display rules are based on where the file->genre link comes from (file tags, or roon’s metadata). Client-side display rules may hide the result of genre mappings if the genre on the right hand side of the mapping is only referenced via file tags.

Dear Brian,

I understand now the general rules. Still, please fix the issue of new top-level genres not properly picking up the total number of artists. I can actually click “View All 0 Artists” and see all the artists in there. It’s just the number counting that doesn’t work properly.


Understood. We’ll look into it. Thanks!

I think I know what the issue is. When I create a new genre (HD Music) and assign all HD albums to it, the new genre doesn’t get attached to all the artists involved with the albums. This is because not all albums by Artist A falls into HD music.

This is a logical hole, as one would usually assign genres to albums not artists. In Roon, the focus search is only possible under Album search, not Artist search.

Even if it automatically assigns the same “HD Music” genre to all artists who produced all the HD albums, this doesn’t solve the problem completely. As the way it is set up, I go to the “HD Music” genre and click “Miles Davis” under it, it again shows all albums by Miles Davis, not just the HD Albums by Miles, which should really be the case.

Any suggestions to resolve this twisted logic?

HD Music isn’t a genre for me. I would use tags for that.

It applies to the real genres as well. Let me give you an example: suppose Pat Metheny has jazz albums and rock albums. Let’s assume that you cannot call any of the albums into both genres at the same time. Ideally, when I browse “Jazz” and choose Pat Metheny under it, I should only see Pat Metheny’s jazz albums, excluding his rock albums. Under the current setup, I will again see all Metheny’s albums, although I initially wanted to browse under the jazz genre only.

In summary, artists search under any genre must be conditional. You cannot attach ten different genres under one artist just because this musician produced music in ten different genres. In my opinion, genres should only be attached to albums (which is how Roon search function is set up in the first place), and Roon should search artists conditionally under each genre.

If this gets too complicated, at least a modification should be made such that each time i assign a new genre to a collection of albums, all artists related to these albums should automatically be added into the new genre. You can’t argue that this is my subjective opinion, because that is exactly how a new genre is assigned in the current setup. As long as Roon decided to allow users to create a new genre, this issue must be fixed so that new genres function consistently with Roon genres.

I hope @ncpl & @brian will see this and respond.

OK…let me share what I do if I want to see Pat Meth albums and just those that are jazz…

Filter on Pat Meth which gives me 44 albums; 38 jazz, 3 Pop/Rock and 1 Other.

If I now filter on Jazz then I get just the 38.

Maybe it’s just a method question of how we go about achieving the result we seek.

Notice the album counts change and the genres available for focus is the subset that are genres of the Pat Meth albums.

Does this help?