Missing Tracks due to special characters

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

MacBook Pro 13 (2018 model), 3.5GHz Core i7, 16GB memory, 1TB SSD, macOS Mojave version 10.14.5
Running Roon Core build 416

Network Details (Including networking gear model/manufacturer and if on WiFi/Ethernet)

Wireless Router: Synology RT2600ac

Audio Devices (Specify what device you’re using and its connection type - USB/HDMI/etc.)

Currently using the Core / MacBook Pro with headphones.

Description Of Issue
Dear @support
I recently noticed that a lot of tracks are missing from my iTunes playlists which are imported in Roon. I keep all my music on iTunes as this allows me to organise music easily. In order to do that, I create playlists which Roon sees and imports. I then Tag playlists in Roon and subsequently use these Tags for playback and focus / bookmarking. Recently, I noticed that the iTunes playlists imported into Roon are missing tracks… a lot of tracks.

To try and diagnose, I first confirmed that there are no skipped files. Indeed all my iTunes tracks are successfully imported in Roon. However, tracks are missing from the iTunes imported playlists. I have narrowed down the problem to a well known issue: special characters in songs. A lot of my music is Flamenco, latin vocal and folk form various countries, as such there are quite a few special characters not only in the song title but also in the album name, grouping, genre etc. I can see this in iTunes when I select a song and click ‘song info’.

As a result of the special characters, the tracks are not shown in the iTunes imported playlists and are therefore missing completely from my library in Roon.

I can manually edit song info through iTunes in order to ensure there are no special characters and this results in the track appearing successfully in the playlist that Roon imports. However, this is not a viable solution as I would have to manually edit hundreds of tracks.

Is there any solution to the above problem that does not involve manually editing song info? Any way that I can employ to have all my tracks shown under iTunes playlists imported to Roon?

Many thanks

Hi @Yiannis_Kouropalatis,

Can you verify where your media is stored? Is it directly on the Mac or is it stored over the network on a different machine?

Hi dylan and thank you for getting back to me.

I can confirm that the media is stored locally on the MacBook Pro SSD (in the default Music folder for itunes). The Roon Core and iTunes folder are both located in the same laptop.
Hope this helps

Hi @Yiannis_Kouropalatis,

Thanks for confirming this. I checked with the team and confirmed that we have a ticket open for this with our development team. I can’t provide any specific timelines for when this will be resolved, but I’ll be sure to keep you updated here once more information is available.

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Thank you very much Dylan. Much appreciated.

Hi Dylan, I had still been having this issue as well with iTunes managing files on my Nucleus+ (as we discussed here), and earlier this fall gave up waiting and spent something like six hours going through and doing the edit trick to metadata fields in iTunes to get hundreds of missing tracks to finally show up in my iTunes playlists in Roon. Now, a few days ago, I upgraded finally to Catalina, and the new setup with Music (rather than iTunes) I believe seems to have destroyed all my work and I am back to square one. (Music requires me to export a Library xml for Roon to import the playlists, and now again hundreds of tracks that contain diacritical marks are missing from the playlists in Roon, though they show up fine in Roon otherwise.) I am deeply frustrated and desperate for a lasting solution to this problem, do you have any updates on a timeline? Alternatively, for now, is there any way I can add some sort of metadata tag using Apple Music or another app that can mark songs as belonging to certain playlists that I can then view in Roon and use to recreate my playlists in full as Roon playlists?

Hi @tc4972 — Apologies for the continued trouble here.

I checked out internal tracker and confirmed that the ticket for this is still with our development team. I can’t provide any specific regarding timelines on this, but I’ve made sure to pass your feedback along to the team about this issue.

You can use ROONALBUMTAG and ROONTRACKTAG as outlined here in our KB as a workaround to get this working for you while we are waiting on new information from the development team on this.

If you have any questions please do let us know, and apologies again for the trouble.

If anyone runs across this thread and has been dealing with this problem (ping @Yiannis_Kouropalatis), after spending a ridiculous number of frustrating hours on it, I’ve learned a few things I wish I’d known sooner.

First, as others in the Roon Community have recommended for a variety of purposes, get Yate and figure out how to use it. It’s a complex and very powerful app that takes some research and experimenting to learn, and I’ve only barely scratched the surface, but it has given me ways to deal with this problem of songs with special characters not showing up in playlists.

Most recently, for example, I’ve had this same problem when putting m3u playlists on a microSD card to play using a Chord Poly—any tracks with special characters in the song file name won’t appear in playlists when viewed with a DNLA or MPD control app. Maybe this is related to the similar issue described here with Roon.

What I finally discovered in Yate was, for me, a somewhat hidden and obscure technical function that allows Yate to go through file & folder names for song files in iTunes/Apple Music and simply “remove accents” from characters that have them without changing anything else, as described here under “Post Rename Functions.” (Be absolutely sure all the files you’re changing are “Linked” in Yate’s operations window to iTunes/Apple Music before doing this, otherwise you’ll have to relocate or reimport all of them.) I haven’t been able to spend yet more time testing whether running this operation fixes the ability of Roon to see all the song files in imported iTunes/Apple Music playlists, but it might well do so.

Meanwhile, for the playlists I wanted in Roon (before I had discovered the above “remove accents” function), I did use @dylan’s recommendation to create and add a ROONTRACKTAG, using Yate, to the song files in each of my iTunes/Apple playlists. Then, with those tags allowing me to identify all songs in a group in Roon, I created new Roon playlists. Again, this was a huge pain and took way too much time, but it was possible once I figured out how to use Yate to do it.

1 Like

Great feedback re Yate. I have not personally used it but based on what you describe it sounds powerful. As for me…
I ended up removing iTunes completely and transferred all my music into folders that mirror the iTunes (now Music App) playlists I was previously using. I set up Roon playlists that mirror these. The problem disappeared and all tracks are now present and accounted for. The drawback was that I had to recreate Roon playlists, re-tag them and the re-create bookmarks. A pain. It also means that since I am not using the super user friendly Music App playlists to organise my music, I have to categories twice each time I add anything (Local folder / subfolder structure) and then Roon playlists + Tags. It is a pain and highly cumbersome but removing iTunes / Music App has fixed the missing tracks problem for me.

Glad you found a solution. Once I had tagged all my files by Apple playlist to make them identifiable in Roon, I might have ditched Apple Music, too, and just switched to making all playlist edits only in Roon, which would be simpler. For me, the reason I’ve kept using iTunes/Apple Music is so that my songs & playlists will be available on my iOS devices via Apple Music’s matching/sync service when I’m on the go, since Roon has no mobile functionality. Definitely adds complexity, though, and as you say it requires cumbersome double manipulation of playlists, which is why the special characters roadblock has been so frustrating—a tiny technical issue makes what promised to be a very easy and elegant solution into time-consuming mess. To be fair, this problem doesn’t seem to be unique to Roon, since it seems to affect m3u playlists generally.


I wanted to reach out and let you know that we released Roon 1.7 Build 571, which includes some improvements that we believe should help here. Please give the update a try and let us know if it helps!

You can read the full release notes here:

Roon Support

Hi there,

I am a new Roon user, still within my trial period, and I am thoroughly frustrated by tracks missing in the library due to special characters.

In particular, many classical tracks may contain double quotes (e.g. Beethoven - Symphonie Nr. 6, op. 68 “Pastorale”), but forward slashes are also not uncommon. As described here (https://kb.roonlabs.com/FAQ:_Some_of_my_files_aren’t_showing_up_in_Roon), quite a few special characters will lead to problems.

While other players (I also use Audirvana and Amarra, sometimes VLC) have no issues with these tracks, Roon just ignores them, not even giving a warning or listing them under “Library > Settings > Skipped files”. This is very disappointing behaviour.

Is there a chance that these restrictions will be lifted in the future? Otherwise I will have to somehow identify and rename all files in my library (ca. 20,000) just to make sure Roon isn’t ignoring them. Not a task I look forward to, really :frowning:

Thank you for your feedback on this,

EDIT: The files are stored on my Synology NAS, copied there from my iMac (which runs the Roon Core). I stopped using iTunes years ago (because it messed up my music collection once too often, overwriting file names and metadata as it saw fit), and ever since Audirvana was my first choice for listening to my music.

EDIT #2: I found a way to rename my files and replace the special characters listed in the KB article using a Mac renaming app.

However, I needed to force rescan (Settings > Storage > three dots menu) for Roon to show the previously missing files. I am surprised that the real-time folder watching did not catch the rename – I first tried with a single album, two tracks were renamed, but it did not register the change.

So my issue is kind of resolved, but I guess other users will not necessarily be happy with having to rename all of their existing files. Remember that this can have a negative affect on existing playlists :-/

Hello @K52, my apologies for the delayed response here. We appreciate the feedback on this issue and I’ve passed this information over to our QA team for further investigation.

Thank you, @nuwriy.

As I said, I have half solved it for myself at the sacrifice of losing a few titles from my playlists.

It is highly annoying though if you decide to listen to, say, Bach’s St Matthew Passion (ca. 70 tracks), and only while listening you realise that 10 or 12 of those are missing. This happened to me before, and it really spoils the day if a 3-hour listening session is chopped up by technology.

So, if you cannot add support for special characters in file names, you should at least introduce some kind of notification for each album that it is incomplete.

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