Moving file formats... Do I lose all playlists and tweaks in Roon?

My library is AIFF for PCM and DSF for DSD files. I am considering moving all AIFF to FLAC.

In such a move, I would expect I would lose all customizations to albums (eg pointing to the right artists) as well as having to redo all my playlists. This alone could stop me from making such a move.

Am I correct? Is there a way to avoid these two issues?


I guess the answer depends on whether Roon deals with files or albums. I’d think the database is album based rather than based on underlying files so any changes/customisations should follow the album.

Assuming you’re doing it via Windows I’d disable the storage area, run the in-situ conversion using dbPoweramp (with a setting to write to the same folder, verify the resultant file and then delete the source file on successful verification) and only re-enable the storage area when the conversion is done.

If you’re using Linux I’d use Python Audio Tools.

Why not back up your library and try it as outlined above on a heavily customised album and see what happens?

Hi Miguel
Just curious why you would want to change AIFF to Flac?
The only reason I can personally think of is storage capacity, but this can hardly be a problem these days.

Two reasons would be better metadata support and in-built md5sum enabling file integrity to be easily checked.

I think your hunch is correct. I experimented with some ALAC files last year so just added them to Roon and they are seen as duplicates. So, it would seem that any changes to the album will follow through.

Try a few with customisations and see what happens.

I hear you on the in-built md5sum check, but to the best of my knowledge ( and experience) AIFF has all the metadata capabilities of Flac.
Couple of years ago, I have run a Ripping Service business. Ripping happened in Flac, but at,least for myself, I have converted everything to AIFF.

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I am a backup freak. I’ve hit a wall on some of my backup drives due to size. That’s the one and only reason really.

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Why AIFF? In my case I decided for AIFF when I started re-ripping my entire CD collection. I am a mac person so AIFF was a reasonable choice. Yes, there’s ALAC, but I felt no desire to get more embroiled with the Apple ecosystem more than I already am.

AIFF does have all the tagging capabilities that FLAC has to my knowledge. Certainly all the ones I use.

Learned something re aiff today. Thx.

Hi @miguelito,

Roon’s ability to match database entries to specific media depends on the files being the same, so it is not possible to change file formats while retaining edits, playlists, and play data.

Sheesh, that’s a real bummer.

I figured. Understood.

Keep both? Keep AIFF versions and upload new FLAC versions. Group the albums as alternative versions.

That makes no sense to me at all.

The whole point of moving to FLAC would be to reduce file size. [Moderated]

I have many cases where I have many copies of my local files. For sure local+tidal+qobuz. Sometimes I have many local versions grouped in versions - eg DSD, redbook, hi-res, MQA. But transcoding and keeping both? And going through the work of ensuring they would be recognized as versions of the same album (which often fails with Tidal and Qobuz versions)? [Moderated]

Get bigger hard drive(s) :upside_down_face:

If you export the files from within Roon do the fixes you’ve made get exported to file also? If yes you could round trip them by transcoding the exports to flac then reimporting into Roon having deleted the original files following export.

Do you mean any metadata fixes? No, Roon never touches your files at all. This is a good thing in my opinion.


I don’t think you uderstood what @evand was asking. When you export music files, Roon does indeed include the Roon metadata in the exported files. At least that is what I have experienced. He was asking if you export the files via Roon, change their format, and then add them back to Roon, do your fixes get preserved?

Yes, I understood the question. My understanding was that Roon would never touch the files at all, and I expected an export to respect that.

However, I just tried it: I edited an album with a modified Album Artist, exported it, and you are correct - the export shows the modified album artist.

As for export via Roon, change the format, and reimport - I don’t see why this would do anything to make Roon consider the new format file as the same as the original one.

I can imagine if you made the fie name identical - ie AIFF extension for a FLAC file - this might work. But that would be such a frankenstein solution… I would not try that.

Wow. It sure is hard to help you as you fight all the help all the way…

An export does not touch the original files. It exports new files with the metadata as seen in Roon at the time of the export. What would be the point of exporting otherwise???

Using an external program to modify the file format of these exported files should leave the metadata alone. If set you Roon up properly, the “customizations” you made should survive. No one said that Roon would somehow consider the newly converted files the same as the old files. The file extensions are different so that is not possible. So your playlists would not survive but your “tweaks” probably would.

@evand was trying to offer you a partial solution. I was trying to explain it because it was clear you did not understand the process suggested…I am sure I will be punished for doing so.