MusicBrainz to Roon Metadata Mapping

I initially posted this under another topic but as the thread was over a year old, I don’t think anyone got to see it. It was triggered by a discussion about how Composers end up in Roon as Primary Artists (Performed by).

If I’m not mistaken, Roon (and probably many users) use MusicBrainz to source some of it’s Classical Metadata. This would explain why the Composer ends up in Track Artist. This is totally in accordance with MusicBrainz Style Guidlines for Classical Music:

“The Track Artist field should contain just the composer; not the performer(s).” 1

Since there are clear guidelines for MusicBrainz’ metadata ( 1), I wonder whether Roon can come up with some sort of mapping of all (not just Composer/Artist) MusicBrainz to Roon metadata which would make more sense in the Roon environment.

Fyi Songkong uses MusicBrainz but does special handling of classical music including removing composer from track artist and using conductor, soloist, orchestras instead. If you give it a whirl you’ll find the data it adds maps nicely into Room

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Hi Paul

Is there any options for showing composer as Surname only , eg Beethoven, MusicBrainz provides Ludwig van Beethoven

I know I can edit but …

Hi @paultaylor, thanks for responding to my post.

SongKong might be worth exploring but I’m not confident that it would resolve the problem. What I mean is that if Roon gets its data directly from MusicBrainz, i.e. without the benefit of SongKong corrections, then the data presented to the Roon user will still reflect what comes from MusicBrainz. So for example, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart will still be shown as a Primary Artist (like a performer) because Roon has not benefited from SongKong’s mappings. I think Roon would have to do SongKong-like mappings natively for it to work.

Perhaps I’m missing something or misinterpreted your suggestion?

No, Roon doesn’t work this way. The data is used to populate Roon’s own database, and many corrections are already done in the ingestion into Roon’s online database.

Right, sorry I may have muddled up two different things there, I started the post meaning that it is possible to take the MusicBrainz data but use it more intelligently, and gave example of SongKong meaning that Roon could do same thing. But then got distracted into the situation where you have tagged your own files and then tried to identify with Roon, and my suggestion was meant to be if you tagged from MusicBrainz via SongKong then you would get better metadata, especlally for those releases that Roon could not find match for.

No, sorry. I understand that alot of people do just use Composer LastName as Composer Name, but I don’t really understand why this is better than using whole name since sorting should be done by the sort field. For that reason I am relunctant to add it as a specific Classical option.

However I do want to add tag scripting, so then you could say things like ComposerName = lastName(composerName) or title = uppercase(title), but this feature is not currently available.

What I would suggest if yo want to keep display name as just last name is perhaps either you don’t let SongKong modify that field, or you do but use a tool that support regular expressions to do a finds and replace afterwards to just leave the last wod as last name, although this would not work in all cases so would need checking.

Thanks @Geoff_Coupe and @paultaylor .

I’ve pre-tagged most of my collection using MusicBrainz.

I find that even with albums that Roon recognises, I end up with the composer showing under “Performed by” and have had to manually edit these by deleting the composer from the Primary Artist list.

This is what leads me to believe that Roon is presenting the MusicBrainz Artist tag to populate Primary Artist. Not sure what other explanation could account for it.

Have you asked Roon to respect your file tags, or are you letting Roon decide what it will use?

I let Roon decide

I think you’re right. A rather recent example (that album was added to MusicBrainz a few days ago):

Roon does not yet remap composers / doesn’t remove them from Album Artists and Tracks if present in MusicBrainz. It usually should be an easy task when the Writer / Composer info is present. It’s a work in progress the Roon team says and maybe updates are imminent.

Interesting. Taking the example of Mozart, quoted by Martin, I have 178 compositions of Mozart in my library on 52 albums.

There are just two albums where Mozart has been listed as a performer: a version of the Requiem, where he is listed in the Production credits (Original material by…) and on an album of Michael Nyman’s music, also listed in the Production credits (Text by…).

I may have just been lucky…

I believe that all those albums are (at least) also present in another metadata source Roon uses. If musicbrainz only enriches allmusic data things seem to go well. But if there’s no allmusic reference musicbrainz data comes thru.

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Aha - could be. Roon still moves in mysterious ways its wonders to perform as far as I’m concerned. It’s a real black box at times…

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Thanks @ndrscr - good to know I’m not alone :slight_smile:

Hence, my suggestion that Roon should perform the re-mappings when using MusicBrainz. My logic is that since MusicBrainz metadata is governed by consistent and well documented guidelines/definitions, then MusicBrainz to Roon mapping should be possible and probably reasonably straightforward.

One can only hope…

So if you had used SongKong for albums that Roon doesnt recognise you would not have this issue since Composer would not be in PrimaryArtist field, for albums that Roon recognize Im not entirely sure if Roon would preserve SongKongs artist or change Artist to incorrect Composer to match incorrect MusicBrainz primary artist.

Hi Paul

I use both MusiCHI and SongKong to fix up stuff so I get 2 different formats anyway

If I bite the bullet and go to SongKong format I dread to think what I will trigger, Roon will see a changed file and reimport, reanalyse. JRiver will reimport, not to mention a 2tb back up job as virtually all my classical files will change

Do. Feel that brave :see_no_evil:

PS using SongKong universally is a route but some data in MusicBrainz is still a bit iffy. I love SongKong automation but it’s tough to follow it blindly sometimes with obscure box sets

No offense


Sure thing, the concept is pure automation we realize that is not going to work 100% of the time, I mean understanding this we added manual edit quite recently so for now the idea is just that SongKong can do most of the work for you, but probably not everything.

Yes, I think that’s right @paultaylor. I suspect that for the latter, Roon would show the Composer as Artist/Performer as it seems to do now.