My Box Set Solution

So, lots of discussion on box sets… here is where I landed. Not saying this is the best way or the right way, but it works for my collection with Roon.

IMO, there are two kinds of box sets:

  1. A collection of albums - e.g. NAXOS box set of Haydn String Quartets

  2. A deluxe edition of an album - e.g. Soundgarden - Superunknown (Super Deluxe, Box Set)

Here is an example of type 1)

This is an unordered collection of albums from, in this case, a collection of DG playlists I added to Roon from Qobuz (I also purchased some of them - they are quite good).

Here are some example of type 2)

In these cases (Tears For Fears “Songs From The Big Chair” and Simple Minds “New Gold Dream”), there is a primary album (i.e. the album tracks when published), followed by a number of albums containing extended content (e.g. alternate takes, demos, live tracks, radio edits, whatever). This seems to be a common patterns with every non-classical box set I own.

What’s important for me with type 2) is I want to see the alternate artwork and album title; and, I want the primary album to show first in the collection.

So, this is what I do:

  1. Use single disc numbering (i.e. do NOT set N of M disc numbers) and each CD gets its own folder

  2. Primary or Disc 1 - Album Title [YYYY Engineer] | [YYY Remastered] to primary album in box (the year number will cause it sort first in listings and in all of my cases, box sets usually are remastered, so I list that in brackets with the year and mastering engineer)

  3. Disc 2…N - Album Title [Sub-Title] with unique album art applied and the sub-title added in brackets.

The great news here is that Roon extracts information in [brackets] or (parenthesis) and annotates the album cover (see my examples above). A practice I started long before Roon was to add (SACD), (BD), (DVD-A), etc, in parens so I could keep track of my optical plastic. Nice to see how Roon displays these annotations on the album cover.

  1. Add Sub-title to Grouping tag (not used by Roon, but by other media apps)

  2. Identify (sub-titles) in Roon - assign correct track titles, as needed - sometimes, not always, the additional stuff in the album title / different track listings will cause Roon to mark the sub-title albums as not identified. So, I go in and ID as the original album and chose the track listing that matches with the actual tracks.

  3. Add Box Set - Artist Album tag to all sub-titles - finally, add a Roon tag to each disc, so that they are all collected.

Here are some examples from a bookmark showing my box sets as described above:

A note: I setup my library to prioritize my metadata for Album and Track titles over the Roon versions, so that’s why you see the [ … ] and ( … ) stuff in the album titles in my examples.

Whew… now I am ready to tackle the 18-disc Tangerine Dream: In Search Of Hades box set.


Interesting technique. How do you get the “Box Set” text to show orange in Roon?

It’s a bookmark of a filtered display of tags - by adding “box set” to the filter field. See below:


Hi, just a note to let you know I moved the thread to Roon Software as it was not a Feature Request.

Back to regular programming…

But, I do a lot of what you do already. I individually split box sets, set group identies with versions, and keep the organized with Tags, and Tags of Tags, Bookmarks, etc.

Huh. How do you create tags of tags?

My way of saying you can make a tag that is comprised of other tags, another way of saying it would be “nested tags”. Say, I have tags for my Blu Rays, Box Sets, DVD sources, Multichannel, Opera, Singles, Soundtracks and Live CDs. I can group those tags into a SuperTag. The tag is not placed at the album level but at the tag level, hence, tag of tags. Like in the shot below, notice all the elements of this tag are other tags.


Got it… I was wondering what the “Add to tag…” menu item was all about.


UPDATE: OK, so I finished ripping all 18 discs from the Tangerine Dream “In Search Of Hades” box set, including 2 Blu-Rays that included 3 albums.

I used the methodology described above, ripping with XLD (CDs), MakeMKV + DVD Audio Extractor (Blu-Rays), tagging with Metadactics, transcoding with XLD, importing into iTunes and then into Roon (I use my iTunes library with Roon).

All good, I guess, except for two issues:

  1. Importing an 18 disc box set as separate albums sort of overwhelms the Overview display. I actually use the default view to quickly get to recent imports, but that’s a small problem solved by a click of View All and side-scrolling:

  1. Box set arrangement per the actual box:

To get to this view is 1) assign the Box Set tag to each album (thankfully, you can multi-select the albums and assign in one shot; 2) click on the tag, 3) click on View All Albums and 4) click on Sort By Album Title.

Finally, I assigned a bookmark to return to this view in one click.

Not a perfect solution, but it works. Now, on to listening… I’ve already listened to the BD Steven Wilson re-mixed version of Phaedra. Wow. The bad news is that they were unable to locate the original master tapes for Rubycon, but the new treatments for Phaedra, Ricochet and Oedipus Tyrannus was worth the price of admission (for me, anyway). I highly recommend this box set, if you can find it.

I like your ideas. There is, however, a third category of box sets: collections of tracks where the disks don’t correspond to preexisting albums. Examples of this include any of the giant Bernstein boxes, or most any multi-disk “greatest hits” collection. These can be challenging to deal with in Roon.


I would make the case that this is another example of type 1 - collection of albums. They may not have been previously released, so not having existing, unique album art. But, they will likely have a sub-title.

I looked at the example you gave and each of the 80 CDs does have a unique album jacket (looking at the Amazon product photos). Looking at the upper right corner, you can see printing to the left of the disc number, so that seems like a sub-title.

Hi all. Reviving this thread in search of a way to organize box sets (far) less complicated than many of those presented here. Specifically, I am seeking a way to organize the Neil Young Archives Vol I (9 discs) and Vol II (10 discs). I like the approach that @Krutsch (Type 2) used in that the main box set is displayed at the top, and then each of the component parts are displayed thereafter, including disc-specific album covers and metadata.

I tried what Krutsch suggested, but it is still not parsing the box set properly. Now I didn’t follow all of his steps exactly as suggested (and maybe I need to do so). But I made the changes that I thought would work.

I have successfuly worked with more unified box sets (i.e., Mosaic Records jazz sets) where all X discs share the same cover art and box set metadata. It’s Neil Young that takes on the look and feel of what is presented in this thread and elsewhere. Any tips on how to make this work better?

I know box set are really tough in Roon, but hoping there is a way that I can make this work.



I use the classical Work Name attribute to organize box sets where I don’t want individual album art for each CD – only the main box set art work.

Here’s how my Neil Young Archive 1 looks (archive 2 is treated the same way):

Here’s how I did it:

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That’s a really clever approach! Especially for non-classical where we rarely need works to be works.


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Thanks! works well for me. Still wish there was a way to show album art for both the box set and the individual cds/albums, but does a pretty nice job…

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I’ve been playing around with this approach on and off for a good part of the day. I somehow got off track (I think I followed your link to the Box Sets B-52s vs Grateful Dead where you discussed ROONALBUMTAG with CSN and I was working that, but still with some inconsistencies with the final results.

I then backtracked searching for information about how to make the Roon “Work Name” field work in this case. If I create a Work Name field in dBPoweramp (like I did for ROONALBUMTAG) and add the component albums within NYA, will Roon be able to ingest that data? It’s a bit unclear to me at this point.

Here is the I progress I made today with ROONALBUMTAG.

  • I took all nine discs in Vol 1 and edited the Album field using the component name (i.e., “Early Years (1963-1965)”. After a few attempts, I realized the tag search for NYA, Vol 1 would not be in disc order, and I then added “Disc 1” before the title, so: "“Disc 1 - Early Years (1963-1965)”

  • In dBPoweramp (couldn’t figure out how to do so in MP3-tag) I created the ROONALBUMTAG field and added the “Album: Neil Young Archives, Vol I” so I could filter in tags and bring together all nine discs in disc number order.

Here are the screenshots of discs 1 and 6:

Mixed results so far:

  • I can pull all component discs together using the tag. The disc number preceding the component discs do not appear and it is unclear to me of the sort order.

  • The album art and component titles are not always presented. I highlighted discs 1 and 6:

I examined the tracks within each of discs and determined that the “Neil Young Archives, Vol 1…” that has red box is, in fact, disc 6.

This is very much a work in progress, but I am bit stumped at this point. Best to call it quits for the day…

@David_Weinberg - Went back and looked at the details on how I setup my box sets. BTW, I’m using Yate for metadata editing so am not familiar with DBPowerAmp. Yate is setup with an integration with Roon so all the Roon specific tags are setup for use in the system.

In any case, each of the tracks you want to treat like I’m suggesting have to have Roon Work and Roon Part tags set properly for each track (this is what Yate calls them). They correspond to ID3 tags WORK and PART which is actually what has to be written out in the files.

I did this a while ago and think it will work correctly with only the “Roon Work” tag but I can’t remember for sure and since I’ve set them both in my files so I’d use both. The “Roon Work” should be set to the Album name or Live Show or whatever grouping you want inside the box set and the “Roon Part” needs to be set to the track names that are inside the “Roon Work”.

I’m not using the “Roon Album Tag” (ID3 tag is "ROONALBUMTAG) at all. Hope that helps. Good luck!


If you want to do this this with this type of box-set where there are no original releases or there are significant differences, for example in the running order of original releases you can try this.

  1. Move the box to another location where roon isn’t watching.
  2. Settings → Library → Clean up library (so roon has no memory of your previous import attempts)
  3. Rename the disks to something other than CD1, CD2, etc. otherwise roon will assume you want to group the discs as a box, which you don’t. I did this:


4, Make sure that you have set both the disc number and the track number. This is important otherwise it won’t work. In mp3tag it looks like this:

You will notice that I also put in the label and the catalogue number for the box-set. This is optional but it will help.

  1. This step is the trick. You actually want roon to identify each separate disk against the box-set because that’s where the metadata is. So make sure all of your disks have the same box-set album name. In mp3tag it looks like this:

  1. If you do this then roon will identify each disc seperately against each disk in the box-set and you end up with this:

You can then collect each disk into a tag to end up with this:

The main advantage of following this procedure is that roon will identify each track as a composition and draw the links to other releases in your local library and also on-line to your streaming subscription. This is a large part of the magic of roon. So for example, on disk 8 of Vol. 1 you will see something like this:

That “pile of disks” symbol tells you that roon has identified “Heart of Gold” as a composition by Neil Young and has linked it to both the other releases in your local library and the universe of content on-line. If you click on it you will get to this page:

As you can see, roon has found 118 recordings of Heart of Gold. That is exactly what I would expect with a seminal work like this. This is a combination of local and Qobuz content. It is also a combination of various Neil Young releases and a lot of very interesting covers you can spend hours exploring.

You can also use the Classical work tag method which is a clever idea and you may prefer but you will loose any composition level identification which may or may not be important to you. For me personally this is the major point of roon.


Yeah… I couldn’t find any way to fix the sorting problem, other than to use a Bookmark with sort criteria.

While the Work tag is an interesting concept, I have used that before to organize disks within a box set by using the ID3 Grouping tag. This works well for Audirvana, but is ignored by Roon.

Ultimately, the box set problem is made difficult by Roon’s design focus to integrate local and streaming libraries. So, custom tags are a problem because they won’t exist in TIDAL, for example.

I don’t see any other way to group box sets with different CD album art and sorted in the box set’s ordering without using a Bookmark.

Good luck…

I noted this in my original post linked to above. If you care about the identity (and artwork) of the individual CDs more than the box set, then I use a method more like yours. In this case I’ll put an album tag on each of the albums in the box set so you can see which box set they came from.

If I care more about the box set identity than the individual CDs identities, then the classical organization is perfect. In the examples I’ve chosen, I care more about the box set.

But of course you have to decide what you care most about.

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Lots of good paths to pursue. Despite my eagerness to re-engage tonight, I shall resist. Perhaps listening to, say, Neil Young, might be a good way to spend the evening rather than think about how to organize the NYA.

I’ll explore the different options over the next few days and hopefully come up with one that works without much difficulty and meets my needs.

Thanks to all.

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