My thoughts on Roon after a week of use

Hello everyone,

After some humming and hawing, I finally decided I would try out the 2 weeks of Roon that you can get as a free trial, seeing as it seems to get pretty universal praise (albiet a lot of people in agreement that the price is pretty outrageous.)Set-up was extremely easy, just needing to put in the file paths etc for my NAS and I left it to do its thing for a few hours.

So what do I think? So far, it’s pretty good, especially for more popular things, but I have a large amount of electronic music, a lot of which is vinyl only and I or my friends have digitised and this is where I find roon to be lacking. If i search for Neil Young or the Beatles, plenty of information comes up, even information on different editions where I may have that, but if i search for S.O.N.S or Betonkust it has absolutely no information whatsoever. Even some more well known artists such as Bonnie “Prince” Billy/Palace Music/Palace have some errors which I find a bit grating. If i click on the Palace moniker, it shows an image of some 4 piece band and has a desciption of them, but has A.K.A all the other monikers underneath.

While I understand that this kind of thing cannot be easy to automate or curate (I’m not sure how they do it on their end) for the price I would expect it to at least get it right or not show it at all.

In terms of the actual sound. So far I have mostly been using it on my laptop with an AudioQuest dragonfly or with sonos devices around the house. All of this integrates extremely well and it is especially nice being able to visualise the entire signal chain. I haven’t really messed around with the DSP elements, but there seems to be a huge amount of options for all the tweakers out there.

I understand that these kind of threads probably pop up all the time, but I figured it would be decent to get the perspective of someone that isn’t totally enamoured with it and for those of us here that maybe don’t stick to the classics as much as others.

All in all, it’s definitely some great software and I think if you do have a focus on more mainstream rock or “classics” or from my small digging in the area, classical and jazz, this could be really great for you. But I can’t see myself paying for this anytime soon.

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you’re wrong about classical, it’s abysmal.


Roon first off relies on two services to retrieve metadata. It will also use metadata in your files to match. If this is not particularly good then it may not find a match automaticallybut more often you can if you go and tweak the metadata options to get a match noones collection is fool proof in this regard without some manual intervention.

Unfortunately the music metadata services from AllMusic and MusicBriainz Roon relies on will also need them to be in their databases your first two don’t seem to have much in the way of data on those artists for Roon to get this info. The others I have and have no issues with matching in Roon.

Out of my entire collection of 500+ I had only 20 odd that Roon could not match and I have some not so popular music in their.

IMO, it’s not abysmal at all. But then, I’m easily pleased.

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In what way? I’m not trolling, I am asking a sincere question.

For my small classical collection (300+ albums), I take the time to hand-tag my classical tracks w/ work & movement, but I don’t add conductor, musicians, et al. For my collection, at least, it seems to be all there in Roon, including multiple versions of works. I have a few box sets, which are a pain to rip & tag, but that works, too.

Hi and welcome to the world of Roon.

There’s a lot of work yet to be done behind the scenes as regards allowing easier tinkering with data our side. There’s been pressure from users to allow better curating options and also for users to be able to add and edit their own bios and reviews for artists and albums.

Hopefully Roon will one day integrate these requests, but I would strongly recommend you buy into Roon for what it is now and not what you would like it to become. Even the “no brainer” improvements pass by the wayside year on year, which can lead to frustration if you are expecting them to come along soon.

Don’t get me wrong, I like Roon a lot, and I say this only so might take on board its limitations and accept Roon as it is, warts and all.

For me, the multiroom capability, rock solid chromecast audio support and ability to personalise albums, tracks and artists using tags and bookmarks really overshadow any limitations in curation which are apparent.

I hope you can stick with it :slight_smile:

Welcome Ethan! Have you set up with Tidal and Qobuz? That’s really where Roon is great, integrating your local collection into a wider streaming context.

I listen to a lot of self-published or very small label music, mostly jazz and related from up-and-coming/avant-garde NYC and European artists, mostly via Bandcamp downloads. Roughly 1/2 of that has no metadata on Roon, because it is not listed on Rovi/AllMusic or Musicbrainz. In the last while, I’ve been using Musicbrainz Picard and my personal Musicbrainz account to add metadata for my otherwise unlisted acquisitions. Eventually that metadata comes back through Roon. It’s the reality of the music industry. Even some bigger independent jazz labels fail to upload metadata to Rovi or Musicbrainz (Intakt Records, I’m staring at you). Even with this extra work, Roon is worth it for me because it requires a lot less hand-curation for a reasonable experience than anything else I used before, and it supports multiple endpoints, which matters in my home setup.

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Box set handling is terrible. Try make sense of something like these in Roon:


My question does any other software do any better with classical box sets?

Others don’t claim to be metadata rich surfable magazines about your music, turning this:

into this:


Interesting. OK, I am using this as I rip a box set I purchased:

Is the problem in your examples the lack of individual performers for CDs/tracks? Not ideal, but you could manually add those missing elements from other sources (such as the booklet that likely came from the box set you purchased).

At the end of the day, if the metadata doesn’t exist in an electronic form, what would anyone else be able to do better?

IMO, the ultimate solution to this problem is a crowd sourcing mechanism that allows Roon users to share hand-edited data assigned to these tracks by Roon users. If Roon modeled a system after something like Stackoverflow, with voting, et al., the right data set would quickly materialize.

For now, for me, I am hand-editing tags in iTunes and importing into Roon. Show me a system that does anything better for box sets.

The problem with boxsets is that the labels (DGG and Chandos in your case) do not provide decent metadata. Looking at what Rovi/AllMusic have for those, no information about performers (orchestra, conductor, soloists, …) for instance. Do you expect Roon to obtain that information telepathically?

The biggest boxset I own is Sony’s “The Complete Columbia Album Collection” of performances conducted by Pierre Boulez. Rovi/AllMusic metadata for it was terrible. Some of the discs were identified by Roon because they were identical to original single or multidisc releases, but even then there were many inconsistencies. Ended up editing ID3 tags with a metadata editor (Metadatics for Mac) over several weeks of evening and weekend work.

On the other hand, almost all recent classical releases have good metadata via Roon (there are a few exceptions no thanks to the inability of some smaller labels to provide metadata to the main metadata providers).


For Classical - a work in progress - but certainly enough to keep me satisfied - with a library of over 3000 albums.

Each CD in this box was an original release, indeed how I bought them. Split each disc off and Roon recognizes them instantly

Adds to clutter but it works.

Similarly DG 111 was a collection of previously released albums. When split Roon has no problems

72 posts were merged into an existing topic: How much is Roon worth? What investments should it displace?

I find Roon extremely useful for what it knows. There is no better solution. There are plenty of rare uncatalogued recordings, especially indy/electronica, and for this you need to add the metadata to the files yourself. Roon will use that if it does not find a match in it’s database. Yes, there are metadata issues of course, no data is ever perfect.

Yes… that’s how I am doing the Naxos Haydn box sets. What I do in iTunes is throw them into a playlist, in the order they appear in the box. For Roon, I create a custom tag and organize them as a box, then I lose the box set ordering.

I don’t think there is a “Right” position here.

Those that love Roon unconditionally and in its current state and apparently would not care if no other enhancements or changes were ever made cannot be considered wrong.

Those that love Roon but feel that it either falls short of its marketing or falls short of features that would remove frustrations and irritants during listening sessions cannot be considered wrong.

The only wrong people are those who claim the others are wrong.