New to Roon - avoiding playing surround in shuffle mode


I’m new to Roon; have been using SqueezeServer so far.

I really enjoy Discover/Shuffle/Radio - as I also have a Tidal subscription, it’s really nice to be able to discover new music this way.

I have a few hundred of surround recordings that I ripped from DVD/BluRay and stored them in such a way that my Squeezebox Touch can feed them as a DTS/Dolby bitstream into my receiver (there is script that I use); these streams are stored as FLAC files, but only can be decoded when playing back via the Squeezebox - on other systems, like the iMac I primarily use for listening while I’m working, the files can’t be decoded and will sound like loud, white noise.

So, I’d like to disable playing these surround files when listening on the iMac. There are two ways for Roon to recognize these files: when ripping the files, I set the genre as “Surround” (so a chant that ignores files with the file genre tag to “Surround” would do the trick; another way to do this is to ignore any file that has a dynamic range of 1 (after analyzing the data stream, Roon thinks the dynamic range is 1 as it interprets it as white noise).

Is there a magic chant I can use -only on my iMac- that allows me to avoid playback of those surround files? I’d be happy with a manual solution too (“Roon, please ignore THESE files when playing back on THIS device”) - but I’m simply not familiar with Roon yet to come up with creative solutions myself.

And: if there is currently not a way to do this in Roon, please consider this a feature request.

Regards, Karel

Hi Karel. There are a couple of ways, but the cleanest might be to BAN all the Surround albums. Albums that are Banned are not included in large grouped playback. They must be manually selected to play.


  1. I only want to ban albums when playing on the iMac. I presume that banning the surround albums using the double click approach would also ban them on my surround system, which is not what I want.
  2. Double clicking on hundreds of titles is a headache (I don’t think Roon has a “multi-select album” option). A “smart ban” or “smart playlist” based on criteria (in my case, either genre, dynamic range or title (my albums start with “DTS” or “Dolby”) would likely be what I’m looking for.

Do you want them ignored when playing just your library or when you are using radio as well?

Well, you can Go to albums, select Surround Tag, click it again to make it a minus and you will have all the albums in your library without the Surround. Save this to a bookmark. Then you can shuffle the bookmark. This will not have any affect on Radio Playback though.

Or, you could make a separate storage location that only contains your Surround albums (it cannot be part of the existing storage structures) and then you can disable it when you want to make sure it can’t be selected. Enable it when you do want to use it. I use this method for my Holiday music to get a quick option to just turn it all off til next year.

sure it does, in a couple of ways. 1. Focus on something, and on the PC it is Ctrl-A to select All. 2. Right Click to highlight/select albums. 3. Right click on 1 album, then go up to the top left and click where it says 1 album selected and use the drop down to choose All.

Daniel, Ged,

Thx for the suggestions. The surround files are stored in a separate folder, so I certainly could disable it that way. But: that disables surround albums for all players, which I don’t want as they play fine on my Squeezebox Touch.

So it seems that there are several ways that Roon can configured to ban specific albums for all devices, but not for specific end points only like my iMac - and that is what I’m looking for.

That is a fairly unique requirement to say the least.

Actually, I don’t think it is that unique. There are thousands of surround encoded titles out there from the quadraphonic days and many of them ere even resold as DTS titles.

I have maybe 500 such titles tucked in a folder somewhere. The quality isn’t up to snuff by today’s standards but they are still a great archive and occasionally I pull them out and play through some.

The idea that Roon can manage surround encoded or multichannel material is awesome. But it’s inherent that it won’t work at every endpoint unless specific effort is put into that. There could easily be a way to just define content profiles to exclude from shuffle or to exclude from certain zones. That would be a great addition.

If you want it James that reinforces my view :upside_down_face:

I strongly agree with James :slight_smile:

So, let’s extend the use case. Forget about the surround files. Let’s take the example of Roon used by a family; separate endpoints in various rooms, including the children’s bedrooms.

If the family’s music collection includes albums with explicit lyrics, I’d like Roon to have the ability of banning any album with explicit lyrics to be banned from playing on the endpoints in the children’s bedrooms.

So, this would translate to making “ban” lists specific to endpoints.

If you just want to Shuffle (this won’t work for Roon Radio) You could create a focus bookmark omitting one storage location.

Go to Focus by clicking Focus on Similar on an Album page. Click focus at the top, scroll over and select Inspector, then select the Storage locations at the bottom of the page. Either add all but the one you want, or select the one you don’t want and tap on the resulting tag again to make it a - instead of a +. Bookmark that focus set up so you can easily return to it when you listen on two channel endpoints.

Actually, library access, endpoint access, edit access and security restricted by profile have been on the Feature Request List for awhile. Please add your opinion to it.

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