No more iTunes

As a long time Roon, and even longer iTunes, user, I add music to Roon by watching my iTunes folder that I use to add music by dropping music into the Automatically Add to iTunes media folder. However, I am thinking of not adding music to my iTunes anymore. Can I just drop the music into the iTunes media music folder or should I move the whole library or…?

Here’s what I do it’s not necessarily the best way, just MY way.

I have my iTunes Lossless Library on an external drive, and I have iTunes set to copy my music to the library, and keep the library organized. I rip CD’s using iTunes (to apple lossless and using error correction). I tidy up any metadata using external tag editing apps. If I don’t use iTunes, I’ll often rip to FLAC and edit tags using the same external apps. I then repackage the FLACs to ALAC and drop them into iTunes. That’s how my iTunes library is created and maintained.

But I’m totally paranoid and keep extra copies of my music. I have a copy of my external drive on my workshop mac, and I also have a copy of that drive in my desk at work as an offsite backup. I’ve also given friends my complete music library as other offsite backups to do with as they please.

I continue to use iTunes and apple music because I have an iPhone and carplay, so I can’t really get away from it. I use Roon for my serious listening but it’s not excl;usive; I have an open relationship with Roon.

I am always worried about a new system and the software messing up my metadata that I have worked hard to groom over the years. So when I started with Roon, I wouldn’t let it touch my iTunes library or any of my backups. I pointed it to a new directory when I was on my trieal period. Since I bought it, I have put together a ROCK using a NUC. I have a 2TB ssd for the music on the NUC.

When I get new music, I rip it with an external app, then I edit the metadata with another external app. I then use a third external app to convert to apple lossless. I then drop those files into iTunes. I take the flac version and drop it into the NUC drive which I have remotely mounted to my iMac.

By keeping the two music stores separate, I have yet another copy of my music in case I have an issue.

Thanks for the detailed response. I use a NAS to hold all my music, with backups to an external LaCie drive. I did have another one but that failed so I need to buy another one. I also use Roon from Mac Mini and a NUC with ROCK. I was just thinking to bypass the whole iTunes thing but didn’t want to lose all the metadata and old playlists. I rip music from CDs using iTunes or XLD. I was wondering if I could just put the music in the iTunes media folder without opening up iTunes and Roon will see it.

I have come to rely on iTunes to manage my stereo folder. I rip via iTunes, et al., but I use different tagging apps (and iTunes) for metadata.

I manipulate files all the time, especially multichannel files, and do all that outside of the iTunes folder. But if it is a stereo/mono file, I drag it to the iTunes folder for it to manage it in the folder.

I have thought often about removing iTunes from the equation as well and instead manage my own iTunes folder. It might even be easier that way due to iTunes not being able to monitor its own folder in real time. Also, if you have a jpg. image or libretto pdf in the folder, iTunes can no longer properly manage the folder.

I will read this thread closely. Thanks for starting it! :grin:

If the iTunes media folder is a ‘watched folder’ in Roon then yes.

Personally I use iTunes for all my purchased digital music (usually MP3’s from Amazon, Google Play, and free downloads that are occasionally available from artists). I add them to iTunes and let it do its thing, and I have a daily script on my Mac using Chronosync that automatically copies my iTunes music folder onto my dedicated Roon external harddrive that is connected to the NUC. On that dedicated harddrive is also a separate FLAC library for all CD rips and the occasional hi-res music album I may have purchased. I like to keep the 2 libraries separate (iTunes for lower quality MP3’s, etc.), and FLAC folder for higher quality music. I then have Roon point to both locations so that it’s all available. Occasionally Roon will play the MP3 version instead of the higher quality FLAC version (don’t know how to prevent that).

I like the idea of making just a flac or wav folder and have Roon watch that as well.

I have Roon watch three folders:

  • Multichannel: FLAC and DSF files
  • Stereo: DSF files
  • Stereo: (iTunes managed) ALAC, AAC, MP3

I think iTunes can manage multichannel ALAC files, but I prefer to just keep all my multichannel together.