Not possible to merge artists when Roon has no meta-data for one of them?

Yes, it’s a shame that the guidance that is put there is not really joined up. It seems to be scattered around the KB. I don’t think it’s necessary to know very much to get a basic functioning library up and running. It is just difficult to find it all in one place or know where you should prioritise your efforts for the most gain. In my case something along these lines would go a long way.

  1. Where do I put composer, artist, album artist and performer tags?
  2. What is the best way to structure track titles so I get consistent composition hierarchies
  3. How do I avoid getting so many double versions of artists (Edward Elgar, Sir Edward Elgar)
  4. How do I avoid getting so many repeated references of the same artist (Edward Elgar, Edward Elgar, Edward Elgar)
  5. Is there any way of getting synonyms hyperlinked?
  6. What are the delimiter handling rules?

Others probably have a few additional pointers as well. But I don’t see it needs to be very complicated. The tweaks can come later when a basic functioning library is up and running.

I’m not sure I understand what you are getting at with question 1. Are you asking whether it is better to add metadata directly in Roon (thus using the Roon database) or better to add metadata to the audio files themselves?

If that’s the case, then my personal decision tree would go something like this:

If an album has been identified by Roon, then I’d probably tweak the metadata directly in Roon. If the album has not been identified by Roon, then I’d use a third party metadata editor to edit the file metadata.

Re question 3, I suspect that albums that have not been identified by Roon have files using the composer tag of “Sir Edward Elgar”. Personally, I’ve done batch edits on all my files to remove all traces of honorifics - they’re more trouble than they are worth.

Re question 4, can you show a screenshot of an example of repeated references. Is this happening on albums that have been identified/not identified or both?

Re question 5, could you spell out or illustrate for me what you mean (it’s not clear to me what you are asking for).


Just seen this from Klaus - this sort of thing could also possibly give rise to repeated references - and this is coming from poor quality metadata used by Roon…

I’ve got to run so I’l flesh it out later but what I meant by 1) was tagging externally in the file rather than roon. roon’s identification rate in my classical library is no more than 20%, probably a great deal less. I cannot find a clear statement about what roon’s assumptions are about all the most common tag’s. Hunting down every file I have where the composer is in the artist field etc. etc. is going to be a very lengthy task. I would just like to know what roon expects to find in all these major fields before starting.a major re-tag of my own meta-data.

Oh Dear, I can confirm I have every problem being described by Klaus. I hadn’t got on to the topic of incomprehensible composer/performer/production linking yet because I am stuck trying to solve even more rudimentary problems. Looks like this will be a slog.


I’ve been back on Roon for my classical music after 1.3 was released and I’m in my third week of “re-trial” now, after having not used it for classical at all for quite some time.

I had reported my experiences back in the past and have been accused of being melodramatic, but I think the main points are still valid:

There has been tremendous improvement for classical music handling with 1.3, but the general paradigm of the Roon team still seems to be that the system should be smarter than the user.
Honestly I think with classical music this is bound to fail. I just don’t believe that there will ever be even a single source of 3rd party metadata which is properly and consistently maintained and if I understand it right, Roon even tries to harmonize different metadata sources into one DB.

So I would repeat my main point from over 1,5 years ago: give the user control over metadata as an option!

Open the additional fields for composition, artist and composer (reviews, biographies, descriptions) for editing and allow the user to decide whether he want to have Roon do its magic. I still would be more than happy to pay the annual fee just to have that structure available.
At the moment I’m entering the Roon environment with a very well tagged collection and I’m constanly forced to correct things that werde not added by me in the first place.
For my feeling there is too much wizardry happening in the background, making it almost impossible to properly document how the system will react to your own metadata. I understand that lots of people like this and will be happy about it, but I think I am not.

Just my 2 cts.

I feel your pain Klaus!

System works fine for me pop/jazz but at the moment borders on the unusable for classical. I haven’t mentioned it but a good 70% of my local library has not been processed at all (ape, cue, wv, iso etc.) and I have no doubt I will be facing exactly the same problems you have been facing with what remains.

Like you I decided I had to be a bit more systematic and just suck it up and go from A->Z in the library. Bach almost killed me. It was then I realised I was staring at decades of elapsed time unless I found another way. I am still hopeful that a relatively small number of global edits will provide enough of a starting point if only I understood what roon’s background assumptions actually are.

You make an interesting proposal. I can see the benefits to those with large, well-maintained systematic local libraries. I’d certainly buy in but maybe we are too niche for roon?

of course we represent a niche, but I still hope that Roon eventually will reach a state where I could regain control even if it would mean sacrificing external metadata - at least they started to provide the structure we need for classical and put quite some effort in getting it right.

Let’s wait and see where it will lead us - in the meantime I’ll keep reporting whatever puzzles me or is unclear to me.

[quote=“Tony_Casey, post:37, topic:21888, full:true”]
I haven’t mentioned it but a good 70% of my local library has not been processed at all (ape, cue, wv, iso etc.) [/quote]
Erm, these are the formats that Roon supports. It’s perhaps not surprising that a large percentage has not been processed.

I hope point 1) is clear. I will carry on with 5). This is only one variation/use case on synonym handling with “identified” content which results in behavior that doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. There are a lot of other scenarios for “unidentified” content as well…

This is the roon default screen for an identified album in my library:

A couple of things are immediately apparent.

  1. The album cover (from roon) highlights Wiener Philharmoniker and Herbert von Karajan as a visual clue that these are the “album artists”. This is exactly how I have tagged it and they both appear as the album artists under the album title. However, Herbert von Karajan is hyperlinked but Wiener Philharmoniker is not.

  2. During the identification process roon appears to have made Wiener Philharmoniker the synonym of Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and that is hyperlinked with a lot of metadata and album references as follows:

  1. The choice of Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra as the master synonym makes no sense at all outside the English speaking world. In fact I am a mother tongue English speaker from Ireland but I have grown up with album and CD covers just like the one roon is using and would instinctively use the German form which is exactly how I have tagged it and how it would be tagged in download sources from European labels.

  2. I would like the option of being able to control the synonym choice and for example hyperlink from Wiener Philharmoniker to Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra content but it turns out that is not really possible. This is what happens:

  3. On the artist page a search on Wiener Philharmoniker does not bring up a Wiener Philharmoniker artist so I have nothing to merge with Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra (that is how this thread started). What I have learnt from the feedback is that this is some kind of consequence of roon making Weiner Philharmoniker an implicit synonym of Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra during the identification process.

  1. However, what I can do is add Wiener Philharmoniker as a primary artist and voila! I have a hyperlink:

  1. I may have a link but it doesn’t go anywhere. It just links back to itself and no other Wiener Philharmoniker references in my metadata:

  1. But at least I can now “merge” Wiener Philharmoniker with Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and that is what I tried next, making Wiener Philharmoniker the master and ended up with exactly the screen I was looking for:

  1. The problem is that the screen does not behave how I expected. The two instances of Wiener Philharmoniker (primary artist and the body of the text) appear to be two different artists, just with the same name. So the primary artist only hyperlinks to itself:

  1. On the other hand the instance of Wiener Philharmoniker in the body of the text hyperlinks to several albums in my library but looses all the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra metadata of which it is a merged synonym:

  1. So close but no cigar. I hope this makes it a little clearer the sort of behavior I was expecting. I am deliberately using landmark albums by world famous artists, that many would have in their libraries to make my point. But this gets complicated very quickly with more specialist artists and no one except a musicologist would be able to navigate their way around a system where they didn’t understand the implicit rules roon is making for master synonym choices. I thought, for example, that there was a simple bias towards the English synonyms but as I dig this even that simple assumption seems to be unpredictable. In any case I for one and many others would have no idea what the English synonyms were except in a handful of famous cases.

I know Geoff. It was bit tongue in cheek. roon is what roon is.


I believe once you change artists/album artists’ separator in your file tags from ", " to "; " (or add ", " to “Preferences/Library/Import Settings”) Wiener Philharmoniker will be linked to albums where it is among artists :wink:

worked here as soon as I changed separator, in all my files, from " - " to "; " and restarted Roon
and all previously “aggregated artists” (“Artist 1 - Artist 2 - etc”) then became individual entries in Artist List :slight_smile:

Thanks Paolo. It is going to be a bit of a slog but it is already making a difference :relaxed:

Addressing my point 3) above. This is a screenshot of what roon does with my library and one of the most famous classical recordings of the 20th century:

I cannot follow roon logic. There just seems to be a random collection of unlinked and linked duplicates of primary artists and album artists. Something cleaner must be possible surely? Apart from anything I loose visibility on a line of description text for no benefit. It is also disappointing to say the least if British “honorifics” are not processed properly by roon as every musician of any note in the British classical music system ends up with a title sooner or later so it is just all over the catalogues and downloads. It is even clearly on roon’s own cover art (Sir John Barbirolli). When we scroll down though the true horrors are revealed:

I almost fell off my chair when I saw the composer for this famous work. I had to google around and it turns out that all those Elgar wannabes are ‘poets’ for the libretto of the Sea Pictures. Again, we see duplicate entries for the composer of Sir Edward Elgar and Edward Elgar but now that seems very trivial compared with the previous clanger.

I also have very large numbers of duplicates that do not involve British honorifics. This is typical:

I assume it has something to do with roon combining it’s primary artists with my album artists but I would really like to know what the rules are so I can fix it. Not only does it look a mess but it often has the effect of pushing several lines of the text description off the screen (as in the Elgar example).

There seems to be quite a disturbing pattern that very well known cases are being tagged extremely sloppily by the sources roon uses. Klaus’s, Bach case is astonishing. I haven’t even looked at more specialist cases yet. Does anyone know the underlying reasons for this? How are db’s like allmusic assembled in practice? It’s all offshored I guess?

I just noticed the roon says the Cello concerto is performed by the LSO. Misses the point a bit doesn’t it? My tags clearly say that Jacqueline du Pre performs the Cello Concerto and Dame Janet Baker the Sea Pictures. I have other albums where roon does make these sorts of distinctions about the contribution of primary artistss so I am at a loss why roon hasn’t done it with the Elgar album.


thanks a lot for providing these examples. I can share my Otello if you like… :wink:

I had set Roon to “prefer file” for everything. Normally I would have tagged only Herbert von Karajan as the ALBUMARTIST on this recording but for comparison I have added the Wiener Philharmoniker just like you did:

One of the first things I had learned from @joel was that I’d best leave the ARTIST tag blank - and that’s what I did. But like you I don’t get a hyperlink for the Wiener Philharmoniker. In general my guess is that the first line below the album title comes from your ALBUMARTIST tag whereas the second line comes from Roons metadata.

Here I observe two things:

  1. Roon seems to combine the album artist tags with its own metadata and tries to avoid duplication, so Karajan is displayed only once. However, as you pointed out, the Wiener Philharmoniker are not automatically recognized as Vienna Philharmonic, although Roon seems to know these names as usable synonyms. (I’ll discuss the language preference later :wink: )

  2. Although I had preferred file over Roon globally, the box for the album artist is checked for Roon (I had reported this in another thread and I believe it is being investigated)

But now comes the part I still do not understand completely: why do I even get Mario del Monaco, Aldo Protti, Renata Tebaldi and Renata Scotto displayed as Album artists when I told Roon to “prefer file”. My understanding would be that Roon would try to match those artists my files tags provide with its own database. So where do these Artists come from?

As far as my metadata is concerned, I have maintained the following:

So Aldo Protti, Mario del Monaco and Renata Tebaldi could come from my tags, but Renata Scotto not. So at least Scotto comes from external metadata (probably the others as well and my SOLOISTS are probably just ignored, since the album was identified). I initially thought Renata Scotto would appear via the credits, but no…

So how are things really working? I have no clue…and I’m just wildly guessing, since I did not find any documentation on the metadata determination logic in detail.
And I have no real control. I understand that this is just the way Roon works, but even if I repeat myself - I honestly find this approach questionable.
Once you let Roon identify an album you seem to have no complete control over what’ll happen - you are playing metadata roulette, literally. So in this case, metadata quality kind of decreases for me, even if lots of additional metadata is added.

Next thing that I just find not to be correct is the handling of “additional” conductors:

this is just nonsense in my opinion - this recording is not conducted by Karajan and Benaglio. Benaglio is the chorus master, He prepared the chorus for the recording who was conducted by Karajan. I see this a lot and it annoys me terribly.
It’s nice to have all those credits for the chorus masters, but they are close to 100% never the conductors of the performance. In order to have my desired metadata (Karajan as the only conductor) I need to manually delete Benaglio from the credits. It’s like the “composers” for Elgars Sea Pictures that Tony reported.

Finally, coming back to the Wiener Philharmomniker / Vienna Philharmonic dispute. I think Roon needs to find a smarter way of managing those synonyms and being a german myself I’d prefer to have Wiener Philharmoniker as the main name, of course.,
Reading Dresden Staatskapelle instead of the correct term Staatskapelle Dresden just physically hurts me every time I see it… :frowning: The user should at least be able to define the “preferred” name for those synonyms.
My own tags normally use the original language name of orchestras, apart from kyrillic, which i can neither write nor read… :wink: )

Yes Klaus, it is very strange not having any real control over the synonyms. You do not have to be mother tongue German to find roon’s choices very disorientating. I didn’t even realise there were so many English synonyms. I just assumed everyone did the same as me and used the forms they found on the back’s of their albums, heard on the radio, or cut and paste from label web-sites. Once you have done the mechanical l work it is very difficult to think any other way.

I also find the jumbling up of composers, choir masters and librettists bewildering as well. It is bad enough that roon routinely makes librettists “composers” of choral and opera works. In the Elgar case roon actually goes one better and makes 4 librettists co-composers of a Cello concerto :confounded:

I hope the solution is not simply to move the librettists from the Cello Concerto to the Choral Work. Better, but as Klaus points out, not really a solution.

Guys, thanks for posting these examples. To my mind, they point up two things: 1) the poor quality of Roon’s own metadata sources, and 2) the black box nature of Roon’s methods of constructing the credits. There’s also the nagging feeling that, even if we elect to use our own metadata, Roon will continue to take the “it knows best” approach.

I added the Elgar album from Tidal to my own collection to see how it would look, and there are differences from the version owned by @tripleCrotchet :

Notice how there’s no mention of “Sea Pictures” in the title, and while the LSO is credited for all tracks, it doesn’t appear in the album artist list (which at least manages to just mention Janet and John).

But then Roon screws up the all tracks credit by having a single artist named “John Barbirolli/Jacqueline du Pré/Janet Baker” instead of three separate artists. I can correct that by removing this ersatz artist from the tracks credits, but then I can’t seem to restore du Pré or Baker to the relevant works even though I add them to the track credits. Roon no longer displays artists by the works:

Still playing blind man’s buff here…

I guess the three of us (Geoff, Tony and I) can probably agree that this “black box magic” is the reason of many of our troubles and I would think that this general approach of Roon here is much more to be discussed than any more detailed functions for classical metadata.
But what to do about it? Is it only some nerdy classical music lovers discussing in their ivory tower? I would be interested in a more high-level discussion about this. What do others think about it?
As I said before, I believe the DB framework that Roon offers is a very good one.