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

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.


I am not that anal about metadata as you guys are, so I’ll not climb and join you on that tower :stuck_out_tongue:

Though I always carefully tag my files the best I can (and care about) and I’m also seeing all the issues you brought up in here. With most of them I can (regretfully, must admit) live with, hoping they’ll be globally fixed someday

But I’d really love it if Roon’s approach to metadata was instead “use my tags, if/when present, and fill the voids”
I’m even willing to adapt, need be, my tags to what Roon expects them to be. But I need a clear reference page to do it, which is so far missing (just small parts scattered here and there across various threads/FAQs)

I’m with everyone on that. It’s all well and good building the case but what to do? My priority would be:

  1. A properly functioning “use my tags when present / use roon tags only when I ask” option
  2. Clear metadadata parsing rules reference page
  3. A more systematic/alternative channel into roon to help build a more classical friendly power product (I would pay more). Is that possible? Is that what you meant Klaus by “higher level”?

I’ll invite @Ludwig into the discussion - he is another user who has experience in wrestling with Roon’s way of dealing with classical metadata. But really we need to hear also from the Roonies themselves - they are the ones who develop the algorithms. Insights from them are sorely needed. I’ve already invited input from @joel and @vova earlier in the thread, but no response from them as yet. I suspect they are still dealing with the aftereffects of the 1.3 release.

I find it slightly ironic that @kevin invites submissions from us on the topic of “Best practices for organizing and navigating a classical music library”. At this point I haven’t got a clue where to start.

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I’m with you on all your points. As far as higher level is concerned, I meant it not in a Roon hierarchy manner, but more in a sense of looking at the big picture before tackling the details. But of course I’m happy to advocate my case towards anyone :wink:

I am not that anal about metadata as you guys are, so I’ll not climb and join you on that tower :stuck_out_tongue:

Fair enough. Me being anal about it probably comes fromt the time I’d invested in tagging my collection. It’s counted in years…

lol - that would make it necessary to understand what the software is doing…

though I’ll keep promenading thereabout and uphold you the best/as much as I can :wink:

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Roon is still not getting it I think. Best practice was evolved to work with legacy folder view / relational database products like JRiver and other more specialist ones we have all tried. Roon is a step change but no one knows yet what the new best practice is. On other threads I can see that there are plans to introduce JRiver like folder views and personally I welcome that as it helps ease the pain of the transition process. For the time being all I can see is a very rudimentary “best practice” that collects the few rules of the rules of thumb that are emerging in various corners of the KB. Things like:

a) get rid of your “comma” delimiters
b) null out your artist tags
c) etc. etc.

A lot of this is counter-intuitive and is probably going to render your library unusable in legacy products. So it is quite a commitment. Any further progress needs more commitment from roon to share the underlying logic of how it is really interacting with legacy local libraries.

Thanks @Geoff_Coupe for dragging me in. :slight_smile:

There are two separate issues at work here.

  1. I have no problem “merging artists when Roon has no metadata for one of them” but I always edit the name of the artists to be the same before I merge. I never tried without doing that. I’m not sure whether it should work without changing the names, but I suspect it might not be the design. The feature appears to have been designed to merge two accidentally created artists with the same name (i.e. same name but different data source), rather than to merge equivalent artists, such as two different name forms/languages, which leads me to the second issue:

  2. The “Also known as” field on Allmusic (see below for the Wiener Philharmoniker one) - which presumably comes from Rovi/TiVo appears not to be supported by Roon, despite some indications to the contrary. At least I have never seen it in action, and for the Wiener Philharmoniker have had to edit accordingly. This is something which I hope @joel will have time to get to (and he has a lot on his plate) because it would transform the artists browser.

No doubt it’s more complicated than it seems, as everything in metadata always is :wink:. For example, if the equivalences are based on just strings, there could be non-equivalent artists dragged in by mistake. This kind of thing is multi-layered and we the use can’t always see what layers are behind each bit of metadata in the Roon UI.

Anyway, I hope the artist equivalences which appear to be there in the main metadata source one day get benefitted from.

Just to let you guys know that I am reading this thread. However, as Ludwig points out, it is more complicated than it seems and there is no easy fix here: if there was…

One thing to clarify: we’ll never present equivalent artists as separate in the artist browser; we present non-equivalent artists. Which means that either (a) the “duplicate” is there from your file tags or (b) apparently equivalent Roon artists are actually not equivalent. For example, Rovi has four distinct “Wiener Philharmonikers” :frowning: and our automated system hasn’t equivalenced them all yet. :frowning: :frowning:

We understand that things aren’t perfect now; for many reasons, we’re currently re-thinking equivalence from top to bottom. It will take some time, but we will get there. However, we believe we made great strides with classical in 1.3 and we’re not going to stop there.


Joel, your attention is appreciated. As is your work up to now. And as I said before, we know it’s almost always more complex than it looks.

The Wiener Symphoniker would be a good test artist. Let me know if you need more.