Not to pile on, but what's your BIGGEST 1.8 pet peeve?

I find it unbelievable that it doesn’t tell you that you’re adding a duplicate track to a playlist.

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Why should it? You may wish to do just that.

No longer feeling confident in recommending Roon to others.

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That the search sucks to the point of being useless in many cases.

The search.

Different versions of albums are not sorted alphabetically in “Overview”. I have put in a support ticket for this issue months ago but after the initial response that “they were looking into it” there has been no follow up unfortunately.

Thread over here:

Also in “Overview” why do we see only a seemingly random selection of singles and EPs and not all singles available in the library and why are these not sorted chronologically?

Broken search

However, I’m not sure if that is a result of 1.8 or something badly designed on the backend. Or maybe both.

Classical music handling is still hopeless. It’s good for finding new releases on Qobuz and playing them, with pretty good metadata. It’s bad for a lot of things any classical music lover would do frequently. Some examples:

  • Find all string quartets (or string quintets, or guitar quartets) in the library
  • Find all string quartets by Haydn in the library
  • Find all available recordings of, say, The Magic Flute, no matter whether they are listed as The Magic Flute or Die Zauberflöte by the record label
  • Find all recordings of oboe music in the library, whether concertos, chamber music, solo pieces, or accompanied pieces
  • Find all operettas in my library

With Roon, I’ve expanded my knowledge of some other genres. But when it comes to classical music, often I leave Roon and use my OpenHome controller instead. Though it doesn’t mix local and Qobuz files, it does let me access and search my local files in more relevant ways, using the metadata I’ve carefully curated.

I think you should try exploring your Compositions browser and its filters…
All string quartets by Mozart (I don’t have any by Haydn) in my library:

All the Operettas in my library:

That the search sucks to the point of being useless in many cases.

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Thanks, Geoff! Glad you told me about that, as it does seem to cover many cases.

Do you have a way, also, to bring the solo instrument into such filters? Say, to find bassoon concertos (e.g.), rather than all concertos? It seems that Roon offers no indexing by instrument – something that is important to most classical music listeners. Or have I overlooked that, too?

P.S. Is there a way to have Forms (e.g.) sort alphabetically, rather than by whatever it sorts by now (number in library)? It would be much easier than searching a long list by staring at it.

P.P.S. If you enjoy Mozart’s quartets at all, I suggest you listen to some of Haydn’s, from whom Mozart learned the craft. Anything after Op. 20 is rather special (though I don’t much care for the “Seven Last Words . . . ).”

For an instrument concerto, the simplest way I think is to include a filter on the composition title, because most (if not all?) composition titles would have the instrument named in the title - e.g. violin concerto, oboe concerto, etc…

And for the Roon UI running on a PC, Mac or a Tablet (I think), you can choose any of the columns to be the primary sort (ascending or descending). Select the column header you want as the primary sort - it will sort the list in ascending order on that column. Click again, and it will sort in descending order.

The UI on a smartphone is different, and doesn’t offer this “sort on selected column” feature.

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For the user really serious about music selection by instrument or by ensemble type (quartet, quintet, etc.), I think the best way is to use tags for every album one saves into the database. E.g. I have a ‘String Quartet’ tag, and ‘Lute’, ‘Viola da Gamba’ tags. Once the tag selects all my string quartet albums, drilling down by composer or ensemble is easily achieved by using Roon’s Focus feature.

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Agreed, but Roon was designed for those that don’t want to spent all that time laboriously adding metadata to and curating their collections. The fact that we have to resort to tags to find stuff is an admission of failure IMHO. It isn’t just a classical music issue either. I have a lot of compilation albums with similar sounding titles (eg Summer Love Hits 1980s) and the metadata for these is often a variant of the actual title, making them tricky to find via search. Tagging in Roon is the only way to find some of them.

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First, I agree that searching in Roon is largely broken - Roon staff themselves are admitting as much and promising to work on this and find a better way to perform searches. But here I am referring to searches that go beyond of what searches on available metadata can be expected to deliver. If I need to find all albums or tracks with a solo oboe or all albums with lute music or with a viol consort as primary performers, the system needs to have this understanding about the music, and today I believe no metadata provider can deliver this. So there remain only two options. Or Roon does the work of curating and tagging the tracks and albums to such detail, or the user has to do this.

So for me it is true that the search function in Roon must do a vastly better job on that data which it has available for search. For anything more specific or detailed which goes beyond this, it is also true that the user has to do some work. It would be great if this detailed curation and categorization of music could be provided by Roon itself, but I never had that expectation.

means…

Only data maintenance and search that goes beyond the normal ensures flexible selection and fast finding helps.

I also apply the principle, but move it to Foobar2000 and thus have everything in the well-tagged music file, independent of the programme.

Since Genre allows multitagging, you can store everything you want to differentiate with directly there and then also use it with Roon without further work.

Yes, and for the 10 years I was streaming before I subscribed to Roon, I did put such details into my local library. I still do, when I purchase a release (rarely these days). Unfortunately, as far as I can see, there is no easy way for Roon to use – intelligently – my “Subgenre” and “Instrument” tags, nor do items added from Qobuz carry that information.

To say the obvious, the solo instrument (in the broad sense) is a key datum on a piece of classical music. If neither current metadata providers nor Roon can provide that, it’s a big fail.

Tidal and Qobuz are huge libraries developed without the aid of professional librarians (who would have understood the problem before devising a solution). I understand that Roon can’t fix everything, and it’s nonetheless a shortcoming.

With foobar2000 or mp3tag, this can be transferred to the Genre field and selected at Roon in just a few minutes. However, with Tidal and Qobuz it must be added manually.

I appreciate the reply. If Roon had a simple macro language in which I could move my metadata into a Roon tag, that would be helpful. Maybe it does, and I’ve missed that? As to doing it in mp3tag, it’s a good idea for some users, but I don’t want to disturb my own tagging system, which I have been using for 10 years successfully.

As to tagging albums manually that I bring in from Qobuz, that will require a change of mindset on my part. Per @Anthony_B, I use Roon to improve the bad tagging provided by Qobuz. I can’t see myself manually tagging Qobuz releases – but I might change my mind eventually.

And Uwe, I have been using computers since 1967. I know – as I’m sure you know – that what in theory takes a few minutes can in practice take many hours, especially if one is not already highly fluent in the specific software.

“In theory, there is no difference between practice and theory. In practice, there is.” --Jan van de Snepscheut (attrib.)

Yes, I agree that Roon could and should do much better with the search and discovery functionality, especially for classical music. I don’t tag my own albums outside of Roon, but instead use Roon tags to identify solo instruments and other critical data on albums I want to be able to easily select again from my library.

That said, Roon for a great many albums does have info on primary artists and instruments, labels, and more. But there seems no easy way to use this data to select e.g. all albums with a given solo instrument…

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