Organizing Albums in Space

No matter how complex tagging, filters, etc get, I can still pick a record from my shelf a lot faster than an album from Roon. I attribute this to the ability, with physical media, to sort items and place them in a physical space. So, I can stand in front of my records (which are organized into about 100+ subgenres, then subgenres chronologically sorted within the genre (so the ‘rock zone’ on the shelf starts with rockabilly, say, then moves through psych, to grunge, to post rock, etc) and my eyes will settle on the 30 or so records that fit my mood in seconds.

A simple solution to this would be to allow users to create stacks (like in certain photo management software) by using drag-and-drop and then even groupings of stacks (so you could have, say, blues at the top of the stack, then you can reveal a branch towards jazz and branch towards rock, if you desired). This would give me more of that tactile feel that I need when organizing thousands of items in a computer. Or, maybe you just want to stack all the albums of an artist. Or, you stack by decade. If playlists recognized albums, this could help, but one of my anxieties in that kind of sorting (same with tagging) is that its hard to find what you haven’t yet sorted, or tagged (at one point I was tagging every album I added to Roon as ‘untagged’ until I spent the time to actually tag it and then would remove the ‘untagged’ tag, etc)

With the stacks, you know if something isn’t sorted because its sitting there by itself. Just like if I left a record on the floor.

Is there any talk of this concept?

That would be very cool visually. I used to have my CDs organized that way and you’re right, even after a heavy night at the bars, my animal brain still knew which stack to pick from for the right kind of music.

However, I suspect that mode of usage would be considered a pretty niche case and also quite a development job.

Here is a workaround that would be similar: Tag each album based on your subgenres (or use the subgenres from Roon) and then in the album browser, sort by date. Wouldn’t that approximate the scheme?

Not as tactile, but I think it’s a longshot that Roon would develop something that looks like a CD or album being plucked, cool as that would be…

Hi James - I was doing just that - tagging to match the subgenres I used for my records - but it was mostly the anxiety of knowing they weren’t all getting captured in that scheme, because I couldn’t find a way to sort albums that hadn’t been tagged yet, so I could know what I still had to organize. Still, wasn’t getting the same visual/tactile experience (I really like the idea of being able to manually move an album in a stack and then even within that stack…)

I hear you. That sounds to me like an album identification issue - if Roon could identify them all, the subgenres and dates would easily apply. I do think that the album identification and track reconciliation workflows need a lot of work. It’s too laborious and frankly mind-bending when Roon identifies 5 versions of an album but not the 6th, with the same title, for whatever reason.