Organizing local music library structure

Like many of you, in my library, I have both uncompressed albums (from CD’s I no longer own) & compressed albums (mostly Google Play purchases), as well as loose songs collected throughout the years scattered into the mix.

I organize my music in the following manner:

  • /Music/Lossless/Judas Priest/Rocka Rolla/01 - One For The Road.wav
  • /Music/Lossy/Judas Priest/Firepower/01 - Firepower.mp3
  • /Music/Lossy/_Loose_Files/Judas Priest - Some Random Crap Quality Bootleg Song.mp3

Do you think that instead of having 3 possible locations to find Judas Priest songs it would be better to use a single folder? Basically, I would not separate lossless albums, lossy albums, and ‘loose’ songs from each other.

In other words:

  • /Music/Judas Priest/Rocka Rolla/01 - One For The Road.wav
  • /Music/Judas Priest/Firepower/01 - Firepower.mp3
  • /Music/Judas Priest/Some Random Crap Quality Bootleg Song.mp3


I keep all music in the same folder hierarchy regardless of format, origin etc.


  • Artist name is in a non-sorted form, e.g. The Rolling Stones vis-à-vis Rolling Stones, The.
  • I replace non-standard characters with an underscore, e.g. 05 Heart of Lothian_ I. Wide Boy _ II. Curtain Call.
  • Single track downloads are identified as so: Paul Heaton & Jacqui Abbott/[non-album tracks]/14 Real Hope.m4a.
  • Formats (other than Red Book) are identified with, for example Dark Side of the Moon [SACD]. Typically, where I have lossless music this is the only version, so these are treated the same as Red Book.
  • Albums are also identified with release information (where I have more than one release), e.g. Crime of the Century [Hi-Res] [Remastered 2014] and Turn It On Again_ The Tour [live, 2007-07-08 Twickenham Stadium, UK].


Hi Ron,

From Roon’s perspective it does not matter (provided you don’t have too many [circa 25?] watched folders otherwise performance can dip), so it’s really one of personal choice.

I’m happy to use the focus tool in Roon to perform any format filtering in need, however, having say two Roon watched folder /Music/Lossless and /Music/Lossy would enable one to disable the lossy watched folded if that where required.

I guess same applies to the 3rd category, but for me a least it a case of diminishing returns.

The second approach is what I use and seems much tidier and easy to work with. Also seems like most rippers/downloaders/importers use this as sort of a defacto standard.

I use what I think to be logical just so the HDD is Tidy and I can find stuff

It harks back to when I ran by USB drive only so it was the visible structure. It’s too much effort to change it

After that the software does it, why have a proverbial dog

I have

MusicLibrary\01 - Rock
/02 - Classical etc

Each of these has alphabet folders A … Z etc

Rock is split by Artist then Album (prefixed by release year 1969 - Led Zeppelin I)

Classical is split by Composers with Oddballs for Multiple Composer and a big folder for Collections

Not everything fits the structure so let Roon do the work !

@ron_jeremy -

What do you believe you gain by a more granular folder structure? Whatever that is, if you can’t live without it then keep it the way it is.

Roon doesn’t care one way or the other.

I use the simple solution of having everything in single path most people. The reason is that I can see what I have with a single click.

I used to have the following folders. MP3, FLAC44, FLAC96, FLAC192, DSD64, DSD128. But it was difficult to manage them. In all of my programs I have filters with the quality. So why bother when I can choose a High Res filter in Roon that contains everything from FLAC96 and above?

Originally I used my Cambridge Audio CXN as a stand-alone device with a USB drive attached.

The USB drive file structure was the organization of the view on the library

No intermediate software , no server, no network. It had to have a granular structure to get around

Now of course it doesn’t matter but why bother changing Roon sorts it out anyway

Sorry Mike, I was talking to the OP.

My fault, i changed it to reply directly.

I used to have formats in different folders, but found it was really confusing having the same artists in perhaps 3 different places. Not an issue with Roon, but clumsy with UPnP. Now I have /genre/artist/album and life is much simpler. Roon’s “focus” can restrict me to a format if I desire.

Mine’s simple 0-Z, filed by artist - album. Roon is pointed to the root of that lot.

In all of my programs I have filters with the quality.

I’m not sure what exactly you mean but I’m intrigued. I have quite a few duplicates where the same song is somewhere in my music folder in both MP3 and ALAC, and someday i may have versions above Red Book as well. its very difficult in ROON to know which version is why I’d like to essentially suppress lower res versions. Yet I wish to keep them for travel where it may be necessary to have a smaller library, adn the quality is less important.

Have you solved this problem? TIA,


Well you can always create a focus on format, like 24/96 and then bookmark.

Sorry, but I don’t understand that reply. What is a “focus”? How would i create it? And what implications does that have? I simply want to search for, for example, “ripple” and rather than have it pull up both the MP3 from a travel playlist I made, and the ALAC copy i ripped from the CD, I’d like to get just the ALAC copy. (suppress lower res copy when dups are found)

I’d actually be happy if they were clearly labeled but its about three non-intuitive clicks and swipes to get to the “album info” and then hopefully see the coding format. Kinda ridiculous for an audiophile product really…

providing this to make sure we both understand the problem I’m trying to solve.

Thanks for the reply, but i don’t follow what a focus is or how to create it.


A couple random thoughts that might be helpful.

In settings you can enable the album format to show up in the album browser, which puts a stamp on the album indicating its format:

Additionally once an album is playing you can view the format under the “Quality Light”

In cases where I have lesser duplicates, Roon seems to opt for the higher quality version. When I have two copies of the same album, a Versions link appears, and I can decide which should be treated as the Primary Version.

Focus is very powerful. Here’s a KB article on how it works:

1 Like

If you go to Albums, as an example, there is a button at the top called Focus.
Clicking it will open the focus panel at the bottom. It is wider than the screen so there will be an arrow to access the rest. (as shown). If you click that arrow you will get to the section I was referring too.


If you click on Format, you will get a list of all the formats in your Library. If you choose 1, like 24/96, then you will have sorted (or focused) on only those albums in your library.

At this point, you can save what you have Focused on as a Bookmark. That way you can bring it all back up with just a couple of clicks. Additionally, any new 24/96 material you add to your library will automatically be in the bookmark.

This goes for any of the options you can focus on in the Focus panel.

Hope that clarifies my response a little.


Aha. Yes, i knew i coudl filter my collection, althought i had no idea it was called “focus”. However, that really doesn;t address my want. I want to be able to search on everything. I dont want to omit albums that I have only in MP3/4 for example. But, when i have 3 copies, i want to quickly and easily (that’s the hard part, i ca dig and find out, sure) see which is which and select it. Going back to the album whe i have a list of tracks is just a UI fail…I may manually eliminate them, but that’s just wrong :slight_smile:

I show the resolution format on my album covers and dont hide duplicates, so I see all versions at the same time.
Is that what you are looking for?

1 Like

Settings>General>Show Album Format on Browser?

Rugby Daniel Beyer wrote what I do. And in all other programs I use I do the same. Eg in foobar2000 I have the facets addon installed which allows me to have an iTunes look. So I have created a custom filter codec - samplerate. I select the first column to be the album name and the second that custom filter. When I scroll it should have only one codec entry. If else I have a duplicate album.

You can’t imagine what I have cleaned with that method last Easter when I waited for my big HDD. We have 4 days vacation and I spent a lot of time managing my library. When my new disk arrived I moved the 3 other drives without a single conflict. And I have over 7000 albums.