"Originally released" vs "released" problems

After searching the forum, I’ve seen this metadata issue addressed, but without a definitive answer. In short, albums are often released more than once (remasterings, deluxe editions, etc.) – I would assume that this is the point of Roon differentiating between the “Originally released” date (self explanatory) vs. “released” date (remastering, for example)? I have seldom, if ever, been successful at getting Roon to pull this information from my ID3 tags, however. Is Roon supposed to recognize this data from ID3 tags? If so, which ones? When I use Cue Tools, for example, it lists the original release date as “YEAR” and the the album version release date as “RELEASE DATE”.

I often have a specific edition of an album, and displaying that correctly in Roon would help to identify which edition is playing. Can anyone help? Thanks!

I use DATE and ORIGINALRELEASEDATE and it works just fine. YEAR should also work according to this KB article:


Got it - thanks!

Do you happen to know if other programs such as iTunes respect such a naming convention (i.e. album version = “YEAR” and first released = “ORIGINALRELEASEDATE”). I’m just curious about the implications before I go through my tags and change them to work with Roon.

Thanks again …

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you’re welcome :wink:

No experience with iTunes, though, sorry.

Thanks … putting iTunes aside - does anyone know if the Roon tagging for “YEAR” = album version and “ORIGINALRELEASEDATE” = first released is standard tagging practice across other media playback programs? Should those id3 changes be applicable to other players? Or are they idiosyncratic to Roon only?

I think that “YEAR” is a standard tag for the release year of an album version. But “ORIGINALRELEASEDATE” is not standard tagging for the original date/year that an album was first released, and is unlikely to be recognised in other players. Standard practice (ID3 tags) for original year of release seems to be either ORIGINAL_YEAR, TORY or TDOR. To make matters more confusing, it appears there was (perhaps still is) an error in Roon’s implementation in that it was reading TORY and TDOR as the release date, and not the original release date.

Most good tagging software lets you add custom fields. I have been adding one for ORIGINALRELEASEDATE for Roon, and everything works well. It does not mess with any standard tags that might already exist in the files. For new files, if you want to maintain compatibility with other players (iTunes) you probably also have to also add one of the globally recognised ID3 tags (perhaps ORIGINAL_YEAR).

Another forum post that might assist…

A useful standard tag mapping table…



Different audio formats have different ‘standard’ fields for different entities so when you talk about YEAR, DATE and ORIGINALRELEASEDATE you need to consider the audio format as well, and Roon will have parsers for different formats.

Does Roon publish a list of fields parsed for each format ?

This links shows tag mapping used by Picard, Jaikoz and Songkong, where possible the standard is used so should be right for alot of taggers.

If we look at Date we have

If we look at OriginalRelease you can see that for Flac/Ogg there is a discrepancy between Picard/Jaikoz. Ogg can be problematic because no official standard fieldnames exist so there can be divergence. But there are standard names for ID3 (as used by Mp3, Wav, Aif), even though your tagger may display the fieldname as ORIGINALYEAR it shoud be using TORY (ID3v23) or TYER (ID3v24)

MP4:----:com.apple.iTunes:ORIGINAL YEAR

Thanks for the help!

Would there be anything wrong with “overlabeling” tags, knowing that certains tags will not be recognized by various formats or playback programs?

For example, I have an original FLAC fileset that serves as my backup. I then make ALAC files for iTunes (which organizes the library). Now that I’ve starting using Roon, I just point it at the iTunes directory.

Based on the tagging table that was linked (thanks!), I should put the following 3 tags in my original FLAC fileset to ensure that the original release date is universally recognized:

“ORIGINAL_YEAR” for FLAC compliance
“ORIGINAL YEAR” for iTunes

Does this make sense? There would be nothing wrong with “overlabeling” the original files – the non-applicable tags would just be ignored by whichever program or file type is not using them, correct?

Hi you are okay to ‘overlabel’ the only difficulty with that is if at some point one field gets modified but not the other, then which is the correct value, its just makes maintenance a little harder.

But if you are transcoding files from Flac to Alac then you cannot make the assumption that those metadata fields will be converted correctly. They may be mapped to a different field to what you expect or not transferred at all. There are many tools you could use to reorganize your library so if that is all you are using iTunes for I would humbly suggest you remove that step.

thanks. i knew that dropping itunes would be a suggestion - not ready, lol!

could you explain why transcoding would cause metadata to be dropped? for quite some time, i’ve been labeling the FLAC fileset appropriately, and then converting to ALAC and MP3 with dbpoweramp. I’ve yet to encounter any tags that havent been correctly carried forward to the transcoded copies?

thanks again…

Here is a concrete example of where ID3 tags are lost and not converted with dBPoweramp https://forum.dbpoweramp.com/showthread.php?38851-Why-does-conversion-from-WAV-to-AIFF-change-ID3-tag

I don’t have a specific example of converting from FLAC but generally when dBPoweramp converts flac to mp3/wav, it converts flac fields to equivalent ID3 User defined text fields, also known as TXXX frames. So just using this method YEAR would go to TXXX:YEAR and DATE would go to TXXX:DATE, however I would expect YEAR to go to TYER if using ID3v23 or TDOR if going to ID3v24. dbPoweramp have to code for this it wont just happen automatically, and what should it do with a DATE field, it probably does handle the YEAR case, but not everything.

To be clear FLAC does not use ID3 tags, it uses a completely different system called Vorbis Comments, and Alac uses another completely different system called atoms for metadata. So any application that converts audio formats has to write code to convert the metadata, and some do it better than others. And there are not clear standards on this so there is no perfect way to do this.

Thanks very much for your help, Paul. As I mull over how best to apply these tags to my existing files, I’m now thinking about, how should Date and Original Release date be used?

Take 2 examples:

  1. An album that was originally released in 1970, but a specific CD version was released in 1990. It seems like this labeling scheme above would have DATE = 1990 and ORIGINALRELEASEDATE=1970. The only problem is most programs (I believe Roon included?) present albums chronologically in DATE order. So this album would be grouped near other albums from 1990, which doesn’t intuitively make sense.

  2. A live album that was released in 2000, but the performance was from 1980. I’m not sure how to apply the tags discussed above? Intuitively it would make sense for this album to be grouped near other albums from 1980.


Certainly in the case of 1> you have to decide are you interested in the OriginalReleaseDate and the ReleaseDate, or just the OriginalReleaseDate. If the former there is little you can do except wait for Roon to support sorting by OriginalReleaseDate, if the latter you could just store the OriginalReleaseDate in the ReleaseDate. This is quite a common scenario which is why my tagger software (and others) have an option to copy OriginalReleaseDate to ReleaseDate.

I don’t think there is much support for performance date, but you could certainly consider this as the OriginalReleaseDate and then make a similar decision about it.