Please provide a global option to disable multi-part composition grouping

When I first read, years ago, that Roon would support making multiple parts of single compositions – like movements of a “classical” piece – stick together, it sounded like a great move.

“Nice!”, I thought. “This respects artistic intent, and will let us hear movements in the context in which they were intended to be heard!”

After this feature actually made it into Roon, though – in the succeeding years I’ve found that absolutely every time I’ve noticed composition grouping’s presence, it’s been because I’ve been puzzled and annoyed by unexpected behavior, and found on investigation that this grouping was to blame.

I’ll shuffle-play some music including an album with this grouping active, and suddenly there can be a single line item in the queue with 32 subparts, so hitting skip doesn’t play the next visible thing in the queue, it plays the next part within that grouped piece.

Or when a multipart chunk is playing and a song comes up in conversation during a party or occurs to me as a great thing to hear next… the “add next” operation doesn’t actually add next, right after the currently-playing track; it adds after all one million parts of the endless multipart composition which is playing. This has never been what I intended.

Perhaps I’m a more of a Philistine than the image I’d painted of myself, and actually regard precious musical gems as content to be bent to my entertainment will; perhaps I’ve spent so much time using purely track-based music playback software that I can’t wrap my mind around any other way.

But I purposely gave myself several years of using Roon and its part grouping, to see if my expectations would change; this hasn’t worked. Still, every time I’ve noticed encountering multi-part composition grouping in Roon it’s been because it was a source of conflict between my expectations and what Roon does.

So, please: give me an option to disable composition grouping globally!

Yes, I know, it can be turned off per album:

I’ve done that over and over again in individual albums, as I encounter problems. But newly added albums keep defaulting to composition grouping on, and there are doubtless also lots of albums still in the library with this misfeature still active and just waiting to bite me. And I swear I’ve seen this grouping get turned back on for an album where I’d turned it off manually, if I edited some other aspect of the album (perhaps by merging in more tracks)!

I need a way to kill this behavior with fire – both for existing albums and for any future albums to be added. Please.

I think I’d actually be perfectly happy if this grouping went away globally forever; but as I expect there must be some people who love it, and since maybe there might exist some special cases where even I would crave it – a global option to disable multi-part composition grouping (with the ability to apply the new default to all existing albums), plus the ability to enable it manually per album, would do the trick.

You probably want to vote for your own suggestion.


Oh, yeah! Thanks for the reminder.

1 Like

I also have a problem with this. I guess this wouldn’t require much work to implement in Roon. Should be a simple switch in settings.


Personally, I think this is closer to a bug report than a feature request. The multi-part feature simply doesn’t work properly, particularly with soundtracks. I can’t think of any justification for why it makes sense for shuffle play to start shuffling within a single album just because that album has been randomly designated as a multi-part group.

I think there are two key bugs here:

  1. Roon should never be automatically trying to create mulit-part compositions if the tags don’t indicate that there should be one.
  2. Shuffle play should either ignore groupings or treat the multi-part composition as a single entity and play through it in order. It makes no sense to shuffle within the grouping.

Well Jeffrey_Moore, I think you have your answer. Five votes in six months suggest yours is not a popular idea.

BTW, the party can immediately hear your musical gem by selecting play now. albeit at the cost of clipping the song then playing. But at least the “millions” of multiparts don’t get played.