Problem with the Search Engine with Unidentified Albums

If an album is recognised, all sorts of goodies are displayed/found with Roon. BUT if it is unidentified, as many albums in this large collection are, then the search engine has no tag to latch onto so they are not found.

SUGGESTION: Can an additional or optional feature be to recognise characters we insert in the album title and artist?

And I should add that the reason quite a few in this collection remain unrecognised is because they are part of a big set so it is an impossible task to drag 20 or so track files down through 6 or more albums. Others of course are just not in the data base.

Search could certainly do with improvement but I don’t think it is quite as bad as you described. Can you provide an example of something it cannot find?

Hi John,

Do you mean untagged or unidentified?

I have a lot of unidentified albums but as long as there are a few tags, search will find them. Totally untagged albums I cannot find either.

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This album, is unidentified;

A focus on “Berlioz” & “Hector Berlioz” fails to locate it.

But a search for “Damnation of Faust” does

So I’m assuming it does not come up under “Berlioz” because it is unidentified so Roon does not completely recognise it. So maybe my header is wrong and the problem is with the Focus on composers not the search engine although I’m pretty sure the search engine did not find it yesterday - but it did this morning so …

Tony, I am assuming that once an album is identified Roon sees tags to find it. But the fact it did find “Damnation of Faust” as described above is a mystery to me so I’m unsure what is needed by Roon to “see” an album. My idea was that if Roon could recognise our edited header and artist then albums would always be discovered however we chose to search or use Focus.

And I posted earlier, it would be nice if we could add in info for albums that are unidentified and might never achiever that status. To be able to enter in the libretto of an opera would be excellent, but of course the number of them which are easy to download is limited. But no harm in wishing…!

Focus on Berlioz requires that the name is in the composer field.
Or in some other artist field. From the appearance of the screen capture, it seems that Berlioz is not in any field.
But I bet that the “funnel filter” on Berlioz would find it, since it is in the album title.

Ah, now I understand. The reason why search (magnifying glass) and focus (iris) are returning different results is that search is parsing strings in your track titles, artist and composer names. But focus is parsing populated elements in a database (roon’s object model). It is the identification process that populates that object model. Focus doesn’t find anything simply because there is nothing there.

But my experience is that you can usually get focus to work with “unidentified” albums, you just have to manually populate roon’s object model instead. The most important thing when you cannot get an album identification as in your case is that you can usually get a composition identification instead. The easiest way is just to merge this version of “The Damnation of Faust” with an existing one in your library if you have one. Otherwise go to allmusic, find your unidentified album and edit all your file tags to match. In this case you will have to change the work title to:

“La Damnation de Faust, for mezzo-soprano, tenor, baritone, bass, chorus and orchestra, (“légende dramatique”) H. 111 (Op. 24)”

You will probably have to edit all the credits to match as well. If roon then identifies this composition then focus will work as well. For example focusing on “Hector Berloz” as in your example should bring up this version of the Damnation of Faust.

The minus is of course, this is a lot of work and a lot of trouble. But I am not sure how else it would be possible to get focus to work where roon has no object data to work with.

Thanks Tony, yes that is a LOT of work which I would not expect is necessary. And, BTW, the focus was for both “Berlioz” and “Hector Berlioz” but, as shown above, it was not discovered.

And there is another problem with this work, not Roon’s fault, and that is if the title in in French or English. To overcome that I changed all the titles to English. Classical albums can be a PIA sometimes!! But the music makes it worthwhile :slight_smile:

I find that it is generally not necessary to populate the entire object model, just enough for identification to work. How much that is depends on the album, of course. I have almost never had to do complete data entry. But then, I do very little classical.

Yes, I try to do the minimum as well. But I think we are talking about two different things. I find that roon frequently will identify an album but not the individual compositions. Roon can often make an album identification with surprisingly little information but it will not necessarily identify any compositions. I actually find this to be a bigger problem with pop than with classical as in many cases the composer credits are missing and/or there are large variations in track titles and “mixes”. It becomes a lot of work to fix these cases and requires much more detail than necessary for an album identification. I don’t think many with large pop libraries go to the trouble except with a few favorite artists / albums. The difference with Classical is that it is so composer/composition based that roon doesn’t really work without this detail. I don’t want to mislead that it is ever necessary to populate the entire object model. No doubt that is running to many hundreds of items and most of it is not exposed to the GUI anyway. But getting a composition ID can be a considerable amount of work, above and beyond getting an album ID. I find it not uncommon to often have to reedit almost every existing tag.

@JOHN_COULSON, there are a couple of things you said there that got me curious

In general roon prefers anglicised versions of artists, composers and works. But it is a by no means 100% rule. In this particular case roon prefers a sort of hybrid “Franglais”. Depending on your album / work etc. roon will fail to make an identification if you have departed too far from album and or work titles that roon is expecting to see. Usually the only safe thing is to use the formulation on allmusic. The formulation can often depart quite considerably from the artwork so on a case by case basis, this sort of basic alignment, will probably require more or less editing of your tags. You might be able to identify more albums / compositions if you revert titles you have translated into English to align with your artwork and/or allmusic.

The other thing is that particularly with classical music getting an album ID is usually not enough. You also need to get a composition ID otherwise you loose many of the benefits of roon (it’s also a problem in pop music BTW). I do not have that particular “La Damnation de Faust” but even if I cannot identify the album, as long as I identify the individual compositions, composers, artists etc. then most searches in focus will work. As an example I have switched off identification of the album below. You can tell if roon has identified the composition even though there is no album identification because you will see a little “counter” next to the composition. In my case there is a “4”. You should see at least a “1”. If you click on the counter roon will take you to other versions of the work and generally tie together your library in many other ways. There are a lot of benefits of going to this trouble. Is that what you are seeing?

Unfortunately in order to build a screen like that with an unidentified album you are going to have to manually edit almost everything you see. In effect this is populating manually the roon data model with all the soloists, artists, compositions, works, parts, release dates etc. that it can usually retrieve automatically when you make an album id.

If you do this then the album will show up in focus, and most searches will work, whether the album has been identified or not:

Obviously this is a lot of work I would also prefer not to do. If I want to use focus for both identified and unidentified albums it seems to me there are two choices. Roon can auto-populate it’s object model during the identification process or alternatively I can manually populate enough of it for most of focus to work.

That’s it in a nutshell. I have 184 unidentified albums in my collection (mostly personal recordings or downloaded podcasts), and I’ve used an external tag editor (dbPoweramp in my case) to populate the minimum set of tags necessary for Focus to work to my requirements. That’s Album Title, Album Artist, Track Title, Track number, Artist (not for Podcasts), Genre and Composer (also not for podcasts). Using a tag editor saves a lot of time.

Edit: in my collection of 937 ripped or downloaded CDs, Roon has been able to identify all but 39 of them. For some small percentage of the CDs I needed to give Roon a helping hand to identify the CD correctly.

I still think there is scope for roon to help automate this type of manual tagging. Nine times out of ten with unidentified albums I find myself making exactly the same swaps of tags and cut and paste of tags that may have a lot of information such as track numbers, composers, artists, compositions etc. embedded in them. Depending on how you tagged most of it might even be in the file names. The reason why a lot of this is repeatable, of course, is that most people will have used consistent tagging convenetions even if ultimately they don’t suit roon very well. For example I use EAC (Exact Audio Copy) to rip. Many use this. It was the ripper of choice before dbPoweramp. When you configure it you are asked how EAC should write out your track titles. There are many choices which are then submitted to accurip and freedb. Any wonder there are so many differences and confusion about tag formatting convention in public databases:

However, anything that I have ripped with EAC will look the same with a lot of information locked into track titles and tags that I then use mp3tag to swap around in a more roon friendly way

What would be nice is if there was a feature within roon which could automate this mapping where the information was available but in a different way. For example something similar to the genre mapping view that I could use to tell roon how to “chop” up my track titles. It would save a lot of work because I wouldn’t bother re-editing my tags if roon could get an ID this way.

Manually adjusting the Roon object model dB sorta defeats the main selling point of Roon , automation!!

If I have to do stuff manually there are better search and navigation solutions

The main issue is that in a big library you have to know what you’ve got to know it’s missing . My short term memory is weakening with age :sob:

Hi @Mike_O_Neill ,

Is that what you really meant to say? No one is discussing manually adjusting the object model. It is manually adjusting the contents of the instance of the object model in edge cases when automation has failed. What would you propose as a practical alternative?


Hi Tony

Of course I meant the data not the model itself , that would be in the code.

My idea is that you have 2 options , manually populate (a La JRiver) or automatically populate a la Roon

One can be 100% with effort , the other OUGHT to be 100% but as we know metadata is often a bit dodgy


Good luck with that. Why do you think the market hasn’t evolved a hybrid product with both the manual flexibility of a JRiver and the automation of a roon?

always was a bit of a dreamer , MusiCHI tagger does a fair job of getting composition and movement stuff