Propagation of metadata file changes into roon

Description of the issue

I would appreciate clarity in how roon handles updated metadata that has changed in the filesystem. I apologize if this has been covered: I have looked and posted previously on this topic, with no help. In my opinion, this should be addressed in a document in the roon support library, but I have not seen anything like this.

Like many users, I have a large music library, collected over decades. Some was purchased as digital files from multiple sources, others are personal CDs I ripped myself.(I have used EZ Audio CD converter for many years, and I use mp3tag to manage metadata. I recommend both these products)

LIke many I have used public databases to populate metadata (discogs, musicbrainz etc) for my CDs, so of course the fields are not consistent across sources. My ideas for what I want in metadata have also changed over the years. As another use case, I also have a custom rating system for albums that is implemented using roonalbumtag, (previous post) so I edit metadata when I add or modify ratings.
The bottom line question is how roon responds to filesystem metadata changes. I currently have thousands of changes in my filesystem that are not reflected in roon.

One data point: if I use mp3tag to edit metadata for a single album, roon does not necessarily make the change on the next scan. Forcing a library rescan and even rebooting roon does not always initiate an update of the filesystem metadata changes in roon. If you change the filename or some file attribute other than metadata, this generally does cause roon to find the metadata change.

For individual albums, I have a workaround: for each album I have changed, I force a library rescan, then go to the page for that album, select ‘edit album’ and rescan. This picks up my changes. Obviously this is a poor solution for a large number of changes. I have explicitly asked in previous posts about what will initiate metadata rescans, and gotten no useful response from roon.

I have standardized the metadata for many albums, which can be done as a bulk process in mp3tag. Now I want the bulk changes reflected in roon.

*** Does roon have a way to do a bulk synchronization between the (changed) metadata in my library and the (stale) metadata shown in roon?***
*** what filesystem data does roon look at when scanning a library source for changes?***

if I can’t find a bulk solution, I’ll likely delete my roon library database and re-import my entire collection. I would think roon would prefer a more lightweight solution which uses less of its server resources.

A little more information about my configuration, since its possible that the matter is filesystem dependent (I think I discovered a few years back that metadata changes are not always reflected in file modification times in linux/ext4. I understand this may be a difficult problem). I’m running roon on rock, local USB to my benchmark DAC. My source music library is on a single 12 TB disk running ext4 on a raspberry pi/raspbian. The fileserver and rock are connected via cat6 ethernet. I have not tested to see how file metadata is reflected in ext4/raspbian in terms of the various flavors of file modification times and don’t know what roon is using when it does an incremental scan, which is clearly incomplete and misses changed metadata. Rather than research all that, I thought I would ask for a clearer discussion, one that I suspect many would like to hear.

If your changes are not being detected automatically it’s because the file modification date/time is being preserved by the tagger - change mp3tag config to not preserve this. It does, however then mean that these edited albums will show up as recent additions in roon.

If you have a bulk editor for file attributes I’d leave the tagger set to preserve mod date & time and after finishing editing use the bulk editor to add one second to each file edited.

I’d put a small disk or usb key local to the rock and do a metadata change to an album there and see if the change is picked up on save or forced rescan.
If nothing else it will give support some data points.

There is an easy workaround. On the Roon Albums page, select all of the albums (right click on one album then, at the top left of the screen, change from “1 selected” to “Select all”).

On the 3 dot menu drop down menu, click on Edit. On the next screen click on “Rescan albums”. This will update your metadata without the need to re-analyse. Re-analysing takes much longer than rescanning and isn’t needed unless audio properties have been changed.


Thank you. this was very useful. I had somehow never noticed the dropdown on ‘1 selected’ you mentioned. Quite useful for bulk operations.

I did go back and look at the (very modest) documentation for file tags in the help center knowledge base, and confirmed that the documentation for metadata and its use in roon is decidedly lacking. I was entertaining a slim hope that roon support might actually provide some insight. Not much there.

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