Query re preference for artwork in metadata

I have many unique artwork covers that I’ve created using MS Publisher but find they vanish if I “identify” the album after editing them in. Preferring “file” rather than “Roon” does not reinstall my creation. I’ve learned to live with that but wonder if my artwork cover creations are in fact recorded in the backup. If not, it would mean that hundreds of hours of work would be lost in the unfortunate event of a Roon meltdown.


Hi John,

Do you see your album cover if you Edit the album and click the Edit Album tab and scroll to the Album Artwork?

Cheers, Greg

No Greg, it is never there and that makes me wonder if Roon is recognising what I do.

Do you store your artwork inside file tags,or alongside your tracks as “folder.jpg” ? Also, what happens if you unidentify the album ? Does your artwork reappear ?

Not sure how to reply to your query Andre.

What I do is to concoct artwork with Publisher, saver it as a jpg file and then import that into the album under edit. It then consistently appears in all displays on this PC and on the iPad. Under edit my concoction never appears on the left as an option for artwork. I suspect if I unidentified my artwork would disappear, but I haven’t tried that. As I said before, if I “identify” after inserting my artwork, it vanishes and is nowhere to be found - it has to be reinstalled under edit from a jpg.

If I see a problem coming up I can do a print screen to save the artwork, copy it to Publisher, re-format it and save as a jpg again to reinsert under edit. Or of course I can re-do the artwork.

It seems I’m missing something???

I have not received a clear answer to my original query and am suspecting that if Roon crashed the backup would NOT restore the cover artwork I have spent hundreds of hours designing and editing in.

Correct or not?

If I’m wrong why does it not appear when I specify “Prefer file” as my metadata preference? I guess that is because Roon does not recognise my grandiose creations as valid file artwork.

So, is this a deficiency in Roon (that did not exist in Sooloos) that will be rectified or am I missing something when I save files in editing?

PLEASE could I have a clear answer, especially if there is something I’m not doing with the editing that I need to do.

Hi John,

Let’s start from the start, as your query may be based on some misconceptions. Sorry if you know this already.

Firstly, if you save a jpg you have created to an album folder in your music storage or embed it in a music file, Roon will never alter or delete that file, no matter what happens to the Roon database. That file will always be there (unless you delete it). So there is no need to worry about whether any corruption of the Roon database will affect your edited covers; it won’t.

Secondly, as per this thread, Roon will find cover art from an image in an album folder if the name of the image includes “folder”, “front” or “cover”. Roon will also find art that is embedded in a file tag. Roon gives priority to the largest image, whether local or found online.

You can change the cover art Roon uses in Edit Album:

In the example below Roon has found a cover from a local file (which has been edited to add the word “Cantatas”) and a smaller online cover. I have the default star option selected, which tells Roon to “Prefer Best” (biggest in area) which is the local file:

In this case the folder containing the Album doesn’t contain an image file. Inspection with mp3tag reveals that the cover is embedded in the file tags:

If Roon changes cover art when an album is identified, then it is because the Album art settings are set to “Prefer Best” and it has found a bigger image online. The local image should still be found in Edit Album and can be selected with “Prefer File”.

You can alter Roon’s default preference “Prefer Best” to “Prefer File” in Settings/Library/Import Settings/Metadata Preferences for Albums/Artwork. If you change that setting to “Prefer File” then Roon will default to use your local artwork. It will still display online artwork it finds and you can choose to prefer that on an album by album basis.

Can you step us through an example with screenshots John ? You should always be able to revert to your local artwork.

OK here goes. I’ll pick on an unidentified album that I have altered the artwork and then identify it to illustrate how I’m finding the situation. This is the first CD in a 3 CD set.

But then I strike another hurdle as it is not recognised - the date there looks wrong anyway!

So to find another:

But not so easy to identify. As usual 21 of the tracks are stuck up alongside CD1 so has to be laboriously dragged down 3 at a time. But surprise, surprise, tracks 22 to 43 were there alongside CD2 already but I guess I should be thankful I did not have to drag them all down!!!

Save and hey presto my artwork is still there!!!

I kid you not, this is the VERY FIRST TIME this has happened. Previously that original artwork was all there was to be found and my effort disappeared completely.

So, a big thank you. Someone has listened and fixed whatever was causing the previous situation.

CORRECTION - not fixed

I went through exactlky the step[s illustrated above with is album

Identified it with this result:

and absolutely no sign of my original creation (and choosing "prefer file from the metadata achieves nix => to me that Roon has not recognised my artwork):

So I’ll do what I’ve had to previously, add in the artwork I want.


And there it is back again

But it does now appear as an option for the artwork in editor so something has changed.

Is there something I’m missing???

I guess it all boils down to if the album is identified first and the album artwork put in after, then it sticks. But if I put the artwork in before it is identified, Roon displaces it with the original artwork if it is later identified and my precious creation is nuked and lost.

However, if Roon automatically identifiers an album, not invoked by me, my artwork sticks. In the process above this happened with one album set.

So, my problem lies with unidentified albums whose artwork I have changed. It would seem that the artwork in those albums is not recognised by Roon so will not be recorded in a backup. Correct???

Ok, that shouldn’t be happening. Looking at the Schumann album, how was the local artwork originally stored ? Was it embedded in the album files (like my example above) or was it an image file in the album folder ?

If you edit any information, like Version, or added artwork and then go through the identification process, Roon will toss everything previously entered. This happens whether your album is un-indentified or not. If you have an identified album, make some edits, and then redo the identification process it will toss those previous edits.

It has always worked like this. One way to get around it, and I think Andy was aluding to, was instead of adding your artwork via the edit screen, save your artwork as folder.jpg. Then you can tell Roon to use your artwork instead.

I think this is where my ignorance shows up.

What I do is to take a copy of the artwork to be modified from some source, maybe the net or a scan, copy it into MS Publisher, alter it to taste and save it as a jpeg file on the PC in my “pictures” folder. When I edit the album I simply add image, browse for it in the pictures folder and save. It then appears on this PC or the iPad every time I start up Roon but disappears as previously described if I later identify the album.

Yes this is what I do Dan, except I do not keep that artwork in the pictures folder. I delete it and move on to the next album to insert different artwork.

Is there no way Roon can be persuaded to retain my artwork?

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So it does seem my initial concern is correct - Roon merely tolerates my artwork but cannot see it anywhere to reinstall it so any changes lose it. That was not the situation with Sooloos as the artwork was embedded into the album data and was saved in the backup.

Not that I know of. Maybe it is a bug; but I thought I remember bringing this up in '15. Perhaps it should be a Feature Request to have Picture and Version Edits survive the identification process.

In testing it again for this discussion, I noticed something interesting.

Here is an Identified and then edited album. Steve Miller, I changed the artwork and I changed the Version. I also added a Pick checkmark to the 2nd track

So, here we have an identified and edited album. I then hit Edit and re-identified the album, keeping the same album version choice and hit save.

You’ll notice the original artwork is back, the Version has reverted to the original tag information. However, the Pick Choice actually stayed. i wonder if that is because that information is stored at a track and not album level. Hmmm.

You really have to change your workflow, atm. Make the the artwork edit and save it in the album folder as folder.jpg. Then you can tell Roon to use your artwork and it will not vanish between identification processes.

Sadly it is a bit late for that now. Heaps of the artwork was done in Sooloos and has been carried over to Roon because of the Sooloos data structure but heaps more has been done in the last 15 months since I switched to Roon. So I can follow your suggestion in the future but that does not solve my concern that artwork will not be part of the backup.

John, I suspect that “your artwork will not be part of the backup”, never has been, and never will be. But that’s really beside the point. What should be part of Roon’s database backup is the fact that for album X, you have told Roon to prefer the artwork contained in the folder.jpg file, rather than the artwork known to Roon in its online database.

So what should be preserved in the backup is a pointer to your artwork, not the artwork file itself. Remember, Roon’s backup function is for the Roon Database, and NOT for your music files and any folder.jpg files that you have in there as well. Those files need to be backed up separately, they are never touched or included in the Roon database backup.

Thanks for the reply Geoff.

What you say is rather depressing and is a BIG negative re Roon compared to Sooloos. Coming from that system to Roon there was absolutely no warning about having to retain hundreds of files of art work to link up to each folder. I naively assumed Roon was an advance on Sooloos, which it is in many, many ways, but this is a significant negative and, IMHO should be looked at and some way devised to preserve introduced artwork.

So does this mean that NONE of my modified artwork can be saved anywhere, even that which is attached to identified albums? If so that is a disastrous situation for me should there be a Roon meltdown.

Yes I accept the backup does not preserve the original music data files and have them backed up but the impression has been given that all alterations/editing we perform IS part of that back up. Obviously that is not the case with altered artwork and, to me, is a serious omission.

Is there no way apart from referring back to jpeg files (in my case non existent) to have the modified artwork backed up?

John, I may be worrying you unnecessarily. It occurs to me that Roon can possibly handle four different sources of artwork images, rather than the three I have been assuming:

  • Artwork in Roon’s online datasources
  • Artwork in a track’s metadata
  • Artwork in the folder.jpg file in the album folder
  • Artwork that you manually add to Roon via the Add Image function

It’s that last one that I forgot, and indeed, I would expect that the image artwork should then be added into Roon’s database, and backed up along with other database items.