I am in the middle of my two weeks trial and thinking of NOT applying, in spite of my initial hopes about Roon solving my issues with digital audio library.
My attempted move to Roon was initially prompted by my digital library exceeding Sonos capability (after dematerialization of all my CDs - a great idea I thought), leading me to use a (free) Plex server for a short time. Despite lots of improvements (layout and of course the access to my whole library), I got very frustrated with a few things which got me looking for a better solution.
Although a bit repelled by Roon’s pricing I first thought of it as a ticket to a flawless, friendly and smooth listening experience. Alas !
Main point (probably the only prohibitive one) : why cling to such an album-based way of thinking musical media ??? This was the reason why I am unhappy with Plex in the first place. Sonos app (well, since one doesn’t exceed its capability) does it way better.
Roughly 1/10th of my library is “albumless”, for many reasons : music either directly exchanged with musicians, obscure tracks gathered here and there (e.g. 45rpm from the world around shared by enthousiasts on the Internet), etc.
Considering a mean 12 tracks per album, the result was that more than half of the items showing under the “Album” category consisted in single tracks, what’s more bearing artificial album names including folders names as well as wrong artwork (basically the first alphabetical jpg in the concerned folder). A nightmare for one who had spent weeks thouroughly tagging, naming and organizing musical files !
Why not just exclude these “albumless tracks” from Album search ? At least put an option to tick somewhere in the settings…
Secondly (this is linked to the above), how tedious, even impossible is it to access any artist’s complete track list ?. Trying to solve the aforementioned problem, I ended up tagging all my albumless tracks with a “< singles >” album tag, then gathering them all in a < singles > album which pollutes a lot less the Albums page than several hundreds (thousands in fact) single tracks (or at best groups of single tracks from the same artist). So I have a < singles > album with 4300 tracks or so, fine !
Alas… there is no complete track list on one artist’s page… At best “Top tracks” and a “View all tracks” link on the desktop app, which is fine but only a bloody “Main albums” category on the android app !!?
In my situation, there are hundreds of artists which only have tracks in my (unsorted of course) < singles > album so without the track list filtering possibilities of the desktop app there is NO WAY of accessing these artist’s (any artist in fact) complete track list on the mobile app… Very frustrating !
Apart from these big flaws, some other serious disappointments including :
Connection via android app requires a server restart. All the time.
Rather poor artists pictures database. Plex is way better, probably because of its use of Discogs.
Single tracks artwork (in file tags) replaced with album artwork, even if the latter is completely artificial and/or wrong. (see main complaint above)
Absurdly painful track rearranging in the “Identify album” menu. One has to move tracks one by one and step by step. Horrible ! I was happy to have 98% of my library properly tagged before I tried Roon.
Maybe not enough explored yet : artist linking does not seem to be as effective nor relevant than Plex’s.
A few good points though : (once one is connected), interface and responses are quick and smooth. Multiple artist tag support (maybe the only reason why I might apply after all). The desktop app offers many possibilities of exploring but I would like them in the mobile app too.
Thank you for reading me, maybe bringing answers to my concerns,
Sounds to me like you have made a sensible, fact based assessment and decided it’s not for you.
Your collection of unique tracks really is a challenge, as you say, in roon.
Mind you don’t know what you will use
Thank you Ged, I am indeed still looking for another software/server solution !
Oh, and there is something else : non-occidental characters (arabic etc.) are definitely not supported… I am very reluctant to re-name my whole collection of Oum Kalthoum, Fairuz etc. not to mention all these asian artists and tracks for which I have no clue how they are pronounced nor what they mean etc. This is very surprising and of course disturbing !
For (some) asian languages that might be a bug. Roon provides Noto fonts for Japanese, Thai and Devanagari. I’m not so sure how Chinese languages are handled but there’s a Chinese translation available (or in the works, don’t know exactly) so that has to work too somehow.
Arabic is indeed missing even so support for this has been requested.
If that’s really your main concern then Roon will probably not be your cup of tea. It’s the way Roon does it and it’s - my guess - not very likely this will change. But Roon supports various album types: Main, Single, Other, Unknown, Extended Play, Soundtrack. If this would help with your collection I don’t know.
I’m sure I didn’t quite understand what you did here but what I know is that there’s a limit of how many tracks an album can have.
Have you checked if there’s a three-vertical-dots menu - it should give you access to the same entries as on the desktop app.
Sounds like a network issue. Usually this gets solved in the support section after a bit of analysing how things are set up.
May depend on what’s in a collection.
Roon simply doesn’t support artwork on track level (yet). It has been wished for but it’s not there (yet?).
Yes, probably, but where to go then ? Of course I do wish to continue using Sonos hardware for now (and my wife will continue using Sonos software as well).
Thank you for pointing this out, I just realized that only a few of the tracks that I dumped this way show up, certainly due to the limit of tracks per album. So whatever I did does not seem to be a solution at all.
Not the way I would have done it. As mentioned, Album has a limit of 142 maybe 150 before things get weird. I would identify those tracks with a user Tag - I call mine “MyTracks” and attached it to the tracks in question. You can do this by going to Album, Focus, Going to Inspector, Choose Track Count at the top, set the number to 1 - 1 so it will only select those with 1 track. When this is done - Select All and then Add to a New Tag, create the tag first and then Hit Save.
Then, if you want to review the tracks go to the Track View, click on tag and select MyTracks and you have all your tagged tracks in a view which has a variety of sort and view options (available on the side menu - fields can be added or removed from sort-able Track view - including File Location which will then allow you to sort by hard drive location)
Then I would create a bookmark for the Album view which filtered out all those Tracks and only leaving actual Albums. Go to Albums, click Tag select MyTracks. This gives you all the Tracks you had added above, now click again in the green tag and it will turn into a minus. This gives you every album that does not have a tagged track. At this point, click on bookmarks, create a new one and call it “RealAlbums”.
Thank you Daniel, I will try this, maybe as an ultimate trick before giving up at least temporarily. Not this easy because a lot of these unique tracks are gathered together in artificial “albums” since there are sometimes several of them by one artist stored within a same folder.
In the meantime, I have tried Mezzmo and Emby and encoutering the same kind of problems… if not more !