Remove “In Their Prime” -- it' ageist, insulting to the artist and ridiculously subjective [not on roadmap]

dannyDanny DulaiRoon Labs: COO


Can you suggest an alternative?

I started this thread so I’ll give my comments after reading some of the others.

As to ageism, that can be argued I suppose, but I think it is ageism since it appears to me that all of the artists “in their prime “in Roon are when they were young, not older. The concept is less significant if you are talking about a band or group as opposed to an individual since a band or a group as an entity and does not by nature age biologically with all the attendant stereotypes as an individual.

How about “insulting to artists” as my second criticism. Here the golden rule applies. Suppose Roon was interviewing George Benson or Neil Young. Would either of these artists agree with Roon that their prime ended in 1981 and 1979 respectively? I don’t think so and I think they would be deeply offended.

My last criticism is “ridiculously subjective.” This is obvious by the nature of the arguments on this thread. No one can define when “prime” is so the term is deeply misleading. Many great albums are done in various time periods of an artist’s life and a single time period does a disservice. Roon lists “recommended albums” so why the need for indicating a “prime”period? Get an objective measure if you want as e.g. “most albums sold”, “highest Billboard charting” . “gold and platinum records” “Grammy winning albums”“popularity by concert attendance,” etc.etc. This would be the kinds of data useful to subscribers rather than an ad hoc subjective “prime” period.


The problem with creative peak is by whose definition. What you and I think are an artist’s creative peak can be widely different.

Going by popularity, aka, sales totals is a defensible point. Especially, if this is to be a starting point for someone new. Which leads me back to Bowie’s Let’s Dance, which really should be included because it WAS the artist at his commercial peak.

Going by popularity is a sensible point but is not synonym with “prime”. There are good reasons to somehow emphasize Let’s Dance, but not if it leads to the exclusion of Ziggy Stardust.

Same with my Sonic Youth example above. There are reasons to showcase the years 1990-95 in the band’s career, but it is not their prime. In particular, the prime cannot exclude the artist’s most important work by general agreement, as with Sonic Youth’s Daydream Nation (1988).

In the case of Qobuz this is made worse by the album not being available at all. If I read a music magazine article about SY’s “prime” years and they omitted Daydream Nation entirely, I would question why I am buying this. Am I receiving completely wrong impressions when reading about other artists with whom I am less familiar, just because I would not notice the embarrassing gaps?


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All of this (and more) would have been avoided with a simple switch to use/don’t and show/don’t this feature.

Remove the feature?

Let’s call it “Period of time with most dense release of Albums given 4 or 5 stars by Reviews paid by All Music Guide (but that doesn’t mean some other albums aren’t good too)”


No but that doesn’t mean it isn’t hilarious.

Sometimes this is the most absurdly ridiculous place on the internet.


Not really, IMHO, because this would just mean that the feature is not available when turned off. It is a good feature, however, and I would like to have and use it. But it clearly needs improvement to be useful and reliable


The Dude abides.

I really want the artists to come up with their own “In Their Prime” section now. Just so George Benson can defend falling off a cliff creatively and spending the 80’s through present hosting Smooth Jazz Radio.

Neil Young would write the longest, most stoned review of his career in which he tells you life is “the prime”.

You’ve just proved my point why “In Their Prime” is a ridiculous concept and one that is more designed to cause derision rather than education!

There’s literally nothing divisive about it other than the things you’re making up in your head here. It’s a discovery feature to give you good starting points for the most important era of the artist. Machine Learning will always need refinement, but the concept of the feature is to introduce you to an artist you’re not deeply familiar with. The premise of this thread is ridiculous.

P.S. Giving George Benson a 12 year peak through 1981 was rather generous.



Is this Nextdoor or the Roon Forum???!!!



Regardless of the nomenclature, I think it’s recognised that the majority of artists, in any field, have a creative peak during their career: the era that consistently produces their best (however that is defined) works. Identifying and presenting these periods would seem to be a very useful gateway into their work, especially for those unfamiliar with them.

The argument for not insulting artists is very weak as it ignores the fact that this sort of reviewing has been going on ever since the first artist released the very first piece of work. It simply comes with the territory…

Roon have made a good start, but clearly there are cases in the thread above which highlight issues with the current implementation that might be further improved. Rather than arguing for removal, the case for improvement should be made.


I see that even the Roon forum can’t escape the scourge of political correctness gone amok.


Though the ageist thing in the OP is dubious, many of the 82 posts since described very real issues in how the feature currently works and selects.


You might be overestimating both the size and fragility of their egos…


Your case was excluding a couple years on one end of the defined prime period.

I expect a first gen AI feature to not be perfect, but just the fact it’s there - not just for artists from 30-50 years ago - and working properly with some bands from the 90’s and 00’s makes me feel like this was executed fairly well for the purposes of introducing someone to an artist.

I think the real issue may be that Roon has little control over this because it’s pulling from the streaming services’ definitions of these periods and albums. And that’s a larger issue that rubs me wrong about Valence.

I have the distinct impression it is not Roon intelligently analyzing content in your library so much as matching it to the definitions held by their streaming partners. How intelligent is Roon at learning from my library and our libraries in totality? That’s never really been explained in much depth.

No, my case was excluding the one album that every reviewer (including the one writing the Sonic Youth bio on the Roon artist page) and fan agrees is the best and most important one, from the “prime years”. The album that the US Library of Congress chose to be preserved in the National Recording Registry.

And that’s because I noticed because I know the band. When using the feature to explore artists I do not know, which is its intended purpose, I would not even be aware of the misinformation. Which diminishes the value of a feature that in principle could be very useful.

I agree with everything else you wrote in this post