Reviving PLAYLIST topic in 2022 - Playlist toolbox needed!

Dear all, Back in 2016, a thread was created by Roon asking for « New ideas for Playlists »
« Playlists are a notorious weak spot for us. None of us at Roon Labs are big playlist users so we’re looking to you guys for ideas on how to nail this. So I’d like to know how you use, think about, and create playlists.
Do you want additional customization (images, descriptions, ect) of playlists? How do you want to browse your playlists? Do you want different ways to add music to playlists (smart playlists, filters)? »
Many users contributed back then, since 2019 this thread has however remained dormant.

Where are we in 2022 ? Roon has vastly improved in many categories.
On playlists, some progress has been made, still today, in 2022, there is a massive room for playlists improvements in Roon. I would say playlist management are still a weakness in an otherwise fantastic software.
On my side I still see several issues, the two first ones being major:

  • upon change of storage location for files, Playlist content does NOT follow (tracks are visible but not located). This is really annoying. Playlist tracks should be location-specific only regarding two possibilities: online or local storage, but local storage should be flexible…
  • one cannot nest playlist in a sub-playlist structure, which would simplify their organisation
  • one cannot perform various merge operations on playlists (split/fuse etc…)
  • I am still in doubt about how playlists are imported. Mine from iTunes I have had marginal success importing.
    So… I think it makes sense to bring this topic again to Roon team attention. They have done much more complicated things efficiently, no doubt they can also assist users on this.
    Why not a Playlist Toolbox, gathering all Playlist operations ?

This thread could be a place to collect playlist toolbox operation. Suggestions welcome then…

3 Likes

Good post, definitely feels like this is something that needs looking at after (or as part of) the next major update — which I assume is going to be around ‘outside the home playback’. Particular as that version/release may solve some of the playback syncing needs/issues.

Below is a bit of a starter for ten / summary of some of the more requested playlist features and a couple of my personal thoughts:

Currently you can only move one track at a time which makes the rearranging of large playlists cumbersome and annoying. Especially as playlists by nature often have 3 or 4 tracks that group nicely together nicely, that you may want to move together. It’s also often the case that you don’t want a newly added track to live at the end of a playlist, which makes the ability to quickly select and move multiple tracks even more vital. The ability to move sections of one playlist to another is ana advanced version of this. Ordinals (playlist track numbers) would also help in terms of dragging or reordering tracks to a particular position.

Currently due to the way that tracks are added to playlist (local vs streaming, different versions of the same album, if you cancel or pause your Tidal/Qobuz subscription, tracks disappearing from a streaming service) it would be useful to have a means, automated or otherwise to tidy up these orphaned tracks.

Folders — calm down, I’m not talking about the local filesystem :wink: But tags (in their current form) don’t work for playlists — at least for me and it seems many others. I expect this is partly due to personal playlist being, well personal …I don’t want to tag them by a generic theme, style, or mood and partly due to the (smaller, relative to albums) number of them. For me it makes more to treat them more as a nested archive where they can quickly be filed and found.

The ability to sync back to Qobuz/Tidal is obviously high on many people list as seen by the numerous feature requests for variation of it [1,2,3,4,5,6]. Short of full integration some level of automated Soundiz integration may be a useful stop gap. But this really does feel like functionality that should be built natively into Roon, at least for it’s two main streaming platforms (Qobuz/Tidal) without having to reply on 3rd party platforms and additional subscriptions.

While not a ‘core’ feature in the way that native Tidal/Qobuz might seem to be. The ability to export (and import) a playlist to/from Spotify does feel like a really useful feature given the prevalence of Spotify playlists out there in the world. If a music magazine or blog makes up a playlist 9 times out of 10 it will be shared/presented as a Spotify Playlist on their site, if a friend shares a play list with me, 9 times out of 10 it will be a Spotify Playlist. If I want to share a playlist with someone, then again Spotify is probably the simplest way. Like it loath it, Spotify is a primary means of sharing playlists in 2022. And yes, I can do this manually with Soundiz, but I’m talking about how Roon could be improved as a product — not what it does (or doesn’t do) today. This wouldn’t need to be built to the level of a product like Soundiz, there is probably a sensible halfway house where you could add a Spotify account to Roon for the purpose of sharing playlists and no more.

Before anyone throws too much scorn on this idea, it’s worth remembering that one competitive edge Roon has over the streaming platforms own apps, that may help keep it thriving long term, is that it’s not tied to one streaming service or audio hardware platform. It’s precisely because of that difference in business model, that it can do things like build in a Spotify import/export feature (if it wanted to) without worrying that it’s cannibalising it’s own market share. In short Roon doesn’t have to worrying about keeping a walled garden to maximise clicks & plays, instead it can look instead how to improve the product for it’s users wider needs and use cases.

Talking of syncing, a minor thing but the Excel export option doesn’t seem to include the original playlist order (ordinals) as a column. The Soundiz export does keep the natural order, but it doesn’t include any other information.

There’s also this thread (created post 1.8) that has tried to compile a bunch of playlist issues:

4 Likes

@michael a good thread for you to see about playlists.

Thank Gawd playlists are getting some attention. My request, submitted before is to be able to Move multiple songs from one location to another. Roon lets you select multiple then when you start to drag, only one moves. Come on guys, time to fix this.

2 Likes

I think they are being flagged, whether roon pay attention is another thing. :slightly_frowning_face:

When I get the opportunity I will dig out previous requests. It really seems Roon team is not very motivated on improving playlists. They should !

Roon has certainly many customers who want to re-listen to certain known pieces (possibly in a given sequence) several times and find them back easily.

Playlists are made precisely for that.

Regards,
CD