Roon 1.4 - Radio Feedback

Can someone explain me how the new algorithm for playing similar radio is. While complete random play of my library has been improved it seems that similar play is totally random as well. I have let it play for a while but it has been a lot worse then before. I do not see any relationship between the Yaeji, Donna Summer, Canonball Adderly, Bjork and Vivaldi to be honoust, at least not enough to be an obvious choice in “similar play” this is just completely random. Similar play has been playing the last 30 min from electro rap to pop to jazz to classical to france chanson to salsa. I don’t get it. (Playing similar to Yaeji - electro hiphop)

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I’ve moved your post to @support. The Roon guys might want to explore this further.

I checked out the Artist Yaeji in Tidal and added a couple of albums to my library, I found very little metadata with this artist with no Genres included in the metadata.

Did you added any of your own genres to the artist or albums?

It would be interesting to see how the lack of metadata or the addition of user added Genres affect the Radio algorithm.

Cheers, Greg

I started radio from classical streaming from Tidal and immediately went to trance. Is there any way to at least stay on classical?

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I put on The Cocteau Twins late at night hoping Radio would give me a selection of Dream Pop stuff but it went almost immediately to generic rock and pop. Seems like it’s taking little notice of the feeder track.

Happy that Radio has become more broad in it’s selection. That said, it does seem to be closer to random, again pointing to the need for user control for how far afield Radio should select tracks.
Actual Radio stations are mostly genre based, such as classical, country, pop, oldies, classic rock etc. Sometimes program directors or owners will try to appeal to a wider audience by playing multi genre programming- often referred to as “Middle of The Road”.
Frankly, Roon Radio can sometimes appear to take that concept quite a bit further to perhaps “All Over The Road”!
I thank the Roon folks for the Improvement, but look forward to further enhancement in the near future.

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Hi Greg,

No I didn’t add any of my own genre tags to this album. There is not much info on this artist that’s true In my library there are quite a lot of artist that are just partly or not at all recognized by the Rovi database that could be the culprit indeed. Anyhow it is nice to know how the algorithm works. I have been experimenting wïth it this afternoon and it seems that it is mostly (if not only) based on Roons own genre tagging. When I let it rely on my own genre tagging by shutting of genre tagging from Roon database in the import settings it seams to be purely random all the time.

Have you mapped the genres in your files to Roon’s genre scheme? That might help a bit. (Settings > Library > Genre Mappings)

I will look in to that, thanks

I speak under correction here, but I assume Roon’s Radio utilises genre metadata (yours and/or its own, depending on how you’ve configured Roon to utilise genres) as well as similar artists, influencers and followers to make its selections. Choosing a seed with limited or no metadata relating to the aforementioned is by definition going to cast the net very wide.

When I turn off Roon database genres while preserving my own genre tags everything seems to play fully random. So far I have not seen any clue that influencers, followers or any other metadata is involved in the algorithm. Seems to rely fully on the Roon database genre tags. I could be wrong offcoarse, I will do some more testing though

+1 for apparent randomness. Perhaps at some point it chooses randomness over silence. J

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Are the tracks and/or albums you’re using as seed content Identified or Unidentified within Roon?

Yes they are identified. I think the problem might be to less metadata. Last half hour I have listened to radio with similars to Versus from Wolf+Lamb witch has only a Roon tag “electronic” first thing that was played after the album was Bob Dylan, next The Waterboys, then Rubin Steiner and as fourth the first “electronic” song from Kruder&Dorfmeister. But after that it went on to Billy Idol.

Funny thing is when I start radio manually from a song on the album Roon stays very narrow focussed to electronic. I think it’s time to force a library rescan.

i’m having problems with Radio in 1.4 as well. in previous versions, the problem seemed to be a lack of “randomness”, where as now the issue is the algorithm seems to relay entirely on randomness, often queuing tracks that appear to have no obvious correlation to one another. a examples:

I started this session with John Pizzarelli plays McCartney from Tidal (i added it to my library). Roon followed this with “Sex Machine” by Sly Stone, and then something from Miles’ 2nd quintet period:

Roon says it’s playing music similar to “my library”, which seems to indicate it’s look at the entire library, rather than any unique characteristics of John Pizzarelli, swing, vocal jazz, or paul mccartney.

in the next example, Roon has follow Iron & Wine, which might be characterized as progressive folk, with a live CSN track, and then the Stones.

i understand Classical can be difficult to get right, but the selections here, while interesting don’t really fit. the “seed” is a Haydn Trumpet concerto. Bach’s Solo violin music is at least nominally from the same period, but Mahler’s 9th symphony is not.

Similarly, following the Beethoven violin concerto, with Mahler 10 (roon really likes Mahler), and then Tchaikovsky…

@support what can be done to fix this?

I, too, was excited to hear that Roon Radio had been improved. I’ve missed Pandora since I ditched it to go all-in for Roon.

This morning I started radio with an REM song, and within six tunes I had gotten the Eagles and Cannonball Adderly playing “Autumn Leaves.”

A bit random, yeah.

Hey folks – thanks for all the feedback here. We have done a lot of work to improve Radio, but we know there is more to do, and the feature is built to continually improve over time.

I’d like to get some more information about the selections being reported here, but first a couple points I want to make:

  • If Roon says it’s playing music similar to “Your Library” you can expect random playback. It’s not clear to me how @woodford got into this state, but the most obvious way would be starting Radio from one of the browser screens.

  • For the moment, Radio can only use music in your library as the seed. This can include TIDAL content, but only if the content has been added to your library. Radio will not work for non-library content yet, but we intend to remove this limitation in the future.

  • We are working to improve Radio’s handling of content with limited metadata. This will take time, but for now that you can expect more randomized selection for tracks, albums, and artists that lack information like genres, composers, “similar to” information, etc.

Having said all of that, I’d like to understand a bit more about what everyone is experiencing here. More information will be helpful.

For any selections that seem off, can you guys get me:

  • A screenshot of the album from which Radio was seeded (meaning, a song from this album appears under “Playing Music Similar To:” on the queue)

  • Whether you are using Roon’s genres, your own Genres, or both

  • Some examples of selections that seemed wrong, and whether those albums were identified or not (if they aren’t, Roon will say “Unidentified” on the album page – screenshots of the album page are helpful here, too)

We appreciate all this feedback,and we look forward to improving the selections Radio makes over the coming days, months, and years.

Thanks again for the feedback @Nyquist @Jed @Graeme_Allan @crummwoody @John_V @woodford and @Rusty_Miller.

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If Roon says it’s playing music similar to “Your Library” you can expect random playback. It’s not clear to me how @woodford got into this state, but the most obvious way would be starting Radio from one of the browser screens.

This is what happened! I started radio from a Tidal track not in my library, and ended up on Full Hard Drive Shuffle. Thanks for the clarification.

Today I started with a song in my library, and I’m getting a nice radio station out of it. Alas, though, it’s pulling selections only from my hard drive, nothing from the greater world of Tidal, which is my hope for Radio.

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Hi Mike, thanks for looking into it.
First of all let me state that I don’t have any problems with radio, someone named this topic that way.
(I have just changed the name of the topic to a more appropriate title)

In answer to your question,

  • I’ll try to repruduce my findings, will make some screenshots soon and post them

  • I’m using both Roon genres and my own. I’m doing this because in my collection there are still 1100 album that are not recognized buy the Roon database. some genre tags that can be merged have been merged allready but not all of them. When an album does not have a genre tag radio is fully random afterwarts even if the album is recognized by Rooon. A good example is the EP2 album from Yaeji I mentioned before. There where a couple more album that did the same and somtimes Roon went to “playing similar to your library” after playing an album. Gonna look it up and replicate it.

Strangly enough, just tried the same with another album “Suck On This (Mixtape)” from Die Antwoord wich also doesn’t have any genre tags but radio plays mostly hiphop afterwards wich feels right. So I’m afraid it will take a while to figure out when it goes wrong and when it does it right.

I must mention that I have rescanned my complete library some days ago and radio seems to be working much better now, don’t know why but it does.

Hi @mike, thanks for the follow up. sometimes, but not always, this is the result of starting with a Tidal based seed. my typical behavior is the start playing an album from Tidal, and if i like it, then add it to my library while it is playing. is it expected than Radio would fail under this scenario? there may still be 5-10 tracks of an album left to play at the time it’s added to my library- that was the case in the John Pizzarelli example above.

my library is extremely diverse, with a ton of opera and classical, jazz of all types, and a lot of rock, americana, and country. i’d rather have no results than have the system pick randomly from my library. with a Tidal seed, is there a way to limit radio to the genre of the last track/album?

wrt Genres, i have tried both ways, using Roon’s genres and my own. i’ve just reverted to mine, since there are some places i disagree with how Roon characterizes a Genre, and there are others where there does not appear to be applicable Genre.

two examples: Roon lists Americana as a sub-genre of Country. I think it belongs in Rock, or somehow correlated to Country Rock.

and I have a Genre called Classical: Instrumental, for piano recitals, solo violin sonatas, the bach cello suites, etc. the closest Roon equivalent would be Chamber Music. I also have a Classical: Chamber genre, but reserve this for string quartets, quintets, piano quartets, trios, etc.