Roon Album various artist Grouping doesn’t work properly?

A LONG time ago when I painstakingly ripped all my collection in as FLAC files I chose a structure that was artist\album. This means compilations of various artists get spread around a bit in the file system. This is fine for jRiver and a lot of other tools which seem to just look at the file metadata and group various artist compilations appropriately. ROON doesn’t. I have searched the forums but cant find a magic answer. I have played with the edit and merge albums feature but this is very clunky and time consuming to use and I have a LOT of albums that need fixing. Am I missing something? Can I change a parameter to make this problem go away or would completely moving my file structure around be the only way to fix it. I’m reticent to do this as all the metadata and file location associations for playlists and other music management tools might get just a bit messed up. Help! Here’s a screenshot of what I see for compilation albums before I go through the process of merging them - the merge process is another challenge as it doesn’t seem to read the tracks metadata and entails a lot of manual re-grouping, assigning tracks to the right disc, reordering then renumbering - ugh.

Example of how an album that should be grouped “isn’t”

My setup:
Roon Version 1.5 (build 339) stable 64-Bit
On Windows10
Home built PC - Gigabyte M/B Core i5-3570 intel
Samsung SSD for OS and Programs
Music is stored on an 8TB seagate drive inside the PC
Using Tidal combined with local music - 9894 files
Connected to a hIfIbERRY dIGI+ V1.3, RAAT 1.1.8
The house network is wired ethernet 100MB/s
Broadband is around 4.5Mbps DSL.

Try selecting all the single tracks (on a Mac it’s a two-finger click) and you’ll see a bar across the top of the screen. Select Edit and then Merge. This should move all the tracks into a single album.

Been through same exercise, but this works.

I tried enabling the “Compilations” tag by editing the tracks of an album like that in Roon, a “Compilations” icon appears on the cover of the tracks but they remain separated.

Indeed, merging works and makes the album artist “Various Artists” with the track artist visible in track view as “Performer”.
But then you won’t find the track artists (performers) in the artists view anymore, neither will you find the artists back under the genres in the genre view.

What am I missing here?

They should appear in the Artists’ view under Appearances. Is this not the case?

I have only one song of each of the artists on that merged CD I am experimenting with and so these artists don’t show up when I select “Artist” view in the sidebar under “Library.”.
So if I don’t have the artist there I can’t go into the Artists’s view.

I can confirm that artists credited as performers on compilation albums in my library are also not showing up in the Artist browser, even though they each have their own Artist page that correctly lists their appearances and other albums available from streaming services that are not in my library.

This may in fact be by design - it may be the case that only “Album Artists” are listed in the Artist browser; “Track Artists” are not.

I think you’re right.

If you look at a UPNP server such as Minimserver, it provides an ‘Artist’ view and a separate ‘All Artists’ view. The ‘Artist’ view is essentially Album Artist.

In Roon, it is the view of the ‘Primary Artists’ of albums

It comes down to how you want to find and use the artist information.

Personally, if I say want to “Play that track from the NOW 27 album” I wouldn’t start from scrolling through a massive list of artists to find it.

If I know the artist I guess I might, but Roon’s search make this quicker to accomplish. If I can’t remember the artist (most likely in my case), I would look up the album and go from there to look up the artist’s bio

Yes, I think this is correct. I have number of compilations with multiple artists listed as the Primary Artist, and one for example, has Eddie Cockran as a Primary Artists on a few tracks but this is the only album in my collection he appears.

The primary artist is Eddie Cockran/ Chuck Berry/ Bo Diddley. Consequently, Cockran is listed in the Artist Browser.

But when I removed Cockran et al from the Album Artist section they no longer appear in the Artist Browser.

Thanks Geoff and the others as well of course.
I remember you recommending me dBpoweramp, you always seem to have the right answers to my problems. :slight_smile:
For ripping, tagging and organizing I switched from iTunes/XLD/Metadatics to dBpoweramp and PerfectTUNES and couldn’t be happier. I never thought I’d need the converter function as well but it’sd a lifesaver, since I ditched iTunes I ditched my iPod classic as well and now use an USB stick in the car with AAC versions of my library. I sync them to a folder on my computer with a backup program (CCC).

This probelm has been bugging me since march this year.
Here’s an answer I just wrote in anther thread to Andrew:

Hi Andrew,

Sorry for not having responded for so long, I didn’t have the time and/or energy to occupy myself with my music library for quite some time and then when Apple announced they were killing iTunes I waited for Music to come out.

Apple’s new “Music” app ditched the column browser. Since I only used iTunes for organizing and not playback it rendered the new “Music” worthless now.
So I deleted my iTunes library and copied the folders into a “Roon” folder in my library on the Nucleus. I completely reset the Roon database and let it scan anew.
The problem persists but I suggest we move it to this thread I replied to and will post some more as that’s the pronblem I have: Roon Album various artist Grouping doesn’t work properly?

For the rest, I plan to re-organize my folder structure a bit, work on tags with dBPoweramp and reset the Roon database again.
I do need to re-organize anyway since I will make a copy of my library in AAC format to put on a big USB-stick to use in my car so I can replace the iPod Classic I have there, I want to get rid completely of the iTunes system.

After my folders and tags are reorganized with dBpoweramp I will continiue to maintain it with Roon only, using dBpoweramp only for ripping new music or tagging newly downloaded music.

Thanks in advance for any help or insights you can offer us in the other thread.

So,the Grouping/Compilation/Various Artists/Album Artist/ Track Artist (Performer) problem seems by design indeed, but an annoying design.
I want all my artists visible in the artist and Genre view, even if I only have one song from a compilation CD by that artist.

Three ways to cope with this for me:

  • I use Genre and Artists views (from the right side top menu), Album view not so much so I can let these all as duplicate albums (as much as 37 times the same album).
  • I try to find a solution by using multiple “Primary Artists” or any other way people find a solution or workaround to this problem.
  • It would be nice if Roon added the functionality to view both the track artist and album artist in the “Artists” and “Genre” views for those who need it. Maybe a toggle in the general options or an option in the “album options” or “edit album”?

Also strange that enabling “compilations” in the “edit album” pane does seem to do nothing.

All this is for compilations like albums with “Best of the 1970’s” that have a lot of artists in one CD box.

I have another kind of compilation as well, a duet album by Robert Plant and Allison Krauss. Here I made the artist “Robert Plant & Allison Krauss” but I would rather be able to find the album under both of their names. Any ideas here?

The way I handle this scenario is to make sure the AlbumArtist and Artists are populated as follows in the tags.

I don’t have this particular album, but a different example should serve as an example.

The screenshot below is Roon’s interpretation (correct) of the Chali2na & Krafty Kuts album shown.

To achieve this I have the file tags as per the second screenshot below

Basically, one albumartist of the combined names, with multiple artist fields, one for each of them (dbpoweramp uses ‘;’ to show where there are multiple values present)

I also make use of the sort fields (especially relevant when using bands with ‘The’ in the name.

Each artist shows up in the artist view, with the album shown against both of them

Hope this helps

Yes Nick, helpful.
I have just fiddled with “Primary Artists” as well and it works for both types of “Compilations”, the Duets and thea real compilation CDs.

If I use “Primary Artists” I can see all artists under “Artists” and “Genre” view.
But problem not completely solved.
Imagine this: One CD Box called “Rock”, 37 tracks I ripped, 37 different artists, 3 or 4 genres.
Two problems:

  • If I go to “Genre” select 1 of the 3 or 4 genres, select the artist, select the CD “Rock” then I see all the tracks on the CD’s, not only the tracks from that Genre. If I take the genre route I would of course only like to see the tracks from that genre on the CD.
  • If I go to “Artist”, select one of the artists of that CD, click on the CD I again get the full CD, not only the track from that artists. What’s more in Roon the Artist’s name is not next to the track so for some songs one might not know the artist as on top blow the album name there’s a list of 37 artists.
    I remember seeing “Performer” somewhere just below the track while experimenting yesterday but can’t seem to find back how I did that.

Was it this?

I haven’t used this merge option myself, but someone might have an idea what it exactly ends up looking like (I’m not inclined to test it myself at the moment)

No, this is what I mean:

Notice the performer name just below the track name.

When you merge different tracks of the same album in order not to have split albums in your library, it does not show performer names below the track name.
You can get them by clicking the three dots next to a song, choose edit and rescan track.
It will show you the performer for every track except the one you clicked on the three dots on. When you do it again on another song, same thing, all will show performers buty that one.
If you click on the three dots next to the album, choose edit, rescan album then all performers dissappear.

The screenshot example is an oddity though: if you merge split albums and you decide you don’t like result and un-group them again (tedious job) then all tracks lose that “Performed by …” line under the track name except the last track you ungroup from the album you merged and there’s no way i know so far to get rid of that last one.

For those who use a well organized folder structure, a question:
(I need to because I keep a compressed AAC copy of my library to play in the car where organisation is mainly determined by folder structure an partly by metadata.)

Suppose you have a compilation album called “Rockers” which contains 10 tracks from 10 different artists and 3 genres according to you: rock, hard-rock and metal.
How do you organize it in your folder structure:

  1. Various Artists/Rockers/track1
    Various Artists/Rockers/track2
  2. Various Artists/artist1/Rockers/track1
    Various Artists/artist2/Rockers/track2
  3. all artists as separate album so:

In any case, I need to be able to set genre per track. I can do that with dBpoweramp in the metadata but will I see it in Roon.
With the third method that works.

I keep my folder structure pretty simple.

Here’s the dbpoweramp mask I use when ripping CDs:

[IFVALUE][tag]album artist sort[],[tag]album artist sort[],[IFVALUE]album artist,[album artist],[IFCOMP]Various Artists[][IF!COMP][artist][][][] - [year] - [album]\0[disc] - [track] - [title] - [artist] - [album]

An example for VA compilation albums…

Various Artists - 2018 - Erased Tapes Collection IX\01 - 02 - A Place - Nils Frahm - Erased Tapes Collection IX

AlbumArtist - Year - Album\DiscNo - TrackNo - Title - Artist - Album

When navigating folders, e.g. in my car, I don’t want to have to drill down through lots of folders to find what I’m looking for

Going to reset my library again like I just did when I decided to stop iTunes for organizing.
Then will try some variations on folder structures and tagging on a couple of compilations and import only those to see what Roon doe in which case.
Then reorganizing my folder structure and start with a new Roon library instead of one that has been previously based on iTunes.