Roon and classical box sets - an analysis

Hi,

first of all: i am not a native speaker so I hope you understand what i mean …

I’ve been using Roon for six months now and have transferred more than 6,600 CDs from iTunes to Roon, 90% of them classical music. Roon changed a lot of things and did not recognize many CDs during the identification process. This happened particularly with albums that belong to classic box sets which include many or very many CDs. A total of around 1,500 CDs were not recognized; in laborious manual work I have reduced that meanwhile to around 450.

I can describe the problem with the box sets with classical music: Roon very often identifies the correct box set, but fails to assign the tracks. Although data, such as track time, title and even the order of the tracks often correspond 1: 1 to the box set, Roon almost never manages to assign the album to these tracks. This is very annoying. And it means manually assigning the tracks by tapping the „up and down“ arrows - what that means with a set of 60 or even more CDs is pure horror. Then, for example, I have to slide 14 tracks individually up or down through 30 or 40 CDs, which takes a veeeery long time and is totally annoying.

The least helpful thing here would be if i was able to mark several tracks as a block + move them as a block from A to B. But of course it would be perfect, however, if the Roon algorithms were improved and found the assignment themselves within the box sets – as i said: the data for the comparison „album vs CD from box set“ is very often there.

Otherwise: Roon is great, looks great and is big fun - if you are a classic fanatic with many box sets and you are willing to invest time in manual post-processing.

best
matthias

Box sets are Roon’s Achilles heel

Some boxes are collections of previously released albums, but often they are LP releases with extra tracks added to pad the CD. Splitting CDs out as if they were a release often doesn’t work as I suspect you are finding. Sometimes it does work but …

Normally if you leave a box “alone” Roon will stand a good chance of identifying it as long as it’s not something obscure. You then face the “hyperlinks from hell” issue where navigation is a nightmare

There is no solution, I have used Roon for 4 years and I haven’t found one,

The feature request for better box handling is in the list somewhere but we have no idea of when …

Sorry to be a downer

Roon is virtually unusable with large Classical box-sets. There are many complaints and many feature requests going back years. In general roon will not comment on its road-map so there is no indication that this issue will ever be solved.

However, the problems you are describing sound much worse than usual. It is important that in your tags all the disks are numbered and all the tracks within the disks are also numbered. It is also important that the boxes are stored in folders using the following convention:

\Big Classical Box Set
\CD001
\CD002
\CD003
\CD004
--------
\CD200

If you haven’t done this consistently then you will get the problems you describe. Best practice is described here:

https://kb.roonlabs.com/FAQ:_How_can_I_ensure_multi_disc_sets_and_box_sets_are_identified_properly%3F

However, as @Mike_O_Neill has warned, be careful what you wish for. There are insufficient visual and text clues in the standard roon box set GUI to navigate them in any reasonable way. There are no individual CD titles or album sleeves for example to indicate what Disk 23 or Disk 99, for example, might contain. Many of us, therefore, break large box sets into individual CD’s, especially if the box set is an original jackets type. To do this, instead of using the folder naming convention CD01, CD02 etc., give your folder names different meaning full names and then roon will not treat the folder as a box-set. The individually identified CD’s can then be grouped together for ease of access using a tag. This of course may not always be possible depending on the content of the box-set.

"Many of us, therefore, break large box sets into individual CD’s, especially if the box set is an original jackets type’.
That ist exactly what i did when i genuinely imported all my CDs in iTunes. And obviously this was the problem later for Roon to identify them …
Doesn’t matter - i am already done now and will stay with Roon.
But it ist definately a big big big feature requests.

Best
Matthias

The worst are tracks that are in multiple different boxed sets. I bought a set from iTunes that was like “100 Great Classical Pieces.” When I imported those 100 tracks into Roon, it matched them to seventeen different compilations the tracks have been part of. To add insult to injury, because of their naming they all appear on the first page when I’m browsing albums. I’ll probably just hide them and move on.