Roon and Classical music

Apologies if this is not the right area to ask this question; and, Yes, I have browsed the forum extensively - and read many reviews and FAQ’s about Roon-with-classical music. Would really appreciate some honest opinion, please.

I do like the look of the Roon world. Before I buy, though, I need to know, please, how suitable the Roon interface, system and library is for Classical music.

I have thousands of (SA)CDs and a growing collection of works (almost all ‘genres’: chansons, Lieder, concerti, symphonies, chamber music, recitals, opera etc) as FLAC files… chant, ‘Early’ music, Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, Romantic and contemporary.

Knowing - and (reluctantly :slight_smile: ) accepting that lovers of Classical music are in the minority, I nevertheless want to make the most of it.

I have tried MusicBrainz with Audirvana to make listening by composer and composition - as opposed to ‘song’ and ‘track’ - feasible. I almost always end up having to metatag (using Jaikoz, Yate) myself.

How sophisticated is the Roon software in this respect, please?

For instance, does Roon allow me to group and display a music collection by composer and composition - grouped appropriately?

Does Roon’s tagging, about which I have read so much, really work for the Classical world?

If some kind soul would re-assure me, I’ll gladly jump :slight_smile:

But I want to be sure before I do. Thanks in advance!

The classical support is one of the reasons that I really like Roon. You can view compositions by composer and drill down to see all of the local versions of the composition. If you use Qobuz or Tidal you can look at versions of the compositions available on those services as well.

Thanks, @Mark_Hellkamp !

I have just taken out a subscription to Primephonic, having read all the reviews that say it’s richer for classical than Tidal and certainly Qobuz… but am happy to revisit.

Can CDs/albums/digital collections be displayed with easy-to-read indentation in Roon?

Can Roon really tidy up the metadata to improve on MusicBrainz, and change such things tagging (for an album - but it appears in every track) as:

Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy: String Quartets in E flat major (Op. 12), in A minor (Op. 13) & in E flat major (1823)


String quartet in E♭Major (Opus 12), String quartet in A minor (Opus 13) String quartet in E♭Major (1823)

for instance?

If I have to ‘correct’ ( :slight_smile: ) all the metatags myself, I’ll live with it. But if Roon does a better job than, say, Audirvana, then that really would be an incentive to get Roon.

I’m less interested in the macro (links, cross-referencing, suggestions) than the micro (display, accurate metadata etc). Does that make sense?

I can’t download and try the Roon app without starting the 14-day trial, I don’t think, can I? At which point the clock starts ticking.

Thanks again, Mark!

I mainly listen to classical music and use Roon with my own locally ripped files (from CDs) on a NAS as well as Tidal and Qobuz streaming. I would say Roon copes extremely well and organises classical music in a way I personally find very logical. Fundamentally, this comes down to the way that the Roon algorithm understands the concepts of ‘composer’ and ‘work’. Makes searching for even obscure items very easy. Could it be improved? Marginally, I think. But is it a massive step up from anything I’ve used before? Definitely, yes.

Thanks, @kevin_rodgers!

I see :slight_smile: .

Because I’m new to Roon (still exploring), I think the best thing I can do is download it and try.

If I install this file here, will I be able to see fully how the Library works with the advantages that you and Mark have kindly drawn my attention to?

Even though, as yet, I have no external storage device (looking at the Nucleus), no NAS, and have a single directory containing my slowly growing high-resolution FLAC files locally on my iMac.

But that will make my 14 day trial, start, won’t it?

I’m not sure, but - yes -I too would guess that the 14 days must start on download.

Worth trying it out and seeing if it’s for you. I definitely think it’s the case that Roon’s excellence is most noticeable when trying to organise lots of different storage locations and multiple streams and multiple endpoints.

You need to set up an account first, you can’t get going without one. See Roon pricing. The trial starts then.

Yes, I am gathering that from the answers here, thanks!

Having what I’d call quite a ‘modest’ setup (iMac with Dragonfly DAC/USB directly to my ParaSound Halo stereo - P6 + A23 with Martin Logan speakers and a pair of B&W PX headphones), I’m actually interested more in:

  1. the quality of the sound - especially as compared with that of Audirvana
  2. really accurate meta tagging

Thanks, @BrianW!

I’ve done that. I see that I need to enter its details when I launch the software.

If I do so, will I be able to get a full sense and picture of the way the Library itself works - metatgging and all - by just pointing it to the directory on my computer (as here) without additional storage and NAS (yet!)?

Your help appreciated…

Yes, you get the full package. If you decide to go ahead all your work carries over.

Once you’ve started, please treat the forum as a font of knowledge. Post as many questions as you like here.

What a friendly and welcome place :slight_smile: !

Will do - thanks a million…

I’m not a classical music expert but hanging around on the forum one picks up ideas. I would say that it is unlikely that you would get everything from Roon without some work on your collection.
How much work depends on how wedded you are to your own library structures versus learning to live with the way roon works.
There are people with massive classical collections using roon who are happy/resigned with/to the roon way. Others fight against insisting that roon should change to suit their structures…they are not happy bunnies.

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I listen to both classical and non-classical, but mostly classical, and I have found that Roon helps organize the classical catalog better than anything else I’ve tried. I used audirvana for years before finding Roon. I’ve read that some find audio quality better on Audirvana than on Roon, but that hasn’t been my experience. I find Roon clearly superior to audirvana.

My setup is similar to yours. Roon is on the mac. I use a dragonfly to send to Beyerdynamic phones, Zeppelin wireless speakers, and some other bluetooth things around the house… I am more than satisfied with the sound. I’ve been collecting music for 50 years and think I’m fairly critical. I use Qobuz extensively. I also have a rather large collection of music from apple, most of which got saved on cd’s (some years ago) and is now on the mac and/or in the cloud. So Roon also pulls from the apple music folder. It all organizes well, finds duplicates and similar releases, and lets me reorganize if I wish.

Roon and Qobuz work extremely well together. If I favorite something on Qobuz, it’s added to my Roon catalog. If I add something to my Roon catalog, it get’s favorited on Qobuz. When it goes into the Roon catalog, I can choose whether I want the metadata information to come from my files or Qobuz, whichever the source, or from Roon’s own files. And I can readily edit that information whatever the source.

There is a wealth of genres available for both classical and nonclassical. You can also easily create genres, although I have yet to encounter a classical album not matched with correct genres by Roon. I also use bookmarks. I use tags least, but what I have done has worked well.

Yes, the trial is the best way for you to see if it works for you. Good luck!


Thanks: what a helpful and encouraging reply :slight_smile: .

Yes, our systems do sound similar.

I now have no doubt that I should activate the software by activating my account - and see just how good meta tagging and library organization is with Roon.

(I’ve spent hours with MusicBrainz, Yate and Jaikoz - only to realize that none of them really understands the concept of a Composition/Work, probably with multiple movements; and that we find those ways of organizing our collections more useful than ‘songs’ as tracks. And that - despite what many people say - it’s actually going to be quicker to edit metadata manually than rely on online databases. That’s OK, though!)

Your thoughtful and detailed post very much appreciated. Good luck to you too!