Focus is one of Roon’s most loved features but we’re always surprised to learn that some subscribers don’t use it. Our new Roon blog series, Roon Feature Spotlight provides some tips and tricks for unlocking the hidden secrets of your Roon library with Focus!
If you’re among those customers who still use Roon’s top-level search to find new music or favorites in your library, this article will help you dive into the web of sound in a more engaging, interactive way. Take a look!
Actually, you can use Focus for content that isn’t in your library. For instance, I just searched for an artist that I don’t have in my library, The Roots. (I know, I know, ‘no ROOTS??!’ points off for me, I’m remedying it now with this example)
I use top-level search to find The Roots
From their artist page, I click the Discography tab
BAM - there’s the Focus tool.
Expand focus and think ‘Didn’t they do an album with Elvis Costello, I wonder if that’s in Hi-Res?’
I click Main Albums first under TYPE to avoid false positives on Compilations
You mentioned using Focus for Streaming Service content that isn’t in your library, that’s a little different. At the moment, Focus can’t be applied to the entirety of the offerings from a streaming service.
Instead, we offer tabs for streaming services under Browse. Our idea was to make streaming service browsing feel like walking into a music shop and seeing graphic flats or displays for new releases or classic albums. Being drawn into new music through visual stimuli tends to be stronger than via text. That’s the approach we’re going for.
There have been feature requests for implementing Focus in new ways for out-of-library content. We always monitor feature request threads and weigh possibilities.
Unfortunately, there’s no way for Focus to detect albums whose licensing has lapsed or changed at the streaming services. There’s been a fair bit of discussion about that issue here on Community and we all agree that it’s a pain point with any streaming service. We’re looking into possible solutions but nothing is immediately on the horizon.
This is a really big problem. I hope Roon is seriously looking at how to find these:
When I use Roon to play a track, sometimes I get “That track does not exist on Tidal” or whatever it says. It is technically feasible for Roon to be tracking these commonly across Roon users (with the added complexity of regional differences)
Or my core could be running in the background. I could have something that runs on Roon for 2-3 hours a night making its way through my library
I agree it is a wicked problem, but really important for Roon to take on!
I understand that the problem of finding these albums and replacing them automatically is very difficult. At least users can re-search and add them again if they find them missing, though it’s not ideal.
However, metadata edits are lost on the unavailable album and one has to redo them on the new one, which is a lot of work and probably impossible for many people. This kind of defeats the whole Roon feature of allowing edits of streaming content - a really good and important one. This problem at least could be solved by allowing users to copy their metadata edits from one album to another, which would also be handy in many other cases (e.g., change of preferred version - although for this it seems a neater solution if edits were applied to the master and not individual versions, at least optionally to still allow for version differences)
Speaking of what I assume is a wicked problem, and not trying to change the focus of this discussion, let me first say I like Roon a lot and have great appreciation of its staff and how hard they try to answer questions. That being said, my big frustration with Roon is how often there is no metadata for an artist or album, or an artist page for a specific artist. Fairly often I look for metadata or information on an artist or album, and there is none, and Roon’s metadata is highly touted. So I assume this is a very difficult problem to solve.