Roon Feature Spotlight: Focus!

Hey Community!

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! :face_with_monocle:

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Nice post Jamie, Focus is a great feature and along with bookmarks they are great for getting back to that place where you left music to go off an find other music.

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Thank you @jamie, great article, even learned something new - loving it!
:heart_eyes:
Now, it would just be stellar to be able to use this most powerful tool to sift through a streaming provider’s content not yet in my library…
:thinking:

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It would also be nice if they brought the previous version of Focus back, the one that was predominately INFOGRAPHICS-driven. So much easier to get around that.

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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 :boom: - 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
  • Click Hi-Res under FORMAT
  • Click Elvis Costello under PERFORMERS

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.

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Thanks so much @jamie I had no idea you could use focus in these ways, but makes sense now I see it. I’m off to explore………and I may be some time!!

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Hi @Sam_King,

Thank you for letting us know the article helped you. Focus is such an engaging way to dive into the nuances of our collections. I get completely immersed in it.

We’re planning to do more Roon feature articles and hope Roon customers will share their tips with us as well. Shared experiences is what Roon Community is all about!

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Agree that focus is awesome, speaking of tips though, do you know of a way of using focus to find albums that have been removed from streaming services?

I’ve seen this a fair bit on Qobuz and while the album remains in Roon, all the tracks are marked as unavailable.

Manually finding them is quite difficult and I imagine for people with massive libraries, it’s impossible.

Great article! I hope you do more to showcase how different people use Roon… !

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Hey @crowlem,

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.

@RobOK!

We plan to! And, if you have anything to share we’d love to hear your story. We have quite a few ideas in this area and hope to make a space for this on Community soon. Stay tuned!

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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 wholeheartedly agree, especially as Roon is in a unique position to solve this problem.

Looking forward to this, a lot of different ways to use focus. Love seeing the ways people use it.

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)

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An area where I find focus excellent is in answering a question like how many Beatles songs has Brad Mehldau interpreted?

Then select all and add to a playlist and you now have Brad’s “plays Lennon and McCartney album”.

.sjb

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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.

@jamie How do you ‘select all tracks’ for the playlist - I can only select one by one (iOS)?

do these albums stay in Roon? Mine seem to be deleted automatically … the only option I have is cleaning up the library:

454 tracks … and I have no clue which ones are concerned. If they would still be in Roon, but marked “Unavailable” i would at least see them…

As far as I can see mine stayed in my library.

If they are in fact deleted that is a problem, losing albums from my library without knowing would be infuriating.