I have come to the realization that Roon is incredibly great at technology. The sound, the DSP, the support for SqueezeBox, the look and feel of the UI on my tablet and phone, the concept behind the metadata integration… it’s unreal. It is wonderful. It is exactly what streaming music should be.
As good as the technology is, the truth is that the metadata Roon is relying on is absolutely execrable. The quality, consistently, and reliability of the Rovi metadata is horrifyingly bad. Laughable actually, and the only consumers that would not recognize that are those that do not have a deep interest in music.
I write this as a life long music junkie who served for 20 years in the music retail industry in the IT sector. It’s not an easy problem to solve, and my recommendation is to provide a crowd-sourced metadata option in addition to other sources to include Discogs and Wikipedia. But to rely on the current metadata source as the sole source is never going to work. Quantity <> Quality.
Anyway I look forward to Roon’s journey - I’m all in!
I agree to a degree. I’ve found and reported a number of headscratching issues with metadata. The Roon team (mostly @joel) always offers to fix issues upstream. I have not yet closed the loop to see if this actually works. It does seem like an insurmountable problem if Rovi doesn’t hire people that give a damn.
Do you have a sense for a the scale of the problem and how much of it is bad metadata vs Roon mismatching? If I had to guess, I’d say maybe 2-3% of my albums have serious issues so far. My collection is mostly Jazz, R&B and some Rock.
I’ve been tagging my albums using allmusic.com as a metadata source for just about as long as I’ve been using computer based audio and their metadata is in many cases a good start, but not the end game. I’ve often augmented performer and/or composer credits where AMG doesn’t have same, or song titles where they’ve gotten it wrong … and this is increasingly the case since Rovi has controlled the asset. At present we see Rovi metadata as the end product, whereas it should become one of a few sources. I think the best shot at great metadata has to be some machine learning applied to Roon’s metadata sources, coupled with crowd sourced data from Roon users culminating in Roon’s own cloud based metadata repository. However, metadata does not appear to be a priority at present, so the only way to get the most out of Roon is to figure out as much as you can about which file tags Roon leverages (and there’s little disclosure in this regard because the vision thing dictates that you shouldn’t have to care about tagging/metadata, Roon will take care of it…only it doesn’t), ensuring that you tag your music accordingly and configuring Roon to use your metadata as well as its own.
I understand what you mean. Within the Roon clientele itself we could pool our accurately metadata tagged albums rather like the way in which Roon has been asking for assistance with language translations. Then Roon could prioritise this Metadata over Rovi stuff, or apply logical comparisons to flag gross discrepancies.
Especially for unidentifiable albums, this would be very useful.
It should be noted that the people who have the best sucess in identifying albums are the ones who meticulously correct and check tag info at time of ripping.
For my part, I rely on online sources to allocate tags (Rovi, etc) and I have unidentified albums to the tune of perhaps 10% of my collection.
It’s certainly a good idea, and food for thought and further discussion.
Albunack combines data from two of the largest music information databases MusicBrainz and Discogs plus the AcousticBrainz database.
It’s free with the
“hope by encouraging you to use the discography feature you will be encouraged to contribute to the MusicBrainz website by adding data using the Albunack discography Import and Link features, the Albunack reports or just by making use of Albunack for better identification of MusicBrainz data problems.”
The quality of the metadata, and methods whereby Roon might improve the current position, is something that the Roon devs are actively discussing. Hiring people to scrub the metadata is not really viable for Roon (although brave attempts to clean those Augean stables are made every day by @joel).
In my opinion some kind of crowdsourcing is likely to be part of the solution, but working off established groomers libraries is problematic because there are no generally accepted standards, particularly with Classical. Some groomers always include Composer in Album Artist, some eschew it. The answer may involve parsing existing library metadata through a Roon style fitler (like Export) that converts to a defined standard before publishing. I have no special knowledge about Roon’s intentions in that regard, but it seems like the start of an approach to me.
(The truth is out there but not necessarily here)
Excellent classical reference!
I think getting standard, clean, accurate metadata given the huge number of titles and the ever increasing number of releases of each title is a nearly impossible task. I don’t see any software startup having even close to the resources to get it done, and there will always, always, always be another title that hasn’t been cleaned and filled out.
Crowdsourcing might help. It would also create an entirely new dynamic within the Roon software ecosystem that may not be part of their business plan.
My expectation is they will try to do a sort of Big Data approach and triangulate on the best metadata using multiple large sources. It will never be perfect but it will improve over time, assuming Roon is able to cut affordable deals for the data.
I am new to Roon. I am impressed by so much but also not sure exactly what to expect. I have noticed some albums having full lyrics but others I would expect to have none at all. I have also spotted some errors in the commentaries. Is there a way to contribute to put these right, i.e. point out the error or point to a source of lyrics?
For me Roon is a big disappointment!
The sound quallity is not bed but far from excellent.
Using minim server/bubbleupnp home/kazoo is superior.
The ui is terrible! I am graphic designer and see it as work of amateurs
Who copied from trend apps.
Again, Roon is blown out of proportions. In my opinion, all the streaming services,
Are far from beeing Audiophile quallity. Nothing can replace actual cd!
Of course, if one is using audio system that can not reproduce the audiophile qualliti, than, Roon is all they know.