Roon Metadata Gotten Wierd?

I’ve been going through many of my albums and I’ve noticed Roon’s metadata has gotten pretty wierd. Here’s an example:

This is a Christmas album by Elvis Presley titled “It’s Christmas Time”. For some reason Roon has decided it should be “The Elvis Christmas Album (1975) [10 Tracks]”. Where does that bizarre title come from and why is Roon using it? I’ve noticed quite a few like this. Is there a staff of Roon employees whose job it is to assign titles to albums that already have titles? Is there an algorithm in Roon’s cloud that is coming up with these titles? I’ve also noticed other metadata such as artist names where “the” was arbitrarily dropped from or added to the name. It makes it difficult to search your library if the metadata is incorrect.

Like other metadata, titles come from TiVo and Musicbrainz. I find it there under that title and it says that It’s Christmas Time was only the title of the reissue:

However, I don’t see the unwanted years there.

You may be able to choose a different metadata version in the album identification menu.

I haven’t seen an increase in unexpected title changes but I’m sure they happen and may sometimes be erroneous. Probably inevitable when there are 100 million albums

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Because that is the actual name of the album as originally released. You can read about the various reissued and renaming if this album on its wiki page.

You can go and edit the album title, by choosing the prefer file ir entering your own title.

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I get it. Reissues and so forth can be confusing. But here’s another example.

The title from the album cover is clearly “Universal Syncopations II”. Roon has “Universal Syncopations, Vol. 2”. Why the deviation? I looked at ECM’s web site, Wikipedia, and Discogs. There’s no Vol. 2. The only place that shows up is Allmusic. Why is it being altered? Seems that Roon should be demanding more accuracy from it’s contractor.

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I suppose since there is no draconian world government for music, people will disagree and make mistakes. We have had 1000 metadata threads already, it is always the same.

Surely in this instance you’d search for “Universal Syncopations” or even just “Syncopations” in any case when I do a search I don’t get the VOL in Qobuz:

Maybe check your tags for this release.

You know what? I love Roon. I really do; I use it for hours nearly every single day. And I understand their plate is very full. While I would love to have the Roon team improve the core functionality such as quality control of their metadata, maybe I’m just asking too much. Consider the matter closed.

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I would assume that track titles and track durations are a 100% match which hints to the fact that the content of these 2 albums is the same and yours is simply a re-release. Roon is pretty picky when it comes to track details matching. If one track is 5 seconds too long, it would not recognize the album.

You can order roon to use the title in the file or go through the manual identification process. Either the album with the title of the re-release appears as an alternative, or you might want to choose a different album version of the desired title.

I would assume someone has altered the title for the sake of avoiding confusion with another album being aware that Roman numbers are not always identified by database software and search algorithms.

Metadata has never been a particularly precise thing. As mentioned, roon is pretty precise when it comes to find matching sets, and quality of metadata from its two only sources is in general rather high. I personally think it is better than what streaming services like Tidal and Napster are providing although I sometimes wished it would be more complete.

I do not think it is realistic to do QC on metadata from the side of a software company dealing with it. The sheer mass of data is gigantic. Discogs lists 17 Mio. sets of album metadata, half of that on vinyl. Maybe one day artificial intelligence would do this job of finding duplicates and flaws but I doubt it could decide which title of an Elvis album you want to have assigned in roon.

Dealing with a lot of classical re-releases, I can tell you lots of worse things can originate from imprecise or flawed metadata than your album title derivates. If there would be a solution to non-identifiable opus numbers or flawed personnel credits, I would already be happy. Could go beserk when I find two separated compositions not matching like:

Mozart: Requiem KV626
Mozart: Requiem for soloists, chorus & orchestra, K. 626

So, either go through your albums and fix things manually, or live with some imperfections. As mentioned, roon is much better than others when it comes to the quality of metadata and references.

I have just started my Roon subscription and I also have a metadata/tagging question.
I have not done any customization and I am using the default setup.
When I ask Roon to list Albums in the Classical genre, it show as many of my Broadway original cast albums as it does my classical albums.
This should be pretty straightforward classification.

What is the deal?
Is there a way to correct these obvious errors?
If there is a Room community group of volunteers that clean up Roon metadata?
When I ripped my CDs using dbpoweramp CD Ripper, I submitted lots of corrections, but it only supported feeding them to the FreeDB metadata server.

Can the community establish different genre’s (for example a separate genre for broadway musicals)? The provided list of genres tio choose from is very limited.

The genre classification supposedly is originating from one of roon´s main metadata sources, and there is an inherent inconsistency in the structure. Broadway cast albums could be easily classified as:

Stage & Screen > Cast recordings > Musical
Classical > Show&Musical

In the latter case, they will show up in the main category Classical. So that’s not by mistake.

It is not. As a huge fan of Leonard Bernstein´s and George Gershwin´s work I can tell you it is rather unsharp. It might be counterintuitive to have subcategories for musicals both in Classical and in Stage&Screen, but in the end of the day it works best for me to have albums not clearly distinguishable in both main categories.

You can create one yourself and assign it to main category Stage&Screen. You can as well mark all broadway albums being listed as ´Classical > Show&Musical´ and remove this particular genre tag.


Thanks for the excellent replies. I may not like the explained reality, but at least I have some understanding of the situation.
I guess the bottom line is: how do I modify Roon to better match my expectations.

You can create one yourself and assign it to main category Stage&Screen. You can as well mark all broadway albums being listed as ´Classical > Show&Musical´ and remove this particular genre tag.”
Is there a place where the standard Roon genres & subgenres are documented?
Where can I find a tutorial on how to do this type of described modification.?

= = = = = = = = = = =
As relates to the complex issue of classification of music recordings …
I agree that many recordings could each be viewed as being in many genres. Ideally, a system should be able to assign many genre tags to a given track and then allow boolean searches (and, or, not).
How do I request a boolean search in Zoom?

For my physical jewel case storage & my computer folder hierarchy I am forced to choose a single genre - which then determines the grouping folder names (artist vs composer). Obviously, in Roon, I have much more freedom. But then ideally, for practical reasons, there should still be a “primary genre” and “secondary genres”.

If I want “musicals” that also have “classical” as a secondary genre, I can specifically ask for that; but, I would normally ask for albums that have a primary genre of musicals.
If I ask for albums which have a primary genre of classical I do not expect to see any albums with a secondary genre of classical. Same for searches for jazz, R&B, etc.

Without primary vs secondary genre distinctions, I would want to be able to request albums that have a classical genre but Not any that also have a Broadway Musical or Soundtrack genre. (I gather that Roon uses “Stage&Screen”, which I hope has more granular sub-genres).

Once you are editing a new genre for an album, roon does make suggestions the moment you start typing. I guess, the system was taken over from TiVo metadata, but I am not sure about this.

The standard hierarchy consists of 3 layers. The highest layer, you might want to dub them primary genres, has a limited amount of choices. There is for example Classical, Pop/Rock, Jazz, R&B, Stage&Screen and a few others.

A secondary layer genre must always be a subgenre of a primary genre. Your problem originated from an unsharpness for musicals, as mentioned, as Show&Musical is a subgenre of Classical while Cast Recordings is a subgenre of Stage&Screen.

The easiest way to have an overview on genres in your library (solely in your library!) is either to click on “Genres” in the main menu so you can see the primary genres in your library. Or you go to album overview and open the first “Focus” filter option which is “Genres”. If you activate it option, roon will show you only albums with the assigned genre. If you click “View more” under Genres, so can reach the secondary genre and do a more specific discrimination. Example for Stage&Screen:

Note that you can open any subgenre and see the list of third layer subgenres contained.

Yes, as a part of the aforementioned focus filter. If you activate 2 genres (or more) simultaneously, you have AND search. If you click an already selected genre a second time, it becomes red which indicates a NOT. OR is not a standard function but possible via tags.

Easy with the focus filter in the album view:

Cannot tell you but it is easy. Edit an album, and add a genre of your liking, in this case “Broadway Musical”:

Subsequently go to “Genres” in the main menu, find the one you have just created and assign it to a parent genre:

Our “Broadway Musical” is now a subgenre of Stage&Screen > Cast Recordings. That genre editor is also the best way to see the complete hierarchy of all genres handled by roon.

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You have been wonderful. The quickness & thoroughness of your replies have been well beyond what I expected.
I will have to experiment given your explanation. True learning is through playing.

A test case will be to see what I can do with the genre classification of my beloved “Dave Brubeck Quartet At Carnegie Hall” album. I did a genre search for “Cool Jazz” and that album did not come up. That quartet (with Paul Desmond) is almost the DEFINITION of “Cool Jazz”.

(I found it odd the album artist is just “Dave Brubeck” rather than the entire quartet name. I suspect that the default classification may have been based on Brubeck’s early years before his heyday with the quartet.)

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I did a quick search and this came up as top result, which is both tagged with the Cool genre (which is the name that was chosen for the genre, not Cool Jazz) and is by the quartet:

There are other releases, of course, with different metadata. So chances are you can go to the album > Edit > Identify and pick a better set of metadata for the version you have

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Seeing that you were able to display Dave Brubeck Quartet At Carnegie Hall” with the correct genre in Roon, I decided to try the Edit Album option of “Identify Album” which displayed other instances of this album in the Roon database.
It show some with more complete information. I selected one (really don’t care if it was a different release of the same material). It now comes up in the list using a filter of genre: Jazz → Cool.

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Well… You’re NOT going to like this, but - It is my experience that Roon, itself, seems to change metadata at random. Sometimes I will spend time grooming my library’s metadata, adding album covers, typing in track names, combining scattered tracks into a single album, and selecting favorites. Then, less than a month later, random changes that I’ve made have reverted to the previous info, album covers are different (or missing), and some tracks / albums are just gone.

This has happened with Roon on a Nucleus, on a PC, on a Root- Kit NUC, and on a Mac. So, it isn’t platform-specific. Roon gives no warning. Like the Flying Dutchman, my files and data just drift off into the mist, never to be seen again! I can tell how badly Roon is behaving by looking at drive info. The more my library folder has shrunk since I last looked, the more Roon has lost!

Am I the ONLY one with this issue?

Do you mean Wagner’s opera?

You want to say roon has deleted music files without you ordering it to do so? That sounds a bit weird to me as I thought the philosophy is to not touch the files…

Did you try to recover a backup from a month ago in this case?

I did in fact experience a few cases in which metadata has been altered or covers exchanged eventually. That was related to albums being re-identified or for the first time identified after I had them as unidentified in my library for years. It seems that changes I had been making in roon have been overwritten.

If you do not like this to happen, what about tagging the local files and telling roon to use metadata from files if available?

Pleasure @Michael_Arones!

I would not prescribe too much of deliberate strategy when it comes to tags being assigned to certain albums or not. As roon is sourcing metadata from both a commercial and a crowd-sourced database with slightly different methods, such thing can happen by chance at any time. That is particularly true to everything that had been released before record labels had an interest in keeping their databases up to date, i.e. the analogue era.

If you see any sense in having both the bandleader and the band listed as separate primary artists of an album, go for it! It is the best way for roon to really find things in focus filters and not miss an album. On the other hand I would not recommend to merge single artist and band as it is leading to confusing results.

Same is true to listing classical composers as both composer and primary artist. It is usually screwing up the album aggregation on the composer´s page as this particular albums tends to disappear from the ´composed by´ section.

I still have an issue with the 2 CD Dave Brubeck Quartet At Carnegie Hall” in that Roon treats the 2 discs as separate albums. I have done everything suggested with both disc folders under single album folder and ensure there is correct discnumber information. I’ve come to the conclusion that the database used by Roon just does not handle this correctly and it is easier to separately queue up the 2 separate discs then to struggle with this technical problem.
The reason that I think it is unique to this concert recording, is that for other multi-volume works such as my complete Porgy and Bess - Roon correctly recognizes the 2 discs as a single work.