Roon Player 1.0 - what it could be

Would anyone be interested in a Roon Player?
Software only
Comparable to J River and others
Edit tags, like now, but tag management would be external: MP3 Tag, Picard etc
Same software as Roon but switches are all set to use only file tags or manually edited values - i.e. artist photos, etc
Still have the benefit of a great team who can build great software that is good looking and easy to use
Still have the benefit of RAAT, AirPlay and full audio chain transparency
Still have Roon Core, Roon Remotes, Roon Bridges and Roon End Points
No longer have the cost of paying for external databases
No longer have the complexity of integrating/repairing where external data conflicts with file data

Roon 1.3 is supposed to go a long way to organizing and implementing control switches for data preference. Roon Player is just one step further: you cannot use the control switches to access external data via Roon logic unless you upgrade. Simpler product that competes with other audio players and provides a natural on-boarding point for people moving up.

Other than the cost issue, would a feature to turn off all roon metadata create this “Player 1.0”?

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I would be so pleased to be able to disable Roon metadata that I would pay more to omit it.

There is no metadata database that could be better for me than the one I have cultivated over the past decade.

I can’t believe there is a large intersection of the sets “people who could benefit from Roon to operate their large music libraries with sophisticated DACs” and “people who haven’t invested a lot of time in curating their metadata.” All of your core users are people who have to give up a lot the minute they encounter Roon’s metadata. I don’t think there is any point at all in Roon improving its metadata, as it could never be as good as the collector-curated data already attached to these libraries.

@Dan_Levy – how would you expect artist and composer pages to be populated?

I want a player that can give me the best possible sound into my DAC, using exclusive mode and automatic sample rate detection. That’s what I really want as a minimum, and Roon is great for this.

I really don’t care about Roon’s editorial content at all. Who is Roon for? Hard core music collectors are the people most likely to be attracted to Roon but least likely to care about its recommendations, licensed editorial content (like we can’t find that banal crap elsewhere with a single stroke of Google).

If Roon’s metadata is automatically prioritized over my own, then at least I should be able to prefer mine automatically upon import and scanning rather than having to do it manually after import. Ultimate inconvenience is that each album that gets imported I have to change its settings, one by one, to prefer my own data. I don’t even have a single button to push to prefer my data, but have to select each data type separately.

To me this is clueless developer arrogance, well-meaning and unconscious though it may be. I have spent ten years getting my data together, why is it so hard for me to use it in Roon?

Here’s a tiny and harmless but very recent example of the effects of bad data: John Doe has a new album called The Westerner. For some reason, Roon pulled this in as artist (in all caps) JOHN DOE. Why?

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While agreeing that all online services are less than perfect, I’m happy to use their assistance to fill in gaps in my own knowledge. I also use Wikipedia, since I know that I can’t create the Encyclopedia Britannica by myself.

It’s clueless developer arrogance when online metadata overwrites my own carefully curated metadata (Microsoft, I’m looking at you). If I get the opportunity to choose which I use and where I use it, then I’m satisfied.

@Dan_Levy: We are looking into how to do this as a global setting in 1.3 – it’s not quite as trivial to implement as it may seem.

What I’m trying to get at here is if this problem is about metadata, or do you guys really want “Roon Player 1.0”.

It seems like what you want is for us to never contradict your data, and fill in the gaps where we have something to provide.

As for your John Doe issue, we see it… its weird its happening, since our database has both all caps and not all caps. One of our data sources lists it as all caps, but it was deemed poorer quality data. Unsure why you got it. I’ve put in an item to reproduce and prevent this obvious bug.

I’m reluctant to suggest you create a whole new software product!

I want to be able to set in preferences that all of my metadata is preferred, globally, on import, by default. If I want to prefer some Roon metadata, let me set it on a case by case basis.

Here is a bigger example of why any metadata Roon can license intrinsically is bad. I like the Grateful Dead, don’t shoot me. I have in my library pretty much all of their live official releases, for example in the Dick’s Picks or Dave’s Picks series. I also want to be able to make a quick chronological view of those shows. So I have adopted an album title naming convention that starts with YYYY-MM-DD, then followed by “Wichita, KS Dave’s Picks vol 18” or some other text. Now Roon’s metadata for the Dick’s Picks series is internally not consistent. One album might be “Dick’s Picks, Vol. 2,” another might have the date in the title, whatever…they aren’t even consistent with each other among the 36 Dick’s Picks releases, let alone follow my idiosyncratic naming conventions (though in the live taping world, starting with YYYY-MM-DD is pretty commonplace."

I don’t think any licensable source of metadata could ever be internally consistent, so there is no chance I could ever say “well, I might as well use this rather than my own metadata”.

Thus, if Roon wants to serve people like me (and who else could possibly be willing to pay for a lifetime license and hang in through your development efforts), you have to know more about what we want! Nobody needs another way to read All Music Guide reviews.

I am in NYC. I will visit you, gladly, and would enjoy nothing more than ranting about metadata, show you my use cases, etc. I have been developing data-heavy music artist web sites for 20 years…I live in a world of data models. I can help.


No, I don’t think so.
I have a large collection of well tagged music and never had any though about external metadata before Roon.

My main reasons to use Roon:

  1. I want a media player with an attractive UI with integration of external biographies and album reviews. And yes I don’t need it to hear good music, but i WANT it. Same for my movies, I use Plex, because it has a great look and feel. We are living in the 21th century and I don’t want to see dull content lists anymore.
  2. Seamless integration with a streaming service

Your main point

is not really relevant for me.
Despite having a expensive and great sounding equipment here, I don’t believe in all the vodoo stuff and has proven for myself that different players who are able to transfer the sound without changing the bits didn’t sound different for my ears. And I also don’t hear any improvement with higher samplerates as 44kHz.

So you see, different users has different opinion of what is important in Roon.
I respect your goals, but please don’t think that everybody must have the same.

And I gladly support your wish to have a setting to switch roon metadata off. If it’s an option, I don’t have to use it :slight_smile:


All i really want is for 1.3 to allow me to change the Artist name when an album is identified but the wrong or multiple artists are listed (see Neko Case - The Worse Things Get, the Harder I Fight, the Harder I Fight, the More I Love You as an example)

I would also love to see some sort system to crowd source metadata in addition to the current services along with the ability to submit corrections to these from Roon. In the above album when identified it adds a bunch of backup artists and studio band members to the Artist field as the metadata providers have mistakenly credited these folks as primary artists. This also then creates Artists in Roon which is something i really don’t like. Thus i have decided to leave the album unidentified for now which has the negative effect on not including in in radio selections.

Ideally I could modify that field and submit a suggestion for correction right through Roon (ironically Tidal Identifies the album correctly). Then Roon could use that data and when someone else in the future imports that album to Roon they could get a popup that says other uses have made these changes to these fields would you like to do so as well?

As far as the player only app I agree its a good idea and the crowd sourcing of meta data could help serve as a tool to populate those pages and just like the random artists pages now that don’t have any info it would be up tot he user to provide it, and likewise submit to futher the platform. The trickiest aspect IMO would be setting the right price.

The only other thing i really wish for would be an android app that would read a library on my phone. Wouldn’t need robust metadata for that outside of whatever is used for the radio function, if any.

Funny, I had thought that it was already possible to get Roon to globally prefer user metadata to Roon’s. Maybe not, and if it’s coming in 1.3 then great. I agree with the above in having the ability to change the artist name when it’s identified wrong - which should be included with the full metadata editing that is planned. I don’t see the point in turning off Roon’s data - that’s the whole point of Roon (and the reason for the hefty subscription)! Though the interface is nice, too :smiley:

+1 :slight_smile:

I do get the point of Roon the way it is at present and tomorrow I’ll show it to a friend who’s music collection (larger than mine) is a total mess :stuck_out_tongue:

but this is not my case: I do appreciate Roon filling the gaps, possibly giving me options for choosing what kind of data I want it to add (eg… I do not agree at all with “checkmarks” and, quite often, ratings :stuck_out_tongue:

oh, and… personally I do not see the point of a Roon Player (but that’s me: I already have my player of election :slight_smile: )

Not sure what you imply, Danny.
Most ‘players’, in my experience, do not integrate metadata access.
dbPoweramp does during the ripping stage - and does a pretty good first of the work.
After that I work with my own Internet searches to find information on label, original release data, cover art etc.
So, yes, my opinion is that if you implement switches that centralise the blending of Roon and user tag data and you offer a Roon Player with those switches hard set to only user tag data, that would look like Roon Player 1.0 to me.
For you the benefit is a product that requires on-going technical support, but no on-going tag data licensing nor the distractiing whirlwind of confusion as to to tag management within Roon.
Flat out: I do not see any chance that Roon will ever be successful integrating Roon and user tag data for large and complex libraries, where the user is an active library manager. On the other hand, I do believe that Roon Player is a better player than anything else on the market, without question.

Danny, I do not bother much with Artist and Composer pages.
If the family wanted those, I would spend a day and cut and paste from Wikipedia with a pretty photo one top.
While on the subject, please do not overlook my suggestion that Artist have toggle switches that specify what should be displayed: Album Artist, Performer, Orchestra, Conductor, Composer etc. Currently, I never go into Roon by Artist because of all the clutter. The same principle would apply to Album, Box Set, Live, Soundtrack and whatever else you put around Album.

Geoff, to me it is not just an overwriting of meta data but also a lot of the enrichment that Roon provides.
I go crazy when in Artists view where there are many types of ‘artist’ being displayed so the list becomes unmanageable and confusing.

Danny, I have reached the point where I do not want ANY Roon data enrichment and I do not want to have to pay for it and I do not want to waster time managing around it. Period.
Earlier I had asked for clear priority on data elements that I want control over and then Roon can do what it wants. I no longer see that as viable because all your data detailing and enrichment gets pushed to the surface in hard-to-understanding ways.
Being able to switch off tag elements from Roon data service would be great but it has become evident to me that you desire to create a deep data enrichment and integrate that into the user interface according to your logic is a BIG part of the problem. It is like a scrim placed over a portrait - it interferes and confuses the details that I relate to with noise that I have no relation to.
So, creating consistent and centrally managed controls overt data elements is great and certainly a big first step. But I think a Roon Player 1.0 would be the target for some of us who want complete control, without the data costs and as an entry point for on-boarding new users from iTunes, J River, HQ Player etc.

I agree that Artist is a pit of misdirection and confusion. I do not know how many Roon users are overseas (I think it is restricted to an English user interface) but a significant portion of my music is of international performers. So I am exposed to partial metadata from Roon in Asian scripts. I can eliminated that, album by album, using tag preferences but there are always tags (often Artist related, that sneak in. At least Roon seems to support high-bit text!

I think you are right - the rich metadata data is the whole point of Roon. That was the spiel, the glossy screen shots, the seamless movement through oceans of discovery. It is not the reality and I used to think that the data frustrations I experienced were anomalies - no one else seemed bothered. I now believe that the seamless, consistent, universal and profound metadata promise is a dream. It is simply not possible to be so smart to program so many rules and exceptions and error-traps for the universe of music from the universe of music data providers and make every users large and complex library look perfect. Some of those users will experience the lack of seamless, consistent, universal and profound perfection as an unacceptable frustration relative to their own ability to control their library metadata (not so profound) in a way that is seamless, consistent and universal for HIM/HER. For someone to whom it matters, it matters a lot.
On the other hand, I believe that Roon looks great, has superior audio technology and is a modern application that works better on modern devices. I would love to keep Roon AND I am beyond frustration with trying to mitigate the damage it creates to how I interact with my library.

[quote=“Dan_Levy, post:8, topic:10457”]
Thus, if Roon wants to serve people like me (and who else could possibly be willing to pay for a lifetime license and hang in through your development efforts), you have to know more about what we want! Nobody needs another way to read All Music Guide reviews.
[/quote]please don’t presume to speak for all users whether they be annual or lifetime licensees. Whilst I too have great metadata of my own painstakingly captured and groomed over more thank a decade I do find value in having artist biographies and album reviews and the linking that goes with it available directly within Roon. Remove that and I may as well go back to logitechmediaserver. Options are great, presumption isn’t.


It would seem to me that it’s time to put some objective, actionable points in play to try to resolve issues for those that are frustrated. Here are some (they’d need to be optional behaviors, of course):

  • ignore 3rd party metadata
  • differentiate an album artist list/ browse from an all artists list/ browse
  • use only my own metadata for the following fields: all, artist … etc.
  • only enrich, but never override my own metadata unless I ask you to override a specific field, globally or for selected albums
  • only list as artists those for whom I have an album where they are the primary artist as determined by my own metadata

About to take off…will add more later…