Roon search sucking... Please provide examples

I’m afraid I have to agree that the search sucks.

I have just done a search for “Beethoven piano concerto 3”

The first three albums Roon returns are correct. But the fourth album returned is Mozart Piano Concertos (wrong Composer, and no 3), the fifth returned is Beethoven Violin Concerto (wrong instrument, wrong number), the sixth Mozart Piano Concertos 20 and 27 (wrong Composer, wrong number) and so on. The eighth album is a hit. Right enough, it return the composition as the ftop selection, but that’s unusable because it will give individual tracks from a composition so you get lots of “various”.

It’s not really good enough. I am a Qobuz subscriber, Roon has got to up its game as Qobuz will do this much better.


Edited to add: the post by BrianW to which this post was a reply has been deleted, as has another relevant one by Geoff_Coupe. They are perfectly entitled to do so of course, but I am slightly taken aback nonetheless.

I’ve complained before about the search engine being crap.

I recently wanted to find the song by Genesis - Jesus he knows me. I just wanted to play it for a friend. I searched for ‘Jesus’ - it didn’t find the song by Genesis at all. I didn’t know the rest of the name.

Here’s my suggestion, make soft searches like Genesis Jesus work to find the song ‘Jesus he knows me’ by ‘Genesis’

Have an advanced search where you can start typing an artist name and it populates a pull down box which narrows its result based on what artists you have in the colllection as you type.

Then allow people to start typing in a song and/or album box to filter down contextually for a track. Makes sure it ignores ‘the’ etc at the beginning, ignore common spelling errors would be nice.

There are tons of apps with great search engines, just copy one. We aren’t filtering billions of pages like google does, it’s already indexed defined field data, I have 40,000 tracks. It’s ridiculous that a great search engine can’t be easily built with such well defined data. Have a look at the Plex search engine, I usually find any movie I want and can even use voice search, I know that’s not done by Plex.

As an aside, I typed ‘Jesus Genesis’ into duckduckgo, my search engine, and it returned the result instantly without the advantage of my very limited 40,000 tracks, where that track is included 3 time.

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If I type “Genesis Jesus” or “Jesus Genesis” in roon the track you are looking for is the first one returned… Actually it’s the first three tracks returned – all from different releases…

Odd. I search for “jesus” and get the Genesis track as one of my top five.

Further results have the search word somewhere in the track title.

The third post in this thread:


That’s not to say the feedback isn’t welcome – I’ve been keeping an eye on this thread, and the examples in particular are really, really helpful as we iterate on these improvements, so please keep them coming.

To give a little more detail, we are working on significant changes to search that we hope will address the vast majority of issues discussed in this thread and elsewhere – the performance and speed at which results are returned, the accuracy of the results, the Top Result, etc.

We have some more work to do before these changes ship, but nothing is being ignored. For now the best thing anyone can do is provide us with more details about what you’re searching for, what you’re expecting, and what you’re actually getting.

Really appreciate the feedback, everyone!


Thanks for elaborating @mike!
Any thoughts on a portal/faq/news flow where you could provide some news on current matters and “official statements”?
Like the guys said, it takes a lot of reading the forum to achieve an informed view on popular matters. (Like inquiries for Spotify, requests for folder view and similar subjects :slight_smile: )
And, still, we all love this product, that why we are bugging you so much! :wink:

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Well, i for one can see the diffculties in the seemingly simple task of search:

  1. gather search criteria within a text-box
  2. perform background search on three different providers: local, Tidal and Qobuz
  3. populate search suggestion into said box (no 1.)
  4. send criteria to all providers
  5. wait for results to arrive from all requests
  6. collocate the results into a presumably rather huge list of “possible” matches.
  7. based on preferences like number of critera matches, local over remote, highrez over lowrez give each result a weight within each category; Composer, artist, album and track
  8. present list to user in descending weight order

A walk in the park… :smile:

All comparisons with JRiver and other software players are irrelevant as they (to my knowledge) do NOT search music services at the same time as the local library. Neither do Qobuz or Google afaik.


Guys, it’s not difficult. Other pieces of software, including Qobuz and J River, manage fine.

When you go to McDonalds and ask for a “Big Mac and fries” you get a Big Mac and fries. Not a McMuffin and fries. Not a Big Mac and salad.

Not difficult.

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Like I said, you’ve completely missed the brief. If all they were trying to do was return the “Big Mac and fries” this thread wouldn’t have hit the order book as “Big Mac and fries” is all you’d get - anyone can deliver that as quickly and easily as you imply, nobody’s disagreeing with you… but to say it again, the brief is not simply to offer up “Big Mac and fries”.

No I have not remotely missed the brief. You are over complicating something that is relatively straightforward. A search for “Mozart Perahia” should return results that match both keywords before results that match either. That is very simple. Of the first 32 albums that Roon offers for that search only 8 match both search terms. All 32 results in Qobuz are correct for both search terms. Roons search sucks. What imaginable “brief” could Roon have to give such a poor result?

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Well Evand, I’ll take you up on your kind offer. I’ll do a search for “Tom Waits” and in my wild imagination I will hope for some albums by Tom Waits. I know that is a really esoteric expectation and I am being really unfair on Roon since they don’t have 3000 programmers working on the search, but, hey, I am a guru and I can imagine.

So what albums does Roon give me when I search for “Tom Waits”. In order, they are

The Wire (maybe there is a Tom Waits song in there)
American Recordings by Johnny Cash (and another track maybe)
The Very Best of Diana Krall by Diana Krall
Anthology of Tom Waits - by no less than Tom Waits!! A miracle!! I am expecting too much!!
Tom Waits Jukebox - various artists (fair enough, kinda)
Tom Waits Project - Los Argentos (meh)
Everything Waits to be Noticed - Art Garfunkel
The Fire Waits - Tom Hannay

If you think that is good enough, be happy. I don’t. Right enough, if I pick Tom Waits from the Artist section, I can then scroll down and get mostly Tom Waits albums, but I picked this example to show how Room does a bad job searching for albums.


When i search for Tom Waits this is the album section of the result screen:

So, i assume you don’t have any Tom Waits album in your library? Is that what causes your poor search results?

Nevermind, i answered my own question here, by searching for Whitney Houston (of whom i have no local albums) and yes, the album section displays some pretty remote selections:

When you enter the Album page it will show Whitney albums, but pretty far down the list. So, there is to much weight put on local library content in the album section.

Like the previous example, the Top Result is correctly the Artist Whitney Houston though…

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I agree. Using your example, the first 3 albums to show match exactly. The 4th is “Matters of the heart” by Tracy Chapman, but further on there are many other exact matches. I tried enclosing the search term in single and double quotes to no avail. I think Roon needs an advanced search option that allows for Any/All/Exact Phrase search, and also artist etc. With such capability, I could find the Tracy Chapman album directly, and my input would surely take much less compute time on the server, to everyone’s benefit. Very often the user knows much more about what they’re looking for.

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I’m wondering if you really understand how Roon search works…

If you search for “Tom Waits” Roon does not know if you are really searching for “Tom Waits” or “Tom” and “Waits” separately. If you remember, one of the examples in this chain of discussion was a search for “Genesis Jesus” where Genesis is the band and Jesus is part of the song so you CANNOT assume two words (or more than two words) just refer to an artist.

So Roon’s first result screen returns a combination of search results for “Tom Waits” and “Tom” and “Waits” and as you can imagine, there would be literally thousands of matches for these words which are very common. It cannot assume you only want “Tom Waits” results because then it would fail completely for “Genesis Jesus” as there is no band or artist named that. So it has to pick some reasonable combination of things to display. You can argue about whether it picked the right things but it would be untenable to list them all. So the first results screen that looks something like this (depending on what is in your local library):

It does properly weight the most likely results to be the Artist Tom Waits (under artists) and a selection of Tom Waits Albums under “Albums” as that is a likely choice for your search terms but of course does not list everything.

If you then tell Roon you really want just the artist “Tom Waits” – which is what you want – by clicking on the Artist “Tom Waits” in that first results screen, you get the screen below – which properly shows the Tom Waits albums I have in my local collection.

and if you scroll down and open up the album section from Tidal and Qobuz (I have both), you get this:

And this is properly showing every Tom Waits release in Tidal and Qobuz that is not in my main library.

I’ll also note the Roon album display is superior to both Qobuz and Tidal as it shows multiple releases of the same album as versions (like the deluxe version vs the non-deluxe version) as opposed to showing them as duplicates in the album list as Qobuz and Tidal does.

This is, in my opinion operating very well and is not broken as you suggest. So I would suggest trying to first understand how to use Roon in the right way and then your feedback may be more constructive…


Two things that I would improve (for Tidal and Qobuz searches):

  1. Search results ordered from “exact match” to less exact, etc. Sometimes the exact match appears after 10 other results
  2. Being able to search by label or composer, etc., when you click on it. Now it just applies a “focus” on the library, and that’s a pretty useless feature IMO. I believe everyone is familiar with their own libraries, unless for some reason they added thousands of albums without looking.
    Both Qobuz and Tidal offer results by label, it’s just a matter of plugging roon to it.

My process right now is going to Qobuz or Tidal, search there, add to favourites, and then go back to Roon and refresh. :expressionless:


I absolutely agree that Roon could be enhanced to take advantage of Any/All/Exact phrase matches. That would be a solid improvement.


As things stand, your core is not coded to simply return Tom Waits. Nobody said it’s good enough. Many have said it’s being worked on.

So Waits a little bit and when it’s all stripped down and rebuilt your desired results will shoot staight to the top and you’ll forget all hell broke luce. In the meantime it’s alright with me and I’ll take it as it comes. :wink:

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Just following on from what you wrote. I have no Tom Waits albums in my library, so under the Album results, what I see at the head of the list are the four albums (by other artists) in my library that contain a track that is either performed or composed by Tom Waits, followed by Roon’s suggestions for actual Tom Waits albums (that are not in my library, but available from the streaming service that I have integrated in Roon: Qobuz).

I certainly don’t understand how Roons search works. When I search Qobuz for “Mozart Perahia” I get a reasonable set of albums. When I search Roon for “Mozart Perahia” I don’t get a reasonable set of albums, not is there a way to get them via artist (as you could with Tom Waits) or composer.

Obviously in the case of “Tom Waits” you can get to his albums via Artist (though imo you should not have to).

But how do you suggest I get to Perahias recordings of Mozart? Focus isn’t the answer - it doesn’t include Qobuz.

So, as you seem to know how Roons search works and you think I don’t, please tell me how I can find all the albums on which Murray Perahia plays a work by Mozart?

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