Roon's biggest feature... The metadata

Or it used to be king in that regard.

I added 4 albums to my Roon library today. 1 album was unidentified and 1 artist didn’t get artwork.

I go into Plex and scan in the same 4 albums. Perfect matches and artwork for the new artist that Roon couldn’t find.


Interesting, are they in MusicBrainz?

Interesting to know which albums. I can’t remember the last time Roon failed to identify an album.

Oh, I have 40 not identified albums. And not really special ones.
For example the 3 albums José Feliciano released in 2016. Not really an unknown artist

I have 257 unidentified albums, but that’s because they are very eclectic.

The one today was Anthrax - Persistence of Time. It has bonus tracks, is the only reason I could think it wouldn’t identify.

When I imported my ~1000 album library into Roon, it failed to identify 360 of them. I’ve painstakingly whittled that down to 80, but that’s as far as I was able to get.

This is exactly why I am giving up on Roon right now. Meta data used to be good and I could enjoy reading up on artists and albums while listening. But it appears Roon doesn’t deliver on the promise that the database would grow and get better over time and there’s not much that accompanies new releases anymore. So the value Roon promised to have, is fading quickly and other software is picking up extremely fast. So I am going to continue with Audirvana, which I purchased some years ago, now does more or less the same thing as Roon and doesn’t cost me a cent anymore.

That says everything that needs to be said. The Roon Team’s standard response will be something along the lines of “Roon is not a metadata provider” to which I say than why is Roon paying their (and by default the Roon users) metadata providers money for nothing?

By the way I have over 8,000 unidentified albums (that’s NOT a typo) and for the vast majority of them (let’s say over 70%) there really is no excuse for them being unidentified. For example anything obtained from or any Grateful Dead live shows - the correct metadata is readily available from a number of online sources. Simply terrible.


I do think Room have done a lot to enrich metadata leading to and including 1.7 - that is clear from browsing my existing library. Unfortunately though at the same time, Roon’s primary metadata source (TiVo) has become increasingly poor and irrelevant as it doesn’t carry content from bandcamp and independent artists. Whereas it was once the gold standard for artist and album info, it’s become a poor, erratic, incomplete and inconsistent mess.

Perhaps it’s time Roon consider switching to another provider of primary metadata.

Jose Feliciano is an interesting case. I looked up his discography and I only see one album released in 2016; “Live at the Iridium”. There are two in 2017, maybe you included those? All three of these albums are in Qobuz (through Roon), so it seems unlikely Roon wouldn’t be able to identify them. I wonder whats going on? I imported about 2,000 albums originally and as I remember only four or five were unidentified. These were specialty issues; compilations from music festivals in Florida.

While they are looking for other metadata providers, they might as well look outside the USA. Metadata on mainstream artists from other linguistic areas is woefully incomplete or totally missing.

Inexcusable for a vendor with a worldwide clientele.


You’re not alone, in round numbers I’m about half your count.

One of roons providers is MusicBrainz, this page might be interesting it breaks down releases by language and typescript

Of course English is top, but there is also good coverage of Japanese and the major European languages, but after that coverage is less good.

There is also a country page - but this shows the country of a particular release version rather than the country of the artist

There is much more information on MusicBrainz than in Roon. A lot doesn’t filter down.

The albums are
“Live at the Iridium”, “Djangoizing”, “My Latin Street, Vol. 1”
all three are local files
“Djangoizing” is also available on Tidal
But Roon could not identify any of the three and none of them is in MusicBrainz. Doesn’t inspire much confidence if releases of such a big artist are not listed after three years.

Sucks, doesn’t it?
However there are times, and those times are becoming more frequent with newer releases, where Roon identifying an album leads to a LOSS of metadata. Here’s what I’m talking about:

I pick up a new jazz release and I dutifully and carefully fill out the track level artist file tag with names of all the artists playing on that track. So for example for an album by the “One, Two, Three, Four Quartet” I will put all the names of the musicians in the track level artist field: “Joe One; Joe Two; Joe Three; Joe Four”. Then when I add the album to Roon and it is unidentified, Roon will show the musicians names in blue, aka hyperlinked, so okay the album may be unidentified but at least there some useable metadata shown. However often times Roon will identify the album simply as “One, Two, Three, Four Quartet” with no information or hyperlinks available for individual musicians, even though the track level artist tags are present. This is bad, very bad and needs to be corrected.

And no, I don’t want to have to manually edit each and every album and override the metadata on a track by track basis. That is EXACTLY what I’m paying Roon to do. No metadata I can live with, broken metadata I can also tolerate but Roon actually taking away good metadata - no that’s just inexcusable.

I searched in Roon, found Djangoizing on both Tidal and Qobuz, and Latin Street on Qobuz.
Of course they are recognized, coming from services.
But your local files were not recognized?

Seems like an interesting question for @Support

I just wonder if it is an audio format tagging issue. If your files are WAV then it will use ID3, but which version, because only ID3v24 only support multiple values for trackartist (using null separator), ID3v23 officially does not, instead it uses ‘/’ but this is less well supported.

It does, but what really irks me is team Roon’s apathy to easing the work required to get them identified. If I could separate those that aren’t identified because Roon’s metadata is incomplete from those that Roon truly knows nothing about I could make the effort to add that lot to musicbrainz for everyone’s benefit. But no, just keep on trucking and leave the crap behind for users to wade through.

From where I’m sitting that’s not good enough and not what I signed up for.

So from my quick googling, it looks like “Live at the Iridium” is in Discogs but is not in Allmusic which is sourced from Rovi (same as Roon). “Djangoizing” and “My Latin Street, Vol. 1” appear to be imports, so not in Allmusic. That’s why they’re not identified. I know, the explanation doesn’t solve the problem. Short of Roon making a major investment in another source of metadata, it doesn’t seem like this problem will be solved soon.