Roon's Commitment to Classical Music

The current suggestion (from Roon themselves) is that we should be contributing to Musicbrainz directly to improve the quality of metadata (Roon uses Rovi and Muscibrainz as metadata sources).

However, the Musicbrainz style guidelines for Classical are bizarre (IMO!):

The Track Artist field should contain just the composer; not the performer(s).

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After visiting that website some time ago, I left within minutes and never came back…

I guess we need a Nero for some kind of unified tagging.

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I’m not sure if that’s true. The Roon team has confirmed that musicbrainz is used to source some metadata but they also said it’s a work in progress and if you go that route you’ll note what that means. There’s no “official guide” on what’s supported and what not. And if you look at the artist equivalence issues thread you’ll also notice that it’s not fully figured out yet how to merge metadata sources.

Not really. For one thing it’s easy to work with it if you know about that little detail about track artist (vs. performer). For another: it’s kind of matching Roon’s own recommendation to use performer entries and not track artist entries for classical music.

Personally, I like the musicbrainz approach because it let’s me add releases to Roon if I feel the need to do so; no other known way to do this. And: there’s sharing involved, which can feel good. :sunglasses: But yes - it takes some getting used to and it’s often quite some work to add stuff there, especially if you’ve to source some of the information first.

There’s been a couple of threads** recently where people on the Roon team have suggested contributing to Musicbrainz, but I agree that this may not be solidified as official Roon policy, and I should not be giving that impression (not being an employee of Roon, I certainly cannot speak for them). And I also recognise that members of the Roon team have made it clear that Musicbrainz is not the perfect panacea.

I agree that there’s “no official guide” - partly because this is all a work in progress, and whilst I might regret the omission, it is what it is, and I can understand that.

I still can’t get my head around using the composer’s name in the Track Artist field though. Unless the composer in question is the actual performer of the track, and then it is valid. There is a tag for the Composer - why isn’t that used?

** I need to search for them, and give links; watch this space. OK - not so recent: How about getting albums added to the meta data source?

Yes, I’ve pointed out the same hilarity.

Regarding **: an answer (on a question of mine) I remember

Knowing that musicbrainz2roon is a moving target is important I think. If someone starts putting effort into adding data to musicbrainz expecting that it will all show up may be counter productive. Knowing that not all data will come thru beforehand and also knowing that support in this area may be limited for the time being may save time for all parties involved. :wink:

As for this track artist thingie: it’s easy to deal with programmatically. It’s like this now because it went like it always does: classical music wasn’t really thought of when things started at musicbrainz. Now a track artist is required so the workaround for otherwise clean classical metadata seems to be “use composer for track artist, everything else elsewhere”. What counts more is what’s on the relationship page of the picture like here:

Ok, thanks for this. That workaround makes things a bit clearer viz. the Musicbrainz way of doing things… I’ll admit that I’ve only ever submitted one album to Musicbrainz, and I wondered whether it was worth the trouble. I’ll proceed, carefully, in future as required…

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I think it’s almost impossible for any one metadata scheme to work for everyone with classical. I DO find musicbrainz suits my needs best as a starting point, but many titles aren’t yet covered by them. However, I’m resigned to the fact that I will need to edit the tags before putting a title into my Roon folder. For instance, to ME, the artist category is always the performing musician(s), not ever the composer. So, I always edit that to reflect my preference (I use “Tag” for Mac OS).

What I still don’t quite get with Roon is if I have my own system of tags/metadata, why does it seem somewhat arcane to get Roon to use these tags exclusively, with the switch of ONE tab in Roon? It always seems that I think I’ve done so, yet still I get whatever data Roon initially sees as correct to override my own? Of course, it’s very welcome when one DOES have poor metadata assocaiated with some files and Roon DOES find the right info, so it’s kind of a 2 way street on that issue.

Have a look at


You could try letting Roon doing its thing first before resorting to the option of manually editing tags. I’ve noticed on albums even where the tags were rubbish, Roon has been able to construct all the objects (album, performers, composers, genres, etc.) well enough. Manual editing of tags should be a last resort, IMO.

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There would be much kicking and screaming before I put the Composer in the Artists Tag

Why have a Composer Tag if you don’t use it properly !!!

I have found MusiCHI to be one of the most comprehensive and accurate dB for classical clean up

When all else fails I use MusiCHI Tagger


That we definitely don’t want! :smile:
Please note that this “composer in track artist thing” is just a work around needed at the musicbrainz data entry point. It’s not meant to occur after Roon imports metadata into its own data set.

Perhaps I’ll jst stop at screaming then :face_with_head_bandage:

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The site seems a bit short of details like how much , which countries etc

I’ll put money on South Africa isn’t included in its scope

I am not sure it was ever publicized that sanctions ended in 1994


As has been pointed out, classical music metatags are a hard nut to crack. My classical collection which spans thousands of albums is fully tagged correctly in which way, and Roon still makes a mess of it. It is just not boxed sets that cause problems, but also multiple compositions from different composers on the one album. The search system is simply unusable. As mentioned in other forums, the solution is obvious, the introduction of folders which allows us to arrange the content in a way that we wish store the classical material on disc. But Roon won’t go down this path, because it is beneath them to use some older technology from the past that simply works.

For my part, I disagree. I don’t particularly want to groom, whether with folders, tags or anything else. I want Roon to identify albums, leverage off metadata services and serve them up in a convenient way. The most grooming I’d be content to do is into some genres.


Roon needs to be visionary, for sure… However, as users we also need to be realistic :wink:.
With an average 25% of classical albums in my collection still being unidentified I don‘t see this happen during my lifetime. Not complaining about it, merely stating a fact.

I have just downloaded Martha Argerich Warner Classics set from a reputable retailer of digital music. This set was released in 2016 - so it is relatively new.

The metadata - which must have come from Warner is simply awful! The digital files contained the names of no composers - anywhere! Not all individual works have been separately identified. When individual works have been identified, these do not contain the name of the composer (so lots of unidentified piano concertos and piano sonatas - fortunately I can work out most of them from the opus number or catalogue details). The artist details were similarly sparse - if we were to believe these, Martha Argerich is multi talented - not only a great pianist but able to play simultaneously numerous instruments!

And we think Roon should be able to fix this gross dereliction of duty on the part of the record companies.


Pretty certain that if we were allowed to change the metadata for classical that it would never end, it strikes me that everyone who is passionate and serious (anal) about classical metedata has their own preferred system and as soon as one person changed it and it was saved someone else would change it to their system…and on and on and on…


I agree with @andybob

I have a collection of around 3000 Classical albums. In my previous library system I went to enormous lengths to correct tags for Composer, Orchestra , Conductor and more importantly Composition. I was a very time consuming exercise.

When I saw what Roon could do, I danced for joy , at last I could stop spending hours pouring over a keyboard and get back to listening (yes secretly I enjoy the organisational bit BUT )

This however is not to be , as with @Klaus_Kammerer1 I have a good proportion of my library unidentified,despite the metadata being “Groomed” and effectively correct , and no obvious light at the end of the tunnel

It all well and good to blame the record labels, the metadata sources etc but the bottom line is that to get a comprehensive set of metadata you simply go to do it yourself, kinda defeats why I joined up with Roon

If there is no better source out there how do we progress, my standard answer is go back to “JRiver and Wikipedia” which to me is somewhat retrograde.

The only decent standardization in classical Composition and Composers comes with MusiCHI , but the UI is a bit wanting. I wonder if Roon could persuade MusiCHI to share its db and MusiClean functionality . I used this extensively when manually fixing my metadata

I suppose what I am asking is how do we progress , because as far as I see at the moment , there is a holding up of hands and comments of the metadata id dodgy, How do we make it better , we all have sources of finding the right data to “Groom” our collections so why not tap into that or

AND I hate to say it there has been little (or no) comment or contribution to this , or other, debates from the Roon Team

There has been lots of talk around crowd sourcing , but if I have spent a considerable time getting a box set straight from a metadata perspective I would gladly share it into some db managed on behalf of Roon and I am sure I am not alone. Unless there is some copyright issue , what is to stop Roon from developing and “crowd sourcing” its own data source. The design would be trivial , the population somewhat more complex