Search highly unreliable

Core Machine (Operating system/System info/Roon build number)

Current Roon version running on Mac Mini via ethernet connection to Ubiquiti switch.

Network Details (Including networking gear model/manufacturer and if on WiFi/Ethernet)

Synology NAS connectec via Ethernet to same switch that Mac Mini running Roon is connected to.

Audio Devices (Specify what device you’re using and its connection type - USB/HDMI/etc.)

RoPieee Raspberry Pi 4 connected by ethernet to same switch as Mac Mini and Synology NAS.

Description Of Issue

The issue has nothing to do with the above network description. The Roon software is simply not finding my music when I search. For example, if I search for the term “Christmas” and then I “view all” album results I am missing many albums in my collection with “Christmas” in the album title. For example, the search results do not include the album “A Charlie Brown Christmas”. I can see the album when I search for “Charlie Brown” and the metadata are correct: “Christmas” is spelled correctly in the album metadata. This is just one example. Other albums with “Christmas” in the title (and verified correct metadata) are not showing up in the search results. I have scrolled to the bottom of the search results and there is not a second page of results.

“The Classic Christmas Album” by John Denver is also missing from the results but visible when I search for his albums.

Is there a setting I’m missing? Why is Roon not showing many albums that match the search term?

Many thanks for help resolving this.

Hi @Charles_Dunlap, welcome to the Roon community!

When Roon searches for a fairly common word such as ‘Christmas’ it will bring back a list of matches. This list itself is limited to around fifty hits. It then presents them to you in a particular way (popularity is one criteria, but there are more). The reason some of what you want to see is missing is likely because it falls below the cutoff. So it is NOT showing you every album with the word Christmas in it.

If you want to see Christmas albums with John Denver, the search would be better as ‘Denver Christmas’. This narrows down the number of possible matches and will usually give you what you want in the selected options.

Roon receives quite a bit of criticism about search. This is one problem area. Precision/accuracy is another. It seems Roon is taking the path of something that is easy for everyone and works most of the time.
BTW, I’m a user like you, not a Roon employee.

1 Like

Thank you for your reply. This is shocking to me, and incredibly disappointing. Roon makes a point of advertising powerful search. This is exactly the opposite: weak search according to hidden and uncontrollable limits.

I wanted to see all of my Christmas albums to build a playlist. With about half of those albums missing, this isn’t possible. I don’t recall the artist or title of every Christmas album I own. That is the whole point of having a good search system.

Is this going to be fixed in the upcoming 1.8 release? Are there any preview notes from Roon about that?

Thanks again for your kind insight. I am speechless that Roon cannot do what iTunes (now Music), Audirvana, or every other option has done since day one and just show me whatever matches my search terms.

If you just want to search your library, go to Album view, go to the filter (funnel icon) and enter christmas.
Your own library is indexed. This gives you more options and better search precision.
Searching every album in Tidal for a common word has its limits.

Well, search is not what you would use actually for your intended goal. The quickest option is to go to the Album page, click the Filter and type christmas. This will immediately bring up all the albums with Christmas in the title in your library. You can then select them all and add them to a playlist.

Thank you for your suggested workaround. That does seem to be a way to identify albums with “Christmas” in the album name. Since Roon’s search box does present album results, however, this is where I would expect to find the results, and if not all results are displayed then Roon should clearly indicate that it’s only showing a selection and give me a way to do a real search from there.

In addition, the “filter” box is also not working correctly. It’s fine if just type “Christmas” – it will find that one word in the title. But if I type “christmas sinatra” it fails to find “The Sinatra Christmas Album” so the lack of basic search reliability is worse the deeper one looks.

Using the search box, I would expect that I could identify both albums with “Christmas” in the title and songs with “Christmas” in the name. The song list is also limited to a random 50 results, it seems.

To be clear, I am not looking to search Tidal or anywhere else outside of my own music stored in one folder on my NAS.

With Roon’s severely limited and poor search capability I am now having to cross check every search against an iTunes index of my music folder.

If I recall that the name of an album or song contains the word “gold” but I can’t remember anything else then I want the search system to show me all of the options. Maybe it was the name of name of one of the band members that was “gold” and not the song title or album name. In iTunes I get all the results with "gold’ in the metadata and can figure it out. Apparently Roon is the opposite. If I don’t know where in the album metadata I want to look then the search results are just going to be 50 random guesses according to Roon. This is like going back to the days when we didn’t have Google and had to use thematic collections of websites like Yahoo.

Thanks to everyone for help and suggestions, but it remains unbelevable that Roon search is so poorly implemented and limited in usability.

Filter isn’t a search. It’s a filter. It combs through indexed files looking for a specific instance of the key word string in the context of where you are searching (albums, artists, tracks, composers). So don’t expect it to search. In this context ‘Sinatra Christmas’ is not the same as ‘Christmas Sinatra’. They are different strings.

If you are only interested in searching your library, toggle the “Only show my library” which gives a search function over your indexed library. It will be more selective. But as @Rugby points out, search is not the right tool to use to enumerate every instance of an album/artist/track in one’s library. It’s perfectly understandably you might have that expectation, but it doesn’t work well that way. Search is designed around finding instances, rather than everything.

Search does have it’s limitations. So, I’m not trying to argue against that. I’m just trying to help you enjoy Roon better.

Thank you. I appreciate your help and the support from others here as well.

There is not an “only show my library” option because I do not have any streaming services enabled. The only thing it can search is its database indexed from my one folder of music.

Whether it’s searching the full database (the global “search” box) or searching within a subset of the database (so-called “filtering”) it’s not providing the touted sophistication or depth of search. My comments are in the context of something that requests regular, ongoing subscription payment and that highlights as an important feature its “Spectacular search across your files and streams.”

If Roon is going to charge people every month (or the upfront cost of a used car) for the software and make a prominent, bold claim about “spectacular” search that falls short of free software like iTunes (Music) then I think pointed criticism is valid.

I do understand that eveyone’s comments have been substantively helpful and not intended to dismiss my concerns. Thank you all.

What is coming in 1.8 will be known when 1.8 arrives

Roon have always emphasized that they do not provide what’s coming and certainly not when

It’s a waiting game, all we know is 1.8 is being actively beta tested as we speak

Hi @Charles_Dunlap,

If you’re looking for all content in your library with the word “Christmas”, you can filter the Album page by “Christmas”. This should show you all of the content you’re looking for.

Hi @Charles_Dunlap

Welcome to the weird world of Roon’s so-called context aware search, though what the context might be is anyone’s guess.

You might add your voice to the many users who ask for a search function that returns what you are actually looking for.

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