Should we be putting our foot down with Tidal or Roon's implementation of it?


(Music and Shawarma Lover) #1

Imagine that you’ve spent years researching and seeking your favorite music, buying it on CD and vinyl, and spend your weekends ripping/capturing all of that music and laboriously organizing it - you want to reliably know that you’ve found all the music by a favorite artist and have permanently archived it for future enjoyment. (You probably don’t have to imagine that if you are a Roon user…you probably do it!)

Now, further imagine that your methods of archiving create a certainty that over time some measurable percentage of your library will be destroyed, deleted, even maybe to the point of your CDs/vinyl being lost. Just one day it’s not there where you put it. Except there isn’t an obvious empty spot to identify what was lost.

You’d never archive that way, right? When you put it in your “vault” you want to know it’s there, always - you’ve spent the money to buy the music but perhaps more importantly you’ve spent the time to research and identify it, find it, tag it, etc.

BUT this is exactly what happens with streaming services. Perhaps the incidence is less with the larger more well-funded services (IDK - have not ever considered anything but Tidal as “part of my collection”). Albums and tracks disappear regularly, become unavailable, are replaced by titles with different UPCs, thereby removing your tags, removing themselves from your collection etc. In real terms, this process creates an impulse towards entropy that very few serious music collectors would put up with as regards their own physical collection.

Is this just a fact of life we have to put up with in order to leverage the obvious benefits of a huge streaming library?

Or should Tidal subscribers get on Tidal, or get on Roon, to create a method for users to track when titles disappear? Can’t Tidal at least grey-out album covers for lost titles? Can’t Roon have a feature to run a process, maybe similar to a backup process (i.e. middle of the night), that goes through your Tidal favorites and checks for unavailable material? Even better if it found a suggested replacement and let you manually (but in an efficient batch process) or automatically replace it in your collection, including all tags and bookmarks that went with the prior version?

I’ve started to wonder. The experience of identifying music that is new to me and being able to listen to it, in full CD quality, the whole song or album, almost instantly, is awesome. That is Tidal, and that is streaming. But if someone told me my digital collection would decompose itself over time I’d have second thoughts about putting much time into its organization.

Thoughts?

EDIT: one additional point here. Roon has been clear that they won’t “half-integrate” other streaming services because it does not create the full experience of having titles in the library for all intents and purposes. Might having tracks and albums just disappear from Tidal and therefor from one’s library be just as much of a half-baked experience as a shallow integration of Spotify? That certainly would be a thought if, after say 5-10 years, my Tidal collection has pretty much unwound itself.


Request to help resist Tidal collection entropy
(Ged) #2

It’s a thing, they all do it and as such I very much doubt will spend money fixing it. For the majority music is ephemeral not curated.

httpstudybreaks.com/culture/music/streaming-services/


(Alan McMillan) #3

I don’t use Tidal because I don’t like it. Its search facility stinks.To investigate new music I use Spotify and if I find something I like, I buy the CD, rip it, tag it and put it in Roon. I do not trust the (im)permanence of streaming services and would never dream of having a library that was dependent on some ‘here today and gone tomorrow’ company providing me with my music.
It’s tangible assets for me every time and I’m amazed the concept has become so unfashionable.


(simon arnold) #4

I agree that some notifications would be nice to at least know it’s no longer available from any streaming service or Roon. It’s a fact of life this is going to happen just be nice to know it has before rather than later.


(Andrew J Shepherd) #5

A streaming service is not likely to highlight what has been deleted from its catalog. Why call attention to something that many will not notice? A sin of omission is much less obvious than a sin of commission.

AJ


(Music and Shawarma Lover) #6

I can see the commercial logic in that. However, if Tidal’s main value prop is that it caters to those who want good sound, I would like to believe that same crowd are the collectors who want to know with more reliability what’s in their collection.

Perhaps that is why it makes more sense for Roon to take this on than Tidal. The technicalities are beyond me - i.e. if Roon has to initiate playback of every track to determine availability, that doesn’t sound practical. But if there is a low-bandwidth method of doing that check, as a batch process in the middle of the night, just once a month, that would probably suffice.


(Ged) #7

Checking 15M tracks really isnt feasible roon hold the gold reference copy? and how long for?
Presumably you want to know changes to all your music so you have to keep the original gold, then track all deletions and additions etc etc.
Becomes an industry in itself.
There are tranches of IT industry doing this for other reasons and it ain’t cheap or easy.


(Music and Shawarma Lover) #8

Well if you have 15M tracks in your library that might be considered hoarding!

I was thinking of this as being more at the user library level rather than Roon tracking Tidal in its entirety.

Some feature like “Validate Tidal Collection” and then some batch, late night process to find removed albums and suggest alternatives (Roon already does Versions, so not so hard to do this?) so that tags and such remain attached.


(Ged) #9

My bad :blush:
I must admit I have no clue how the synch process works now and so how the identifiers tie up. I can see that they could notice a file is gone but not how they identify what the nearest equivalent is to everyone’s satisfaction. I don’t know if you’ve noticed but there are some very particular people here.
Sounds like roon would be making a rod for their own back.


(Music and Shawarma Lover) #10

True there may be technical challenges and it still may not please some portion of the user base. No doubt.

What made me post this was another thread where folks had been posting about lost Tidal albums, and it thus brought the large volume of “that track is not available for playback” messages that I have seen to my conscious level. I’d just ignored them and not really thought about it.

But it seems undeniably true that the vast majority of users here would get really upset if, say, JRiver or Foobar just randomly deleted 10% of their files. But that is in effect what happens with streaming. It shouldn’t be that hard to address the majority of it, and if it is to be a true integration so that the division between local and streaming collections is seamless, it might be considered a necessary feature.


(Bart Maguire) #11

Thank you for bringing this up. You succinctly express what has been a nagging doubt for me.
I have spent much time over the years curating my library, ripping and tagging and cleaning up metadata. I have spent much time on backups too and am confident that I have curated and secured things as well as possible.
Roon and Tidal have given me a much easier and cheaper way to discover new music, but the more tracks I add the more uneasy I get.
I have used Squeezebox hardware since the early days and I when Logitech discontinued production I felt that my playback system was undermined. This has proved to be so to some extent, although I have plenty of spare hardware the interface has stalled.
At one stage I was excited about Music Magic, which became MusicIP. I spent weeks analysing the tracks in my library, I installed the Squeezebox plugin and all was good - for a couple of years.
I suppose that while one relies on closed-source or commercial solutions there will always be this worry that it will not last, but the situation with tracks becoming unavailable with no notice is very worrying.
A process to validate your collection and flag missing albums seems like a core requirement.


(Rob OK) #12

I recently became more aware of the extent of the problem and do find it unsettling. I stopped feeling a sense of ownership of music a while back which may or may not correspond to being a track listener, not an album listener. More and more I would buy albums in the 80’s and 90’s with only 1 or 2 songs that called to me, and the albums were not cohesive. Of course there are exceptions and this is just my perception.

I prefer to think about it that the artist “owns” the music and I am selecting to play songs that make me feel a certain way. To revert negative feelings and amplify positive feelings.

So for me, the thing I have tried to curate and maintain is Playlists (which I consider the equivalent of cassette tapes or mix CDs that I used to burn). A collection of different artists music that sets the mood for an event or a time of my life. “Summer 2004 Party”, “Relaxation 2010”, “Morning Jazz 2019”. Not that the music was released that year, but the year I made that playlist. I wish I had more of my playlists (and cassette tapes!).

While somewhat off topic, circling back to the OP – I really hate when songs disappear from my collection and playlists!!

I strongly encourage Roon to (a) give us a tool to identify when this happens, and (b) if another version exists, to do a replacement. I think (a) could be a user initiated task at the local library level and I realize (b) is very complex to do well.

EDIT: upset not just that they disappear from playlist, but lost statistics, metadata, etc


(Mark) #13

I’ve preciously made a feature suggestion for a “changes in metadata” focus in the past x of days via the Focus selector.

This could be extended to show deletions, either local or from the streaming service.


(Music and Shawarma Lover) #14

That would also be great. Good way to detect errors introduced by the non-admin of the house!


#15

Huh!?:laughing:

Damn auto-completion or a Freudian slip?


(Music and Shawarma Lover) #16

I’d say that suggestion is precious!


#17

This isn’t to negate the worthiness of the feature you’re proposing. Just adding some info:

With any streaming service (music, videos, books, magazines, etc.), you are subject to changes in licensing arrangements. I’m not a tidal subscriber, but with other services I’ve used, things have gone away because the licensing deals between the content owners and the streaming service have changed.


(Larry Post) #18

Agreed, but our local Roon db knows it’s missing and could grey the album cover and make a list available in Library, Cleanup.


(Mark) #19

Haha, can’t even blame auto-correct for that one :smiley:


(Music and Shawarma Lover) #20

Definitely understood. While I do have a library of books, I’m not so upset if I loan one out and don’t ever get it back, or if a book were to disappear from a digital library, because I’ve already read it and the likelihood I will want to re-read it is low. Not so with music - definitely want to be able to listen again!