"Singles" Approach to Interface Development

A host of things, most of which are (or will be) in separate specific feature requests. But here are a few examples:

  • Vastly more powerful playlist tools, such as “smart” playlists like those in iTunes, JRiver, MediaMonkey, etc. (Focus is a nice start, but has a long way to go.)
  • Track-level genres
  • Top Tracks visible in Artist page on phones
  • Top Tracks under Genre page (all platforms)
  • Ability to shuffle Favorited tracks from Artist and Genre pages
  • Ability to add tracks to library, to favorites, and to tags from a Tidal playlist

I think viewing song-by-song listening as important would also mean viewing the smartphone remote apps as more important. When I want to DJ on the fly, I usually don’t have a laptop or tablet in easy reach.

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Hi Andy,
I read your post twice, I can see your justification for change … but what is it you wish to be changed and more specifically how do you suggest the interface is changed to improve the experience for those that like to queue up tracks rather than whole albums?

I look forward to playing with this. I have some multi-genre soundtracks that I’ve considered deleting just because of the way Roon treats multi-genre albums in Focus/Shuffle. I might try making them into a set of singles and see what happens. (Still though, a lot of the access points are album-based.)

Thanks for asking! I posted a few ideas above (I got a notification of your post just as I was about to submit it.), but I will try to flesh it out in more detail.

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A lot of us amateur DJs have been curating collections of songs digitally since they took away our mix tapes and replaced them with iPods. The first thing I did in Roon (and JRiver and Tidal) was to import my iTunes favorites.

Better access to those Favorited tracks could take many forms, but this one alone would make my musical life 100x better:

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@Andy_Spinks you might like this thread if you haven’t already seen it:

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This is quite similar to how I listen to music. I’m basically still in the mixtape world. A merger of Focus and Radio concepts with more robust logic, heading in the direction of Smart Playlists, would be quite welcome. There are a lot of posts on the topic (many by me, Paulb and Sallah). A lot of specific suggestions can be mined from these posts.

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No rotten eggs from me, I am a great lover of the individual track philosophy. I have posted in the past regarding individual track ratings, and the basic philosophy behind this is the same as intimated in this thread. iTunes is good at this stuff, although the blessing here is that you can create playlists in iTunes that are then directly picked up in Roon. It would of course be so much better if Roon could handle this directly.

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Yes indeed! My point in starting this thread was to give a sort of conceptual theme to all these distinct feature requests and to make the point that there are many, many of us who approach music listening in a “mix tape” kind of way. Also, I hope Roon will consider that, while many traditional audiophiles may be album-oriented listeners, adding features that appeal to the single-song listener might considerably expand their potential customer base.

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I wasn’t sure if that thread was still being monitored since it was started about 2 years ago. I’ve invited @brian2 to participate in this thread, just in case.

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All active topics are monitored, the discussion and feedback is always important to help Roonlabs steer their product.

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Yes, but only if the playlist is in the same storage location as the files. Imported playlists cannot span multiple storage locations…odd limitation but quite fatal for my purposes, at least, since I draw from multiple storage configurations.

Yes — at one time, pre-Roon, I did playlists and hit on this when I tried to move playlists from PC to car, or Astell&Kern, or whatever.
The problem with typical playlist implementations isn’t about referencing tracks or albums, they reference files. Physical. Bleagh.

Hi Anders. You’re exactly right. Except in my case I would embed playlist membership within custom file meta tags…in the files…so that my playlists were always path and software independent. Hence my drumbeat for Roon to allow importation of custom embedded tag info. And they were dynamic-very similar to smart lists.

I haven’t successfully convinced the Roon team that this is a legitimate use case.

I believe Andy has an excellent point. I moved from Sooloos to Roon in the anticipation of a better experience for single tracks. This turned to not be the case. I have some specific enhancements I think would improve the experience. I realise these may also be topics of other threads but I feel these are material to the user experience in this use-case:

(1) Play-Now: The Play now should insert the track in the current play queue displacing what was playing. Roon currently inserts the track at the end of the queue. My path through playing tracks varies on my mood and I still want to hear those I have queued without having to mess about dragging the queue around after the fact.
(2) Volume Control: The volume up/down should be in the top level user interface (as it is in Sooloos). Single tracks have a lot of variation in volume and the current pop-up solution requires two touches to trim the volume and further touch to return to the browser. I also listen to MQA tracks so I can’t use Roons DSP volume levelling.
(3) Artist: As an avid track collector I have about 800 various artist albums/box-sets. This was often the only way to find obscure tracks in pop/rock. Roon isn’t very good at finding meta data for these albums. However every track in my collection now has an album primary artist of “Various Artists” and track performed-by with the “”. ROON doesn’t include these performed-by artists in its artist list.
(4) Track Search: If I search for a track then ROON will show the various-artist album. In my case this is frequently a CD set. You then need to go-fish for the track in the middle of a bunch of CDs/tracks. This is not a good user experience.

The net result for me is that Roon is at best only a very small improvement on Sooloos.

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YES! I’ve made similar suggestions in the past. An extra click or two doesn’t seem like much, unless you are one of us who does it for nearly every track. I use volume leveling for whole-house and outdoor listening, but like you, there are other cases where I just don’t want to use any resampling.

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Another song-by-song feature request:

For me, the challenges of “singles” relates to playlists (a collection of single songs). The integration with Tidal is only partial related to Playlists, only a one way street (Tidal into Roon). Sonos allows you to edit Tidal playlists but Roon feels like this does not fit in the Roon vision (i.e. you are only allowed to edit Roon playlists not Tidal playlists).

I posted about this previously.

Looking forward to Roon’s evolution in this area.
Rob.

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Better Tidal integration would definitely be boon to those of us who listen to individual songs more than whole albums.

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What about the random playback control? When I play an album I want it off and when I play a playlist I want it on. It’s a hassle to toggle if you are on a playlist or other view. Would like it always available.

Rob.