Smart playlists

People at Apple inc. develoepd the smart playlists for iTunes so that the playlist gets populated automatically provided an album fit into the smart playlist criteria (e.g.: compilation name: Mozart 225 or Kantatenwerk; composer name: Handel, etc.). Can we expect something similar in Roon?
Andrea Tubaro

For me at least, bookmarked Focus views covers this use case perfectly. Or do you have additional requirements that the Focus will not accommodate?

The devs have stated they wanted to add a smart tag/smart playlist like functionality. They have not stated any sort of time frame.

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An iTunes smart playlist feature that I like is the ability to limit the results to a chosen number of tracks. “Focus” in roon means that I can select albums that meet various criteria, but, then, I either have to queue all of the tracks on all of the albums or make manual selections. It would be nice to be able to queue, say, 20 (or any other number of) tracks which roon selects randomly.

I realise that if I queue all of the results from Focus, the tracks will be arranged randomly and I can just play the first 20 (or my preferred number), but what I often like to do is combine results from Focus with either an existing playlist or a set of tracks selected in some other way, and then listen to these in one or two sessions. To do this when Focus may result in 100s or 1000s of tracks, I’m left with the choice of manual selection to whittle these down to a manageable number.

Yeah, I am new in Roon, so I was wondering if it was possible, at list with the hearted song or the check marked songs, that would be a start.

Bump. Please? :slight_smile:

Here is a good example of something you can’t do in Roon, but you can do in iTunes with smart playlists:

I want to shuffle my favorite tracks from a group of multiple artists. For example: Tom Petty, Bob Dylan and The Rolling Stones. In iTunes, I create a smart playlist called “Tom and Bob and The Rolling Stones” that says, Artist=TP, or Artist=BD, or Artist=RS. That gives me all of their tracks. Then I create another smart playlist that says include the playlist “Tom and Bob and Van” AND my rating is loved (tracks that I selected the “heart” icon). That gives me all of my favorite tracks by those three artists. And it updates dynamically, whenever I add new tracks to my library and change my “heart” selections.

If there’s a way to do that in Roon, I haven’t figured it out yet:

I can go to Tracks view and filter on the Heart to give me my favorite tracks. But Focus will only let me choose Performers, not Artists or Album Artists. Which means if I select Tom Petty, I am going to get everything he appears on, which is going to give me some Johnny Cash and Roy Orbison tracks that I don’t want. You can Filter (not Focus) by Artist, but you can only filter by one text string at a time, not multiple. You could use Tags, but Tags are static, not dynamic and will not update if I make changes to my Heart-ed tracks.

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Sure, there is, you just need to re-orient how you think of things. Create a Tag called Test. Apply the Tag to the Artist(s). Go to Tracks. Filter by Tag choosing the Test tag. Then filter by clicking the heart. Done. You can then, set this as a Bookmark for quick return access.

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Right. But creating a Tag containing the Artists will give the same result in Tracks as Focusing on them as Performers. Because Roon uses “Artist” to include all their main album and their contributions. So you will get any tracks where they are mentioned in the metadata as playing on a track. Take Eric Clapton for example - if I select him as an Artist in a Tag, or as a Performer in Focus (it will give the same result), then it will give tracks he played on from John Mayall, The Yardbirds, John Lennon, The Beatles, Aretha Franklin, etc. Sometimes that might be good. But not when I only want tracks from Eric Clapton’s solo albums. So what I am asking for is to be able to Focus on “Artist” (which is actually “Primary Artist” in Roon), or “Album Artist”.

This is an issue since I listen to a lot of artists that have had long careers in different bands, as solo artists, and appear on many other artists recordings.

A workaround using Tags would be to create a Tag and select all of the individual albums you want to include, e.g. all of the Eric Clapton solo albums. And then use that in Tracks with the Heart filter. But that is time consuming, and it is also static, i.e. it will not updated if there is a new Eric Clapton album being added to the library. If Roon would just add “Album Artist” to Focus, that would be a quick fix and provide a huge amount of flexibility.


I agree that what you suggests work but it is cumbersome. In iTunes you can automatically send a number of albums or tracks creating a playlist which is defined by one key word which may be the artist, composer or else. If I use the keyword Bach (author) all albums with that author will automatically be in the playlist. Too easy to be true? Wake up Roon!

Well, not really since you can apply the Tag to all selected albums (or tracks) in one operation, either in Roon, or in a Tagging Software like MP3Tag.

I do agree that additional focus flexibility would be great. I’ve long wanted to be able to focus using Version information.

The problem with tags and other manually applied metadata after the fact is that it is tedious when a smart playlist that contains all songs containing a word or say a list of albums with genre X rated 4 stars or better would not require me to manually add new elements to it. I want smart playlists to auto-update. I should be able to import new music and my playlists should auto populate or depopulate based on evolving criteria, with no extra curation. Bookmarks are a half baked solution to this.

The most frequent one I’d like to create is a smart playlist of music added the last 2 weeks or 2 months. If you create a bookmark of music added the last two weeks, it preserves that 2 week window of this particular time span, say March 15-29 rather than March 27 - April 11 if it was dynamically updated to today. No workarounds in Roon exist to make this easy to use today.