So many wrong things with metadata

I love Roon, it changed the way I listen and organize my music. This thread is not in any way driven by mean criticism, I want to be constructive and I think it’s better to make a long thread than one for each subject.

So, I like to have all my files with the most accurate metadata I can…I’m a bit obsessive with that.

One of the promises from Roon is:

"Up to date metadata"
As you can see John Bonham died 41 years ago, and still Roon hasn’t found the way to display his image on his profile:

"enriched with content"
Keep this quote from Roon’s site in mind for the next three artists I’ll refer to:
r14

Really? No bio for Alice Cooper as artist? There’s a bio for the band though…but still no deep biographical information

I know this claim is kind of dumb, but the devil’s in the details. And I know metadata depends on external providers, so maybe it should be advertised as “the metadata we can get with what we have”

I’m not going to name all the cases I came across but I’ll try to give examples.

REGARDING COMPOSERS AND THEIR WORK
Take Janne Sova (aka Demonos Sova) singer of the band Barathrum. He wrote all the music and lyrics on “Saatana” (1999) so I added that info on the files. I set Roon to pick up the credits info from the files. BUT on Janne’s profile, in the overview tab I have some personal information (including his real name and band he is in) no rich metadata or deep biographical information


The discography tab shows a Tidal album he appeared on

AND FINALLY the compositions tab shows he wrote Saatana’s songs

So, why isn’t Roon showing Saatana on Discography? Why the overview is so empty and not like other artists, like Andreas Kisser with popular tracks and the files I have on my library? Still no deep biographical information

Andreas’ profile take me to another issue. He’s been a well renowned musician since the late 80’s and still no picture of HIM, just Sepultura. But not the current line up the one that split in 1996!!!
Also some profiles have these round pictures, some have the banner…it’s so inconsistent…

Back to our friend Mr. Sova. When I search for his real name, this shows up

So he IS recognized as Demonos Sova, but not as a member of Barathrum EXCEPT he is credited as having composed songs for Barathrum, BUT not for the album I own (there are no more albums below)

I know Janne Sova is not what you would call a world known musician, but I think these things are more on the software side than the popularity of the artist.

REGARDING ALIASES AND/OR PSEUDONIMS

The singer for Rhapsody (the italian Metal band) is Fabio Lione, but in the credits he appears as Fabio Tordiglione (his real name) If I search for Fabio Lione I don’t get the Tordiglione results despite being the same person and showing the bands he is in on the (kind of) bio still no deep biographical information

but if I search for Fabio Tordiglione, I get the results for THAT name only (see the bands shown appear on Lione’s profile) no deep biographical information here either

The thing is I tried the same for King Diamond and Kim Bendix Petersen and it worked but I think it’s because the real name is on the bio

If this is the case, I’d like to contribute with information for Metal musicians because I know they’re not very popular but I think 98% of them are on Wikipedia.
I know the information is taken from AllMusic (King Diamond’s bio is verbatim) and I submitted bio info for Fabio Lione of Rhapsody. The thing is THEY would decide WHEN and IF they will show and add that information. Until ALLMusic decides I can’t have the information.

So again this is a matter of “the metadata some providers would allow us to get” and not “up-to-date metadata”

r15

In this case I wouldn’t be able to discover that Fabio Lione wrote some songs for Vision Divine where he sang and had never found the band. Obective incomplete.

REGARDING RECOMMENDATIONS

I’m not going to bore you with this because I’ve already said it here: Strange result for recommended albums for Mendelssohn - #2 by macaumetal

REGARDING SAME SONGS ON DIFFERENT ALBUMS/LIVE VERSIONS

I’m not posting images beacuse there are too many examples. The thing is that given a song with the same basic metadata (track name, genre, composer, lyricist) Roon does not show the count (the icons of the disc and library) in the track. Sometimes durations differ, and in live tracks that’s logical, but shouldn’t that basic information be enough for the system to match the tracks?

REGARDING RELEASE IDENTIFICATION

I don’t know how Roon determines which metadata to pick from Musicbrainz.
I spent a lot of time updating info for releases like Ambeon’s Fate of a Dreamer (https://musicbrainz.org/release/a78b33d3-6a3b-4e54-8858-b47c2ff2e4f9) but the only options available today for ID on Roon are 3 Transmission Records and 1 Import versions. I uploaded NEMS’ version on 2020-08-11 and still nothing.
It’s very frustrating because there are a lot of releases that came with bonus tracks here in Argentina and can’t be identified correctly despite being added to Musicbrainz! And the ones that are the same as european/american releases still should allow for us to select the RIGHT version.
I’m not asking for an impossible (I think) so if you’re going to give me the option to do something, just give me all of them.

I have all my discography (1500+) on Discogs, so adding it to Musicbrainz (which I would have no problem, I like to do this) would only be worth it if I can see Roon is picking them up.

REGARDING THE GREY CIRCLES FOR CREDITS

Last week I added a podcast I made to my folders and got this generic cover artwork:

That made me think, wouldn’t it be great to have generic images like this for the different roles instead of the grey circles with the initials when there’s no picture available? The one shown here would totally be great for “guitar/guitarist” right?

There are a couple more things but I think I’ll stop here.
I still feel I have to clarify that I don’t think making a piece of software like Roon is easy, that I understand that sometimes there are a lot of things to coordinate and external services to deal with, and that Roon is not made to suit MY needs. I would never underestimate the work put into it…but I want to contribute to make it better if I can and to make it more comfortable for me (and hopefully, other users)

Sorry for the length of the thread, sorry if I wrote something the wrong way, english is not my main language.

Thanks for your attention and I look forward for the feedback, especially if some of the things I said here have a solution I haven’t found.

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Please, do not feel sorry. Great post. Roon people should read an re-read it when they go to bed at night. Roon does not control the metadata they try to sell people on, they do not tell about this, and tries to circumvent the problem with their Valence AI engine.

That is the problem. Unless Roon start to hire people to curate metadata in their catalog, I am afraid this will never be solved. There are plenty of knowledgeable people out there who could help for free. But it seems Roon does not care. So sad.

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Yes, that’s right, but in case they’re reading this, count me in to help with Metal metadata :raising_hand_man:

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I think Roon’s best option would be to enable metadata corrections from its users. Do it like MusicBrainz where other users can vote on submissions.

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Yes or as @Andre_Gosselin said they could hire a team to curate their own metadata…or ask a couple of us, I think some of us would contribute gladly.
A couple of days ago I found out you can add your own text to the genres section but bands and artists are not liked. Still maybe they could implement something like that…

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A team of people could never cover the territory that hundreds or thousands of contributors would. Maybe a small team could do some moderation to prevent abuse but it’s best left to the collectors to do the contributing. Set up a voting system so bad edits can be blocked.

Discogs, RateYourMusic and MusicBrainz are great examples of how to do crowdsourced metadata for music.

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So right… would it perfect? No. But it would be a major, major improvement.

And wouldn’t it make Roon “stickier” for some of the most passionate music fans?

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You need to learn to live with these shortcomings, it’s how Roon rolls. Been that way since the first release and no reason to believe any effort will ever be put toward improving the issues you raise. Expect a barrage of replies telling you Roon is perfect and you’re being unreasonable.

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As usual/always the metadata discussion is only about music/albums that Roon identifies. But what about all the music/albums that Roon can NOT/does not identify? Well those unidentified music/albums get basically dumped in the trash, kind of like they don’t exist from a metadata standpoint. Sure these recordings are in my Roon database but they have basically minimal to no metadata available. I have over 8,000 unidentified albums in my digital music collection and Roon’s much ballyhooed AI engine Valance just ignores them. AI = Artificial Ignorance.

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That’s why I referred to that.
I also have a lot of releases that are unidentified, and I uploaded them to Musicbrainz but still no ID. And I don’t get it, because some releases have 15+ versions and other 4 (sometimes from the same label with only the release date varying) despite the fact that Musicbrainz has 10 or more. I can’t understand the selection logic (if any)

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That’s why I said this post was not meant to be toxic, because I love Roon but I see things that (in my mind) are not (or should not be) that hard to improve for a company who developes the software, or to at least look into in the time they’ve been building Roon.
Again… maybe these things are very hard to achieve, I don’t know I’m not a programmer, but the promise on the site is “enriched metadata” and “deep biographical information” for my files, not for SOME files, and since I’m a paying customer I think I have the right to bring it up, discuss it and ask, all within the boundaries of respect and consideration for the people working on it.
Regards

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Many of the unidentified recordings in my collection are bootlegs, which I can understand as not being identified except that there are many different online sources for information on bootlegs from artists like Bob Dylan and the Grateful Dead. Roon would just to parse the metadata from these sources.

I also have many, many jazz recordings that are not bootlegs and which are not new releases that remain unidentified. There is really no decent excuse for this.

By the way the OP covered very nicely the situation with incomplete metadata. And ongoing issue that Roon is doing their best to work with and thankfully each new version of Roon brings improvements to the metadata but much more work still needs to be done.

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The most frustrating thing is that Roon doesn’t use the metadata of your files (at least not exclusively). I obsessively curate metadata by updating musicbrainz and then using that musicbrainz release to compile my flacs. The problem is that very little of this information is actually used by Roon. If Roon used all of this metadata, many of the problems described would be solved

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Does Roon use any other source for metadata other than Allmusic? I don’t think so. That’s a pretty “all eggs in one basket” scenario. A recent observation on how bad this is - an artist as commercial/popular as Bryan Adams does not even have a Bio in Roon. I just stumbled upon this anomaly and was quite shocked TBH. And there have been repeated requests to allow editing of Metadata which Roon cannot identify or even otherwise and of course Roon thinks this is too much of a Holy Grail to give users control over.

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That is frustrating indeed. I’m in the same obsessive process of going through my library to add Composer and Lyricist to be more accurate but despite selecting the “use file” on the settings for metadata, Roon keeps adding names (I think from Tidal versions) and sometimes is the wrong people but I have no control over it.

For instance, on the file I have:

Composer: A
Lyricist: B

Roon shows
Composer: A, B, C (not in the booklet of the CD, not on Wikipedia or other sources, but can’t remove it)
Lyricist: B

Other thing that bothers me is that there’s no setting to tell Roon to consider “The” as part of the name of the artist. I have “The 69 Eyes” album at the top of my list, but TO ME it should be included on “T” and not as a a number. There should be an option to set the “ignore ‘The’ for artist” on and off.
Also I have an industrial tribute to Metallica under Various Artists, but it shows on the “B” section and I can’t figure out how to solve it. I’ve corrected the matadata with as much information as I can but still refuses to go to “V” :man_shrugging:

Roon gets information from Musicbrainz, but only for releases and credits. In the case of artists, I think only AllMusic, which is a pain if you try to submit corrections/updates
Roon allows to add information to the genres sections (a simple copy/paste but without linking), maybe they could come up with something similar for bios, reviews or even lyrics and improve it so we can add links to artists.

If there’s a programmer in the room may he/she could clarify if this is a very hard thing to do…

what about using wikipedia as a source? I mean almost EVERYTHING is in wikepedia and is constantly being updated…

Bryan Adams without bio, Iron Maiden with a collage as a profile picture, AC/DC members with band photos…this things are kind of unacceptable for a metadata based software…

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Just a note that you can add lyrics via file tags, see:

The lyrics tags are also a work-around to add easily accessible notes (but due to hard coded alignment values text will be always centered).

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To be fair to Roon and Allmusic, apparently Bryan Adams requested many years ago for his information to be taken off their site - I assume this was the same for his albums as well as they don’t seem to appear either. It’s a real shame, but I suppose we can’t complain too much when it has come from the artist. I wonder if there are other artists who have requested this as well.

Irrespective, I would also like to voice my agreement for alternative sources to be used for bios etc… or a local file such as an nfo file, which I use regularly for films & TV in Kodi (and used to for artists/albums when I used Kodi for music).

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When I first started using Roon a few years ago I requested that the ability to view text files (info.txt), similar to the way one can view image and PDF files, be added to Roon. This request/suggestion went nowhere and I didn’t even ask for Roon to be able to parse the information contained in the text files. However there was a suggestion that I use a batch file to create PDFs out of all the text files but this suggestion went nowhere (since I have way too many of these info.txt files). :grin:

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I have 1700 unidentified albums in my library. Just a few are bootlegs. The rest are perfectly normal releases by record labels.
One thing that is truly annoying, is when Roon cannot identify an album and has no info - but shows all the info on the Qobuz (exact same) version.
So, why is this?

Since I have all the info in my tags, Roon could immediately improve their Metadata Database by 1700 albums. Saving others the trouble. But, this only if an upload/sync feature were available.

But does Roon still care about actual collections? Streaming is the taste of the hour.

No streaming service has my collection and never will, so for me I will keep enjoying being the yesterday man.

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