Solve the library/non-library conundrum and all the complexities it creates for tagging, focus, playlists etc

This is not “just” a feature request. It is a request to give priority to the library/non-library issue that creates plenty of problems for other features. It creates difficulties, inconsistencies, and incomprehensible complexities. For starters, it is close to impossible to get library versions of tracks in a (local copy of) Tidal playlists. As a result, tagging can’t be used for plenty of tracks… even if they are in your library, because, often it is not the library-version that you find in your local playlist, although it is an exact copy of that library version. Another result: if you tag the playlist itself and you focus on that tag… the tracks are not selected… because they are not library versions… although the library version might exist “elsewhere”. And another one: if you want to export a playlist (e.g. to Soundiiz), only the library version tracks are exported. And another result of the conundrum: newbies like me have to spend a week or more to try to understand the what and how of library/non-library tracks… and experience the Tidal/Roon integration as… the opposite of what is called on the Roon website “effortless organization”, “easy, fast, and totally automatic”, “easy to find exactly what you’re looking for”, “combine music files and streaming content in your playlists or use tags for even more flexibility”… All those things I wanted. And still want.

Some people I know that are struggling with or looking into basically the same issue: @SimplicityCompass, @Alexander_Bashlaev, @Meep2020, @Yiannis_Kouropalatis

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You also cannot apply heart on Tidal versions of songs within converted playlists (which bothers me the most)…

It’s an absolute insanity they still haven’t resolved this…

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Often people will first experience and post about another problem they are having, e.g. not being able to tag tracks in their playlist or history, focus-results with a lot of missing tracks, not being able to ‘heart’ a lot of tracks, ‘incomplete’ results when they focus on tags with playlists in, not seeing (in album-view) the playlists a track is in when you are sure it is in a playlist, etc. Only after a lot of digging they afterward find out that it boils down to the library/non-library issue. Here are some examples:

Wouldn’t it be a better idea to group all the difficulties that people are having with tagging, focus, etc? They are almost always linked to the library/non-library issue. As long as this is not solved, the use of focus and tagging and ‘hearts’ are very limited and complex, if not completely impossible to use, for people who combine Roon/Tidal and use local copies of Tidal playlists (I think the same is true for Qobuz).

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Add me to that list above :smirk:

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I agree. Thank you for this combined topic. It would solve a lot of inconveniences.

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Awaiting a fundamental solution, a very welcome relatively small feature that would be a tremendous help for a lot of Tidal (and Qobuz?) users, would be to create the following possibility:
When you select a playlist >
Step 1: Put in My Library all the tracks that are not yet in My Library
Step 2: Replace all the non-library tracks in this playlist with the library versions.

This can now also be done manually and more or less track by track, but it takes so much steps and time and effort that it is only feasible for very small playlists.

The big advantage of this ‘replace tracks by library-versions’ feature? Once the tracks in your playlists are library versions, everything works smoothly afterward. Tagging, focus, giving hearts, putting (tracks of) a playlist in a tag, being able to see (on the album page) which tracks are in which playlists etc.

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Please add me to the list, i have responded on many threads on this point, including this one:

from August 2017 where I talked about how Sonos allows for editing Tidal Playlists.

There is no technical reason some of / any of these ideas couldn’t be implemented. In general, Roon takes a more Artist/Album/Composer centric view to music. Playlists are much lower on the menu, Playlists are not on the home screen in the boxes up top, the Playlist UI has had minimal updates.

I keep hoping “Playlist love” is coming soon now that 1.8 is launched. Time will tell.

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Some time back, I posted this speculative explanation and solution for how these non-library references get added to playlists, even if the Tidal track is already added to you library.

It’s crazy how many hoops one needs to jump through to add the currently playing Tidal track to your library and a playlist.

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At its “heart”, the Tidal integration is flawed. It is based entirely based on the principle that
“Fav” a track in Tidal <==> “Add to Library” in Roon

This is flawed because now, the act of “heart”ing a track has a completely different meaning when done in Tidal vs Roon. The second implication is referenced in my post above where Roon can now have a library reference and a non-library reference to the exact same Tidal track which makes Playlists messy

Solution
A proposed solution would allow any of the following actions to automatically (and implicitly) add a track to the “Library”. This can also be extended to Albums/artists

  1. Hearting a track in Tidal (would also heart in Roon)
  2. Hearting a track in Roon (would also heart in Tidal)
    3 Adding a track to a playlist
  3. Tagging a track in Roon

This would also ensure that only “library” versions of a track can get added to a playlist - whether by explicitly adding to a playlist in Roon, or when syncing a Tidal playlist

From an integration standpoint, the concept of hearting a track would now be more consistent between Tidal and Roon. Additionally the concept of “in Library” would also be more consistent between local collections and streaming services.

The downside is that “My Tracks” (or the concept of library) would be different between Tidal and Roon. However this disconnect already exists because when you “heart” an album in Roon, it implicitly hearts all the tracks in the album. While Tidal’s hearted albums are fully independent of hearted tracks

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Maybe Roon has reasons not to implement two-way sync of Tidal/Roon playlists (commercial? technical? …).
But at the very least I would expect them to address the hassle involved in getting library versions of tracks in local copies of playlists so that we can enjoy the full possibilities of tagging etc.
I guess there will need to be hundreds of us explicitly asking for it before this will become a priority?

So, let me maybe mention some more people who I understand really want this solved: @PatMaddox, @Andy_Spinks, @Mac_Rebant, @GMI, @David_Snyder, @LaurentZ, @JESUNG_LEE, @Andrea_Tacchetti, @VASILEIOS_VASILIKOS, @Eric_Sapperstein. I am sure there are many more, among them of course the Roon/Tidal users who liked or commented above.

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Absolutely! This is really getting ridiculous. Really.

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Absolutely agree. Now that Tidal Connect allows me to curate playlists while I’m streaming lossless MQA to my Bluesound devices, I rarely use Roon. And I almost never recommend Roon to other people (only in the rare cases where it is their only option). “Tidal Connect” is now a much more important feature than “Roon Ready.”

I’d love to get back on board with Roon, but until there is two-way sync with Tidal (and some attention given to the usability of the phone as a remote), it’s not going to happen.

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It really is frustrating to be so close and yet so far from truly useful integration. What if we threw around words like “game-changer,” “power feature,” “revolutionary,” and such :grin:? Inter-Connecting Roon’s curation pedigree, complimented to Tidal’s API and then being able to SHARE that Tidal playlist with friends, family, and your own other locations and devices. More importantly to my big words above, once you get a playlist from Roon into Tidal’s API, a free Soundiiz account lets you port Tidal playlists to a Soundiiz central playlist keeping space (no song access; just safekeeps the song list), and most importantly, to a FREE account you can set up on ALL of Spotify, Napster/Rhapsody, Apple Music, or anywhere your friends have chosen to put their monthly streaming subscription. Sharing a set of, say, three streaming services links to the same playlist you and friends are talking about on Facebook. Everybody uses whichever link matches where they’re paying. This open-sourcing / crowd-sharing of playlist curation with Roon as the window and server of it all? Game-changer folks.

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I’ll just add to above that a really good Plan B would be simply if Roon could join the crowd of services that link up directly to this free Soundiiz thing (I’m unrelated to them, just see the value). From there, you can get it to Tidal or anywhere else. Every service it connects appears a two-way sync. So, this Plan B would appear fully functional even just to keep your own one Tidal playlist in sync with Soundiiz and in turn to/from Roon’s own playlist keeping place. If some kind of Tidal licensing thing is getting in Roon’s way, Soundiiz got Tidal connected, so just do a generic connection from Roon to Soundiiz, and it’s done. How could getting a sync between Roon and Soundiiz take more than a few weeks? No? While a more full-bodied two-way sync direct between Tidal and Roon is developed?

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+1 for all of this but for Qobuz. The issues are exactly the same. With being a bit OCD, it just takes way too much effort to keep everything in Sync between the two apps. The whole point of Roon was to integrate my library and Qobuz/Tidal, but it unfortunately doesn’t. I only use Roon now for my local library, but even that is making less and less sense.
I was just reading the thread about displaying versions numbers with the version icon and @Brian was great at explaining things and gave reasons for some of the decisions made, which is rare, and he obviously actually listen because those numbers came back in 778. One thing that made me hopeful was when he said “One of the big themes for 1.8 was de-siloing the library content and streaming content. Now, we try to make clean displays of “all of the stuff that I have access to”". Hopefully he sees this thread as well

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To be fair, when you “heart” something in Tidal, it shows up in “my collection” in Tidal,. So, it is a pretty analogous status, if you just ignore the shape of the icon. What might make sense for consistency would be for Roon to use “heart” to mean add to library as well. Then something else for “favorite.”"

Where I do think Roon needs improvement is in recognizing equivalents between a Tidal/Qobuz track and something in your library, and to allow for playlists and tags to attach to a Tidal/Qobuz object by having it in the database even if it is “not in the library.”

I don’t think any of this stuff is easy. I want to remind people of what Roon does right, and I agree with the “so close to nirvana” thoughts above. But even today, Roon allows me to do things with my setup that no other software does.

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Yup… we’re saying the same thing. Tidal has a single concept where “My Collection” is really “My hearted items” There’s no difference. While Roon has two separate concepts

  1. Library items which have all kinds of magic powers of tags, play counts, favs, etc.
  2. Fav’s which is a subset of the Library.

Roon chose to map the map Tidal’s “My Collection” on to Roon’s Library - which as you rightly pointed out makes sense in a way.

I’m suggesting, Roon instead map it on to Roon’s “Fav” concept. Roon’s Library can then be expanded beyond Tidal’s Hearted items (My Collection) to include any Tidal track that’s added to a (Tidal or Roon) playlist, or Tagged, or Faved etc in Roon.

The above change would allow for a much more seamless user interface and user experience in Roon when dealing with Tags, Fav’s, playlists etc. It would also avoid having these Non-Library references hanging around in playlists - everything in a playlist could implicitly be added to the Library

In fact, Roon could even get rid of the “Add to Library” button altogether, Every Tidal object would be a candidate for Fav, Tag, Add to Playlist options.And once faved or tagged etc, the object would implicitly be added to Roon’s Library.

I’m hoping @danny @Brian or someone at Roon could read this and share their thoughts

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When you add a Tidal song to your library, does it automatically get added to Tidal’s “my collection”? Any Qobuz song or album that you add to your library gets automatically added to the Qobuz favorites section, but does not get a heart icon in Roon. So now this album shows up as a Qobuz favorite but not as a Roon favorite. This makes no sense. I also dont like this because I dont always add a Qobuz album to my library because it is a favorite album. Most of the time it is because I want to explore it more and heart individual songs on the album. And if I go to use the Qobuz app, these albums are now listed as favorites in Qobuz, so now Roon and Qobuz are not in sync.

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@AnimalOnDrums: Yes, that’s right. If you add a Tidal track to your Roon library, it automatically gets added to Tidal’s “my collection”, i.e. it gets a heart icon in Tidal. In Tidal “heart icon” = “in Tidal collection”. And no, it does not automatically get a heart icon in Roon. In Roon “heart icon” means: “in Roon collection” AND “favored in Roon”. At least, that’s what I figured out so far.

@James_I I agree. It is exactly because Roon does lots of things right and can perform magic as @Seabreeze puts it, that we would like it to work in a reasonably efficient way for Tidal or Qobuz subscribers who (like to) work with playlists. I love all the possibilities Roon offers. The thing is that lots of them are not accessible for Tidal or Qobuz users without going through a close to impossible hassle.

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