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

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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Whilst I understand your frustrations Roon hearting/favouriting is actually a 3 step rating mechanism. I love it, I hate it and it’s okay - hearted, banned and unticked.

I wouldn’t want anything I hearted in Tidal or Qobuz to be added to these items in my Roon Library. They are totally different processes.

Something along the lines of the soundcliz integration sounds the way to go but then what happens if it goes belly-up - or is bought by Amazon.

.sjb

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Hi @Sloop_John_B. Thx for your comment. I understand your point. We wouldn’t want a solution for the library/non-library issue to reduce functionality for other users/practices. And yes, the idea that within your Roon(/Tidal) collection, you can now have a subgroup (hearted in Roon), makes sense.
I think it is the Roon team that has to come up with workable solutions, and I would love to see some comment from them. I believe there are already a lot of interesting suggestions in this thread.
For me everything would be fine if:
(1) I can in one single click add a (Tidal/Qobuz) track to a playlist and/or tag, and can be sure that it is the library-version that ends up in the playlist.
(2) For existing (Tidal/Qobuz) playlists I have local copies of, that I can replace in batch the non-library versions of tracks by library versions (in one or two clicks).

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The only thing I really want is to be able to add (or tag) 1000 Tidal / Qobuz albums to my Roon library without also adding them to my Tidal / Qobuz collection. Roon has an interface that can manage tons of speculative albums. Qobuz / Tidal do not. When I’m in my car, I use mobile apps - which in practice means Apple Music because you can actually organize music there.

That and stop adding duplicates to Roon playlists. I don’t know why you would want the same track twice on a playlist.

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Hi @PatMaddox. Thx for your contribution. I know that for some users it is important to enjoy the full possibilities of Roon without having to put their Tidal/Qobuz tracks in the Roon Library (e.g. when they hit the Tidal 10.000 limit). I hope the Roon team can take this into account as well.
As far as the duplicates in Roon playlists are concerned. There is a separate feature request for that: Prevent adding duplicates to a playlist You might want to support that specific request. I will.

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I would imagine that Roon has to respect Tidal’s 10k limit.

@Rugby Sure. But that would not be a problem if we could also have full Roon functionality for (Tidal) tracks that are not in the Roon Library (and therefore neither in the Tidal collection). This, I guess, will only be possible if the library/non-library thing is not only “solved”, but abandoned altogether. I have understood that @brian is thinking in that direction, but that it is complicated and that there is no timing yet.
In the meanwhile it would be good to have some solutions for those who have not reached the 10.000 limit. Suggestions about the kind of solutions that seem feasible can be found above.

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I appreciate all of the discussion here. Like I said before, we are working actively on this, and as @Francois_De_Heel pointed out, it is complex.

The decisions about how a lot of this stuff works were made 10+ years ago when the world was a very different place, and integrating streaming services into Roon didn’t happen until halfway into that period. Since then, this has become a major portion of Roon’s value proposition, but the way the system works has suffered from evolving incrementally to our users’ needs instead of being designed with a clear vision in mind.

There’s nothing nice about re-thinking basic facts about a product and then going to the thousand places that need to be adjusted and harmonizing them around the new way of operating. Doing this to a functioning product with a large user base that includes a lot of people resistant to change presents additional challenges–but we are working on it.

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