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

Why isn’t there a “Replace external tracks with local tracks” option?
Roon could even use downtime to do matching between the two so it would always use a local version if it’s available.
If you can search external databases for song versions, which Roon does, this shouldn’t be impossible.

This might also clear up the “This track is no longer available on Qobuz/Tidal”, by either deleting the track/album from our libraries, marking it clearly as unavailable, replacing it with a library copy, or segregating it to a special place in Roon where orphan tracks can be reviewed.


@zottel You are right. If you add a track from within your Roon library to a playlist, then and only then, it is the library version that gets added. So, if you are still building your library, a thing you can do goes as follows. You make a local copy of a Qobuz playlist. In it will be non-library versions of the tracks. You add them all to your Roon library. You go to My Library > Tracks. You arrange by date added. You select the ones that you have just added from your playlist. You Add them to a new playlist. Here you have your Qobuz playlist with library versions of the tracks in it. After comparing and checking, you can delete the playlist with the non-library versions.
There are two things that make this extra complicated.
(1) If some of the tracks in your Qobuz playlist, were already in your Roon-library before (e.g. because they are also in another playlist you already imported and added to your library), then those tracks will have another “Day added”, so it will be more difficult to find them under My Library > Tracks
(2) Adding a selection of tracks or all of the tracks in a playlist to your library, can only be done one by one. There is a bug (probably) that makes that if you select non-library tracks in a playlist and you go to the three dots in a circle on top, and you then choose “Add to library”… it does not happen. It does not work. Technical support is aware of this possible bug and has passed it on to the team to investigate. Can't add all selected tracks to library

PS: For Tidal users, the procedure is slightly different (and more complex).


@Francois_De_Heel Thanks for the tips. However, there is another problem: If tracks in the playlist were in Qobuz favourites, they will already be in the library. :upside_down_face:

I like @Andrew_Webb 's suggestion to implement a command to replace all non-library links in a playlist with library links where possible. I would add that this should also take into account album versions that have been grouped and always use the preferred version.

In my library, I have many low quality tracks that I ripped some 20 years ago when sound quality wasn’t an important topic to me. It’s important to be able to tell Roon not to use those, or generally a higher quality Qobuz version of the same track, but also to have control over when a local version should be used, and when it should be a Qobuz version.

And, of course, as I haven’t grouped all albums yet that I will have to group over time, and will also re-rip many of my CDs, it’s important that such a feature would allow a re-run whenever required.

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That’s the same extra complication we have in Tidal. I did not know it was also the case for Qobuz. So yes, this makes it extra complicated. You would need to “de-favorite” tracks in a Tidal/Qobuz playlist before following the workaround procedure. And if you have overlap between playlists (same track in different playlists), it might at some point drive you completely insane to try to get library tracks and library tracks only in your playlists.

Several people seem to want this “replace by library version” functionality for tracks in playlists suggested by @Andrew_Webb (@Seabreeze, @LaurentZ, @Gafflyn, @Jack_O_Donoghue, @killdozer). See in this thread also: Solve the library/non-library conundrum and all the complexities it creates for tagging, focus, playlists etc - #6 by Francois_De_Heel

I would like to check if there are also people who see disadvantages connected to adding such a feature?

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Can I summarize this thread so far as follows?

  1. Roon is aware that the user experience for Tidal/Qobuz and specifically playlist users, is not what it should be. They are working on it but can not share any details about timing/roadmap.

  2. A lot of it is caused by the library/non-library architecture of the database. This issue has been on the table for five years or longer. So there is no saying when it could/would be solved in a fundamental way.

  3. In the meantime, it seems there might be at least two improvements that would benefit Tidal/Qobuz/playlist users:

3.1 Some kind of possibility to replace non-library tracks by library tracks in playlists (not automatically though, but optional - since not everybody wants her tracks in playlists to be library tracks). See: Solve the library/non-library conundrum and all the complexities it creates for tagging, focus, playlists etc - #55 by Andrew_Webb & Solve the library/non-library conundrum and all the complexities it creates for tagging, focus, playlists etc - #6 by Francois_De_Heel.

3.2 When you add a track (from Radio, queue, search…) to a playlist, that you have the option of making that track a library track and putting the library version in the playlist. Now it takes: (1) add the track to your library, (2) go to your library, find the track, add it to a playlist. On top of that, you can only do that after the track finishes playing.

These two things will not solve everything for everyone (like for instance two-way sync or the 10K Tidal limit). But it will help Tidal/Qobuz/playlist users a lot without diminishing or even changing possibilities for others. And it would create a lot of happy Tidal/Qobuz/playlist users because, after that, they could fully enjoy the many possibilities Roon offers (tagging, focus, hearts, etc).

My question for the Roon team (@brian, @dylan). Is there any chance that we will see this improved functionality for Tidal/Qobuz/playlist users anytime soon? Are you (planning on) actively working on this? Or do you choose not to, because you prefer to wait for a thoroughly rethought structure where the library/non-library silos are abandoned altogether?


Thank you, @brian! It’s heartening to hear that this is something you are aware of and working on. I understand that it is complex and based on systems put in place long ago. And no doubt you are at the mercy of Tidal’s API.

If you need people for that focus group, I’ll be happy to participate. I’m a Gen X’er: I grew up in the mix tape era, so playlists are at the heart of my music listening and sharing experience, but I went digital early enough that the library curation features of iTunes (shudder), MediaMonkey, and JRiver are native to me. I’m a librarian, so the metadata aspects come pretty naturally. Also, I’ve spent a good bit of time poking and prodding at Roon’s Tidal integration: Tidal Integration: What's Still Broken in 1.8


Hi Brian

Appreciate your honest reply.

But as the world changes, and in the world of audio change will take place even faster than before, it is sometimes needed to revise your strategy, and build a new 2.0 version from zero.
I honestly feel that finetuning this version, whilst dreaming and building a new Roon, will be the way to go.
You cannot keep on pushing your current software infrastructure up and over its limits.
So please put on those bold and brave boots, and help us all dreaming.


This isn’t a rebuttal at all, but it is the official name of the “other side of the coin” and the price paid for the expedient implementation of features and fixes:

Sometimes every bit of fine-tuning makes the redesign/re-factoring incrementally harder. Who’d be a product development manager :wink:

I was just wondering as I reread this thread: how were these challenges handled back in the days of Rhapsody streaming support within the old Sooloos brand? Anything interesting there to be learned? Thanks.

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I just came across another example of the library/non-library conundrum. I am listening to a Roon Daily Mix. I would like to add one of the tracks to a personal tag… I can’t. I can’t add it to my library either (the option is greyed out)… which means that it already is in my library (as I thought it was)… Since the Daily Mix is playing the non-library version of that track (which is actually the exact same track as the library one)… I first need to go to My Library > Tracks, then look for the track, then add it to the tag.


Yes, this is a bit of a mess isn’t it (appreciate the limited resource of any development team so though!). I came across this when trying to add some items from my history or queue to a tag and couldn’t…but it would appear that I could add it to a playlist - very odd.

Even now that I understand the issue, it is a minefield. To add that track to the tag this is my process:

  1. Find the track in my history (I can’t tag it from here)
  2. Right click to get to the menu and go to the album (I still can’t tag it from here)
  3. Go back to the artist
  4. Go to the discography and open the album where the track came from
  5. Remember the version of the album that the track in the queue came from and access it (even though it’s the same version of the album in point 2, it actually isn’t)
  6. FInd the track and I can finally tag it

I completely appreciate the logic and thinking that lead to this but the reality is that the fact that a track is or isn’t in the user’s library should be completely transparent to the user…in fact it shouldn’t even be a concept (in my opinion).

Clearly the ownership/location of the track should be displayed and obvious to the user so that when they give up Qobuz or whatever they lose tracks…but the tracks should be displayed…just not available and the reason…

Anyway, I do hope that this gets prioritised soon and solved.thanks,


Another user case where the library/non-library conundrum makes things hopelessly difficult. I listen to a Roon playlist. I like it a lot (yes, that happens, thank you Roon). I save it as a playlist. In the playlist: non-library versions. Of course. But I want library-versions in my playlist because then I can tag and heart the tracks when I want. Ok… so I go to the playlist. I select all the tracks. I go to the three dots in a circle at the top. I select: add to library… But, unfortunately, this functionality does not work. Nothing is added to my library (cfr. my support question of almost a year ago: Can't add all selected tracks to library). So what to do now? Add the tracks to your library one by one. Go to My Library>Tracks. Sort by “Date added”. Select the tracks you just added. Add them to a new playlist. You now have a playlist with library-versions which you can tag and heart. You can delete the previous playlist with the non-library versions.


I don’t really agree with this in the sense that Tidal tracks albums separately to tracks.

I have favourite tracks that are on favourite albums. Not every track on the album is a favourite even if I choose to listen to the whole album. I find Roon’s method of making every track in an album hearted quite illogical. (And as mentioned that comes down to the in/out library design). I’ve been trialling Roon for a few months now and love aspects of it, but the inability to properly merge my local and online libraries defeats the main purpose of Roon.


The main issues (& conceptual solutions) brought up in this thread are valuable & should be addressed ASAP. I cannot imagine anyone at Roon being remotely okay with such poor basic functionality of their music & playlist management - that is, if they actually use the product the way many of us do on an almost daily basis, along with a streaming service.

For me, this otherwise amazing product becomes more frustrating the more I interact with it - can’t keep ignoring how much time I’ve wasted over the past 1.5 years locating/navigating to my library album just to perform basic functions.


I think there is a lot of legacy cruft that doesn’t address modern concerns. I don’t know why there hasn’t been more parallel development for an entirely new build. Roonies seem stuck in their effed-up past world, and unable to see that they should abandon their old code and make something modern and robust. It’s an age-old problem. Sunk-cost fallacy, ridiculous holding-on-to-what-worked-then bs. Makes me sad.

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Arnold Toynbee, a historian, called it “the nemesis of creativity”. What makes you unique (special, invincible… in short, what caused your initial success), will cause you to be so enamored with this initial creativity and strength, that you become blind to new and/or necessary developments. In his view, this “nemesis of creativity” caused the decline and fall of the Roman and many other empires. I hope Roon gets ahead of this nemesis soon (enough)… but I am no longer waiting for it anymore. I did not renew my subscription but wish Roon and all its subscribers good luck.


Great thread, linking another feature suggestion that is a result of this

I was just coming here to note that I can’t heart a radio track from tidal. When I am using Roon Arc I’m usually at work. I have time to glance down and favorite a track. I don’t have time to go digging through menus to add the track to my library and then and favorite it for each one. That is just ridiculous and not what most people expect to be able to do. It’s counterintuitive, it takes too many steps, and it takes focus away from anything I’m doing, which for work is problematic. What’s even more frustrating is there’s a heart icon while playing but it’s greyed out.

It’s things like this that make it hard to use and hard to recommend Roon to anyone else.

Please, Please fix this issue! Please solve the library/non-library inconsistencies and headaches that arise from it!


This one is often harder than I’d like in order to explain to people who have never written any code. It’s really key. I’m hopeful, and sometimes despondent.