[Solved] Removing iTunes Library without affecting library


Ever since I started using Roon, I’ve maintained libraries of iTunes and Roon both as Roon 1.2 don’t have an EQ, and this occasionally necessitated iTunes to be used. So any new album I added would also need to be added iTunes. Having this logic in mind, when I was setting up Roon for the first time, I opted for importing the iTunes Library instead of watching the folder where I put all my music, in Roon. This worked well enough till now. Process has been:

  1. New album comes in, gets put into designated folder,
  2. Dragged onto iTunes so iTunes imports,
  3. Roon picks up the changes through the iTunes Library integration and also imports in Roon.

I’ve been dual-running Roon and iTunes like this for more than 3 months and during this time I made a TON of corrections in Roon metadata (corrected misidentified tracks, merged/grouped countless albums etc)

But the day has finally arrived. 1.3 comes out today… with a parametric EQ!
As far as I’m concerned this was going to be the last nail on iTunes’ coffin… until I tried to add my music folder as a watched folder in Roon.

When I tried to set the folder I’ve been putting all my music into as a watched folder, it started re-importing every single album that is already imported through the iTunes Library integration. Same albums, same tracks with the same file paths!

When I realised this was the case after it imported the initial 10-15 albums, I immediately disabled the watched folder, trying to prevent any loss of months of work that went into Roon Library.

Now, after the looong background info, the burning question:

  • How do I kick iTunes out of my work-flow without having to do tons of edits again?

My ideal scenario is, any album that’s already imported into Roon stays unchanged, I add my music folder as a watched folder, and instead of it re-scanning and adding everything again, it only adds new stuff that’s going to be put in there.

So, dear Roonies, is this, in any shape or form, possible?

Many thanks in advance for creating an application to be excited for.

Hello Yargi,
My new album import workflow via iTunes is exactly like yours. I have no plans to change it. I have a “wait and see” attitude about Roon 1.3’s features AND I still like how iTunes synchronizes music files to my iOS devices.

I too am excited about the changes to come but I’m fairly certain iTunes will reside on my Mac for awhile yet.


Hi Tom,

Thanks for the input! Since Apple is phasing out the headphone jack from iOS devices, I diverted my mobile music to an Astell&Kern AK300 and all my music transfers are through the microSD card now. I really meant that Roon 1.3 would be the last nail on the iTunes’ coffin for me =)

I mean it’s not too much trouble but if I can disable Roon’s inital full import when you add a new watch folder by some means (hacking, if possible?), I’ll be pretty chuffed.


Nice choice on the AK300 DAP. :grinning:

Well, then there’s a difference between our libraries. The folder where my iTunes collection resides is watched by Roon; I don’t have Roon pointed at the folder where the iTunes XML file is located. You do have Roon pointed at the XML, right?

Yes, only on the library xml but as you know Roon would only import new albums if I add them to iTunes first, and as I see no reason to use iTunes again (maaaybe for Podcasts) I want to skip second step on my initial post=)

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Hey @Yargi_Erel – did your questions get answered here? We have some documentation here but let me know if you need more help.


Hi @mike! My question had a bit unfortunate timing to come hours before the 1.3 release, so I was waiting that influx of 1.3 related questions to subside a little before reviving this, so thanks a lot for the attention!
I haven’t found a way to resolve my particular situation. Though this following excerpt from the documentation you linked is interesting:

The new implementation takes a simpler and more balanced approach. It uses the iTunes XML as a source for additional information about your files, and to support importing of playlists, but uses Roon’s folder-watching infrastructure to locate the actual files.

Does that mean when I upgraded to 1.3 and Roon rescanned my music, it actually reverted album paths to where they actually are, instead of relying on where iTunes XML is pointing where they are?

I’d like to drop the iTunes Library integration and start watching single folder (where I have been putting my music in) in Roon, but I don not want Roon to reimport every album it has already imported through the iTunes Library.

So I believe it boils down to 2 questions:

As a user of 1.3,

  1. If I drop iTunes integration, will the current albums that are already imported in Roon stay?
  2. Is there a way to disable the “force rescan” that kicks off anytime you add a new watched folder?
    2a. If this is not possible, is there way to make Roon skip the albums they already imported or import them but keep the changes I already made for them.

I know I might be asking a solution to a very corner case and the answer very well might be “kill the itunes integration, start from scratch with the watched folder” Things are sometimes like that in software (ex-developer/current consultant here!) but would be very happy if we can find a trick that would let me keep months of db tinkering and also stop dealing with iTunes everytime I want to add a album.

Thanks again for the attention in the midst of many other issues.


Yup, the new implementation is actually going to be pretty nice for you :slight_smile: You’re not looking to use iTunes at all any more right? No playlists, right?

If so, first I would recommend making a backup – once you remove the legacy iTunes stuff, there’s no way to get it back.

Then, I would recommend reading this article all the way to the end.

Basically, if you remove the iTunes storage from Roon completely, the files will all be marked as missing in your database, and all your edits should be in place once you add a normal watched folder and Roon matches up all the missing files. If that doesn’t work as expected, let me know.

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Now that is music to my ears, thanks @mike!

iTunes will be reduced to a glorified fugly podcast player until an Overcast mac app makes an appearance, and no, I don’t do playlists.

I have local and official (through the app) backups of the database, will be attempting this procedure over tonight and will let you know incase of any mishaps.

Thanks again for your help,


Might have spoken too early.

Confirm the audio extraction process has completed – Once in while (including when you first update to Roon 1.3) Roon will need to extract audio from your files for tracking. While your files are being analyzed, you can monitor this process by clicking the spinner in the top-right, next to Bookmarks and Search

@mike, does this also include the “Background Audio Analysis” that’s kicked off by 1.3 because of the volume levelling & crossfade stuff?

I may have to wait for that to finish for a while as:

Was in no rush anyway, can wait for this to finish first if it’s safer :slight_smile:

Quick update. To anyone that wants to get rid of iTunes, this worked brilliantly! Thanks a million for the help,@mike!