Sort by Artist (Last Name) does not do what I want

Core Machine (Operating system/System info/Roon build number)

Intel NUC 10 i7 / Ubuntu / Roon 1.7 (610)

Description Of Issue

I try to re-tag my classical albums so I can see them in Roon the way I want. Which is pretty simple:
Album View --> Sort by Artist (the album_artist tag has the composer). I configured Roon to sort by artist’s last name.

I imported several albums by Bach (J.S.) and Bach (C.P.E.) and get the following result:

As you can see, CPE and JS Bach are not in any order. What am I doing wrong here?

Before someone suggests the composer/compositions views: I like to think in “albums” rather than compositions.

Your import setting for Album Artist seems to be preferring Roon instead of your own metadata.

I.e. that when Roon recognizes the Album Artist (Composer in your case) , it will use its own Composer Name convention.

So: Johann Sebastian Bacjh iso Bach (J.S.)


My import settings are almost all set to „prefer file“

I found out that the first two albums are unidentified. Is this the reason they are not sorted correctly?

For the first two albums, the album artist text field is recognised as containing a primary artist of that album. Thus it is sorted according to that artist’s last name - with Bach, CPE before Bach, JS.

Ok so far.

Now for the rest of the albums, the album artist field has not been recognised as containing a primary artist (see this post for a possible reason why) and so the field is taken purely as a text field and is sorted by first letters - “ca…” then “jo…”, and so these come after the “ba…” of the first two.

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Try Identifying them and see.

Unfortunately I cannot find any matching albums in roon.

I think @BrianW 's explanation is exactly the problem here.

I’m now deciding what to do. I think I will return to my old apporach to tag the album names like “Bach: Johannespassion” or “Bach, CPE: Hamburger Sinfonien” and let roon order my “Classical” bookmark by Album Title.

That’s exactly what I do. Works ok for most composers. You can then bookmark and use the composition view for more accurate results. But for some reason, sorted by album title in roon is actually sorted by album title and primary artist. So with Bach which is a common component of Classical baroque ensemble names it sort of breaks down:

There are other problems as well.

So for example, if I focus on Classical (and minus Soundtracks so any of my “Original Scores” don’t show up) and then filter on Bach I get this.

So this includes “Bach Collegium Japan” who might actually not be performing Bach but maybe Monteverdi or other.

Also if I filter on J.S. Bach or C.P.E Bach then roon for some reason will return no results at all.

This filter also of course excludes albums which have a lot of Bach but no Bach in the album title. But I find most of the time that is ok as I prefer the visual clues of the album covers to orient myself on a specific composer search.

PS. I have moved all the composers out of the album artist field into the composer field as roon doesn’t really work that way. It would however be nice if roon could provide more automation for that as it is still the case that many public databases do work that way and when ripping etc. it is a common manual editing step in roon to have to move the composer.

I think that’s going to be a tall order - how is Roon going to know when a composer is acting in the role of a performer (i.e. an artist)?

That’s why we have AI. Time start doing it unless its all just marketing?

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AI is not the panacea for all ills - even though it is often marketed as though it is. :slightly_smiling_face:

You’ve taken the words right out of my mouth.

@Tony_Casey: As I use “prefer file” for almost all fields, I can control it relatively good. I just tried to use “prefer roon” for the album title and it does most things right but not for my 100 CD “deutsche harmonia mundi” box. 55 of them get the “100 Masterpieces…” title and the others are treated as normal albums. Lot’s of tinkering to do… and I have to admit that I even enjoy this (most of the time).

Any large box-sets I have that I couldn’t break down into individual albums I never play from the album view anymore as I find it impossible to make sense of them. But the individual compositions do show up in the composition view if you make the tagging effort so that is how I access them.

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