"Start radio" from a multi-part work behaves unexpectedly

There are many problems with radio so I don’t use it as much as I would like. I have been experimenting with it again recently and I am seeing a behavior I do not remember in prior releases.

I see three scenarios

  1. When I “start radio” from a single part work roon plays that track and then follows with a radio queue. As expected.
  2. When I “start radio” from the first track of a multi-part work, roon plays that track and then follows with a radio queue. As expected.
  3. When I “start radio” from any other track (than the first) in a multi-part work, roon jumps straight to the radio queue and does not play the track I selected first. This is not expected.

Scenario 3) is quite startling and it took me a while to figure out what was going on. For example I might choose to seed with a slow quiet part (track) to create a mood and instead the queue can start with exactly the opposite, a fast loud work that I had not selected. Quite startling.

I think this is something that should be addressed. Is anyone else seeing this behavior?

The few times I used Radio trying to simulate my own Chamber Music station I had the impression Radio always played the entire work = treats all parts of a multi-part as to be played back before going to the next Radio queue item. So insisting on this “work model” would explain why the algorithm doesn’t like to go for some part in the middle of a work but jumps to the next thing it considers to be a “complete” playback item.

It might be a good idea to have an option for how Radio handles multi-part works.

Update: switching that multi-part-keeping-together-thing off could lead to undesirable effects when it comes across gapless parts of a multi-part work.

I would personally like to switch off multi-part handling for radio. If I have an hour or even two to listen to the radio I am expecting variety. It doesn’t make any sense to me that I will end up listening to a single 3 hour opera just because I decided to seed with an aria. If I want to listen to the entire opera I don’t need radio for that. Real old school radio stations don’t work like that either. It is common to mix it up with single movements, arias, overtures etc.

Hey @tripleCrotchet,

I’m going to pass your report along to the technical team so they can take a closer look at the behavior here. Once I receive feedback from the team I’ll be sure to update you here.

We appreciate the report!


Double dittos on this “non-feature”, @tripleCrotchet . Not all compositions are intended to be played in their entirety, but that is the assumption Roon has made in their programming. Many “compositions” are in fact mere collections with a common creation time. They are titled “Preludes”, “Etudes”, “Pieces”, and so on.

But at least the program is behaving the way Roon intended! :slight_smile:

Yes. There are so many examples where composers never intended stand alone “miniatures” to be played as parts of larger works which were just the invention of the publishing houses.

Maybe there are specialist radio stations that queue entire works. It’s certainly what I expect on a live broadcast from the proms on the BBC for example. But most of the time for casual radio listening I would much rather listen to a queue of parts. The current situation just seems to me to be an unanticipated side effect of the logic needed to maintain multi-part hierarchies in other listening scenarios.

By their own admission, Roon employees are not classical junkies (although I know some do listen), so it is natural that they would program the world the way they envision and experience it.

Roon has a love affair with elegant solutions: features that have high value, low investment, and immediate payback. (And don’t we all?) Too bad that classical music, with its plethora of exceptions and a small listener base, makes finding elegant solutions difficult.

But that’s the “row they decided to hoe.” Many glitches in the classical music arena remain, and Roon is fooling itself with talk about software behaving “as expected.”

I actually have radio on at the moment and it’s just queued up the second movement of the Dvorak’s "New World (the Hovis commercial for those of you of a certain age). But the reason it has not queued up the entire symphony is because it found the 2nd movement stand-alone on a Naxos, Best of Dvorak.

I don’t know why roon doesn’t take a queue from these lighter Best Of compilations where a programme of disconnected parts like this is the norm. It is also the norm on most but the most hair-shirt Classical radio stations.

But peeking ahead roon has decided to queue up the entire Beethoven Missa solemnis (all 1 hr, 20 mins of it). That is not what I am in the mood for as I have been listening to the Missa solemnis 24/7 for about a week now. So radio is going to get switched off after the Dvorak. I do notice though, that it is the Lubomir Matl & Czech Philharmonic version ( a nice Missa solemnis by the way). I wounder if roon figured that link out or if it is just a coincidence?

We will never know for sure :slight_smile:

Hey @tripleCrotchet,

I had a chat with the team about their investigation into your report, and I wanted to reach out with an update.

We have successfully reproduced this behavior in house and have submitted a ticket to the development team. When you start radio from the middle of a multi-part work, the rest of the work should play to completion before moving on to the next track. I can’t provide any specific timeframes as to when this will change, but I’ll be sure to keep you updated here.

Regarding your request for only single parts of a multi-part work to play during radio, that is something that is not possible at this time in Roon. Since this is “working as designed” I would recommend also posting your suggestion in the 'feature request" section of the site.

Our product team and developers keep a close eye on that category, so that’s definitely the best place to propose a change like this and get feedback from the Community.

Thanks again for the report, Tony! We really appreciate the feedback.

@tripleCrotchet … that “feature request” may fit well to what’s been asked for here:

Yes. It is similar but for shuffle. I also see the value of having the option to shuffle by part or work depending on your “mood”. I have raised a feature request directly related to radio myself a long time a go but I cannot find it.