Tagging Roon using Yate

Roon 1.8 and Yate 6.4.12 on macOS 11.3.1.

In the six months that I’ve been using Roon I’ve been very impressed with the way it ‘finds’ and tags the 99% Classical (95% FLAC) files which I import into Roon - exactly as members of this forum told me I would!

Being a bit of a perfectionist, I’ve been corresponding with the extremely helpful and responsive developer of Yate in order to pre-tag as many of the fields in my downloads which are either missing and/or need editing.

He tells me that Roon has specific requirements for the following four tags/fields:

  1. Work
  2. Part
  3. Roon Album Tag
  4. Roon Track Tag

Especially the first two.

But I’m not sure what I should put in those fields in Yate. I’ve searched the online help and this forum; but am still confused.

This post, for instance, suggests that other fields in Yate will (allow Roon to?) map Yate’s ‘Work name’ and ‘Movement name’ onto the fields which Roon recognizes best. If I’m understanding that properly, does also populating (Yate’s) ‘Work’ and ‘Part’ achieve anything (extra)?

This one suggests that all I have to do is follow the ALLMusic conventions for Work and Part and Roon will… ‘obey’ :slight_smile: .

Anyone know and can spare five minutes to guide me, please?


I recommend that you follow roon’s own guidelines for metadata tagging. You will easily find them online.

Thanks, @BENOIT_MACHUEL… Yes, I have scoured the Roon guidelines and those other posts which I referenced.

What I need, please, is guidance specific to how I enter, edit and manage data within Yate.

In particular for those four fields:

  1. Work
  2. Part
  3. Roon Album Tag
  4. Roon Track Tag


Love Yate, and Barry is amazing. Always so quick to help.

Are you looking for where to find those fields in Yate? If there are no fields in any of the panels with those names, then you can find them on the Roon panel that you can select. Right click on any of the tabs like I have in the screenshot and a list will pop up with the name of every panel that you have. Look for the one called Roon and select it. It will replace whichever panel’s tab you right-clicked on originally. Not a big deal as you can always change it back. If you dont have this panel, and can’t find the fields anywhere else, let me know. You just have to download it from Yate’s resources page and import it into a panel. I’ll show you how if you need me to. Let me know what happens.

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@AnimalOnDrums - thanks so much for jumping in!

Love Yate too. And Barry!

I’m still getting to grips with Presets. For which (needless to say) Barry is being extremely helpful… as always :slight_smile: .

I am torn between what look like three courses of action:

  1. building a Roon preset of my own - almost from scratch and what I have learn from Barry
  2. downloading and importing (one of? Which: ‘Roon Mappings’ and/or ‘Synthesize Work and Part’) the Roon resources here, on the one hand
  3. and/or downloading one (both?) of those Presets, importing them, and then also trying to add/amend what I have been putting in #1, my own fields/tags so far manually.

After I’ve done the right thing there (:slight_smile: ) - thanks to your guidance - I am not sure (how) or whether to manually edit any of the resulting fields in my (new) Roon Preset for any given FLAC file… does Yate effectively do the work of duplicating Title into Work (?) etc?

Or is it likely that - despite what the label published as metadata with the music -Yate* will somehow have (pre-) populated the requisite tags/fields as a result of my having chosen the right Preset (1,2,3 above)?

I should say that the manual set of tags in my existing Yate setup does not seem to have caused any problems with Roon so far… the tagging which Roon achieves seems near perfect.

These are all going to basically get you to the same point. The best way would be to download the ‘Roon Mappings’, which will create the new fields and will give you a Roon panel where these new fields exist. This panel can be changed anytime. You can also put the new fields such as “Work” on any of the other panels. Every panel can be edited and changed around to how you like it. You dont need the “synthesize work and part” resource as you will already have these fields

Not automatically. There are numerous ways to do this in Yate, but you still have to hit a button to tell it what you want it to do.

No, Yate will not automatically just find the correct data and fill it in. However, Yate access the three top databases for metadata and you can use those to find your album and download the correct metadata, which will be filled in. You can also use one that will do all of this automatically by listening to your album, but you still have check that the metadata is correct and not for another version of an album or something.

Roon’s tagging is good, not perfect though, but good. The problem (for me at least) is that these tags from Roon dont get written onto any of your files. With Yate you can usually find a bit more precise data and it will be on your files regardless of what music playing software you use in the future.

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Thanks again, @AnimalOnDrums: that’s really helpful.

So it looks as though my best bet is my #3. The hybrid: download only Mappings. Then tweak it to make sure everything I want is there. OK. Great :slight_smile: .

Still confused about Work and Part though.

(How) will Yate accomplish what’s necessary for Roon’s ‘special’ requirements, please?

Or - given that ‘Work’ and ‘Part’ are in the Mappings preset, - do I populate those fields myself? If so with what?

Your help appreciated… I know I’m going to get there sooner than I thought now.

Ok good, sounds like you are getting it pretty quickly. He probably could have phrased it a bit better, but for “work” and “part” you can fill those in manually, or have them filled automatically when you use one of the databases to get metadata from. You can edit them however you want. They will change how Roon orders and numbers your tracks, which is the point. You are using “Work” to split up the album into different sections, and “Part” is splitting up the “Work” into multiple tracks. Here is an example from Roon’s knowledge base:
So for a classical album like this, you would not just want each track to be labeled by its position and name, like they show here.
WORK : Quartet in C Major, KV Anh. 171 (285b)
PART : I. Allegro

WORK     : Quartet in C Major, KV Anh. 171 (285b)
PART     : II. Andantino

You want the album labeled correctly so using the “Work” and “Path” tags tells Roon how to split up the album to get this:

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Thanks again, @AnimalOnDrums.

So it’s up to me to populate those (now-new-to-me since I’ll be using the Mappings preset from the Yate site) fields (‘Work’, ‘Part’) manually?

According to what I know about the way the files are entitled… Movement, Act, Scene etc?

Yes, you can set them manually. You can also use the “Section” tag as well and that will separate things even further. This is another example from Roon

    TRACKNUM : 1
    WORK     : Le nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro), opera, K. 492
    SECTION  : Act 1
    PART     :  Atto Primo: N. 1 Duettino: Cinque... dieci... venti... trenta

    TRACKNUM : 2
    WORK     :  Le nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro), opera, K. 492
    SECTION  : Act 1
    PART     : Atto Primo: Recitativo: Cosa stai misurando

I would experiment with one or two albums first. Running them through Yate and then importing them into Roon and seeing if you like how they are organized. Roon will organize the albums in its own way so you have to tell Roon to use your mappings in the library import settings, or you can do it in the album editor for individual albums.

I am sure there are people here that have much more experience with classical music, or operas or concerts than I do, but I know Yate so let me know if you have any other question

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Unfortunately Yate is Mac only, I use a mix of JRiver, MusiCHI Tagger and SongKong on Windows 10 .That said I have laboured long and hard to add Composition/Movement to my library in a Roon friendly manner.

I find the secret is to work on Tags in a “working folder” before dropping an album into the main (watched) library. Otherwise Roon will churn away at every typed change , literally.

I use and have used a different structure of Composition (Work) that Roon finds from AllMusic/MusicBrainz eg Sonata for Cello and Piano in Roon, I use Cello Sonata . This is historical as I had started the LONG process of adding Composition and Movement to my classical library before starting with Roon almost 5 years ago.

Fortunately Roon recognizes both Work and Part and Composition and Movement so it imports fine

The second tip is to avoid “splitting” box sets into individual albums unless you can be sure that those albums were actual releases. Often CD’s (previous vinyl releases for example) are padded with extra tracks that prevent them from being ID’ed. If not split then make the Album tag the Box Set name and Roon should ID it. This is deserving of a thesis in its own right !!

The ROONALBUMTAG is very useful when importing Box Sets as Roon will create a Roon Tag for the Box. This however is only useful if the Box is a collection of individual releases otherwise it creates a Tag with ONE entry

Roon guide lines are good but experience is better , seeing how a specific album reacts.

Tip 3 is to clean up if needs be if an album doesn’t work and you have to rework it , then move it to a working (Unwatched) folder ,mend it then goto Settings>library>Clean up Library and delete any stray records before reimporting . This forces a clean import. Not strictly necessary but I find it helps

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Thanks, @AnimalOnDrums. I do:

I have decided to use a Custom Panel which is based on the RoonMapping.plist.

To it I added various fields about whose use I understand completely; namely: Artwork; Composer; Period; Genre; Purchase Date; Seller; Label; Catalog Number; File Name; File Type; Path; Year; Size; Bit Rate; Bit Depth; Creation Date and Modification Date.

But I still don’t really see what I should do with the following eight fields. Most are empty on the test FLAC files which I am experimenting in (outside of Roon, of course!):

  1. Ensemble: I believe Roon prefers ‘Ensemble’ over one of the 'Artist’s fields? So should I duplicate/copy what is in ‘Artist’ or ‘Album Artist’ into Ensemble? If so, which? And do I just copy in Yate?
  2. Soloist: again, doesn’t Roon prefer ‘Solist’ over… ‘Artist’; although sometimes it’ll be an orchestra?
  3. Title: that’s not in the RoonMapping.plist at all; blank?
  4. Album: should this be the same as Title?
  5. Album Artist: not sure what I should put here
  6. Version: again, not sure what is needed for Roon here
  7. Roon Album Tag: unsure
  8. Roon Track Tag: unsure

Your previous post made the point that Roon will also do some (much?) of the tagging work and that I can choose to ‘help’ Roon by editing any of the values which it sets if I don’t like them.

But - in addition to making sure that my own (FLAC) files are as well tagged for the future as I can - really want to reduce the amount of work that I (might) need to do in Roon itself once imported

Thanks for your long and thoughtful answer, Mike!

I definitely always work on the ‘incoming’ FLAC files outside of Roon. I also make a copy first, zip it and copy to an external drive.

When you say:

…Fortunately Roon recognizes both Work and Part and Composition and Movement so it imports fine…

do you mean I can keep either tag names (‘Work’/‘Part’ and/or ‘Composition’/‘Movement’) in my tagging software interchangeably?

I remember you kindly explained here the wisdom of leaving box sets alone - when I first came to Roon; thanks. Yes. And I believe Roon has improved its handling of them in recent versions as well.

How should I use ‘Roon Album Tag’ outside of Roon itself - again in Yate, my tagging software?

Is it even worth populating that field if Roon is going to do so itself on import?

Thanks for that tip on forcing a clean import… it’s the kind of thing I like doing :slight_smile:

Hey @Mark_Sealey ,

[quote=“Mark_Sealey, post:12, topic:159049”]
But I still don’t really see what I should do with the following eight fields. Most are empty on the test FLAC files which I am experimenting in (outside of Roon, of course!):

  1. Ensemble: I believe Roon prefers ‘Ensemble’ over one of the 'Artist’s fields? So should I duplicate/copy what is in ‘Artist’ or ‘Album Artist’ into Ensemble? If so, which? And do I just copy in Yate?

For classical music, Roon does state to use Ensemble instead of Artist and to leave Artist blank. This is fine and you can do this if you want to. Other music programs may not recognize this though, so you can put the name of the Ensemble in the Artist field as well if you like and see how Roon handles this. If you dont care about other music programs, then I would just leave it blank like Roon suggests.

Soloist is whatever you want to put in it. If it is an orchestra, you can put the name of the orchestra in the Soloist field if that organizes things how you like in Roon. Roon does not have a tag for orchestra, it puts orchestra as part of the musician credits

Title is the name of the track for non-classical music. You can also leave this blank for classical music

Album is the title of the whole album. Roon’s example is a good one. “Mozart:The Flute Quartets” is what the whole collection of music is called. Hopefully the example explains this better.

This is where you would put the name/names of the people that created that specific album.

The version is what Roon uses to split up two identical albums. You can use it however you want really. You do not have to put something in it though. You can leave it black if you want.
Lets say you have the album called “Mozart: The Flute Quartetson” on vinyl and you had it ripped and converted to digital so you can use it in Roon. Later, you purchased that exact same album from a digital download store. To tell them apart you could have the version of the vinyl album set to “Vinyl” and the copy you downloaded set to “Download” or “Digital”. This tells Roon that they are not the same and to separate them. In Roon you will sometimes see “Versions” next to “Discography” when looking at the album overview. There is also a setting in Roon that you set to let Roon know that you have these tags. Roon usually looks in the Album Title for the different Versions, so you need to turn that option off as well. We can go over that next.

This is another optional tag that you can set to pretty much whatever you want. It will then create that tag in Roon and apply it to the album. It will show up next to the Genres, but be a different color bubble. If you create an album tag in Roon, it does not get written to your file, so this is a way to set the file, and the tag in Roon as the same thing. For example, I have tags for where the artist or band comes from. If I have an album and the artist was born in or lives in Australia, I add an album tag “Australia”. In Roon, I can go to the albums main window and select the album tag “Australia” and it only shows me albums with artists from Australia.

Same as album tag, but it applies to each track individually. I am pretty sure this only works for non-classical albums that have tracks instead of “Works” and “Parts”. For example, I could give each track that is over 5 minutes long a track tag called “Over 5 minutes”. In Roon I can then use it to show me only songs that are over 5 minutes long.

This is the example that Roon uses. Hopefully it helps explains things better.

Album Detail Screen – Headline Metadata

ALBUM               : Mozart: The Flute Quartets
ALBUMARTIST         : Gaede Trio
ALBUMARTIST         : Wolfgang Schulz
YEAR                : 2002
IMPORTDATE          : 2009-07-21
VERSION             : DVD Audio
GENRE               : Classical
GENRE               : Chamber Music
ENSEMBLE            : Gaede Trio
CONDUCTOR           : Some Guy In A Tag
COMPOSER            : Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

In yate, it does not matter which panel a field is on, it will get written to the file the same. The panels are just a feature in Yate to help you visually organize things. If you have the same field on two different panels, they will both get filled out with the exact same thing, but will only get written to the file once.
I am sorry if I did not explain things well. If you want you can give me the name of an album you want to tag and I can tell you what goes where. Do you listen exclusively to Classical and Opera music? Or do you have some rock, or jazz albums? I ask because they will be tagged a little differently.

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Thanks so much, @AnimalOnDrums!

That’s all extremely clear and well understood, I believe :slight_smile: .

I very much appreciate the time and trouble you have taken to move me forward a great deal like this.

Only two questions remain, if I may:

  1. what do I put in WorkID?
  2. assuming I do decide to duplicate some tags - ‘Artist’/‘Ensemble’, say - just for longer term compatibility, is there an easy way in Yate to copy the contents of what is, effectively, one column into another?

Yes, I listen pretty much to Classical. Certainly that’s all I’m ever likely to use in/with Roon.

Nevertheless, I have long, often-refined/updated and carefully annotated ‘instructions’ to myself for the future. These include links to threads like this one. If I ever do need to revisit for other genres which Roon treats differently, I shall know what to look out for and where to look.

Again, much appreciated!

Awesome! Good thinking about the notes too. I need to start doing that :grinning:

According to Roon, “WorkID is used to further differentiate two performances of the same multi-part work that are on the same CD or album. To prevent all the tracks with the same “Work” tag being bundled together under that work, you can use the “Work ID” tag to differentiate these performances.”

So the “Work ID” tag can be pretty much anything you want it to be, as long as it is the same for all of the tracks of the same performance. You can use something really simple such as a simple number, so one performance you could have the “WorkID” set to “1” and the other performance you could set to “2”, or you could use the different dates of each performance or the location of the performance if it was live. Roon gives the example of using the “WorkID” for one performance as “London Jan 1964” and the WorkID of the second performance as “Chicago Apr 1966”. So even if these two performances came on the same CD or digital download and share the same album name, or share the same album name and “Work”, you can use the “WorkID” to further group and separate each different performance.

In Yate there are a couple of ways to copy the contents of one field or column to another. The simplest way is to go to the “Edit” menu and select “Multi Field Editor”. A new window will pop up. On the left side of the bottom half there are options to choose from, so select “Copy”. In the top half of the Multi Field Editor is where you select the field that you want to copy to. The drop down menu on the bottom half is the field you want to copy from. Make sure to select “Copy Field” as show in the screen shot and then hit the Copy button. So in this screen shot I have it set up to copy whatever is in the Artist field to the Ensemble field. As you can see there are other options that can do things like find and replace words, strings of text or characters. They are pretty self explanatory.

Hopefully this answers those questions. As always, please let me know if you need help with anything or I need to explain something better.

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Yes Work/Part Composition/Movement or any combination Work/Movement etc works

The ROONALBUMTAG is really only useful if you import a set of Albums , it creates a Roon Tag of that name and puts the so named albums in it. Its good if you are importing say one of the Complete Original Jackets type sets where each album is a previous release but to be honest its almost as easy to manage manually. Add to that the Tag system is still a bit clumsy , deletion and re-use of the same Tag name is a known bug

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Just an aside on Box Set improvements in1.8 if you haven’t seen them

Focus has no improved no end so you can select a Composer then a Composition . If you don’t see Compositions , make sure the genre Classical is showing or if not add it , that triggers the Composition Listing for aselection

The other improvement is the Filter Funnel , eg if you know a BWV No,r Opus Number or Nickname (eg Moonlight) etc its a quick GOTO.

The only drawback is the amount of data in memory if the box set is BIG . I tested on Brendel = 114 CD’s but Mozart 255 - 200 CD’s is a bit too sluggish to be useful. Anything sorta normal 20-30 discs is a Whiz

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Thanks again, Mike!

Maybe I do need to keep RoonAlbumTag in just in case I do ever get - say - something like the recent complete Solti set.

But is that a value I have to put into Yate, my tagging software? Or will Roon do it for me?

Thanks for the ‘steer’ towards 1.8’s (which I have, of course) improved filtering: shall explore!

Thanks again, @AnimalOnDrums!

All clear now.

(May I suggest an excellent relatively new tool: Obsidian?

Forgive me if you already know about it - and the following it has, and is growing, in the Personal Knowledge Management world. I only became aware of it and the (IMHO justified) stir it’s causing a month or so ago,

Its great strength is that (like much good software) it shuns proprietary formats and simply groups together markdown text files (capable of most of what TextEdit (I use BBEdit, Scrivener and Pages for more complex and publication tasks; TextEdit seems to have acquired bugs (!) in Big Sur) does.

But Obsidian is geared towards lining your thinking and breaking things down into small chunks all of which can be formatted à la standard markdown - but linked to make a coherent overall ‘note’ where only individual (markdown) files in an Obsidian ‘Vault’.

It really does have a lot going for it, is free, robust and being ‘aggressively’ developed. Please say if you decide to take a look and would welcome guidance :slight_smile: )


I see. Yes, thanks!

Got it. In fact. ‘Work ID’ is what it says it is: a way to identify works so that they can be distinguished when they need to. And - by the looks of it, I shall only have to set it if I have a CD (or download) which duplicates the same work in such a way that I need to distinguish each version.

And does Roon import exactly what I tag (e.g. ‘London Jan 1964’ vs ‘Chicago Apr 1966’ ); or does it use merely the fact that I’ve differentiated to make up its own unique distinguishing tags?

I’m beginning to get a feeling that I have more freedom/latitude to use tags in the way I want - and at times there is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ - than I thought :slight_smile: .

Why am I not surprised!

What a wonderful piece of software. I knew it. Got it. Thanks! Your explanation is - as always - extremely helpful and clear, @AnimalOnDrums… very much appreciated!