Tags or Playlists

I’m a new user to Roon and enjoying it immensely. I’ve imported 1000s of tracks into Roon and am now attempting to manage them (perhaps it would have been wiser to import only a smaller number at a time). I originally started to approach things from a playlist viewpoint but perhaps I would be better off using tags. It’s quite a commitment to add my own tags to my albums/tracks etc so I wondered if there was anywhere to view and maybe edit Roon’s own metadata tags rather than create my own, possibly duplicate tags?

Hi Peter and welcome to Roon :slight_smile:

I had the same dilemma / question when I started using it about 3 years ago. I found that using Tags alone to organise large lists of tracks is not great in Roon. It is mainly due to the way Roon displays tracks when you Tag them:

If you end up having hundreds of tracks displayed as above, you might find the scrolling unpleasant as I did. To my knowledge, Roon does not allow you to change the way tracks are listed / displayed in Tags. Playlists are better as they display the tracks in list format so you need less scrolling to find / review tracks. Unfortunately they have a different problem from a usability point of view: No way to group playlists in folders (e.g. like spotify or iTunes) so if you end up creating many playlists, it becomes difficult to manage / handle them. Again (unfortunately) Roon does not offer a way to customise the way you manage these.

The only way I found that is a bit easier, is to Tag Playlists and then use Bookmarks on the Tags (Bookmarks essentially behave like a dynamic or smart playlist albeit in a much more convoluted way) . It kind of works but it means that you need to employ 3 different organisation layers (playlists, tags and then bookmarks) in order to manage library tracks. Apple’s smart playlists are a wonder in comaprison.

Roon’s own metadata can work a lot better (as you don’t have to do any of the above) but… if you have your own library of tracks then you may find that some or many are not udentified by Roon. In this case you have no way to enjoy the Roon metadata options and the only resort is to try and manage them using your own organisation scheme (as above).

As an example, I have a library of about 8700 tracks that I have purchased gradually over a period of 15 years. Most are FLAC, AIFF and even iTunes downloads. Roon identifies only about 50% of these so I have no way but to organise as above.

I have not attempted to edit Roon’s metadata so cannot add to this but I find that if Roon identifies tracks then it does a pretty good job at that and no extra work is required. This works really well if you use Tidal or Quobuz as part of your Roon experience.

Hope this helps a bit

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Many thanks, Yiannis. I haven’t explored Bookmarks yet. There are so many layers in getting to grips with Roon!
I can see that, once you have created some fairly top level, broad playlists it is fairly easy to select appropriate tracks within the playlist and tag them to create more specific second level playlists. For example, I have a Blues playlist and I can select tracks from that playlist that are Lousiana Blues and create a specific tag under that name. That helps keep my Playlists list reasonably manageable and I can of course play direct from my Tag view.
And I haven’t even got into Tidal yet!

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