TIDAL update - folders for playlists

So…TIDAL has just released version (April 21 2021) with support for folders for playlists.

Does Roon still maintain that organising your music into folders is not for Roon users for ideological reasons?

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I’m sure they do. Wait for the thread to be shut down.

Don’t you understand that folders are the devil’s work?..

Well, the devil I must be then…

I just really cannot comprehend why you wouldn’t give everyone the best of two worlds when the possibility is clearly there. Perhaps especially now with Spotify HiFi blazing just around the corner.

The new AI Valence for search purposes, fine, and folders for devils like me. Alas.

But then again, roon is not for organizing your music at all…


How do these TIDAL playlist folders work? I am not seeing it.

When you click the + icon you can chose between playlist or folder.

This is interesting. But I like Roon’s Tag feature much more than a hierarchical Folder feature.

The TIDAL “Folder” feature allow you to create a Folder which can contain multiple Playlists. Folders do not seem to have any other function, e.g. you cannot shuffle play a Folder, thereby shuffling across all its Playlists.

Although I think although this is an interesting feature, it is still limited by the hierarchical nature of folders, which is counter to the Roon’s multi-dimensional model. For example, a TIDAL Playlist can only exist in one Folder, not in multiple Folders. And Playlist Folders can only contain Playlists, not Artists, Albums or Tracks.

In Roon, you can use Tags and Playlists to accomplish something similar, but with much, much more flexibility. For example, I can create a Tag which contains multiple Playlists. And a single Playlist can be added to multiple Tags. I can also add Artists or Albums to these Tags. I can even add other Tags to a Tag, and a Tag can be added to multiple Tags. And then I can use the Tags in many ways: 1) as a way to browse through the Playlists that are contained in the Tags, drill into one Playlist and shuffle it, 2) to shuffle all the tracks across all the Playlists and other items in the Tag, 3) to use Focus/Filter to narrow down the individual tracks across all the Playlists within a Tag to only those I want to then shuffle.

Tags are much more flexible and useful that folders could ever be.

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I respectfully disagree, and I suspect it really depends on the genres you listen to the most and the use case for each (type of) user.

My main interest is classical music, and I typically have very little need for playlists, individual tracks and shuffle functionality. There are exceptions of course.

I agree that TIDALs folder system is incomplete (yet), but it’s a start in high res streaming I suppose. Spotify is lightyears ahead in this regard and allows you to create folders with subfolders to subfolders and so on, which is very useful.

A hierarchy for me that would be immediately logical and transparent could look something like this:

Classical Music [folder] → Bach J S [Subfolder] → Keyboard Music [Subfolder level 2] → Glenn Gould [Subfolder level 3]

For genres with a lot of different recordings of the same pieces, folders can be extremely helpful, but as you indicate, not really if the only possibility is to organise playlists.

Just to add that the flexibility of tags is only flexible within Roon (in my case desktop usage) whereas folders can potentially be flexible on the go across multiple devices.

Great point that Tags, as well as anything else Roon-specific including all the metadata, is only available while using Roon. For me, that is not a problem at home, but I wish I could talk it all with me in the car, at the gym, while traveling, etc. But most of the time outside of the house I am not doing seriously listening, just shuffling random playlists and artists in iTunes or TIDAL.

Interesting, I don’t know anything about Classical, I listen to Rock and Jazz, so playlists and shuffling are how I do a lot listening. My library is mostly local, not TIDAL, and I also have a lot of live recordings from multiple sources that I want to organize in multiple ways.

For example, for an artist like Bruce Springsteen, I want to organize him by his main studio albums, live releases from Nugs, live bootlegs, and playlists of specific tracks based on the era or different styles. I also want all of his Nugs releases grouped with all the other live Nugs releases from other artists. And I want some of his playlists to be grouped with similar playlists from other Artists. I also want some of his studio albums to be grouped with similar albums from artists within the same period, e.g. Classic Rock 1970’s. You can do all that with Tags, but not with Folders.

So the Tag functionality allows me to mix and match in many directions rather than just a strict hierarchy.

But as you say, that’s all fine within Roon, but you lose it when you go on the road. Or if Roon dies someday…

Thanks - That makes a lot of sense. But then I suppose you would have multiple tags for Springsteen to cover all the variables?

If actually sounds somewhat similar to some of my organizing “issues”. With 2000+ Beethoven recordings, for instance, I would need not only the “subgenre” (symphonies, string quartets, piano sonatas, etc.), but also the performer (soloist, orchestra, etc), and perhaps the sound engineer and year of recording, as several artists have recorded the same works multiple times. I have yet to see how tags can help me here, as 100 tags labeled “Beethoven strings”, “Beethoven symphonies” is not really helpful - especially with multiple variations needed under each one.

I use Tags heavily, but it’s not a substitute for folders. At least not until one can combine multiple Tags with flexible logic (and/or). That existed for 5 minutes between 1.8 builds.

I agree Tags and Folders both serve a purpose. Without Folders, the all playlist view is just a long list with limited sorting abilities.

Folders allow you to see things in context of one an another by expanding/collapsing multiple folders at once.

Tags allow you to slice and dice (filter) the list in more flexible ways. Now you can simulate the contextual view with Tags (Gmail’s nested Labels) and I believe Roon already allows it (Tag belongs to a Tag).

A visualization of that feature and ability to see multiple Tags at once would be a good substitute for folders

We have a Client who has few hundred playlists on Tidal. Thankfully Tidal have now just added folders for playlists (Spotify had it for ages). Is there going to be an update to allow these folders to be accessed from Roon ? It really is needed. Tags are mentioned, but I cannot see how they solve this problem. Analogy - you may have a large record collection, on many shelves, but nothing is easier than browsing for a choice on a single shelf that you have loaded yourself.

My original point was that Tidal have already implemented these folders. It is a simple way to organise hundreds of playlists. They see the benefit of this to their users. All I want Roon to do is to allow this through, so that in the playlists picked up from Tidal, there is the same heirachy of sorting. This is not reinventing anything, just not blocking a useful feature from Tidal.
WHY ? you may ask. Well, Roon is neither portable or universal. Many people prefer to only sort their music only once, at source in Tidal, and then use it everywhere that includes when mobile and a long way from Roon. Do you need to be plain awkward and deny this choice ?