Tracks with NO composition

I have already asked for @support about this problem, and i know that it has already (in a way) been asked. but i have found no answer in the forum, so … i try to ask again.

it happens (actually, in great part of my library) that some albums have tracks that are not associated to any composition.
example (identified album):

as you see, track 8 has no “go to composition” button. it’s not the only one of the album, some have composition, some do not.

and if you go to the compositions list:

here, there is a composition “llorona”, but it’s not associated to the previous track, in fact:

… so no performances from previous album.

clearly, here a “llorona” composition exists: i would like at least to merge it to all corresponding tracks (i have more than previous track 8). but this is impossible, you cannot merge a composition with a non-existing composition.
and you cannot manually associate the track to an existing composition.
even more “funny”, if i un-identify the album, i get:

surprise! now track 8 is associated to the (correct) composition. moral: if you want to get some roon “magic”… you have to forget roon metadata, a paradox.

even worse, there are cases of tracks with no associated composition AND no corresponding composition in the library (id est, no performance associated in any way to a composition).

this bad behavior i have to say is restricted to non-classical music. as far as i can see, classical music is well behaving with respect to composition association (if files are well tagged)

anyway: this is not an isolated album. this is the RULE in all my library. and i’m sure this is the same for all users (well, i don’t know about tidal users… i am not one, maybe tidal helps).

i’d just like to know from the @staff if this problem is actually there (and not a strange unexpected misbehavior in my library) and if there is any chance that this BUG will be solved.


Hi @Niccolo_Terzi,

Hopefully roon will investigate. I also experience exactly the symptoms you describe with non-Classical. So I don’t think the issues are confined to your library. The only thing is that I get at least some of the symptoms with Classical as well. I think the link is the way roon handles single-part works (which just tend to be more common with rock/pop).

Assuming you have all the correct composer credits and you are using allmusic/rovi canonical names for the compositions the following trick works for me. I often copy these single part works (pop/rock/jazz/classical) from TITLE into WORK. I find this often triggers a composition ID which I can then merge etc. I have absolutely no idea why this would work. I don’t copy anything into PART.

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i’ve tried that, but in general it doesn’t work. it works sometimes for classical.

Hey @Niccolo_Terzi — Thanks for sharing your report!

For the example that you shared above, we were hoping you’d be able to share the album with us so we can do some further investigation. Ideally, you can zip up the entire folder and send me private message containing a shared dropbox link. If you don’t have Dropbox or need another way to send the media, just let me know.


@dylan, yes i can share the album.

my point, though, is that it’s not an album problem. it’s wherever in my library (i don’t know, i think i could hardly find more than 10% of albums with ALL tracks associated with a composition, but maybe i’m in a pessimistic mood…)
and as far as i learn from other users, it’s not only my problem.

so, i ask again to the @support a solution for this topic. i summarize the problem:
-many albums (identified) with tracks without a corresponding composition
-this happens even when the track file has a COMPOSER TAG.

as far as i have discovered in the forum, this is not a normal behavior: every track has an associated composition, that can be a rovi metadata composition, or a local library composition if it’s missing in rovi.
see for example:

i don’t know if the problem can be caused by some library settings, or what else.
i think i have already asked a support for this… i’d like an answer.

Me too. This problem goes back at least 18 months…



I have read these threads carefully and I am very puzzled. My roon does not behave in the way others describe. The criteria for getting a composition link is:

  • There is more than one Performance of the Composition.
  • We have some rich metadata about the Composition (typically a classical composition or a very well known popular composition; e.g. Eleanor Rigby).

This is not what I experience. When I tag a composer, I always get a composition link. In all the examples below there is one performance and no metadata:

“Fido the Dog” is obviously a fictitious composer. As you would expect there is one performance and no metadata. It doesn’t matter whether I tag the composers directly into my files using mp3tag or within roon using the track editor.It doesn’t matter whether I use a different fictitious composer like “Felix the Cat” or a proper composer like “Don Gallardo”

I think what you see is right (as in: as designed). If there’s a composer (or a :dog:) assigned to a track a composition entry will always be present. So “Go To Composition” will be shown in the menu.

But only if the composition has some metadata you will also see the composition icon.

Now the form entry for Fido probably should be automatically set to yowls. But that would be a feature request. :upside_down_face:

Yes, I understand. I often add “period” for example with classical compositions just to get the icon. But that wasn’t really the point of the post and I didn’t want to reduce the example to a classical case.

The point is, why are others in the thread not seeing the same behavior? By the sounds of things your roon behaves like mine. But for others apparently this is not the case. The main practical consequence is that several posters here cannot get a link of some sort to the composition screen (when they add a composer) and that means they cannot merge “orphan” compositions with something that does have metadata.

I am not consciously aware of having for example set some library switch that would explain the differences in observed behavior. I assume that is the most likely explanation or some other configuration detail I am unaware of. I have yet to come across a counter-example where adding a composer did not give me a composition link, but there is always a possibility I suppose. Has anyone got an explanation? For me, a large part of the point of roon is linking my library at a composition level so I would be equally as frustrated as the other posters if I could not.

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I believe there’s no general problem here (*) - even so it feels to me that there are bugs or gaps in the matching algorithms. To get this sorted out it looks to me that it has to get looked at case by case. So many things which may cause trouble. Like Niccolòs problem at the beginning of this thread … there seems to be some kind of metadata mismatching going on. Well - but caused by what? Import settings (three settings available for composers, two settings for composition/part grouping)? Could be necessary to know this. Wrong metadata in the cloud or some other data point making it impossible for Roon to follow programmed rules (I’d suppose Roon would prefer to show Traditional instead of Trad. - just a guess)? Maybe in this particular case Roon has two possible compositions it could show for the single track and instead of deciding for one it resorts to show nothing instead?

Examining this takes a lot of time - and if not done with an identical data set reproducability is for sure an issue. And: will the investment into this kind of analysis lead to measurable improvements? :thinking:

(*) Except maybe that the precision Roon is able to deliver if left entirely to its own devices – always set to “Prefer Roon…”, no tags added to “help” – is not enough to satisfy a collector’s need. On the other hand side “enriching” metadata locally and taking care of one’s collection by merging stuff and so on has a high potential to miss out on future metadata improvements because local changes may block updates. How to proceed?

One’s more or less often left with the feeling that Roon misses out on delivering the rich metadata experience it promised. This has been discussed in depth on this forum; will things change in this regard? Is individual metadata correction - either by Roon or by end users - the way forward? Or more “adventurous” code for guessing connections between data? I’ve no idea. :roll_eyes:

Just to add a little bit of meat to the discussion. I just tried @Niccolo_Terzi’s specific example of composer “Trad.” at the top of the thread. Once again I got a composition link as expected.

But I also got a “hit” in the composition screen:

I like Nicola have a lot of traditional music, both celtic folk and also a lot of early sacred gregorian chant. I also like to bundle my instances under the various “traditional” composer tags roon provides. It really helps to focus my experience of radio which otherwise can seem quite random. So I really get why this is important to Nicola. It is important to me also, I just seem to have had an easier time of it.

This is a specific example where we are both getting very different results. Surely this is not something random and there is some general underlying explanation? I would really like to know.

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I’m afraid you don’t. It’s what I meant with:

From Niccolòs screenshots above I assume the album where that composition was unlinked is an identified one. Since the composer Trad. is shown, I also assume Niccolò did set the metadata preference for composer to either file or merge. It could be – remember: this is just some speculation – that this leads to a problem: Roon may know of a composition here with a composer Traditional but comes across a track where the composer is set to Trad. so something doesn’t fit. No composition shown as a consequence.

(It could also be that Niccolò changed the composer entry for “Traditional” to “Trad.” which would need a different string of guess …)

To reconstruct what happened you’d need to take more or even better all variables into account - some of which we do not even know (yet).

Can you please try this…
Find an identified album that has some tracks with a composer.
On a track without a composer, add one.

What do you see?

(Dusty in Memphis will suit)


PS if you can make it work, I will be eternally grateful

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Hi Brian,

I will try that but I have already been experimenting so I have reconfigured my roon and will have to put it back together again first.

I can reproduce at least partially Nicola’s “Trad.” example. Behavior seems to be dependent on at least 2 things (there might be others). Normally I have import set to “merge roon and file” composer credits. I also very rarely use roon editing features and extensively tag files before attempting to import them. I have this habit because I have a large Classical library and I just find that easier and quicker than trying to second guess the minimum edits that roon needs.

I have just set composer credits to “prefer roon” and reimported the same album as above. Now Nicola’s “Trad.” example fails and I can reproduce some of what he sees. I still get a composition link but now “Trad.” does not come up in the composition screen.

I don’t know if anyone experimented with these library settings and/or editing within and external to roon. I’ll try your example and also a library setting of “prefer file”.

:sweat_smile: You knew it doesn’t work.

If an album and its tracks are identified and Roon doesn’t have a composer for one of the tracks adding a composer to this track will not “create” a composition entry. The Roon metadata result will prevail. Since we can only unidentify whole albums but not single tracks there’s nothing to do for the mere user here.

You knew and I knew… But I was hoping @Tony_Casey knew more than us.

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I do know now … that’s a little different. Was hoping for eternal praise but as it turned out I’ve to wait for this. :wink:

thanks guys for your work.
i add some infos:
-in my import settings, i do too have set to “merge roon and file” for everything (if possible, like composer)

in general, if in a identified album with NO composers/composition (or only some of them) i add a composer tag, I DO get a composition link and a composer link. like in @Tony_Casey example. but this is only in general, while there are A LOT (say… 10%) of albums where adding the composer tag is “useless”.
more precisely, it does not create the composition link. and it creates a composer link, but the link is not working.

let’s ho back to the first example of the thread. if i remove the composer tags the situation is this:

so some tracks have a composition, some don’t (like track 8).
if i add “fido the dog” as a composer:

there’s no new composition created.
besides, the link “fido the dog” is present, but inactive.
the reason for this is that roon has “track composers” (displayed under the track) and “composition composers” (displayed in composition screen), and they can be different.
in this case, no composition is created, and so no “composition composer” “fido” is created. so the link “fido” cannot link to anything…

i could finally add “fido” as a composer in another album, and in that case (general case) a composition and composer fido are created. in that case, the link “fido” would work, but it would not point to previous track 8.
this is what i have experienced and understood.

as far as i understand, @BrianW see the same behavior. and it seems that changing the import settings could be related.
@Tony_Casey, could you please post a screenshot of your import settings?

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I have tried a lot of combinations. Too many to post but unfortunately I can only confirm your experience. In your particular scenario I cannot get a working composition link so my library settings are not having an effect.