Unidentified albums - really treated differently?

@jamie wrote this statement in another thread:

If Roon has been told to use Roon metadata, by default, (in Settings>Library> import settings) and the album is unidentified then it’s more or less invisible.

This is truly confusing and not true in my humble opinion. I am actually glad that Roon does not treat unidentified albums differently - it would be a disaster otherwise - at least with my collection. The biggest point of having a local library is that one has many less mainstream or long deleted or from small labels etc in there - something streaming services do not provide.
Roon Identification can be wonderful, but often does not find even pretty well known albums in it’s database. Sometimes identified info is not correct etc.
I guess in popular music - the identification process is better, but with classical music it is pretty much hit and miss. I personally have 1739 albums that are “unidentified”. Being an avid collector, I made sure these albums have very good tags and the credit section in Roon looks just as good as the “identified” albums.
These albums (in my case) are found just as well or badly via Roon search. Via Albums Focus all content can be found. From my personal experience I can clearly state that I have found just as many unidentified albums via search, as I have not found identified albums.

If the statement was correct it would mean that nearly 2000 albums in my collection, would not be found by Roon, this happily is not true. Maybe there is a difference in the way Roon indexes these albums or something like that. But it would be horrible if unidentified albums were treated as undesirables - especially since the online metadata sources are definitely not complete.

I just wonder, is this only my experience or are there others with loads of unidentified albums that are also being treated as equals in Roon?

Just one example:

here it is as a Roon search result:

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Agreed, I have never had an issue finding unidentified albums. About one fifth of my collection would be invisible if that were the case. I have quite a few compilation albums I have put together myself and given an appropriate Album title and ‘Various Artists’ metadata. Roon finds them just fine.

There is only one ‘near invisibility’ issue that springs to mind. If you have an album that is unidentified by a particular artist (for whatever reason) it will not appear in the artist Discography (which has all their Identified albums). Because of this I have some artists double entered in the Artists view, one avatar leads to the identified albums, the other to the Unidentified one.

So for some Roon features, albums my be ‘invisible’ but they are not completely so.

EDIT: Thinking about it, Roon’s biggest cause of ‘invisibility’ is its lack of an exact album title match when doing a search. Similarly, a search can be thrown off course through omitting a colon or a space in the album title. Understood that search is improving with every release, so we’ll see.

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To solve that specific problem of multiple versions of the same person, I believe you can “merge artists” by selecting the two in the Artists screen and clicking on the merge button. There are a few threads on this, here’s one I found. It is in the “riskier” moves, because I think you don’t get the superset of information and one has to be the “parent” so all the Artist metadata flows through. It’s undoable, so I don’t mean “risky” in that you can permanently lose data, but rather that if you get it backwards things can look really bad. I think this is one of those under-advertised features because it requires some care. I’ve only done it a couple of times and found it fiddly but worth it. Now that I’ve finished with it, I’ve completely forgotten about how to do it.


I have a quite a few unidentified albums and search finds them so this is not true at all.


Hey @Squeezemenicely, @Anthony_B, @Johnny_Ooooops, @CrystalGipsy

Thank you for launching this thread and following up with your questions. The quickest, easiest way to clear this up is to say “oops, turns out I had it wrong here” :confounded: For that I apologize.

You gents are more on the right track. Roon responds in a number of ways when an album can’t be identified and I was incorrect in a key area. When an album is unidentified in Roon it will automatically defer to file tags. My misunderstanding of that resulted in my incorrect statement above.

This is where the quality of the file tag metadata becomes most important in facilitating the discovery of the album. If the embedded metadata is poor, the album’s discoverability will be negatively impacted. Please forgive my ignorance and thank you again for following up and giving me a chance to clarify and ask questions that improved my understanding.


Great! To err is human. :blush: Even happens to me :innocent:

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Thank you, Dom. I appreciate your courtesy and generosity!

We all make mistakes and I have posted a few on here in my time. Water and bridge is in mind.

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Yes, they are but not in the ways you are suggesting, nor Jamie responded.

If an album is unidentified, I think that means Roon will basically ignore it for all Valence activities as Roon knows nothing about the album. It uses the file’s meta-data only, you don’t get reviews, picks, etc.

I"m not sure how much this plays into Daily Mixes, Album Suggestions, etc; but, I assume it probably does.

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I have about 100 unidentified albums. My experience pretty much the same as yours. :+1:

Yes, exact title match can be an issue. I hope this improves as Roon works to improve search performance.

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And this seems to work fine when it comes to Roon Radio (a Valence related activity). Just did a test playing the last track from a local unidentified custom compilation album of mine. Armed with file tags of song title and performer, Roon Radio picked something similar from Tidal and carried on just fine.

But to get back on topic, if Roon cannot find your local music via Search, the rest of it is irrelevant to me. The shear frustration of being unable to find something you know is in your local collection is thankfully slowly becoming less of an issue for me, but then again I’m not into classical music, which seems particularly painful for users.

Me too - but I don’t think about it as painful (to listen too). There are other styles (some Metal, some Jazz, some Traditional) that I would put that label on. :rofl:

Just kidding, couldn’t resist.


Is there a way to select all the albums which are categoriezed as “unidentified”. I am permanently checking the files and correct the tags if neccesary. It would be a nice feature to select the unidentified albums and get the chance to correct them all.

Use focus on the album screen and select Identified, then click it again to reverse to get Unidentified.

(Edited to correct phone mistyping)


There is nothing to select „unidentifief“.

Select identified as the focus then click on the + to invert and it shows the opposite in this case unidentified. Most filters have this option to search for it or not it.

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Imove to „Album“ „Focus“ and it looks completele different. I will make a hardcopy tomorrow on my windows box. This is an ipad and not a real device.

It’s works the same on any device the layout is just different on mobile phones as it’s portrait not landscape

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Once you select “Focus”, you may need to swipe left to see the focus column named “Inspector”. In the “Inspector” column you should see an option for “Identified”.

(On iPad 7th gen, landscape orientation)

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