I have suggested a more liberal approach to which artist should show as the “owner” of an album. In today’s world, there is a single artist, but that is limiting. In principle, I would like to see all “important” artists in the artist list and even in the album list, so that an album would end up in multiple places. But in practice, it is not easy to figure out which artists to include – we can’t got crazy, don’t want 10,000 artists.
But I have found two cases where the system just misbehaves right now, because of the way the metadata is set up.
I have a number of albums by Norma WInstone, and on some of them she performs with Klaus Gesing and Glauco Venier. All the albums are listed under Norma, except one which is listed as "Norma Winstone / Klaus Gesing / Glauco Venier. Roon parses that string and recognizes the three artists so I can click on them, but it chooses Norma as the owner. But the results are random: when I look at this triple-owner album, the other albums by Norma show up under “By This Artist” but there is no Appearances list because the system doesn’t have any other album that is listed by those three artists. Ok, this is logical but annoying. But if I look at the other albums by Norma, this triple-owner album doesn’t show up. And there are two other albums that in fact have those three artists but are not listed that way, listed under Norma only, and the system doesn’t recognize that it is the same group. And what’s the reason this album doesn’t show up under Klaus and Glauco? Random. The only because I can make sense of this is because I know the structure well. I.e. the metadata database is in my head. This is not a rare case, I have lots of albums with multiple artists listed like that.
Another example: I have lots of albums by Miles Davis, but some by the Miles Davis Quintet. The Quintet albums do not consistently show the Miles albums under “By This Artist” or Appearances. It actually show a few albums that are listed under “Miles Davis” but have titles like “Relaxin’ with the Miles Davis Quintet”. It’s random stuff, hard to unravel. And I think it’s because of the insistence on choosing one owner. With a looser attitude, things would make more sense.
Of course, if I navigate through Credits, I can find everything. But that is an explicit action, I don’t do that every time I look at an album.
So this confusion about the owner undermines “serendipitous discovery” and brings us back to navigation based on my having the database in my head. Which is what everybody else does and Roon aims to solve.
So maybe these two specific bugs will encourage a rethink on this ownership issue.