Using local file tag metadata

I have a question about user metadata versus Roon metadata.

On many jazz albums I carefully revise the file tags, particularly the “artist” tag, to include all musicians on given track or the entire album. For example the “album artist” tag would be “John Coltrane Quartet” and the “artist” tag would be “John Coltrane; McCoy Tyner; Paul Chambers; Elvin Jones”. However many times when I add the album to Roon and the album is “identified” by Roon, Roon only shows “John Coltrane” as the artist and does not list nor hyperlink the other musicians anywhere. Not under “credits” nor at the track level. This problem is particularly acute on many new releases (really doesn’t happen with John Coltrane, which I just used as an example).

Okay so my question is what happens to the extra metadata contained in the file tags and why doesn’t Roon use this very useful information? I already made the effort to carefully edit my file tags and I don’t really want to go Musicbrainz or any other online database and edit their information. Once is enough for me.

Hi Ralph,

  1. You have a few choices to force Roon to prefer (display) file metadata.
  2. Some metadata will not be displayed (used for searches/discovery only) and you can’t always choose which credits appear on album pages.

When viewing the entire album, look for the 3 dots ( … ) to the right of the large Play button. Alternatively each song file may be manipulated, however not without potentially unintended consequences.

Edit to prefer file as opposed to Roon metadata. There is a choice for Album Artist. That’ll fix the John Coltrane vs. John Coltrane Quintet issue.

Artist info is pulled from Roon’s database and I have not found a way to make it recognize the Artist tag at the track level. This is where you sometimes see “Also performed by” when it should say “Performed by,” under the song title for example. Good luck with that.

You can include or create a Primary Artist tag for each sideman. This isn’t the sort of tag that would be necessarily generated from other software. If you do however, their names will appear immediately under the Album Artist in Album page view.

For example my Beatles titles only show the name of the LP, and under that The Beatles. Links to each band member occur farther down, in credits or as “similar artists.” But if I wished to have each band member appear upfront with the album/artist info I could add them as Primary Artist.

Treat your jazz sidemen that way and it could work well for you. The Artist tag wasn’t really meant to be interpreted as a list of every performer, even if the same people occurred on each track.

The roon file tag best practice page is a good resource. It focuses on classical, but if you can tag a classical release on roon you can tag anything. One quick note about your artist tag example up top: you want to use Personnel not artist. Make sure to include ’ - ’ and the instrument or credit. It’s explained well here:

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