Using Roon with non commercial music and streaming

I am new here. I’ve been thinking of getting a totaldac with server which I guess is now a Roon ready device. Besides commercial CDs played physically in a CD player, I have a very large collection of noncommercial music recordings in the form of flac files in folders or in some cases AIFF files. Some have meta tags but most do not. I have a wired/wireless LAN network in my house with several apple computers connected and a large RAID drive holding most of the music along with other drives in and connected to the computers. The various screenshots I see of Roon show icons of the album art in windows or fields. I play my flacs using the simple free flac player COG and navigate to noncommercial folders and files via the traditional drop down menu file > open method. I go to the drive and open its directory and select from the lists of folders which then load into COGs playlist window. So I’m seeing listed folder names and file names inside those drive directories. Usually the folder has a text file of the songs and other info. Can I do this or something like it with Roon? I’ve been told Roon sees music folders and files by the meta tags. Does that mean that untagged flac or AIFF files aren’t seen by Roon. Is there an option to simply load folders selected from directories?

On the same network, I use web browsers to visit websites to stream from, like radio stations, how do I do that with Roon?

Roon will see your music, tagged or not, however, as it’s not going to recognize untagged non-commercial music you’re likely to be presented with a bunch of ‘unknown’ albums, best case scenario one album per folder.

Roon doesn’t cater for directory browsing and without metadata I expect the experience will be poor…its intended to provide high fidelity playback in a metadata rich environment.

I’d find a way to get the info in the text files into the file metadata. Puddletag can import tags from text file, but it’s dependent on the file layout and a manual one album at a time process.

Re radio you can add presets for stations you’d like to stream.

Ok, I was afraid of that. Unfortunately it would be a major time consuming undertaking to meta tag the thousands of untagged flac files I have. It sounds like it recognizes the audio file type as being a music one but has no ability to display the folder or file name if it isn’t embedded as metadata. I certainly understand utilizing the metadata to provide a rich visual experience, I guess I’m surprised that there is no way to ALSO browse directories in a manner similar to the way the OSX OS offers the finder viewing option of seeing folders and files either displayed as icons or lists of names. A simple click of a drop down menu item is all it takes to select how they are displayed.

As the whole idea of Roon is to get away from that way of browsing ones music library, why would they include it as an option?

Post an example of your text files…perhaps it’s simple to automate the import using a script.

Having not actually used Roon yet, I don’t know how you select what you want to listen to, but I would imagine whether you’re scrolling through icons of album covers generated by their metadata or lists of folders containing music files it amounts to browsing either way.
Other than appearance, what’s the difference? And what is the urgent need to favor one to the exclusion of the other? It seems to me that for purposes of all around versatility allowing the user to select the style of interface would not harm anything.

I don’t if this has come up before or not but I know lots of other collectors with hds full of untagged music.

Here is a generic example of a text file of the sort found in these folders of flac files.

My Band. Local Club, City 2016-xx-xx

Recorded with: Schoeps CCM 4 > Marantz PMD 620 mk II @ 96/24

  1. intro
  2. song 1
  3. song 2
  4. song 4
  5. song 5

6. song 6
7. song 7

Band members

JD guitar, vocals
BT bass
LM drums
SA keyboard, vocals

Hmm, looking at that I’m guessing the layout isn’t very consistent.

Right, they’re not consistent as they are created and shared among interested collectors and while they follow a general format it isn’t a strict consistent one.

Obviously the vast majority of users have fully tagged commercial music in their libraries. I guess I’m surprised that no accommodation exists for files that for whatever reason, aren’t tagged.

Thanks for trying to find a solution.

I do think an option to navigate files and folders would be a good thing.

That said…

How are the directory and filenames? Could you do a batch tag operation that mapped, say, the bottom two directories as album and artist and the filename itself as the track title? MP3Tag has some pretty rich functionality for deriving tags from paths. If you’ve got enough information in the paths, it would be a breeze to batch tag the collection.

The thing is that these are “privately” created recordings by hobbyists (and sometimes professional sound engineers) and shared via bittorrent sites. As such they vary widely in their naming. In recent years many have been circulated with tags but a huge number circulated prior to say, 2012 did not.
MP3Tag might be useful but it is a Windows PC OS app. I’m a Mac OSX user. Yes there ways to run WinPC programs on Macs but that requires time and energy to configure etc. Then there is doing all the operations which may or may not turn out to be “a breeze” and may not work at all.

I think what I’m advocating for here is a basic backward compatibility embedded in the program that can be accessed when desired/needed and remains invisible when not. It strikes me as a bit inverted that the user must accommodate the program rather than the program being able to accommodate the users needs.

You can tag them on Mac using puddletag - it’s mp3tag on steroids.