I miss the number too.
Agreed. I suspect most of us rarely need to know exactly how many versions we have of a particular song, but I would prefer accuracy over a prettified guesstimate.
It’s kinda useful for identifying the number classical compositions that you don’t have but might need to investigate without clicking through for the full doomscroll.
Yep, it’s definitely useful in that situation. Bottom line: I’d prefer it to be added back even if it isn’t something I need all the time. It’s not as though it was a huge ugly intrusion, so I’m not really sure why it got axed.
As I have said elsewhere, many of the complaints about 1,8 are because roon went for design for design’s sake, rather than design for information’s sake (sadly, following in the footsteps of far too many other programs). The design of 1,7 was good and useful; none of the functional enhancements (most very useful) in 1.8 required roon to change that as far as I can see.
Even a mouse-over displaying the number would be decent, if they don’t want to show it on-screen permanently because of some aesthetic design direction.
And in this instance the visual is misleading. It’s a count of versions, not a count of albums, so why use an image of a pile of CDs/LPs rather than something that more clearly indicates a track count? Just bring back the number and we’ll forget it ever happened
Thanks for the feedback. I want to speak a little bit about why we did this, since the decision was not based on graphical considerations at all.
In older versions, Roon displayed a count for streaming services and a separate count for your library. This was consistent with the concepts in that product–back then, since we enforced a regimented separation of Library and Streaming content. The counts on the album page corresponded to the counts displayed in the library and streaming tabs on the composition page, and it was crisp and consistent.
One of the big themes for 1.8 was de-siloing the library content and streaming content. Now, we try to make clean displays of “all of the stuff that I have access to”. For the “show my my stuff” use cases, we provide a library-only filter in all of these new merged views, since we know that most of our users treasure their music libraries and need a first class way to zoom in on their stuff.
After performing this de-silo-ing, the segregated counts on the album screen started to look and feel wrong. The numbers didn’t really correspond to anything tangible anymore. We thought about displaying a single merged count, but it turns out that that number is difficult to compute–we would have to load the whole list of streaming recordings, and then deduplicate it against the stuff in your library to avoid double counting the library items.
It’s ok to do this for one composition at a time when loading the composition page, but it isn’t feasible to load the equivalent ten or fifty composition pages at once to perform that deduplication when displaying an album. Either the album page would become slow, or the counts would be inaccurate.
(Roon is absolutely loaded with considerations like this–merging and deduplicating library content with streaming in a coherent way is a difficult problem, and the feasibility considerations can be arduous. The Spotify’s of the world have it easy–their entire experience is driven by one catalog of music per country. We have to cope with a private catalog of music per user plus a union of one or more streaming service catalogs, depending on what people have logged into).
Back on topic–there is something else that has always bothered us about the old composition links–the numbers were difficult to understand without a deep understanding of the norms for that type of music.
A popular song with 150 recordings is important, but an American Songbook composition with only 150 recordings is insignificant. For a large-scale classical work, 150 is a middle-of-the-road number. Not everyone is an expert in every area, and the numbers could be misleading. Gershwin’s Summertime has around 5,000 recordings, but isn’t 15 times more important than Beethoven’s 5th. So while the numbers were very accurate from a technical standpoint, they were not communicating the right thing.
Eliminating the precise number opened up the opportunity to normalize the indicator scale based on context. It’s harder to earn five discs in the American Songbook, a bit easier for a Beethoven Symphony, and easier yet for popular music. So for the most part, you can read the indicator and trust that it is identifying things that are a little bit interesting, or very interesting without having to know offhand what number constitutes “a lot” in this context.
Happy to discuss this more–just wanted to shed a little bit of light on what happened here.
That’s a fabulous response. Well considered. And agreed. I do think the “calculate / display full data on mouse over” might be useful to get back to the detail (and might give you the chance to give some of that range context that would be useful as well). Thank you.
Now if only what lies on the other side of were sortable it might actually be useful.
If you click on the discs symbol, you get taken to the Recordings page, which then lists all the recordings (could be 1,000s). A further click on the Library symbol on that page shows which Albums in your library have the recording.
OK, a click or two more, but does this not get you to the data?
I accept that it does bring back the feature request of being able to see all the recordings that are NOT in your library…
Not in a cost effective manner (both, in terms of background CPU usage on the core, and on our servers). Approaching it this way means that the resources are being consumed for all of your albums, even the ones you visit almost never, instead of just the albums that you choose to view. And then periodically, we would need to refresh the whole set. That’s a lot of work for your system to do, and a lot of work for our servers to support.
It would be a considerably more than a second or two to load these counts for an album with a significant number of popular compositions.
I can see how the “numbers could be misleading” with respect to the significance of a particular track or composition in the wider scale of things, but how is that the case for the local library count? Either I have 5 versions, or 8, or 2. There’s no ambiguity about what those numbers mean. How about adding back in the actual number for the local library count and using the pile of disks for the online count? You could make the local library count an on/off option in settings, and turn it off by default.
That’s reasonable feedback. I’ll make sure that the product team discusses it.
Sometimes I want to goto directly other versions of that particular track in my library however this merged approach replaced one click with click+ goto another page + filter.
Sometimes when i am listening a track on tidal, I want to know if i have that track in my library so that i can purchase it for my local library. In 1.7 I could just see that it is there by looking at the icons . Now I have to click+change page + filter.
Can you please bring it back. At least if not the numbers but the visual discrimination. The number of cds as presented byy the icons doesnt help much. Maybe the number of tracks in our local library can be shown instead of the streaming services .
There was also a visual discrimination for work/ part grouping. The Work name was aligned a bit more to the left side than than the part name (or vice versa i cant remember) which was visually discriminating.
Especially when the track numbers are not displayed it is difficult
thanks for this thoughtful analysis @brian
like so much in software development, there are trade-offs, and they begin with use cases.
My use case is this: If I’m listening to a song that’s a cover of one that I’m familiar with (which is part of the magic of Roon radio), I’m often curious about how others might have also created a cover.
I’ve been consistently surprised at which songs are covered more than I expected, and which ones hardly at all. The ones that are surprising (where I thought the original was just about all there was) lead me down a lovely path.
Or, in the case of the Grateful Dead, that the song The Golden Road (to Unlimited Devotion) has almost never been performed by them, even though it’s the first track to the first record and a well known phrase associated with the band.
In other words, on the entire Roon screen, that little number is one of the only things I’m learning something from much of the time.
I don’t care if it’s up to date.
Or particularly accurate.
I simply need a cue to change the queue.
To listen to yet another version of Tangled Up in Blue…
you get the idea.
The problem with the poorly iconed CD metric is that it fails to do that in any useful way.
As you think about the road map, I wonder if you could start some of these use cases from first principles, instead of what you did, which is totally normal and common: looking at new constraints and averaging back or dumbing down to come up with a compromise.
Because, at least for my use case, the compromise isn’t a net gain.
Thanks again. I continue to bring you new users, and I hope that 1.9 and 2 are everything that they deserve to be.
This is something which I find extremely enjoyable and sometimes useful. Not to push the “Is roonlabs ignoring non-streaming users” meme, but this change seems to be an instance of that. I don’t stream, but because others do, this feature has been removed.
- 252 recordings of “Summertime”? Way cool! Let’s listen to all of them!
- 3 recordings of _____? Really? Who covered it?
Please bring it back, either with a preference, or based on whether streaming is set up.
I hope there aren’t too many other cases where the difficulty of meshing local+streaming means we lose more features.
I’d really support this idea. I like to know if I’ve got a recording (or two) in my own local library without having to go to another screen and use the focus.
Thanks for listening in build 778 it has solved my problems