Want more data mining of my own library

I’m sure this has been talked about before, but one of the places where applications like PlexAmp has it all over Roon is the investigation of my own, personal music. I’m looking for auto-creation of playlists, searching by least played, searching by eras, etc.

PlexAmp just added OpenChat.AI (ChatGPT) integration into the library search function, and it’s a lot of fun. They’ve also had the “sonic journey” feature for a while now, which I suspect uses some form of AI to coordinate playlists. (FYI, “sonic jourmey” allows you to set endpoints as two songs, and the service peruses your library to make sonic connections between those two songs using era, tempo, mood, etc. and it’s a lot of fun.)

Personal library discovery like that, especially for those of us with large libraries, are just devoid in Roon, which seems to be pushing us more towards music in Tidal or Qobuz.

I’m not saying they have to go full bore yet, but at least allow me to create playlist by mood, era, etc sourcing only from my collection.

Am I the only one that feels this way?


I’ve not used PlexAmp, but you can do quite a lot of what you seem to be looking for in Roon with Focus (even more so if you use tags extensively). e.g. pretty easy to select reggae albums (or tracks) from your own collection from the 1970s that you haven’t played in the last month.


Thanks for that - yeah, I’ve messed around with focus - but it’s not the same. There’s a lot of pre-selection you need to do, and it will whittle things down from there…it’s very fussy. Focus doesn’t really focus much (pun intended) on mood selection, tempo, etc because it doesn’t have that concept - even though that information is readily accessible from online services.

It’s such a slog to use, and gives me uninspired results, so I rarely use it.

In PlexAmp (sorry to keep coming back to that, but I think it’s an apt comparison) I can just click a button that says “concentrate” and I get music in my library that is slow of tempo, no lyrics, etc.

It’s just a different experience. I know that Roon is focused more on the HiDef playback experience, which is great, but music discovery is equally important.

Right now I am in two, imperfect worlds. Roon playback is far more advanced than anything PlexAmp can deliver, but PlexAmp has better music discovery. I wind up creating playlists in PlexAmp (using their features) and then dragging that playlist over to Roon for playback…which is, uh, not optimal.


I think this is what Roon radio does. You can start it on any track, album or artist? It doesn’t do the whole endpoint I.e. start track and end track but it still surfs your library and streaming.

That being said I do really want something like:


Exposing things like mood, acoustic values and general properties of tracks is a really fun way of building “mixes”.

For instance, dialling in tracks that are pretty unpopular, high energy, sorted by BPM.

I did kind of find a workaround. I used some oddball DJ app to pull all of spotifys mood tags and added them to the Roon custom tag of my files. It was a bit of a mess, required a spotify dev account but it did technically work. Just wasn’t worth the effort because at the end of the day, it’s just a janky hack.

I think Roons spin on this kind of custom mix would be really cool.

In terms of auto playlists, you can create them using focus and then bookmarking whatever you have filtered, very useful for genres and least played.


Roon radio pulls from all sources, not just mine. And still, it’s not the same.

Now, this smarterplaylist thing looks promising. I’m gonna mess around with that, thanks for the tip. It’s still an additional step, but better than what’s there now.

You’re not.

While Roon obliterates PlexAmp in UI/UX, and I’ll take RAAT over DLNA every day of the week, PlexAmp’s local discovery features are years ahead of Roon’s.

I’ve also found PlexAmp nicer to use on the go / in the gym than ARC is - just seed something and it’ll keep going in a coherent way, which I haven’t found Roon to do with my only-local library (and yes, tried Valence with Qobuz, and was deeply unimpressed).

My guess is there’s a mix of quite a bit of sunken cost fallacy, and that RoonLabs can’t get themselves to admit that Valence isn’t that great, and technical or licensing issues with doing what Plex does: I’m not sure it’s possible for Roon to do the type of analysis Plex does with streaming services.

P.S: there’s a related feature request right here. I’m not holding my breath on it being implemented.


I also have Plexamp. These cool features may work for some people like DJ Mix to add songs to the queue. But after a month, I go back to playing my favorite playlists and that’s it.

Roon ARC works best for me with radio (which can be limited to local files only). The main problem with Plexamp is that you have to change the source every time you want to listen to Tidal content while ARC has one interface for all your music, local and remote.

And it has tons of settings, additional options, sub-menus… at the end of the day, you spent more time choosing what to play than playing.
One thing I like about Plex (Plexamp) is editing artist metadata without having to be approved by other people.

I agree with you that local music should have more prominence, and Roon could copy Plex’s section "such a day as
50 years ago today…” instead of "Influences,
collaborators…) and stop making mixes by an artist you’ve only heard a song from once.

I would like Roon to improve these aspects without having to make an interface that overwhelms
like Plex’s.

Thanks for pointing out the feature request - gonna go take a look.

You’ve hit the nail on the head with “sunk cost fallacy,” that is absolutely apart of this - nothing wrong with admitting a piece of code is strong in some areas, weak in others… it just doesn’t seem prevalent here. (Over on the PlexAmp side, the folks there are all willing to admit the lacking features in PlexAmp - I, for one, have a long standing issue with PlexAmp and google speaker groups…)

I tried ARC and tossed it. PlexAmp provides a significantly better “on the go” set of functionality. It’s my primary means of music consumption outside the house - inside the house it’s Roon.

Anyway, thanks for the pointer to the feature request.

1 Like

Thanks for these comments - you and I might use PlexAmp differently. I literally only use it for my own music library… if I want to use Qobuz on the go, I use it’s own app. ARC just feels incomplete to me.

Roon has shown that they have a superior UIX team, so I have confidence that they can service more local music selection in a logical manner.

Ah - smarterplaylists only works with Spotify. Didn’t realize that from your post.

I got rid of my Spotify account when I settled on Roon and PlexAmp.

Sorry, I meant I want that level of functionality in Roon with respect to their track analysis.

Exposing the actual values leads to some pretty cool flexibility when creating mixes.


Here is a related post:


I completely agree. I don’t need anything fancy, just some sort of true smart playlist functionality that carries over to Arc. Yes, Focus is helpful, but bookmarks do not sync across clients. IMHO the introduction of Arc has made this omission even more glaring. I tend to listen to full albums at home or skip around manually as I find things of interest in the metadata. However, when I jump in the car I want a quick way to shuffle a playlist based on the mood I’m in.

I’ve taken to using other services to create playlists and using Soundiiz to import them into Roon. That works well enough, but it’s really a shame we don’t at least have some basic functionality built in. With Focus it seems the backend work is essentially done. Just leverage it to present me with some predefined selections that I can shuffle with one button click. Essentially something like the Discover page but geared towards playlists.


Yup. This.

I do the same thing - I create playlists in PlexAmp and then export them to Roon using Soundiiz. It works, but everything has to be pre-cooked, I can’t create anything meaningful on the fly.

1 Like

I much prefer Plexamp’s auto generated playlists over Roons. Unfortunately Roon doesn’t even come close to how good Plexamp is in its ability to create a smooth, interesting random playlist complete with really good crossfades - random album/time discovery etc is all good fun too.
If I do the same in Roon with “start radio” the ride is never as good. Plexamp is my go to for discovery and exploration. Roon is ok, Plexamp better in this department! I am glad I have both for those reasons.


You’re not the only one that feels this way. ‘Smartplayist’ like iTunes had has been asked for for many years. Roon team says (at the time) that none of them were playlists users and that translated in lack of interest or perceived value.

I’ve used MusicIP for a good while to generate playlists. It dates back to the 90s I believe but the binary is still out there for open use since the developer gave up the effort some time ago.

The LLM AI engines are going to be a gold mine for harvesting our own music. Hopefully Roon team will recognize the value and integrate with one instead of trying to create they’re own.


I’m assuming the reason Roon haven’t prioritised this is because you can already do this with Focus and Bookmarks.

It’s obviously not like the plex mixes but it has the same functionality as iTunes smart playlists (albeit saved as a bookmark rather than a playlist).

I agree the functionality is (mostly) there but it simply doesn’t work for my brain. I’ve tried and I have to ‘re-learn’ how to do it each time and thus I don’t. It’s laborious for me. And no I don’t need you or anyone to explain it, again.

Intuitive use is key and it’s lacking in Focus, for me.

And ‘Smartplayists’ are just the basic beginning and obviously have existed in other software for decades. I’m really wishing they could/would take it to the next level and a great start would be to enhance Roon Radio to take into account more than simply the last track played. Really?! Still?!

How about some heuristics of the music, beats per second, differing ‘moods’, take into account what I skip and what I don’t, etc. And whatever else the statistically smart people can come up with to relate different tracks/albums/genres to create a flow state of music in the form of dynamic, evolving ‘playlists’ that really add value to the listening experience. Surprise me but avoid going off the rails. I want it to know what I would like to hear next without me having to choose or guide, yes the ultimate pipe dream (though I feel LLM will get there sooner than any other technology).

Pandora did/does this very well in my experience. I’ve not used it for years but it was quite advanced ~15 years ago. ‘A hand-curated listening experience
that’s uniquely yours’…is still their tagline.

Radio Paradise does this quite well too though there is some human curation I understand and yes they too go off the rails from time to time.

These are the types of things I’m most disappointed in Roon as they not even had a glimmer of recognition let alone progress in the 6 years I’ve owned the product.

The fundamentals have been left in basically their original state as 1.0 included.

Perhaps my expectations are too high. I don’t regret my lifetime purchase I’m just disappointed more progress hasn’t been made towards the things I’ve described.


100% with you on this.i wish Roon and PlexAmp had a baby

1 Like

I agree that Roon probably convinced themselves of this. The reality is that Focus and bookmarks do not even come close to the auto curation that I (and apparently others) are are after.

I appreciate the scarce resource problem that Roon probably has, but putting their talent to work on Roon ARC was probably a mistake. Portable music is not in their wheelhouse (and ARC shows that), but home audio management and high end payback is. They should have focused their engineering talent on library curation and playlist management techniques.