Watched or Organised?

One of the main reasons I could not wait to get out of iTunes was because of the constant damage it did to my music library, such as missing songs (multiple times) etc. I stopped in managing the hard drive because of this.

So the question is: Does Roon ORGANISE the drive better than iTunes without corruptions etc?

I setup my library in a folder called AUDIRVANA as I was using that app prior to finding Roon, and I told Roon to WATCH the folder and I have been managing my library manually, but if Roon does a good job I would like to change to ORGANISED.

So firstly, any comments from anyone who has tried both methods?

and is there any EASY way to switch the folder to be ORGANISED, or to move all files automatically to a new folder (which I shall call Roon Music) and NOT lose all of my album covers and meta data edits?

I have usually ripped into an organised folder on my PC and then moved everything to a watched folder on the music server. The only issues I have had with the organised folder is with merge albums, but it is difficult to work in the Organised folder. Roon keeps snapping things back the way it likes things.

You should definitely wait for the next bugfix release before moving any files you have edited. A lot of work has been done to preserve edits through moves, and some guidance about how to best do that will accompany that release.

Ah thanks for the heads up Andrew, I will wait and see what the next update brings us.

Any feature that moves your files around automatically is going to do something that you perceive as wrong or damaging eventually. Starting with a blank organized folder and letting Roon import into the folder via drag-drop is good. We do not recommend pointing Roon’s organized folder feature at your existing music library–Roon will undoubtedly make at least a few changes that you don’t like, and it’s difficult to reverse those changes once they’ve happened…

We have been discussing how to make the feature less dangerous. We released with it because it’s required in order to support drag-drop imports, and that requires file renaming machinery. IMO the feature isn’t really finished as a whole.

My guess is, we’ll reformat the feature so that shuffling files around is a bit more manual (making it way less scary), and probably merge the watched and organized folder features into one concept. But we aren’t quite there yet.

For now I’d stick to the watched folder for everything but drag-drop imports.

Thank you for the honest reply. I am happy with a few changes, it is the complete erasure of files at random that iTunes does which annoys me. I shall leave it all as it is until it is addressed down the track.

I would consider myself a rather experienced iTunes user, and I would claim that iTunes file managing system is very robust if you understand how it works. Just as a few general tips to prevent missing tracks:

  • Keep all your imports into a single folder under “$drivename/My Music/iTunes/iTunes Music”. This can be set up in the “Advanced” option as a default media folder.

  • Check “Copy files to iTunes Media folder when adding to the library” under the “Advanced” option.

  • It is also recommended to keep your iTunes library files in the same “$drivename/My Music”. This way, you can copy the entire library and music files under a single folder “My Music”, which can be kept verbatim in any back-up disk. Start iTunes with the option key (space key for Windows) pressed will let you change the default library folder.

  • Before you rip a CD using iTunes, edit the metadata and make sure that the CD is not considered a “part of compilation”. Otherwise, tracks in a single CD get copied into multiple different folders (per artist names), creating a potential risk for iTunes losing track of the music files.

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Hong, i too am a very experienced iTunes user, and have always followed the rules you mention. But I am not alone in having iTunes completely delete songs from single artist non compilation albums. You too, will one day be affected by the same thing.

OK. I guess I was trying to help. It’s indeed alarming that iTunes does that. When it happens, do you see some remnants to track down what the causes are or are the entire library list and the album folders completely gone as if they were not imported in the first place?

No problem Hong. You simply go to play a song one day and iTunes says it can not find it and asks to locate it. When you navigate to the folder where it should be, it is simply gone. There has however been the odd occasion where the song has been put into some completely random folder, for example:

Track 3 off Alanis Morrisette’s debut might be found in Crowded House’s ‘Woodface’…just totally random stuff, but very very frustrating.

I am also user who has read the manual on iTunes.

For me: The current state of Roon integrating with iTunes was not sastifactory for me. While the Roon-iTunes integration works, the file import feature, at the time, would be in a constant “do loop.” There are other quibles, that I have, but I’ll divulge in a futre post.

This isn’t a shot at Roon.

This is a great effort to integrate into a 800Million plus user base of iTunes.

What I did and recommend: Use Roon exclusively. I exported my entire iTunes Library to .flac format in a new music directory. Then let Roon drive / take control.

(Background: I’m a die hard apple user and for the sake of Roon, I went out of my sandbox to support Roon. Not that .flac is the DEVIL, but I would normally use .AIFF or .alac formats. What’s next is that I purchased a WIndow DVD to install Roon and Windows on a boot drive for my iMac. I may even buy an intel NUC or a cheap HP touchscreen! Just because, even in it’s current state, Roon is better than iTunes in more areas that matter- tho mobile support is a boarderline show stopper)

The methodolgy I chose was to use a registered version of dBpowerAmp (MAC R15.4) and located my iTunes/music directory and batch converted to .flac (level 5) to a RAID Array attached to my computer,

Now, when dbpoweramp batch converts a boat load of files it spits them all in one directory. In my case, I had a directory with 41,000 files. Not ideal, right?

Because I started FRESH with a NON existing music libary, @andybob I was able to allow Roon to sort, create, and organize all of the files. After few hours of downloading metadata and shuffling I had a very well organized directory. I had a few misnomers in some of the tracks that were already oddities/problem tracks. But generally, the organization was the same or better than what I directed my iTunes file management system to do.

For most users, this may be un-acceptable. However when using new software and new OSes, we all must have a back up. I know it’s hard not to be eager and excited and just let Roon have at your music. Really, Roon doesn’t do anything, What I mean is let Roon take control. (and if it’s not there yet, dev team, I support this area of study.)

If it’s still recommend to go to a “watched” folder I will just back up my stuff and disble the organized folder.

Other thoughts:

Using a stand alone “PC” is prefered by me.

Today, here is what I think. Subscribe to Tidal. Buy a “powerful” PC. Run Windows and only Roon on the computer-nothing else. Use SSD drives, speed, for Windows and Roon app. Use a drive or drive array (SSDs or HDDs) as (storage) music directory. The music directory can be local or remote. Use a peridodic and automated back-up methodology. “Cloud” remote back up is a plus.

Most of all keep it simple.

Roon does everything in one package, so you may not need to break it into three peices. (Server, Streamer, Remote)

I used an organised folder as a recognition tool before storing in a watched folder. It’s just that the potential for harm using an organised folder for storage is greater and can be avoided.

I use dBPoweramp but haven’t batch converted as described. I believe Dynamic Output Location can create a folder output structure from file tags, but I haven’t tested it.

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You are right about the dynamic output location. I ignorantly skipped over that capability. :blush:

But what is was awesome is that Roon figured it out anyway- Hey!