To re-enact importing Goode’s Complete Sonatas from TIDAL to Roon, I just tried adding the album to my library.
What Roon provided was anything but “complete”. The sonatas were correctly grouped; that much was good. But no Sonatas were “recognized” or IDed in the importing process. Why?
Here are the credits for the album after import:
Three problems: no Composer, and no identification of Goode as a pianist. And on the tracks page (not shown), the works are not IDed.
“Oh well,” say the apologists. “There’s probably another ‘version’ of the album somewhere. Just go through the manual ID process.”
After that fails (and it did; no such version), then the Roon Rooters will gently say the album “just needs a little cleanup.” Here, I will manually enter ‘Ludwig van Beethoven’ as a Composer, despite the obvious fact that Ludwig is THE guy. And another tag for Goode as pianist in addition to the generic Primary Artist.
But I’m not done yet! The reason you add the tags, other than for completeness, is to achieve linkages between the works and the “rich metadata” Roon promises. And sure enough, Roon linked every work in the album. Touchdown. Sort of.
I say “sort of” is because a 100% ID success is the exception, not the rule. More likely, one or more works will remain unlinked, and unravelling these mysteries is Roon’s “weakest link” IMO. Possible reasons include:
- Incomplete or inaccurate spelling of the work’s name. I had to learn this on my own, but Allmusic is not just one potential source, it is THE source for correct naming as far as Roon is concerned. Also, one has to be obsessive about accuracy, best assured by a tedious copy-and-past routine from Allmusic. If you think “Piano Sonata…” is the same thing as “Sonata for piano…” you are in for a tough slog.
- No exemplar of the work in your library. Roon requires objective proof of a match. Usually this means importing a TIDAL album into your library with that work. “Oh, you don’t subscribe to TIDAL? So sorry…”
- An obscure error. Once, after double checking the name and the prescence of an exemplar, a particular work was STILL not being IDed. After several false starts, I finally realized that MB or Discogs had inserted the composer’s MIDDLE NAME, and that was all it took to derail the recognition process.
So, to the OP, I answer: Mike, you are attempting to understand how Roon works in this area. You are better off accepting that it is not understandable without help from Roon, and Roon doesn’t provide that kind of help. They and others wish to keep the “magical” image alive which requires obfuscation. They don’t want you to understand how it works; they want you to accept that it works as well as it can given environmental constraints.
Use Allmusic web site (buy a $12 license to nix ads) for ALL ID answers. And edit tags with a tagger. Good luck!