When is a Track(s) a Composition?

I know this has been asked many times before, but @support when/how does roon decide that a track(s) is a composition?

It is not uncommon, even when using canonical composition titles and composer names and grouping the composition hierarchy correctly that roon will still refuse to categorise a track(s) as a composition. It doesn’t matter what you do. What causes this? Here is another example. This time it is Debussy’s Premiere Fantasy. I haven’t even played it yet. But it caught my eye on Qobuz so I favorited it. Probably because I like French impressionists but mostly because it is a Copenhagen quartet where I am based at the moment without the possibility to go to live music. Maybe this is a one off. But maybe there is a pattern that could be batch fixed? Seems to happen fairly regularly and 1.8 as far as I can see places a greater emphasis on composers/compositions.

Here another example of the same problem:

The best explanation i found is in this thread:

Thanks, I remember that thread from a few years back. It remains unresolved.

I don’t really know what to suggest hence my new post. Maybe if the reason for the behaviour was better understood there could at least be a work-around.

I know it remains unsolved, but it explains quite well in some posts the reasons why it seems to happen. That seemed to be what you asked in the first sentence of the OP :slight_smile:
I added an annoying (for me) case a few days ago, where for no discernible reason I can merge one track to another composition but not another track from the same CD although they seem to have all the same properties

I was a contributor on that thread. I seem to remember that from roon’s perspective two (maybe more) conditions need to be satisfied before they considered it a composition. Several contradictory cases were put forward, maybe even one’s similar to yours, so clearly the explanation wasn’t complete and there must be other (unknown) conditions. That thread never went anywhere. It’s a while ago. I don’t remember the details. I’ll take a closer look at that thread.

From my perspective, the main difference is that I now have a streaming Qobuz account I didn’t have then. The issue is even worse in that scenario if anything.

Umm, the circled item “Rhapsodie for clarinet…” IS being treated on your screen as a one-PART composition (or WORK). To officially recognize/identify the composition, import another album with that composition into your library. If successful, your little disc icons will appear.

John, not sure I understand why you would think I haven’t done all that before posting? I have 13 local releases of that rhapsody, a favorite piece. Just to be clear, that’s the canonical name. It has both composer and work tags.

The view is different now of course with 1.8 as there is only one icon, not two, but it makes no difference. The composition will not appear in the composition view so it cannot be merged with my other releases. There are 5 compositions on that disk and 4 of them using exactly the same formatting logic as for the rhapsody are identified as compositions.

If you have a Qobuz account you can try it yourself. It may be available on Tidal if you don’t. I’d be interested in your results as it may shed some useful light.

1 Like

Sorry, I didn’t intend to demean your competence. Unfortunately, my experience with the Rhapsodie was the same. Roon does not seem to respond to user-entered titles for recognition purposes. Curiously, the rhapsody is the only work on that album to behave that way.

I also tried unIDing/reIDing the album; reimporting; finding non-qobuz copies to import; all for naught.

The only good news was my exposure to a good group and a great album. Thanks for that.

What I took from it was that being a composition is buried deep in the metadata and there is no way to make it a composition if it isn’t. That is, when the track’s menu does not have a “Go to composition”, then you cannot make it appear and, e.g., adding a composer does not do this. Which is very odd, certainly something that has a composer is a composition. Another interesting thing was that there is some possible connection to bugs in the metadata providers that may be causing this - it was posted that this was being looked into, but obviously nothing further happened. So that thread was no solution but helped me understand at least - thanks for this.

In my case it was a CD full of cover versions with generally poor metadata (as is often the case for non-US/UK pop/rock, in particular from smaller labels, but not only). None of the tracks had composer data and I added them manually. However, most tracks were nevertheless compositions and I could merge them into the originals. But some were not, and apart from not having a “go to composition” menu entry there was no discernible difference.

Yes. This is the most curious thing and maybe is the clue that roon needs to establish once and for all the criteria for composition/non-composition. It may not help roon very much as it may mean something deep is wrong in the data model and realistically will never be fixed. But it could point to a work-around we could use instead.


that’s why you need to have your data model solid before starting automation, not the other way round.

1 Like

Yes. This persistent bug is very annoying. It is actually much worse with non-Classical music. Pop/Jazz etc. There are so many gaps in vendor metadata with these other genres I don’t believe any comprehensive fix is possible. But I would like to be able to manually categorise tracks as compositions more consistently just to build interesting “covers” playlists with favorite non-Classical styles. I’m surprised this non-Classical use case doesn’t give the issue more traction. I guess not many people use roon that way and roon quickly looses interest when they see that.

1 Like

Hi I just want to add my experience to this topic which I discussed some days ago here:

another indication that there is some deeper problem with composition identification is that “prefer files” for composition information does not always work. If Roon thinks that it found a match it will override your work tags.

Unfortunately it is also another example of Roon support not reacting at all if things are getting more complex. Never ever got a response. Not even one saying that they don’t care or don’t do anything about it. Nothing!

No reason to be able to flag support in the message board at all.


Yes, what you wrote. And exactly, I just want it to accept it as a composition when I add a composer.

Maybe, don’t know. The fact that Roon shows me cover versions of a composition (when it works) was IMO one of the coolest things about Roon and a unique selling point

Thanks, Chris.

It’s a good summary of what we are already doing. Many of us have figured that out by trial and error. I don’t know if something like that ever ended up in the KB.

This thread, though, is about what to do when the procedure you describe doesn’t work? Unfortunately that procedure doesn’t work more than is realised. This is very apparent if you have a streaming account. If you have a streaming account, you can try it yourself with the Debussy example at the top of the post.

Me too. The issue is that you only see the cases where functionality doesn’t quite work with larger libraries, larger devices or a deeper interest in the content. This is a problem all over roon, not just this issue. My experience is that a lot of the functionality is never really finished. There appears to be strong commercial drivers to cease development and move on to something else when they get to a 80/20 “good enough” pareto that’s enough for most customers. Nothing much we can do about that. Risky strategy though it seems to me.