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ROON and huge classical collections


hvbias
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I have around 3500 classical CDs ripped to my server. When I tried ROON early on in its inception it did not do a great job with classical, for anyone that has a large classical collection or is primarily a classical listener I'm wondering how it is today? I did some searching and came up with a thread from June 2015 and I know ROON has made considerable improvements since then. I hope the mods don't mind if I create a new thread for this since I'd rather this question not get buried in the large thread. Thanks.

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Roon hasn't changed metadata sources so I don't think you will see much improvement in matching but you do have way more options now to use your own metadata tags.

 

I don't listen to classical, but my gut feeling is you still won't be satisfied with it.

Roon Rock->Auralic Aria G2->Schiit Yggdrasil A2->McIntosh C47->McIntosh MC301 Monos->Wilson Audio Sabrinas

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Like you, I have a huge classical collection. I tried it a few months ago. It is still complete garbage.

 

The sad thing is, all this can be solved just by adding a file browser. I am not the first to request such a feature. Yet, they seem to be steadfastly against it.

 

I don't bother with Roon. I just use Windows Explorer and drag folders into HQPlayer.

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Like you, I have a huge classical collection. I tried it a few months ago. It is still complete garbage.

 

The sad thing is, all this can be solved just by adding a file browser. I am not the first to request such a feature. Yet, they seem to be steadfastly against it.

 

I don't bother with Roon. I just use Windows Explorer and drag folders into HQPlayer.

 

Same here. Plus I have a lot of poorly tagged stuff from 78rpm groups and such. I now use Foobar2000 as a search function. It can find anything, as long as the folder or something is labelled, and I can drag from there directly into HQP.

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I think it's much better than it was (I abandoned it after an early trial but now find it good enough to use for my large Classical library, and my tags are good enough to choose as a fallback if Roon doesn't recognise the album) but they say they have been working to improve Classical metadata for the next major release so it may be worth waiting until then.

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You have the option to override their tagging with yours, and fairly serious editing ability for results you don't like.

Main listening (small home office):

Main setup: Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>QuietPC Low Noise Server>Roon (Audiolense DRC)>Stack Audio Link II>Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.

Secondary Listening: Server with Audiolense RC>RPi4 or analog>Matrix Element i Streamer/DAC (XLR)+Schiit Freya>Kii Three .

Bedroom: SBTouch to Cambridge Soundworks Desktop Setup.
Living Room/Kitchen: RPi 3B+ running RoPieee to a pair of Morel Hogtalare. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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I think it's much better than it was (I abandoned it after an early trial but now find it good enough to use for my large Classical library, and my tags are good enough to choose as a fallback if Roon doesn't recognise the album) but they say they have been working to improve Classical metadata for the next major release so it may be worth waiting until then.

 

I don't want them to improve classical metadata handling. That would still require me to go back and re-tag thousands of files. All I want is a file browser - apparently that is too hard to ask for.

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While I understand the ask for a file browser, I'd nevertheless encourage anybody with a large classical library to go through the pain of meta-tagging.

 

Took me ages to get mine right, but now I really have everything available at a finger tip. And hopefully this tagging effort should be future proof, as I assume (maybe wrongly) that future software or network players should be able to rely on metatagging.

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I am not interested in doing tags. My music is already organized the way I like it - in folders. It is up to music software to provide me with a file browser - and I do not think this is an unreasonable thing to ask for. Jriver does it. Foobar does it. It is not up to me to subject myself to hundreds of hours of inconvenience just to get music software to work.

 

And besides, EVEN IF I did go and edit all that metadata, Roon still doesn't work. If I do a search for Bach, Roon returns 12,000 pages of results. This is because it lists each individual track as a result, rather than each album. If I were to REALLY narrow it down and search for "Wachet Auf", I would still get about 40 different tracks as a result. I have no interest in playing 40 random tracks of a cantata that should be listened from start to finish in sequential order.

 

It is organized correctly in the folder. Just let me play the damned folder.

 

And here is something else. All these refer to the exact same piece:

 

- Frühlings-Sonate

- Fruhlings-Sonate

- Fruhlingssonate

- Spring Sonata

- Sonate du Printemps

 

Also this:

 

- Dvorak New World Symphony

- Dvorak Symphony "From the New World"

- Dvorak Symphonie "Aus der neuen Welt"

 

And this:

 

- Bach 48 Preludes and Fugues

- Bach Well Tempered Klavier

- Bach Das Wohltemperierte Klavier

- Bach 48 Praludien und Fugen

- Bach Clavecin bien tempere

 

I know they are all the same piece. But Roon, and no music playback software, knows this. So what are you going to do? Go through the hundreds of different variations of every piece and make sure you standardize its name, umlaut and all?

 

Screw that. Not interested. If your hobby is tagging music instead of listening to it, you have a weird hobby. Yet that's what Roon and others expect you to do. The author of Muso effectively said as much.

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I don't want them to improve classical metadata handling. That would still require me to go back and re-tag thousands of files. All I want is a file browser - apparently that is too hard to ask for.

 

It's not too hard to ask for. Roon doesn't want to do it, they feel it goes against the nature of their interface. They've said they may do it in the future. Doesn't seem like a priority for them.

https://community.roonlabs.com/t/browse-by-folder-structure/8728/15

 

You may, of course, disagree. But they are certainly entitled to build the software the way they see fit.

Main listening (small home office):

Main setup: Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>QuietPC Low Noise Server>Roon (Audiolense DRC)>Stack Audio Link II>Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.

Secondary Listening: Server with Audiolense RC>RPi4 or analog>Matrix Element i Streamer/DAC (XLR)+Schiit Freya>Kii Three .

Bedroom: SBTouch to Cambridge Soundworks Desktop Setup.
Living Room/Kitchen: RPi 3B+ running RoPieee to a pair of Morel Hogtalare. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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I know they are all the same piece. But Roon, and no music playback software, knows this. So what are you going to do? Go through the hundreds of different variations of every piece and make sure you standardize its name, umlaut and all?

I'm not defending Roon, in fact, I'm using Audirvana. And don't get me wrong, if you're happy with your file system, great!

 

But indeed, to your question, I did just that. For example, the first one all have the same tag "Violin Sonata No. 5 F-major op. 24 "Spring" in the grouping field. Like this, from my A+ remote app, I can select all versions I have of this sonata without any hassle. It's great!

 

And by the way, while tagging, I was listening to music :-)

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I am not interested in doing tags. My music is already organized the way I like it - in folders. It is up to music software to provide me with a file browser - and I do not think this is an unreasonable thing to ask for. Jriver does it. Foobar does it. It is not up to me to subject myself to hundreds of hours of inconvenience just to get music software to work.

 

And besides, EVEN IF I did go and edit all that metadata, Roon still doesn't work. If I do a search for Bach, Roon returns 12,000 pages of results. This is because it lists each individual track as a result, rather than each album. If I were to REALLY narrow it down and search for "Wachet Auf", I would still get about 40 different tracks as a result. I have no interest in playing 40 random tracks of a cantata that should be listened from start to finish in sequential order.

 

It is organized correctly in the folder. Just let me play the damned folder.

 

And here is something else. All these refer to the exact same piece:

 

- Frühlings-Sonate

- Fruhlings-Sonate

- Fruhlingssonate

- Spring Sonata

- Sonate du Printemps

 

Also this:

 

- Dvorak New World Symphony

- Dvorak Symphony "From the New World"

- Dvorak Symphonie "Aus der neuen Welt"

 

And this:

 

- Bach 48 Preludes and Fugues

- Bach Well Tempered Klavier

- Bach Das Wohltemperierte Klavier

- Bach 48 Praludien und Fugen

- Bach Clavecin bien tempere

 

I know they are all the same piece. But Roon, and no music playback software, knows this. So what are you going to do? Go through the hundreds of different variations of every piece and make sure you standardize its name, umlaut and all?

 

Screw that. Not interested. If your hobby is tagging music instead of listening to it, you have a weird hobby. Yet that's what Roon and others expect you to do. The author of Muso effectively said as much.

 

Couldn't disagree more. You think music software should be a file browser; I dare say most of the world disagrees. Meta-tagging exists because it is a much more flexible and efficient system that allows the user to do all different kind of sorts of the music collection, not just one.

 

You don't understand what meta-tagging is about b/c you've never used it.

 

If your collection was tagged, you'd see that you can do pretty much any kind of sort you want in Roon, and you can even store different often used sorts with the Focus feature. (You don't have to devote "hundreds of hours" to tagging. You could tag your collection simply by getting a tagger and deciding to tag each album as you listen to it. After a while you'd get most or all of them tagged.)

 

I can sort by Composer, work, type of compositon (symphony, quartet, etc) album, conductor, track title, digital format, year of release, player, etc. Any grouping I want, so I don't get results like the ones you complained about. You don't get those results because you've locked yourself into one way of organizing your collection. That isn't Roon's fault.

 

Roon is setup to work on tags - either yours or the ones it gets from it's database.

 

I tag every album I get, at the same time I put it on my music server. I use mp3tag - it takes about one minute per album, and I never have to do it again on that album. It doesn't make music tagging my hobby instead of listening to music. It means I can browse my library in a more sophisticated way, and very quickly. That increases the pleasure I get from listening to my music.

 

Sorry, that's the modern method of handling digital music files. I get that it doesn't work for you, because you never tagged your collection. But that is something missing from your library, not really something missing from Roon.

 

So Roon isn't for you. Don't use it. Use Muso if you prefer it (IMO, Muso is like a UI written by a child in comparison to Roon). But the problem isn't Roon.

Main listening (small home office):

Main setup: Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>QuietPC Low Noise Server>Roon (Audiolense DRC)>Stack Audio Link II>Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.

Secondary Listening: Server with Audiolense RC>RPi4 or analog>Matrix Element i Streamer/DAC (XLR)+Schiit Freya>Kii Three .

Bedroom: SBTouch to Cambridge Soundworks Desktop Setup.
Living Room/Kitchen: RPi 3B+ running RoPieee to a pair of Morel Hogtalare. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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Most of the world disagrees and thinks they benefit from playlist because they have short attention spans and care about "songs". If your attention span only lasts about 2-3 minutes, and you are happy to have another "song" played after your current "song" in a way determined by a software algorithm with no logical or artistic order, then Roon is the product for you.

 

I am not interested in Muso either. Not able to browse by folder.

 

What I do is drag and drop folders into HQPlayer. Simple and effective - but not very pretty. It sure beats having to browse through 12,000 tracks which are organized in no logical order.

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When I met with Enno and Rob in May, they told me with the successful roll out of Roon 1.2 which implemented the RAAT transport protocol, their next task was to build a new database from scratch that had full flexibility to add additional data fields both by the Roon team and also by Roon customers.

 

They are very aware of the short comings of the present database with classical music, and this is one of the major reasons why they a building a new database structure from scratch.

 

Patience, I have every confidence the Roon team will develop a good browsing interface for classical, if it's not right in this next attempt, they will get it right the next go around. That's how passionate they are about delivering all kinds of music to the Roon community

Sound Test, Monaco

Consultant to Sound Galleries Monaco, and Taiko Audio Holland

e-mail [email protected]

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When I met with Enno and Rob in May, they told me with the successful roll out of Roon 1.2 which implemented the RAAT transport protocol, their next task was to build a new database from scratch that had full flexibility to add additional data fields both by the Roon team and also by Roon customers.

 

They are very aware of the short comings of the present database with classical music, and this is one of the major reasons why they a building a new database structure from scratch.

 

Patience, I have every confidence the Roon team will develop a good browsing interface for classical, if it's not right in this next attempt, they will get it right the next go around. That's how passionate they are about delivering all kinds of music to the Roon community

 

Even the best possible interface still requires good tagging, which unfortunate these days is still pretty manual whatever interface you're using.

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Even the best possible interface still requires good tagging, which unfortunate these days is still pretty manual whatever interface you're using.

 

+1

 

Just like any database, the usefulness is dependent upon the quality of data put in. Working from a folder structure is like arranging your CD's by major composer. How do you know what other works are on the disc, e.g., Dvorak's "Te Deum" on disc with Janacek's Glagalitic Mass"? I maintain a Filemaker Pro database (created before I got involved in computer audio) in addition to tagging my files.

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Couldn't disagree more. You think music software should be a file browser; I dare say most of the world disagrees. Meta-tagging exists because it is a much more flexible and efficient system that allows the user to do all different kind of sorts of the music collection, not just one.

 

+100!

 

Relying on your filing system is definitely NOT the way to go! That is such a huge limiting factor. Don't know what computer eco system you are in, but for instance in windows you are still limited to a 255 character file path, for classical that can be problematic. Your file system organization could literally be called something giberish and as long as your meta tags are in order you can find your music with ease.

 

I don't have the size of classical collection you do, maybe 1000 CD's, but I use MusiCHI and find it very good. For everything else I usually just go with what comes up when I rip with dBpoweramp, no editing required.

 

I would propose that when it comes to classical and computers there will never be a good solution, it will always be up to the end user.

Jim

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Even the best possible interface still requires good tagging, which unfortunate these days is still pretty manual whatever interface you're using.

 

Looking at the way Roon makes associations between popular artist to other artists who have influenced their style, one can certainly imagine Roon making stylistic connections between classical composers, styles, as well as performing artists. Roon's new database structure will allow these kinds of associations for classical without having Roon users add their own tags unless they wish too

Sound Test, Monaco

Consultant to Sound Galleries Monaco, and Taiko Audio Holland

e-mail [email protected]

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I have a fear that allowing play from folder browsing would require compromises in the way Roon works and the philosophy behind it. There seems to be plenty of options right now for playing from folders, so I don't see the logic in asking Roon to do this too. I prefer that they try for something different and perhaps better.

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Looking at the way Roon makes associations between popular artist to other artists who have influenced their style, one can certainly imagine Roon making stylistic connections between classical composers, styles, as well as performing artists. Roon's new database structure will allow these kinds of associations for classical without having Roon users add their own tags unless they wish too

 

Yes but to do so, Roon must be able to recognize the composer, the performing artist, and the work itself. How could Roon do that if the file is not properly tagged?

 

I've seen so many files tagged with "Beethoven" as an artist, and as pointed out previously, the software would need to know that Frühlingssonate and Violin Sonata 5 are the same thing!

 

And even worse, on many albums, especially best ofs, the individual tracks don't even have the composer name.

 

Sorry but you'd have to feed any kind of software such a huge amount of artificial intelligence to overcome all those tagging issues, I don't see that happening any time soon.

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Yes but to do so, Roon must be able to recognize the composer, the performing artist, and the work itself. How could Roon do that if the file is not properly tagged?

 

I've seen so many files tagged with "Beethoven" as an artist, and as pointed out previously, the software would need to know that Frühlingssonate and Violin Sonata 5 are the same thing!

 

And even worse, on many albums, especially best ofs, the individual tracks don't even have the composer name.

 

Sorry but you'd have to feed any kind of software such a huge amount of artificial intelligence to overcome all those tagging issues, I don't see that happening any time soon.

 

What Roon does and what the annual fee or lifetime fee pays for is the maintenance and curation of Roon's music track database. For example the Roon database has been "told" that Adele was influenced by Carol King

 

I would expect Roon to associate classical composers with the styles, where they composed, and which other composers influenced them. The Roon team is very much engaged to "connect the dots" in classical music for their user community. That is the justification for their fee's

Sound Test, Monaco

Consultant to Sound Galleries Monaco, and Taiko Audio Holland

e-mail [email protected]

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What Roon does and what the annual fee or lifetime fee pays for is the maintenance and curation of Roon's music track database. For example the Roon database has been "told" that Adele was influenced by Carol King

 

I would expect Roon to associate classical composers with the styles, where they composed, and which other composers influenced them. The Roon team is very much engaged to "connect the dots" in classical music for their user community. That is the justification for their fee's

 

I understand the concept of Roon, but before Roon can connect the dots they first need to know what dots to connect!

 

How can Roon make a connection eg from an early Beethoven symphony to late Haydn, if the file name doesn't even feature the composer?

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How can Roon make a connection eg from an early Beethoven symphony to late Haydn, if the file name doesn't even feature the composer?

Because their database is built independently of your own personal collection. Roon matches up the content of your collection with its database and where a match succeeds, uses its metadata. Where an album/track can't be identified, it will give you the option of using your own metadata, or manually matching your album with an entry in the Roon database.

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Because their database is built independently of your own personal collection. Roon matches up the content of your collection with its database and where a match succeeds, uses its metadata. Where an album/track can't be identified, it will give you the option of using your own metadata, or manually matching your album with an entry in the Roon database.

 

Yes but that's the point: where the match succeeds!

 

Sure, they can also match on other parameters eg play time, but this is still the crucial point.

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And if the match doesn't succeed, then Roon uses the metadata in the file. I realise that some people will make recordings and not bother about metadata, but that's their problem, not mine or Roon's.

 

My collection has about 30% of "albums" that Roon can't identify - podcasts, personal recordings, single track recordings made from long-disposed of LPs and the like. Those all have metadata that I've curated, and so now they are seamlessly handled in Roon.

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