Help with Editing Roon

I want to expand my listening experience from the Naim Uniti Core to all four of my stereo systems, Living Room, TV Room and both Windows Computers. So I decided to move to Roon, which also offers seamless access to the use of Qobuz or Tidal and Internet Radio. I quickly learned that Roon cannot process my Naim generated WAV files because they are proprietary to Naim (oh no!). I had heard that Song Kong could rescue me, but it turns out it doesn’t work with the output of the Uniti Core, though it does work with UnitiServe (oh no!). Not only that but the way the UnitiServe’s metadata file is organized is different from the way the Uniti Core’s metadata is organized so revising SongKong to handle UnitiCore’s version of WAV is a big job.

So Roon was greatly handicapped when presented with my 3 Tb of music files, not having access to my meticulously edited metadata, and the result is a major mess. Nearly every album will need editing.

I hope some of you using Roon can help answer some of my Roon questions so that the editing may proceed wisely.

I have the Roon Core on my Windows 10 Professional, Core i7 computer and I am using the iPad Air as controller

Restating the situation:
I just sent my 3 Tb music collection, almost all opera and classical, to Roon. It was originally ripped and processed by the Naim Uniti Core as WAV. UNFORTUNATELY, Naim uses a proprietary version of WAV which is unreadable by Roon. It is also unreadable by SongKong, which I had wrongly counted on to interpret Naim’s otherwise unreadable WAV metadata, because SongKong supports only thr UnitiServe. That is most unfortunate because my heavily curated music file metadata is rendered unuseable and Roon has less than its usual information to recognize and interpret my music. It has created a LOT of editing for me, almost every single album must be edited. I need some help in understanding Roon so I can do smart editing.

Problem 1: Roon doesn’t add artist data to a majority of my albums. In those cases it uses a category called “Various Artists”. As soon as I start editing to add artists to an album, the “Various Artists” field becomes irrelevant. I want to delete this field (or override it with an artist), when I “add an artist”. but “Various Artists” remains as though it is one of the artists.

How do I delete that now irrelevant entry?

Problem 2: Roon fails to handle multi-disc albums properly in many cases. It is supposed to combine them under one album cover. But often it doesn’t bundle multiple,disc albums together. Instead it displays two identical album covers side by side. Occasionally, the additional discs are so widely separated in the display I can’t always find the other discs.

How do I edit these albums so they are properly combined?

Problem 3: Is there a field for Conductor? I can’t seem to find it, so I have been adding the conductor as another Artist.

Where is the field for Conductor?

Problem 4: Naim has a reduced feature set compared to Roon. Therefore I found it convenient to force the display of my albums in alphabetical order. In order to do that I had to manipulate the Title field. All my music with a composer is edited as follows in the Title field:
Composer surname: Album title (usually the composition)
eg. Puccini: Madame Butterfly
Or Verdi: La Traviata
Or Korngold: Violin Concerto No 1
Alternatively, for albums devoted to an artist I would edit the Title field like this:
Artist First Name Last Name: Album Title
eg: Joan Sutherland: Coloratura Spectacular
or: Gino d’Auri: Flamenco Mystico

The result was an almost perfectly alphabetized collection under “Album Display”. I would like to continue to use the Title field in this way in Roon.

Is there any downside to using Roon’s Title field the same way as I used Naim’s Title field?

Problem 5:
This is related to Problem 4.
I also have some music in AIFF format and some music in FLAC format contributed from various sources. Frequently the Title field will display this way:
Composer First Name Last Name: Composition
This is in contrast to my convention which uses the composer’s Last Name only.

Does Roon have a preference for displaying composer? Does it use First and Laat Name!p? Or just Last Name?

Roon uses its own metadata by default, so any metadata stored in your music files is irrelevant unless you have optionally selected to use it in Roon.

Sorry that I can’t help - in my own trials of Roon I found it wasn’t able to work with the limitations of metadata in my own music collection, in a significant proportion not recognising it at all, so perhaps it simply isn’t suited to all. Best of luck with it - I’ll be interested in seeing if and what solutions may arise.

Is there an option to export out to Flac from the core as with the Unitiserve? If this if available it will at least preserve the metadata. Using WAVs straight out of it won’t. Classical will always be an issue as this metadata is not particularly well maintained in the main providers of Metadata at all boxsets will especially be an issue.

Roon allows you to set a flag so that it will force Roon to use your own metadata. Unfortunately, as I’ve said, it can’t read Naim’s WAV metadata beyond title, so the flag is no help. Worse, Naim has a peculiar way of dealing with edits in that it might have disc 1 of a multi disc album in one folder and disc 2 in another folder. That’s why Roon has trouble with Naim files with multi-disc albums.

No, there is no option to do this. Unfortunately! Naim has made getting around the Uniti Core’s idiosyncracies very very difficult. I wish I knew whether it was deliberate or not. Inexplicably, the way metadata is stored is differently formatted for the UnitiServe from the Uniti Core. Why??

If only I could use my own metadata. I have meticulously edited it and every album cover is a match to the album ripped. All metadata is entered in a standardized format. It’d be ideal if SongKong could read my metadata. But even so, the way Naim has chosen to separate multi-disc albums into separate folders would no doubt complicate that too.

Oh dear this sounds a right muddle!

Whilst Roon does use its own metadata it uses your metadata as a starting point to identify the album correctly. Once it’s done this it does a pretty good job.

I suspect that many or most of your albums are not being identified due to the lack of metadata in your tracks.

If you are decided on Roon then there’s some work ahead to make this work for you. I think it’s going to be quite time consuming and laborious.

If you can I would suggest taking a small subset of your collection and creating a copy elsewhere so you can experiment with it. You can add this area as a storage area in Roon and disable the existing one. This will allow you to see the wood from the trees and work on a method and plan for the whole collection.

I don’t know the Core but am I correct in assuming that like the Unitiserve it stores the metadata outside of the music files in a database so the files are effectively empty of any metadata? If so I think the best place to start is going to be to get the music files populated with some metadata in some semi-automated way.

I’ve found MusicBrainz Picard quite good for this. It will even listen to the music and match the audio to its database, allowing for an automated way of doing this. It’s best to start slowly on the subset of your data and see how this works for you.

I think you will find that once Roon knows what the album is it will do a quite reasonable job and get you mostly to where you want to be.

Regarding some of your queries.

Problem 1: I believe will largely go away once the album is correctly identified. I’d only expect to see Various Artists for compilations.

Problem 2: Multi disk albums are a bit of a bone of contention in Roon. I generally find they work well in Roon but the large sets can become unwieldy. It is possible to combine albums. Long press or click on an album until it is selected and then select the others that you wish to combine into one album. Then click on the edit button and you will see an option to merge albums. I would only do this once you are happy that the meta data is populated as Roon will probably do a lot of this for you once it knows the albums you are dealing with.

Problem 3: Roon does understand conductors, this will become clear once you have some metadata in and Roon knows what albums you have. See screenshot below

Composer is stored as part of the credits which can be edited.

Problem 4: I would be tempted to try and adjust to use Roon as they intend. For classical it works best by going in through the Composers area. In the example above I knew I wanted a Beethoven symphony so I went to Composers first, found Beethoven and then I used the filter option and typed in ‘Sym’ which was enough to narrow down to all his symphonies. Once I had this short list I selected Symphony number 5 and all the versions I had were presented to me.

Problem 5: If you enter as described above through composer you will see all the composers. It’s possible to restrict the list of composers to classical material only which is what I do. It’s very useful in a mixed library of classical and non classical

You can set the sorting for last name in settings and have classical sorted differently to non classical.

Good luck. I think the first thing is to re-tag (automatically ideally) your collection so Roon can identify your albums. Once this is done then you can work on correcting anomalies which hopefully won’t be too bad.

MP3TAG can covert the name structure of naims wav files into tags, its certainly how I made the transfer way back when.

I have not had to make any tag adjustments in roon for any album thankfully, infact all I have changed is a few artist profile pics.

You have truly characterized my situation when you say “oh dear this sounds a right muddle”. Oh dear, yes!! :frowning:

Your idea to create a subset of my music to work with is an EXCELLENT idea! Thanks much for that.

And thanks for your very helpful comments on Problems 1-5. I’ll be hoping that, as you say, most of these issues will resolve with better identification. But finding the field for Conductor helps me out a lot.Thanks for that. Nevertheless, I am still inclined to go against the norm and keep my method of “corrupting” the use of the Title field because I LIKE my collection displayed alphabetically by Artist or Composer. Nevertheless, I’ll give it more thought.

Meanwhile, rescue may be at hand with mp3tag, suggested by someone else. I’ll be looking into that now!

Gary, Can you tell me more about how mp3tag works? I didn’t find much on the website and it didn’t say anything about decoding Naim’s proprietary WAV metadata.

Hi echolane to be clear it does not do any conversions persay what it will do is look at the wavs file names you’ll notice naim, names the files quite well something like artist/album/track/

You can tel MP3TAG to use space diliminators to extract those sections of the file name and tage the wav.

I can have a look through my back ups if you like and try and find a naim ripped wav and work out what you need to do

Obviously you need a pc to run MP3tag though

I have a Windows 10 pc so that’s no problem. I just don’t quite understand how mp3tag works.

Ill take a today its been a while

I know that this is not helpful in your circumstances but this must be a Core issue because my c2000 albums ripped on Unitiserve transferred to Roon with no significant problems. That included a significant number of classical albums.

Perhaps Naim would like to comment because this seems a very significant issue for Core owners contemplating Roon.

Hi Echolane

OK, firstly, please copy one album somewhere to experiment on don’t run this on your library until you have tested.

Load mp3tag and drag in your test album

Select the tracks in the album

Goto convert and filename to tag

Enter this string

%albumartist%%album%%dummy%%track% - %title%

Check under it that your tags look correct

Click ok and you’ll notice that all your tags are entered. Save the tracks. These should now be seen in other programs. Though to be fair once they were tagged I got on and converted to flac.

I would hope they would comment! I cannot think of a single good reason why Naim chose to use a non-standard form of WAV. And then it REALLY baffles me that Naim chose to use completely different formats for the bundle of metadata output from the UnitiServe and the Uniti Core. Why would they have wanted to repeat the high cost of programming a completely different output for the newer (I presume) Uniti Core when they could have used the code from the UnitiServe. As a former programmer, this duplication of effort makes no financial sense to me.

The developer of SongKong is willing to upgrade SongKong to process the non-standard metadata from the Uniti Core, but when he found out that the metadata was in two different formats that turned the job from a minor effort to a major effort. Who knows when he would get to it now.

I have written to Naim support asking them if they can convert the metadata output of the Uniti Core to standard WAV or standard FLAC or convert the Uniti Core output to the format of the UnitiServe. Let’s see if they respond.

You have, unfortunately, run right smack into an important limitation of the Core. A proprietary tagging system, and no ability to convert to a non-proprietary system.

The UnitiServe had the capability of converting the wav rips + XML metadata ----> flac with embedded metadata. The embedded metadata was very rudimentary, but at least it was there.

I didn’t realise that… that sounds not upto Naim’s usual standards… assuming this is correct it’s certainly worth flagging to @Stevesky for future improvement.

I could never understand why the WAV list info meta data constructs were never used by Naim at least in a simplified format, as used by Microsoft and others such as certain major Upnp media server software providers and published in the WAV specification.
Yes theoretically one or two attributes could be used in different ways … but I don’t think that is sufficient reason not to do it… it didn’t hold up the release of MS Windows.

I assume it’s correct, reading here on the forum that Naim have still not implemented a wav to flac conversion feature for the Core (which the UServe certainly had, and the HDX).

I believe it’s that omission that has caught some people out. You apparently have to tell the Core to use FLAC or WAV, with no option to change unless you want to rip your CDs all over again.