Innuos Zen Mini - Migrating a Classical Collection

I’m planning to use an Innuos Zen Mini mk III to store my current music library to feed an ND5 XS2. I will transfer the library to the Zen from my Mac using the Auto Import file - I’m not planning to re-rip any CDs, all of my files are either ALAC or FLAC. I plan to manage everything using Roon with the core on the Zen. I’d appreciate any feedback on ease of use of the Zen and running Roon on it.

In particular, are there any issues with importing my files onto the Zen in terms of metadata handling? And any advice on tidying up my files before doing the migration?

For example, I read in the Innuos literature that when you import files to the Zen it does some ‘housekeeping’ and truncates filenames longer than 70 characters - this is a problem for me, with many classical tracks that often have very long names especially if they have been renamed using a mask like:

[Disc No.] - [Track No.] - [Composer] - [CD Name] - [Original Track Name]

Has anyone encountered this issue and how did they get round it?

I would really appreciate any advice the Forum can provide! Many thanks.

Roon uses its own metadata, so you shouldn’t have to worry about the quality of any metadata that is in the files you import to the Zen. You can choose to select your own metadata stored in the music files if you prefer.

How well does Roon handle classical? I seem to recall from other exchanges fairly recently that it might not be great.

And regardless of whether Roon is good, if the filename has been truncated in putting on to Zen, then if any time later one moves away from Roon then it may be that the resultant filename may be useless for doing anything with the files, even identifying what they are.

Which is fine if the tags are consistent, accurate and meaningful - often an issue with classical music* - and if there is never any future desire to organise or search utilising the filenames or data that may be in them, such as sorting and filing on a different device (talking here about where they may have been truncated).

*e.g different depending on the publisher or whoever assigns the info, and not even constant then, recordings of otherwise the same piece of music might be assigned the genre ‘orhestral’ or ‘symphonic’ or ‘classical’, and the composer might be ‘Johann Sebastian Bach’ or ‘J S Bach’ or ‘Bach J S’, and the name of the piece might be ‘Symphony No.11’ or ‘Opus 32’, and the recording artist might be the conductor’s name, the orchestra name, or the soloist’s name. Given this variety file handling by metadata can be a tight pain unless someone meticulously goes through applying a consistent policy, checking and reassigning metadata as necessary (not to bad one album at a time when ripping or diwnloading, but enough to lose tge will to live with a collection. Many people have solved the issue in past collections by simple file naming protocol, often partly also by file structure using nested fokders. Losing that hard work is untenable unless certain that what replaces it is as good, and tgat it dies not compromise futre needs.

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Only a person having made that and owning an Innuos can respond precisely to it.
Try to go in search part of the forum and find persons using Innuos.
I know there is Filipe, @Dave, @obsydian…at least.

I’ve just realised that in my first post I erroneously referred to truncating the metadata, when what I was talking about was truncating the filename. I now understand why you picked up on that, and have now correcrpted that post. Apologies for it being misleading.

As for Roon, I am no expert, but I understand that if it manages to identify the file it then somehow links to its own metadada database for searching/browsing, but if that dies work with the OP’s files it may be a solution for as long as he or she uses Roon, but the truncated filenames may be a problem if that changes if the existing metadata is incomplete or inconsistent, whereas the full filenames give all the information needed.

So if indeed Zen (or any other server) truncates filenames it could be a major issue - the most important thing of course is to be aware, and not discover after importing tgousands of files (though hopefully there is a backup copy of each).

I went more the lazy stream as opposed to ripping, but did rip circa 50 CDs and around 20GB via USB.

Never really listen to most the ripped content, that said when I used Roon I did.

Anyway, I am not overly OCD on the metadata, I let the Innuos handle matters and did not raise any issues.

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My experience of a 60 day Roon Trial was that Roon ignores any metadata and works it all out for itself - Rather well in fact. It really understands Classical Music to the extent that multi CD albums appear as one and it you have symphonies split over CDs its the work you see.

You are a bit b#gg#r*d if you don’t like it’s metadata. Least wise I could not fathom it in an easy way.

Much as I liked Roon I could not draw myself to cough up the money.

If you are transferring from Naim Serve etc the track lengths are proprietary and you get rubbish importing into Innuos. Roon uses its own data so it doesn’t matter.

I love my Zenith into nDAC and Qobuz works very well.

Go for it.


Thanks to Filipe and obsydian and all who responded. I am clear that once the music is identified by Roon, I won’t have to worry about metadata thereafter. My focus to date has been to get enough tags in the music files so that Roon will identify it easily. I’ve been using SongKong to do the bulk of this work with occasional edits using Kid3 and I’m pretty much there with the tags now. The issue with Innuos limiting filenames to 70 characters threw me a bit - I’ve had it confirmed by their Sales Manager for the UK that this is the case. So I obviously need to ensure that filenames are kept short and that the folder structure allows me to identify albums easily. Thanks to Paul Taylor of SongKong I’m making progress, but some manual labour remains to get some very long filenames shortened.

It is heartening to hear that experiences of using Innuos and Roon are positive. I’m looking forward to listening to music - my ND5 XS2 and Nait XS3 are on order!

Cheers, Ian

Hi @Timberwolf, I can’t really add much as regards importing classical music into Innuos as I don’t have any.
But I did transfer my (Unitiserve) ripped collection into my Innuos Zen MKIII using auto import without issues. (I had converted the files to FLAC many years prior to avoid the issues ChrisSU mentions above with Unitiserve proprietary files)
I was slightly nervous as I was doing it not being 100% sure if it was going to work correctly or not but metadata all came through to the Zen as expected.

Sounds like you are doing your due diligence before doing it which makes sense.

Maybe you could try a test import of say 10 files from a USB stick into the Zen Mini when you are ready to make sure it’s all good before you do your mass import?

I also use the Zen as a Roon Core and I have to say it is absolutely seamless to use.
Again, slightly apprehensive as I was switching over from the Zen as UPnP to the Zen as Roon Core, but fears were unfounded.
I did read lots of reports that the Zen processing power was not ‘man enough’ to handle Roon but I have found absolutely no problems with my set up and requirements.
I think if you plan on using the full DSP capability in Roon that may push the processor, but I don’t use that aspect of Roon so don’t have a problem.

Good luck with your Zen Mini and the switchover to Roon, I’m sure you will love it.

I found the opposite, Roon ignoring a chunk of my collection, I guess due to the poor/missing metadata (which I had hoped Roon might have been able to get round).

I tried Roon just over a year ago. It has to be given time after initially being activated to search through the local library to reorganise everything. This can take a long time. It may also be that the way Innuos configure Roon makes a difference.

But there will always be things that it’s hasn’t been configured for. My guess is that the local Roon communicates with a remote server. If this is the case there may be a periodic synchronisation process.

My view is that ones own metadata is of little relevance. It’s their way, take it or leave it. It’s very smart at searching.


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