Import Settings

Import Settings


Roon's Import Settings provide control over how Roon handles your music files.

When you modify import settings, Roon re-evaluates each file in your library taking the new settings into account. This approach allows for the settings to be both very powerful and totally non-destructive.

That means that it's completely safe to change your library settings--you can always put them back the way they were later if you change your mind, and the result will be the same as if you never touched them in the first place.

Changing Library Settings Takes Time

This process can take a few minutes to complete, depending on the size of your library and the performance of your server. You can continue to use Roon during this time, but performance may be impacted, so it might not be the best idea to experiment with these settings during a party or a critical listening session.

Locating Import Settings

You can launch the import setting screen from Settings -> Library

Genre Settings

By default, Roon assigns genres to albums and artists automatically and ignores genre information found in file tags. This produces a clean and consistent experience for the majority who do not have clean genre information in their files. If you want to exert more control over how genres are displayed in Roon, you might choose to enable both options, or to totally opt-out of Roon's genre assignments and do it yourself.

For more in-depth information on managing genres in Roon, see here.

Metadata Preferences

By default, Roon displays metadata from our metadata service instead of metadata found in your file tags when both are present.

Starting in Roon 1.1, we introduced "Prefer File" options in our [[Editing]] features, which enabled people to choose whether data from file tags or data from Roon's metadata database would be displayed on an album by album, track by track, field by field basis.

This system was very flexible, and allowed for fine-grained tuning, but we received one piece of feedback over and over from our users: that there should be a way to express these preferences globally.

So, in Roon 1.3, we introduced global versions of these settings.

You can find these settings under the Metadata preferences for Albums and Metadata preferences for Tracks sections in Import Settings. Note that Prefer File does not mean "File Tags Only". Roon considers track credits on a category-by-category basis and, for each category ( Composer, Conductor, Ensemble, Main Performer, Performer, and Production), if no credits exist for the preferred metadata source (Roon or File), then Roon will look for them in the other source (File or Roon).

Composer credits have an additional level of complexity in that there is a distinction between _composition_ composer credits and _track_ composer credits. If we have Roon composition composer credits, but no track composer credits, we will go to your file tags and merge in anything that Roon doesn't already have; one reason for this is to cater for track-specific Arranger (Composer) credits.

This is, incidentally, why, if you've put something like "Beethoven, Ludwig van (1770-1827)" in your "COMPOSER" tags, it will appear alongside Roon's "Ludwig van Beethoven" in the composer credits. This behavior is deliberate. The reason that Roon applies as much credit metadata as it can is to provide rich and, in many many cases, unknown links between the different albums in your library. E.g. Drummer "Joe Shmoe" played on 7 albums in your library... This is fundamental to the Roon experience today and we're likely to leverage this even more in the future.

Import Dates

By default, Roon keeps track of the "Date Added" for each of your tracks based on the first time a file was added to your library. If you prefer to manage these differently, there are a few possibilities:

The "IMPORTDATE" tag is the most reliable method, and is a good solution for people who would rather manage this explicitly using external tools or scripts.

You might consider using the file time settings if you find that the timestamps on your files are a good representation of when you feel that you originally acquired the content. This will be true for some people, and extremely un-true for others. The only way to find out is to look.

In general, we do not recommend that you use File Modification Time unless you know what you're doing--it's easy to accidentally change the modification time of a file, which will cause your import dates to change as well.

Also note that on Linux-based systems, the notion of "File Creation Time" is very shaky and may not work as you expect. For extremely nerdy technical details of the effort to resolve this, see here.

Album Version settings

Roon supports the idea of an album "version", which is usually a short piece of text that helps to provide identifying information about the album.

Roon automatically populates the "Version" field from several locations based on a wide range of patterns we've observed in files "in the wild". If your library is more deliberately tagged, you may want to alter these settings to match your tagging practices.

File Tag Delimiters

When processing file tags, Roon splits fields based on certain delimiters. If you prefer, you can customize these. For example, if your track has a tag like this: ARTIST: Leonard Bernstein; New York Philharmonic Roon can recognize the `;` as a delimiter and split that tag into two separate artists, like this.

Roon's defaults are based on an analysis of millions of "real-world" files, and are generally considered to be safe, but if your library follows different conventions, you may need to change them. Note that Roon always treats a `NUL` character as a delimiter.

Finally, note that it is nearly always better to simply put separate values in separate tags. A file with two `ARTIST` tags instead of `Artist1; Artist2` will be more easily and unambiguously understood by virtually all software.

Delimiter Settings

When specifying multiple delimiters, please separate them with a space character. Multi-character delimiters are supported.

The most common things people add are `'/'`, `'\'`, or `'|'`. These are relatively safe and do not generally cause problems.

Tag Delimiters for Artist/Composer/Label Tags

This setting impacts Roon's parsing of the following tags:


We caution strongly against adding a `','` as a delimiter for Artist/Composer/Label tags. Many real-life artist names contain commas, and this will make a mess out of your experience in Roon.

Tag Delimiters for Genre tags

This setting impacts Roon's parsing of the following tags:


Troubleshooting Issues

Some tagging software displays one delimiter in its user interface, and then writes the delimiter out to your files differently. Very often the thing displayed in the user interface is a semicolon, even though the underlying file ends up using something else.

These situations can be tricky to debug--since your editor is showing you something different than what Roon is seeing. You can see information about how Roon is reading your tags using View File Info. This can be very helpful when trying to figure out what's going on.

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