Enrich display capabilities to better support classical music

Per @PAR’s point in another thread, the problems with identifying tracks on classical releases is fundamentally constrained by display limitations, not structural metadata limitations.

Take this release for example, Paul Lewis’s excellent Beethoven Piano Sonata cycle on the pianoforte streamed from Qobuz. First the Qobuz native UI:

I was recommending a performance of the Appassionata from this disc in the 100 Greatest Classical Music Works thread, but how to tell which are the relevant tracks?

As is typically the case the Composer has been inserted at the start of the Album field since Composer is not displayed on most devices. However in this case the Album title “Piano Sonatas Vol.3” doesn’t help us identify the individual works. And in this case the Work has not been coded into the Track field (as is common practice, although it often pushes the Movement out of view) and so it is impossible to divine the Work from either the Album or the Track fields. So the only way to know which tracks are the three movements of the Appassionata other than playing everything is to know the exact movement names, which will lead you to tracks 7, 8 & 9 of CD2.

Now contrast how Mosaic displays this:

with Roon, which has also displayed the Work:

In Roon Composer and Work (“Composition” in Roonspeak) are both searchable and displayed. In Mosaic neither.

So for Classical, while Album may or may not be a relevant metadata element for search, for display Composer, Work and Movement are necessary to identify the piece and Conductor, Orchestra, Soloist(s) as well as Recording Date are necessary to identify the actual recording.

It would be hugely appreciated if dCS could lead the way in better supporting the search and display of classical metadata in both Mosaic and their next generation of streaming hardware.


I thought it may be useful to dCS to show that others realise the issue. Qobuz have inserted a work/composer field for many albums to distinguish the relationship between tracks forming a single work and composer. Unfortunately they are not consistent with this but here is an example:

Exactly. The fields are there but we need the whole value chain, record labels, metadata aggregators, streaming service providers, and streaming hardware and software vendors to step up and support them. The remderers are probably the limiting step because larger, higher resolution displays require hardware changes and extra cost.

The Kaleidascape system has one of the best browsers for Classical music. Maybe aspects of it can be adopted (albeit, its better suited for Roon than Mosaic)

Interesting Anup, hadn’t come across this (although IIUC Kaleidescape’s main target market is video servers/renderers?). The UI looks nice, maybe slightly nicer than Roon but essentially similar. As far as I can see equivalent functionality exists in Roon for pretty much everything shown in the video clip, for instance starting a search from Composer or Work (Composition in Roon parlance). Am I missing something?

Yes, Video selection & playback is the primary attraction of the K-scape system, but it does a fairly good job of being a Music server as well (albeit just for redbook sources, with no support for DSD or highres PCM). They’ve had that slick UI from the very beginning, well before Roon (or Sooloos for that matter). The biggest drawback of the system is the completely proprietary storage system (although it works very well).

I’ve never actually used Roon for Classical music, so I don’t know for sure, but I’d imagine it comes somewhat close to K-scape.