Picard Qt/Mac Install Guide

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  • CAUTION: Proceed at your own risk. This isn't official yet and is not supported. This document is provided purely for informational purposes and should not be used if you don't know what you're doing.
  • This procedure is quite complex and time-consuming. I've tried installing it on three different Macs, spent two days on it and still couldn't get it to work (varying from picky libraries that won't compile to crashing executable). If anyone has managed to get a working .app, please - have mercy - and distribute it!
  • This guide lets you to compile a lot of libraries that are required to enable fingerprinting support in Picard, but in the final step it doesn't use them. If you don't want to use PUIDs, you can skip installing of expat, libofa and ffmpeg. Otherwise you will need to edit build.cfg after running "python setup.py config". If somebody has time to expand the FFmpeg installation step (for example with similar configuration as I use on Windows) and fix the Picard installation step to actually use it, please do so. -- LukasLalinsky 09:34, 06 June 2007 (UTC)
  • I couldn't get picard to pick up the right settings automatically. Here's my handcrafted (and working) build.cfg:
libs = 
cflags = 

libs = -L/usr/local/lib -lofa
cflags = -I/usr/local/include 

libs = -L/opt/local/lib -lavcodec -lavformat -lavutil
cflags = -I/opt/local/include/ffmpeg

with-directshow = False
with-avcodec = True
with-libofa = True
  • -- JuergenKreileder When I use this build.cfg and run python setup.py build_ext -i I get this mess of errors: http://pastebin.com/m120edf93 - Anyone have any ideas? -AaronCooper I've used ffmpeg from MacPorts. If you installed it manually, you'll probably have to change the cflags line for avcodec to something like "cflags = -I/usr/local/include/ffmpeg". -- JuergenKreileder I saw the same error, reinstalling ffmpeg solved this for me (upgrade didn't work, apparently ffmpeg trips over itself when compiling, so port uninstall && port install is required). -- MartijnPieters

I've done all the instructions on Intel Mac (with fixed build.cfg, fixed libofa, ffmpeg from svn), and Picard runs! ...but reports "No decoders found! Fingerprinting will be disabled". How do I fix that?

Installation Steps




python configure.py  
sudo make install
python configure.py 
sudo make install


python setup.py build 
sudo python setup.py install


sudo make install


./configure --prefix=/usr/local 
make buildlib
sudo make installlib


  • download and extract libofa-0.9.3.tar.gz (direct link) [376 kB]
  • download and extract libtool-1.5.22.tar.gz [2.8 MB]
  • copy ltmain.sh from the libtool dir to the libofa dir (overwrite)
  • (if you tried configuring libofa without copying the libtool's ltmain.sh file, run make clean]
./configure --prefix=/usr/local 
sudo make install


Note: The configure for ffmpeg in the above document didn't work, but it appears to work with this configure command: ./configure --enable-libmp3lame --enable-static --disable-vhook


You need gettext for the localization support when compiling PicardQT

curl -O ftp://mirrors.kernel.org/gnu/gettext/gettext-0.16.tar.gz
wget ftp://mirrors.kernel.org/gnu/gettext/gettext-0.16.tar.gz
tar -xzvf gettext-0.16.tar.gz
./configure --prefix=/usr/local
sudo make install


python setup.py config -I /usr/local/include:/usr/local/include/ffmpeg/
python setup.py build_ext -i
python setup.py install

And from now just type picard to run the app!

See PicardQt/MacUsageGuide for more info on using the app with iTunes.

PUID generation with 0.9.0alpha11 is broken on ppc (actually on all big endian systems). See http://lists.musicbrainz.org/pipermail/musicbrainz-devel/2007-July/002205.html for a work-around.


  • HUGE thanks to luks and warp in #musicbrainz for their help throughout this process.