MusicBrainz Picard/Documentation/Options

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< MusicBrainz Picard‎ | Documentation
Revision as of 13:47, 21 February 2010 by HumHumXX (talk | contribs) (Cover art)

Products > MusicBrainz Picard > Picard documentation > Options


  • Server address: The domain name for the server. Default value: (for the main MusicBrainz server).
  • Port: The port number for the server. Default value: 80 (for the main MusicBrainz server).
  • Username: Your MusicBrainz website username, used to submit PUIDs and disc IDs.
  • Password: Your MusicBrainz website password, used to submit PUIDs and disc IDs.
  • Automatically scan all new files: Check this box if you want Picard to scan each music file you add and look for a PUID. This takes time, but may be helpful for you and MusicBrainz. Leave it unchecked if you don't want Picard to do this scan automatically. In any case, you can direct Picard to scan a particular music file at any time using the Scan button in the toolbar.


  • Translate foreign artist names to English where possible: Check to use the artist sort name instead of the artist name when tagging.
  • Use release relationships: Check to write release-level relationships to your files, e.g. composer, lyricist, performer, conductor, DJ mixer, etc.
  • Use track relationships: Check to write track-level relationships to your files, e.g. composer, lyricist, performer, remixer, etc.
  • Use folksonomy tags as genres: Check to write folksonomy tags as genres.
  • Preferred release country: Select a country if you want Picard to automatically try and select the release event with that country when tagging.
  • Various artists: Choose how you want the 'Various Artists' artist spelled.
  • Non-album tracks: Choose how you want the 'Non-album tracks' release spelled.

Folksonomy tags

The following settings are only applicable if you enable the use folksonomy tags as genres option.
  • Ignore tags: Choose which tags to ignore when writing genres.
  • Only use my tags: Check to only write genres with tags that you have submitted to MusicBrainz.
  • Minimal tag usage: Choose how popular the tag must be before it is written by Picard. Default: 90%.
  • Maximum number of tags: Choose how many tags to write as genres. Default: 5.
  • Join multiple tags with: Select which character should be used to separate multiple tags.


  • Enable track ratings: Check to write track ratings to your files.
  • Submit ratings to MusicBrainz: Check to submit ratings to MusicBrainz. The tracks will be rated with your account.


  • Write tags to files: Uncheck to disable Picard from writing data. Picard may still move/rename your files according to your settings.

  • Clear existing tags: Checking this will remove all existing metadata and leave your files with only MusicBrainz metadata. Information you may have added such as genre will be removed.
  • Remove ID3 tags from FLAC files: Check to remove ID3 tags from FLAC files – Vorbis Comments are recommended for FLAC files. Picard will write Vorbis Comments to FLACs either way.
  • Remove APEv2 tags from MP3 files: Check to remove APEv2 tags from MP3 files – ID3 is recommended for MP3s. Picard will write ID3 tags to MP3s either way.

  • ID3v2 version: Version 2.4 is the latest and recommended version, but its support in players is currently lacking. Software such as foobar2000 and MediaMonkey have no problem using version 2.4 tags, but you will not be able to read the tags in explorer.exe or Windows Media Player. If your player doesn't show the tags with version 2.4, try using version 2.3.
  • Also include ID3v1 tags in the files: Not recommended at all. ID3v1.1 tags are obsolete and may not work with non-latin scripts.
  • ID3v2 text encoding: The default for version 2.4 is UTF-8, the default for version 2.3 is UTF-16. Use ISO-8859-1 only if you face compatibility issues with your player.

Cover art

You will require the Cover Art Downloader plugin available on the Picard plugins page.
  • Embed cover images into tags: This option will enable embedding images directly to the tags.
  • Save cover images as separate files: In the file name mask you can use any variable or function from Picard scripting. The mask should not contain a file extension; this is added automatically based on the actual image type. The default value is cover. If you change this to folder, Windows will use it to preview the containing folder.

Moving files

This page tells Picard whether it should move your audio files to a new directory when it saves metadata in them. One use for this is to keep your work organised: all untagged files are under directory A, and when Picard tags them it moves them to directory B. When directory A is empty, your tagging work is done. Check this box, and select a destination directory, if you want Picard to move files this way. Uncheck the box if you want Picard to leave the files under the same directory.

The Rename Files and Move Files options are independent. Rename Files refers to file names, and directory names based on artist and release names, under a parent directory. Move Files refers to changing the parent directory.

  • Move files to this directory when saving: Choose a destination parent directory to move saved files to.
  • Delete empty directories: Check to have Picard remove directories that have become empty once a move is completed. Leave unchecked if you want Picard to leave the source directory structure unchanged. Checking this box may be convenient if you are using the move files option to organise your work. An empty directory has no more work for you to do, and deleting the directory makes that clear.
  • Move additional files: Enter wildcard patterns that match any other files you want Picard to move when saving files, e.g. Folder.jpg, *.png, *.cue, *.log. Using default settings, when these additional files are moved they will end up in the release directory with your files. In a wildcard, * matches zero or more characters. Other text, like .jpg, matches those exact characters. Thus *.jpg matches "cover.jpg", "liner.jpg", "a.jpg", and ".jpg", but not "nomatch.jpg2". Put spaces between wildcard patterns.

File naming

  • Rename files when saving: Check to let Picard change file and directory names of your files when it saves metadata in them, in order to make the file and directory names consistent with the new metadata.
  • Replace non-ASCII characters: Check to replace non-ASCII characters with their ASCII equivalent, e.g. á,ä,ǎ, with a; é,ě,ë, with e; æ with ae, etc. For more information on ASCII characters read the Wikipedia page on ASCII.
  • Replace Windows-incompatible characters: Check to replace Windows-incompatible characters with an underscore. Enabled by default on Windows with no option to disable.

  • Name files like this: An edit box that contains a formatting string that tells Picard what the new name of the file and its containing directories should be, in terms of various metadata values. The formatting string is in Picard's scripting language where dark blue text starting with a "$" is a function name and names in light blue within "%" signs are Picard's tag names. Note that the use of a "/" in the formatting string means that everything before the string is a directory name, and everything after the last "/" becomes the file's name. The formatting string is allowed to have zero, one, or multiple, "/".
  • Name multiple artist albums differently: This edit box behaves in the same manner as the above edit box except that it only applies to tracks from releases with multiple track artists.

CD lookup

This is where you tell Picard which CD drive it should use to come up with a disc ID to use when searching for the MusicBrainz description of your music files.


On Windows, Picard has a pulldown menu listing the various CD drives it has found. Pull down the menu and select the drive you want.


As per Aaron Cooper's mailing list post located here

You have to make sure you have the correct rdisk# entered in the preferences.

Open up Terminal and type 'cd /dev/rdisk' and hit Tab twice to see all the rdisks. You're looking for one that has several "tracks" - like /dev/rdisk1a .... rdisk 1f or something similar.

Enter this /dev/rdisk# into preferences and it should work.

Linux, other platforms

On Linux and other platforms, the CD Lookup option is an empty text field. Type in the name of the path to the CD Rom drive. In most cases, this is /dev/cdrom (for the first drive) and /dev/cdrom1 (for a second drive).

However, depending on your system, many different paths could be appropriate (source: source code for "eject" command): a prefix of /dev/ followed by something, or a prefix of /media/, /mnt/, /dev/cdroms/, /dev/cdroms/...0, /dev/rdsk/, or /dev/dsk/.

One way to test whether a path is the right one is:

  1. Put a CD into the appropriate drive
  2. At a Terminal, type the command eject followed by the path you are testing (e.g. eject /dev/cdrom)
  3. The CD should eject.
    • If it does, the path is what you want.
    • If it doesn't, then try other paths.


For a list of plugins see Picard Plugins.

Here you may enable/disable any of the plugins you have installed in Picard.


Web proxy

If you need a proxy to make an outside connection you may specify one here.


It is recommended to not change these settings.


For scripting help see Picard Scripting.

User interface

  • Show text labels under icont: Uncheck to make the toolbar a little smaller.
  • Allow selection of multiple directories: Check to bypass the native directory selector and use Qt's file dialog since the native directory selector usually doesn't allow you to select more than one directory. This applies for the 'Add folder' dialog, the file browser always allows multiple directory selection.
  • Use advanced query syntax: Check to enable advanced query syntax parsing on your searches. This only applies for the search box at the top right of Picard, not the lookup buttons.