Adding MBID tags to files with no MusicBrainz entry? (e.g. personal mix/compilation, etc.)

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So I’ve gone through my library with Picard and tagged 99% of the files with proper MBIDs from the MusicBrainz database. I added the occasional release variation, or obscure artist to the database myself, to get everything I needed. It was a great learning experience and I’ve got Kodi looking fantastic now!

The only stragglers are a couple of custom CDr mix albums from friends/family, and some unofficial game rip soundtracks. Most release info wouldn’t be relevant given the nature of these “albums,” but I would still like to have MBID data for artists. Given that these are not the types of albums that should be added to the MusicBrainz database, I would need a way to tag these files without “matching” them to anything. Is there a way to do that?

All I can think of it to lookup some random album in Picard, add my files, then preserve original tags for everything and add the correct MusicBrainz Artist ID. But that seems way too clumsy. I feel like there must be a simpler method that I’m missing (again, WITHOUT adding any entries to the database).


Indeed, having at least the artist MBIDs in the tags can be useful, especially when this is supported by the player like it is in Kodi. I don’t know of any really convenient way, but you can edit the tags in Picard manually and just add the proper ID to the artist and albumartist tags. You can get the correct ID from looking up another release, but easiest is probably to look it up on The MBID is part of the URL, and also listed on the artist’s detail page (e.g.

Also some people have mentioned they are running their own musicbrainz server and actually enter their private releases there, but that’s probably overkill for most users :slight_smile:


Thanks for the response! I’ve tried to do what you’ve mentioned, but I’m not sure how to add a tag field that isn’t present in the original file. I’ve tried to “Add New Tag…” with a file selected in the left pane, but that doesn’t seem to stick after saving. I even tried adding “MusicBrainz Artist ID” in an external tagging program (MP3tag), to see if it could then be edited in Picard, but it wasn’t recognized.


There is the Load as non-album track plugin.
This plugin allows the song to be tagged as if it did not belong to the album and contains the artist id, recording id but not the release id’s.
Add the song as normal and find it in an existing release.
right click that recording plugins > Load as non-album track

You can manually add the tags manually by right clicking in the tag section and selecting add new tag.
You then have a pop up window where you can select the tag and the value, remember to press enter to finish editing that entry.


Hmm, interesting but it seems like that would amount to the same process as just adding a “dummy” album via website Lookup, and then changing the tags manually. Which I’m prepared to do, if that’s the only option, I just figured there would be a more elegant solution.

Your reply has gotten me to explore more of the built-in plugins though. I’m kicking myself hard for not using that “Add Cluster As Release” during my tagging binge last month… d’oh!


I’ll typically use Scan to find the recording IDs and all the relevant data – potentially looking it up manually if it gives me something on a compilation, or without relationships – and then just remove the Release, Release Group, and Track ID fields to keep Picard from assocating the file with any official album the next time it’s loaded (though that deletion does have to be repeated every time). After that, it’s just updating or restoring the release title, artist, and artist ID to match the mixtape.

Definitely not as simple as releases in the database, but I don’t mind a bit of manual editing. The trickiest thing about it is that Picard doesn’t separate different custom albums so I don’t like having more than one loaded at the same time, but (at least a couple versions ago) it treated non-album tracks more like album-associated tracks and didn’t allow them to be removed individually (the file was taken off but the empty track remained).


Just thinking out loud, but I wonder if that could be handled by setting a custom tag once and then use a script to remove the Release, Release Group and Track ID information if the custom tag is found. Then again, I may be completely misunderstanding the situation. :slight_smile:


No, that would actually be perfect. Thanks a lot for the insight! The still-present-but-overwritten fields are a bit trickier and make me wonder about writing a full-on plugin rather than just a script (which, off the top of my head, would need to store the values twice), but I’ll see what comes together after a bit more planning.


Sounds good. If you do develop something (script or plug-in) I’d be interested in seeing it because I also have the same situation that I’m trying to figure out how to manage. This way all I have to do is come up with an idea and let you do all the work. :grinning:


[quote=“Busta_Uppa, post:1, topic:265704”]
unofficial game rip soundtracks
[/quote]You can possibly add these as bootlegs - if they’re widespread enough.
Just ask if you’re unsure, but if you add them with heaps of (honest) information about where you got them from, and mark them as bootleg, that’s great! Someone can always vote no or remove them later if they’re not notable enough.

This doesn’t mean you can upload a personalized rip that no-one else would have access to, or your own compilation of tracks, but I’m sure you’re aware of that already :slight_smile: