Adding Performers to tag causes problem in 3rd party app


I’m using Musicbee as my main player and I’ve come across an issue where it doesn’t play very well with Picard. I’ve created a thread about this in Musicbee’s forum and the developer of the software has looked into it to no avail. If I add the tags manually with MP3Tag, everything is as it should be. But if I use Picard to tag the album it does something that I’m not able to figure out why and any additional insight would be immensely appreciated. All the files are flac and therefore Vorbis Comments are used.

This is the album I’ll be using as an example, but I’ve confirmed the problem on more than a couple albums:

When I run an album through Picard that has Performers in the tags and then open the tag editor in Musicbee and view the Artists I get this:

This is the whole list from the Multiple Artist Splitter:

David Michael Farrell: bass guitar
Owen Pallett: strings
Mike Shinoda: strings
Rob Bourdon: drums
Bradford Phillip Delson: guitar
Mike Shinoda: guitar
Rob Bourdon: percussion
Bradford Phillip Delson: additional vocals
David Michael Farrell: additional vocals
Joseph “Joe” Hahn: additional vocals
Joseph “Joe” Hahn: turntable(s)
Mike Shinoda: keyboard
Chester Bennington: vocals
Mike Shinoda: vocals
Mike Shinoda: piano
Mike Shinoda: synthesizer
Joseph “Joe” Hahn: sampler
Linkin Park: Artist

As you can see “Linkin Park: Artist” is at the bottom of the list and all the Performers are at the top (the exact opposite happens if I add the tags manually). This causes Musicbee to use the top entry (“David Michael Farrell”) as the artist whenever a search that invokes the [Artist] tag is made. E.g if I were to search for lyrics by using [Artist] - [Title], the result would be “David Michael Farrell - I’ll Be Gone”, which of course doesn’t give me any results at all. Same thing happens if I do a google search using a custom web-link that looks like this:$Replace([Artist],"&",) $Replace([Title],"&",)
The result would again be a google search for “David Michael Farrell - I’ll Be Gone”.

I’ve reinstalled Picard to clear all the settings and plugins. I’ve tried using the Sort Multi-Value Tags 0.2 plugin aswell as Standardise Performers 0.2 with all possible combinations (enabled/disabled), but nothing seems to help. It doesn’t seem reasonable that I’m the only one that has this issue but I’ve been unable to find anything about it, here or at Musicbee’s forum. If anyone has experienced this, or heard of it before, or has any idea on what I can try to do to solve it, I would be extremely grateful. Thanks in advance!


I don’t know MusicBee, but that looks like an issue on their side; from everything I’ve seen, Picard stores performers in completely different fields than the primary artist, so them showing up in the same list is something that interface does itself. That’s why the Sort Multi-Value Tags doesn’t work: it changes the order of the performers, but the artist field is separate and doesn’t get touched. At a completely wild guess, it might have something to do with the order of the fields in the file – ARTIST just happens to be saved farther in than PERFORMER, and Musicbee was written with the naive expectation that it will always be the other way around. No idea if that’s right or not, but it sounds plausible.


I get what you’re saying and that was my initial thought process too. That’s why I tried adding the tags manually with MP3Tag and when I did that, suddenly the list were in the right order, with the main artist at the top. That’s what led me to believe that something happens with the tags when they’re added using Picard. I seem to have hit an impasse over at Musicbee so this was kind of my last option. There must be other users who tag albums with Picard and uses Musicbee to play and manage the files and have come across this issue before me.

Edit: Also, if I open an album that’s been through Picard in MP3Tag, delete the Performer tag and add a couple of new Performers and then view the tags in Musicbee, the list is suddenly in the right order.


What happens if you tag your files with Mp3Tag and open them in Picard? Do the fields match? My wild guess is that this could be PICARD-1101.


I did what you suggested and it looks like this:

I added the three test values to the Performer field in MP3Tag so technically they don’t match as I’m using the Standardise Performers plugins in Picard. But even though Picard says the tag is “Performer [acoustic guitar]” it still gets added to the tags as “Performer” with the value “Björn Ulvaeus [acoustic guitar]”.

I looked at the link you posted and that seem to be related to the case sensitivity of ID3 tags. I only use flacs with Vorbis and all the ID3 tags are cleared before Picard adds new ones.


Here’s how it looks in MP3Tag when it’s been through Picard:


Finally managed to solve this with a MP3Tag action. Picard obviously saves the Performer tag in a way that Musicbee doesn’t like and the solution is to make a third-party tag tool copy the existing Performer tags to a new Performer tag.


  1. Merge duplicate fields - Field: “PERFORMER” Separator: ;
  2. Guess values - Source format: %performer%~%performer% - Guessing pattern: %performer%~%performer%
  3. Split field by separator - Field: “PERFORMER” Separator: ;