"album modified and complete" on every load but no modifications

Hi guys,

I have started to use Picard 2.1.3 extensively to clean up my large collection, but I have a few issues that I could not get around despite extensive search and testing. Glad to get some help from guru users here.

  1. The first issue I have is that I can’t get some (20%) of the albums to load as “complete”, even though I just repeatedly saved them. (Of course the Ignore MBID is unchecked). An example with release 4b370e6c-e6d2-36a5-8c47-5337a2d77d69 (Freak of Nature, Anastacia). The album is complete in my opinion. When I load it it goes straight to the right pane with the golden disc, but it has a purple star and all songs have the green rectangle. Right click->Save, gets all green check marks, then Remove. I drag it back to the middle pane, it does the exact same thing as above (status Album modified and complete). Going through the bottom pane, I cannot spot any difference anywhere. How can I find out what was modified and why can’t it save it properly ?

  2. The non-album tracks “album” is really a nice idea combined with the “Load as NAT” plugin. However it always try to combine all cover arts together. If I drag any ONE song from my non-album directory, it gets a green check mark. If I drag any two or more of these songs together, the first one gets a check mark and all others get modified with the green rectangle. This is because the second one gets the first one’s cover art in addition to its own, the third one gets the 2 before added, etc. Would it be possible that for the non-album track album, the feature that sets the album cover art on each song is disabled ?

Thanks for any help :slight_smile:

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i can help with problem 1 a bit
to see what is being changed on the album the best way is once the album is ready to save there will be an arrow next to the disc you see you said you see a gold disc so thats the one im talking about that will let you see the songs in the album then you will see a red star next to any that have info that has changed click the song and down the bottom of Picard you will see Tag, Original value and New value you are looking at the value ones they will show you what is changing if it is the same colour on both side that value is not changing. ie if the song goes for 1:30 and the time on music brains is 1:30 it will be the same colour (gray i think). if it is changing it will be green i think on the new side. some plugins are buggy so if you are using one try removing it and see if it saves

i can not help with problem 2 as i dont know any thing about that pugin. someone eles may be able to help you with that

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This can happen in cases where the data gets written in a way that causes the data once read back to differ from the loaded data. We try to solve those issues when we can, but we need more info about the specific case. It depends on the file format, tags getting written and your settings and plugins.

If you want to help fix those issues it wod be great if you could provide concrete examples with:

  • What fe types are affected
  • In case of ID3 tags, what version (2.3 or 2.4, see Picard options)
  • The release you are tagging
  • If you can identify the exact tag that’s causing the issue that’s great (see @st3v3p’s comment above)
  • If not (there can be cases where the above does not work) try to describe as much about the tags that are getting written, including cover art and tags set by scripts or plugins

This is a problem that is hard to solve completely, as we have to handle this for different cases. In the past the problem often had to do with ID3 v2.3 conversion and cover art.

I have not yet reproduced it, but what you described here sounds like a bug. What exactly do you mean with dragging of files here? Just dragging the already tagged nonalbum track files into Picard to load them?


I could reproduce your second issue easily, this is a straight forward bug. I submitted a ticket and a patch, see:


Awesome! Thank you very much.

For the repeated (non-)modified saves, here is an example of a small single:
Hasta Siempré (Comandante Che Guevara)
Cardone, Nathalie

Either at album level or song level, the bottom pane does not show any difference anywhere between original and new value. There are no differences either in the Cover Art (No new coverart). However it seems related to the CAA Cover Art, see the logs.

Not sure how I can attach a file which is not a picture, so I put the commented logs in the pastebin below.


I’m currently in ID3v2 UTF-16 version 2.3 (not sure of the benefits/drawbacks of changing this).
“Also include ID3v1 tags in the files” is checked

Active plugins are:

  • Album Artist Website
  • Load as non-album track
  • Release Type
  • Remove Perfect Albums
  • Soundtrack
  • Standardise Feat.

Last thing, my cover art settings (options not mentioned are UNCHECKED):

  • Embed cover images into tags
  • Cover Art Archive
  • CAA Release Group
  • Amazon
  • Download only cover art images matching selected types [Back, Front Spine], exclude [Raw/Unedited, Watermark]
    Only use images of the following size: 500px

Thanks for any help :slight_smile:

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it looks like the album art it is moving is a hidden file that windows 10 makes. and it is finding your cover art as requested. i dont see any thing wrong. but they could be due to my not knowing what it is all saying. ill see what outsidecontext thinks

Thanks a lot for the details and for the annotated log file. It was a bit tricky to replicate, but this is actually a bug with cover art handling in Picard 2.1.3: It fails to load cover art that has the types “media” or "other properly from ID3. Fortunately this has already been fixed and the next Picard release (or current development releases) already work as expected. See https://tickets.metabrainz.org/browse/PICARD-1499

If you want to help with debugging this further you can try the current development build, at the time of writing the latest for Windows is at AppVeyor

This should fix this specific case. Maybe try loading all other files with this and see if there are still cases left. The usual disclaimer applies: While we think the current development build is in a usable state (I use it all the time) there is still a higher risk that something isn’t working as expected. Use at your own risk and make backups :wink:

Why is it logging the save of JPG files ? I have this option disabled and actually no files are saved.

D: 10:33:25,040 file._move_additional_files:430: Moving ‘D:\Users\jdoe\Dropbox\JohnDoe\Music\Cardone, Nathalie\Hasta Siempré (Comandante Che Guevara) (single) - FR\AlbumArtSmall.jpg’ to ‘D:\Users\jdoe\Dropbox\JohnDoe\Music\Cardone, Nathalie\Hasta Siempré (Comandante Che Guevara) (single) - FR\AlbumArtSmall.jpg’

This is the “move additional files” option you can configure in Options > File naming. The basic idea is that when you have all the files of a release in one folder you might also have additional files in this folder you want to move over, such as PDF booklet, additional images or things like this. You can configure which file types you want to move with the audio files when saving.


this may help you understand what the differences are in ID3 formats from my understanding they just add different things to the metadata

thanks @outsidecontext for helping im still learning here so i dont have all the knolge i need for some questions


Great news, thanks for the thorough explanation. I will try the beta (mostly because you seem to use it all the time so it’s a good sign). I have disabled the “Move additional files”, as I don’t need it anymore since I moved all album art inside tags which is a lot less painful to manage. Still, in my example there was no such file existing, and even if there was, what’s the point of moving a file to its exact same location :slight_smile:

D: 10:33:25,040 file._move_additional_files:430: Moving ‘D:\Users\jdoe\Dropbox\JohnDoe\Music\Cardone, Nathalie\Hasta Siempré (Comandante Che Guevara) (single) - FR\AlbumArtSmall.jpg’ to ‘D:\Users\jdoe\Dropbox\JohnDoe\Music\Cardone, Nathalie\Hasta Siempré (Comandante Che Guevara) (single) - FR\AlbumArtSmall.jpg’s

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Nice try but I’d rather die than use Windows 10 :smile:. I’m still using Seven and will switch to Linux when end-of-support.

Thanks for the ID3 link, I knew about the difference but was looking more for user experience on switching to ID3v2.4. Eventually though, I got the answer in that Wikipedia article :

No version of Windows Explorer or Windows Media Player—up to and including Windows 10 (initial release) and WMP 12, respectively—interprets ID3v2.4 tags correctly.

so that’s a no-no :slight_smile:

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fair enough i use mac as my main computer and windows 10 for gaming. :slight_smile: if you need to know anything eles just post agin and the comuatiy will do there best to help

I’ve poked all around the site and can’t figure out how to install the latest build anymore. Are there instructions somewhere?

No, we currently don’t have easy instructions for this. But Windows builds are available on appveyor, see my links.

For other platforms it depends. macOS builds we have, but one has to find the latest download URLs in the build logs. For Ubuntu Linux there is a package repository with daily builds.