Another newbie, confused

Hi. Created a copy of iTunes Music. Ran Picard with a destination directory of Picard Files. Only the green checked files end up here. Copied these folders to Music for a merge, but only left with the green checked files. Files have also disappeared from the source directory. Tried same destination as source, again hoping for a merge, but only green checked files are there. What am I missing? Why does the album not stay together? No purchased music. WAV files converted to MP3. Thanks, Martin.

I am not entirely sure what you actually mean, maybe you can clarify with a screenshot.

But in general the files with a green check marked are those you saved. If the files only show a colored rectangle they haven’t been saved yet. Select the files and save and Picard will rename and move them accordingly.

1 Like

You might also want to take a look at the following thread, it contains some information on the icons:

Also for a general introduction check out the Quick Start Guide

1 Like

It would also help if you gave us a step-by-step of what you’re actually doing. There are several different paths you can take with Picard. Are you using cluster/lookup to find the matches or are you using scan?

Also, I would suggest starting with an album or two at a time. That way you can more easily see what’s happening at each stage of the process. After you get comfortable with Picard and you’ve tweaked the options and scripts to where you want them, then you should move up to larger batches.


Depending on the type of albums you have there may be the need to give Picard a nudge now and then to pick the exact release. Compilations can be especially tricky at times.

As @outsidecontext says - start with a few albums at a time. This will give more chance at getting matches cleaner. It also lets you see better what is going on.

Picard takes a little bit of time to learn, but once you do you’ll see how limited the iTunes shopping software is. Just ask questions here and we’ll help guide you. :slight_smile:

Ok, got my act together (I hope) to report back. Thanks much for the rapid feedback. My steps are:

Created folders

to picard – contains 3 albums from my original music collection (not iTunes)

from picard tagged only – empty directory for tagged files

from picard tagged merge – contains original folders from to picard folder

Method 1

Add folder to picard (the 3 albums) – 38 unclustered files

Apply Lookup – 2 albums recognized, 1 orange, 1 white, both with stars, all green rectangles ®, leaving 18 unclustered tracks (L)

Apply Scan – on the 18 unclustered tracks creates 1 white album with star, has 6 tracks with music symbol, the rest varying from green to yellow ®

Save to from picard tagged only – 1st 2 albums show all tracks in folder, 3rd album shows all tracks but the 6 with music symbols, so in total 18 - 6 = 12 tracks

The to picard folder is now empty!

Method 2:

As above, but the save to folder is now from picard tagged merge containing the original 3 albums, 38 tracks that I started with

Lookup & Scan have same result

Apply Save – hoping for a merge, but the files are overwritten & I end up with only the 32 tagged files instead of 38 I started with.

Again, the to picard folder is now empty

I’ve tried TidyMyMusic, Mp3tag & MusicBrainz Picard. With the 1st 2 I have multiple albums that show up missing a track (often track 1). MusicBrainz identifies those missing tracks & will save them. Somehow, I just can’t get the newly tagged tracks with the rest of the album.

Thanks, Martin

Initial tweaks I’d made based on my method of using Picard…

Before Lookup - Press the CLUSTER folder to let Picard gather albums together based on current folder names and tags.

Do the Apply Lookup to one cluster at a time. This is just adding the AcousticIDs and attempting to match. This can be misleading as it will also match compilations.

After Apply Lookup, drag ALL of those files back to the left hand side.

Now do the Apply Scan on that cluster.

This should get that matching much closer and keep more of the albums together.

ALWAYS double check what is selected on the Right hand side. RIGHT CLICK the album on the RIGHT hand side and check the OTHER VERSIONS and see if there is a better match there.

Notice the LOOKUP IN BROWSER button. When selected opn a folder on the RIGHT it will go to the MB website and let you look in more details to see if you have a match.

Before ANY saving is done, you want to double check what is in the right hand side. I often find an album can split into two because half matches the original release, and then some of the extra tracks match a later release. So I’ll be dragging files into the correct release. It is this “can’t always be perfect” match that means I do only one or two clusters at a time.

1 Like

Thanks. I don’t think I’m having a tagging issue. Instead a file management or missing file issue. Went thru 152 albums, one by one. After Save there were green checks & Music symbols on the RHS. The save to folder only contained the green check files & not the music symbols, i.e. only a part of the album. If I merge that folder with the original folder it replaces the files leaving only the green checked files. What happened to the original or music symbol files, because the source folder is now also empty?

Picard identifies the music files. And then fills in tags. It is these same tags it will use to rename the files and move them.

This is why I think you need to watch closer as to what is happening at the original matching stages. if a match of a Cluster splits that into two or three separate albums then confusion will start to appear. This especially happens with a Compilation album.

Now if you have a number of Compilation albums, and Picard is identifying them wrongly as different compilations, I can see how you can “loose files”. For example - if a track is on more than one of your compilations you may have Picard mistagging the separate files as the same things based on AcoustID. So ending up overwriting some versions… and loosing duplicates.

If you are only talking 152 albums then I’d be taking a slower double check. Cluster just a couple of albums, and watch more carefully to check if Picard is selecting correctly.

Attempting to do all 152 at the same time is certain to lead to many errors.

I should also add in here that I am only able to talk about the Matching and then Tagging side of Picard as I never use the file renaming and moving options. but from experience of using the Identification side I can see how issues will creep in if you are not careful as to how you check for the Other Versions.

Especially when working with Compilations.

Ivan, Yes, I have been going thru every album before saving. Decided to start from scratch this weekend & then had an aha moment. Used my original music collection & put it through Picard. When complete, I sucked it into iTunes. iTunes did its wma conversion, I had way more cover art, but the directory was very small. In Picard, an album will for example show 2 music symbols & 8 green rectangles then tagged with check marks. I made the assumption that the entire album was there. Alas, looked in iTunes & only the 2 tagged tracks are there. How can it be showing music symbols & those tracks aren’t there? OK, so these are wav files! Example: one artist, 4 albums, all wav files. In iTunes only 2 albums with a track each (yes, wav). Remember, post-Picard, when I merged my Picard output with the source directoryit overwrote the album leaving only the tagged files. So, on to Hamster to convert the wav to mp3. Thanks again, Martin.

If there is only a music symbol this shows just the track, but you have no file matched to that track. Picard will always show the entire track listing from MusicBrainz. See the thread I linked above, it contains a description of the icons.

Also keep in mind that Picard does not write tags to WAV files.


It would make more sense to convert your wav to FLAC as that way you keep the quality of the original. Or if you must use iTunes then at least convert to the lossless option.

1 Like

Ivan, now you tell me. OutsideContext, It’s a question of reading & wanting. And me not getting it. I have a very small library & am trying to do very simple things. Have done umpteen searches & read a gazillion opinions.Wishing for a simple flowchart as to how to proceed. Lesson 1: A music symbol in Picard does not equal a file. Lesson 2: almost impossible to preserve metadata when going from wav to anything else. Lesson 3: the BEST transition to import into iTunes seems unsure. PS. As we speak doing a wav to mp3 conversion using Hamstersoft on tracks ‘4’ (1-3 done). Have I done this before?

Over the last decade have converted my 500+ CD collection three or four times. Each time learning my mistakes from before. I now use EAC to rip CDs to FLAC using a quality Pioneer drive. Then MB to put in the correct tags while carefully selecting the exact release. During this year I have been updating the MB database to make sure it covers every one of my CDs.

I don’t have any Apple products, so would not use iTunes. To me that is a shopping tool that has a tendency to mess up compilation albums and other multiple sins.

I moved from Winamp to KODI. That may be too much of a jump for most people. So I’d advise to look at products like foobar2000 / MusicBee. We all have different needs of our music players.

Each time I have updated my digital files I have learnt something new, or needed to do things is slightly different ways. There is on one single answer as to what is “right”. Each time I think I have it “right” I then find about some other detail I need. :smiley: