Couple questions regarding organization of music library from new user


I am just getting started with using musicbrainz and using the picard interface… The one problem I am encountering is that


when I save an album, all the tags were green and the cover art displays correctly , when I am in Picard… however, now when I look at any track from that album in windows via explorer, the album art shows as a different album entirely… not even the same artist. Same when I play any track from the album in media player, or VLC player… the album art shows the wrong cover.


My other question. is there anyway to save all of my music library as albums instead of as individual tracks? For example instead of opening a folder for Jay-Z and in that folder is 4 different albums, in each album is x amount of tracks… is it possible to save it where I open the Jay-Z folder, in that folder is 4 files, one for each album. Double clicking any one of those 4 albums launches the default media player and only than displays the tracks included in that album. It seems that this would be a much cleaner way to organize a music library for someone like myself who. (A)has only full albums and not random individual songs… and (B) uses windows explorer folders to navigate and execute the media.

Thank you in advance for any help that is offered!


Welcome to MusicBrainz, @S1CAR1US!

It’s great that you are putting MusicBrainz and Picard to work. I’m disappointed that you are seeing confusing results. Unfortunately, with great capability comes great complexity. Sometimes it gets confusing for all of us. Let’s see if we can clear it up.

Are you sure that the music file you are seeing in Windows Explorer is the same file as Picard modified? One of the Picard options is to write the modified file under a new file name. Another is move the modified file to a folder based on the Release title and Artist name. So, the file Picard modified might be somewhere else. Check the file’s modification timestamp — is it set to the time when Picard saved the modified file?

In general, Picard is in the audio-file-tagging business, not the audio-file-creation business. If you have x separate music files for the x tracks fo your Jay-Z album, Picard doesn’t pretend to be able to combine those x files into one audio file.

When I want a single audio for a single CD, I usually tell the software that rips the CD to generate one file instead of x files.

Followup question: why do you want a single file? Is it so that you can get playback of the whole album at once? Maybe there’s a music player feature that can get you back. My music player, Banshee on Ubuntu Linux, can do “album shuffle”. It picks an arbitrary album to play, but plays the whole album in order.

Best of luck, and welcome to MusicBrainz!


Is it only the cover art that is wrong and the rest of the tags is updated? If so, make sure you have set the cover art settings in Picard correctly. Picard can both embed the cover art into the files and save it as a separate file into the same folder. The last approach works only if you place each album in a separate folder (but your really should do this anyway). The name of the file depends, but Cover.jpg and AlbumArt.jpg are common choices supported by many players. Also some players offer a feature where the player downloads cover art for you, and it might make something stupid. So make sure you have that disabled. If it still fails please let us know which file format you audio files are and whether you chose to embed the cover art into the files or not.

Actually that would make a lot of sense for many of us I think. It has a few benefits, like simpler structure, real gapless playback, only one cover art to embed and it is clear that a file is an album and contains everything belonging to this album. There are even some file formats like MP4 that would support this nicely as they support “chapters” and there could be once chapter per track.

But there are some major downsides:

  1. Player support is bad. The whole world is using one file per track, and most players support only this. Indeed I personally do not know if any popular player supports this properly (@Jim_DeLaHunt, you can maybe say more about this since you seem to use one file per album occasionally). Of course you can always rip an album into a single file and play it in any player, but for most player it will be just a single very long song and they won’t display individual tracks.
  2. Picard doesn’t support it, and it will be a major task to add support for it (there is a ticket somewhere for this feature). In general the situation with tagging software is not any better than with players.
  3. Beyond playback it is even worth. E.g. sometimes it might be nice to just copy a single track to your mobile player and in theory software could support this use case even with a single album file (just extracting the track).


I rip CDs into one FLAC file in order to provide an archive backup of the CD, from which I can burn an identical copy of the CD. However, my ripping software (X Lossless Decoder) also splits that unitary FLAC file into per-track files. I point my music players at the per-track files, not the unitary file.

As you say, “the whole world is using one file per track”.


Thank you for the answers. [quote=“Jim_DeLaHunt, post:2, topic:2033”]
Are you sure that the music file you are seeing in Windows Explorer is the same file as Picard modified?
[/quote] Yes it is indeed the file that has been modified. I have set it to export to a new folder and this is the only album that I have done so far. Waiting to find a fix before I do the rest. This is absolutely a powerful program and I am very impressed with the functionality.

The reason I wanted a single file was like I had said just for the simplicity in storage. I am oldschool when it comes to file structure and storage in that I am more of a linux / terminal / command prompt fan than say for example the new age who cant find a file unless it is in their MyMusic MyDocuments etc. I think the solution I am looking for, for now anyway, is to just package each album in a .iso image file. This way 14 tracks in an album is only, for my purpose, one file. I have dug out an old program AnyToIso that will work for this.

Thanks to @outsidecontext 's answer [quote=“outsidecontext, post:3, topic:2033”]
Player support is bad.
I am going to stick to this for now until there is a player out there that would perhaps let you add multiple .iso files to a playlist or something similar to that concept but with a different file type.

To answer this, yes it is only the album cover that is displaying incorrectly. I have the settings to embed the cover photo. And just now as I am typing this, I went to double check the file type that these files were to answer @outsidecontext question, and I am seeing it is actually the right cover showing up now! To clarify, in my file explorer on windows, I have the option set to show file details in a separate pane on the right side of the window. This allows for single clicking the file to highlight it, and when it is highlighted, the album cover shows on the right. This is without ever opening the file in a player at all, and this is where the cover was showing incorrect. I believe what has happened here was a cache’d artifact that was showing before, and now after a restart and some time, it has corrected itself. Thank you both for all the info. I am excited now to run the rest of my audio library through Picard and get it cleaned up! 13 down and however many hundreds more to go! ( =

@Jim_DeLaHunt , when you rip the tracks into one flac file, does this still keep the tracks separate or do you end up with one long track? If it does keep the tracks individual, what do you use to rip?

EDIT: I just saw the notification of your last message and now see the question I just asked already answered. thank you.

Thanks again


Only this line caught my attention, I didn’t really read the rest of the topic but, for what it’s worth, foobar2000 (and probably other players, including yours, maybe) can play a single file as if you had one file per track.

It does it when you embed an… embedded cuesheet (in a tag called “CUESHEET”) or when, instead of double‐clicking your sound file, you double‐click a cue‐sheet file referring to it (be sure to save this .cue as UTF-8 when you want to fancy tag with more than ANSI characters).
You could then avoid creating you split files.

Note that in this foobar2000 CUESHEET mode, the available tag set is slightly limited instead of free, but nothing important is missing.


It can also tag and play MKA (matroska) files this way using Matroska chapters. FLAC-in-Matroska is one of the best way to work with albums-as-files.


If you don’t know it already, note that you can burn an identical copy of the CD even with one file per track, if you create a CUE sheet when ripping. I don’t know about XLD, but in EAC you just have to select CUE > Multiple WAV files with gaps (supposing you append the pre-gaps to previous tracks, as you probably should).


Initially I was thinking embedded artwork? Then I though must be cache-related… but also check for hidden (.jpg) files.

And once loaded in playlist you can convert/encode (to any format provided you have the encoder) to individual files :slight_smile:

If you have a single-album file in .mp3 format you can also use cue sheets to split into tracks. I use the small but wonderful proggie mp3DirectCut, open/load a single-album .mp3, load the associated cue sheet over .mp3 and BOOM it splits it into tracks! Without re-compression!

Cue sheets are nice to have. Too bad the Generate Cuesheet plug-in by Lukas Lalinsky I can’t ever get to work :frowning: