Create folders for genres only with file name as Artist - Song only while also retaining tags?

Tags: #<Tag:0x00007ff14614ff20> #<Tag:0x00007ff14614fe08>


I have been trying to find a way to accomplish what I’d like, but have failed to learn how or even where to find materials to educate myself.

I’ve tried to familiarize myself with MB and got the plug-in that I’m assuming I will need. However, I haven’t actually started working on anything as I’d rather not waste time creating something (file structure) I don’t want.

What I am trying to do is create folders for genres (which I am assuming will help identify) and then sort the appropriate music into the appropriate genre folders. No additional folders – simply genres. As far as file names – simply Artist - Title. Nothing else.

I don’t want to strip the other relevant tags like Album, Track, Duration, etc but I don’t want any of that in the file name or in the storage structure (ie folders). So I’d have my folder for Music and within it would be genre folders and within that will simply be the files.

Now I understand many of you have meticulously curated your collections and have exhaustively thorough file structures, however, there are a couple reasons that isn’t attractive to me.

I don’t own many complete albums and my collection is primarily a la carte songs. And I tend to listen to music genres as opposed to an album or artist.

Lastly, this collection hasn’t been touched in probably 8 years. I began sorting it way back then, but starting using streaming services in the mean time so it became something that just sat on hard drives only getting attention when it was moved from PC to PC or drive to drive.

I appreciate any attention anyone is willing to give to my query and please let me know if I am missing any pertinent information.

I actually would recommend you try the genres from MusicBrainz first (Options > Metadata > Genres) and see if this works for you. tags are often a bit messy, and it requires you to setup the filter settings to filter out everything you don’t consider a genre.

Just to be sure: You definitely should try and experiment with the settings using a copy of a couple of your files. Don’t wait for us to recommend you a setting, then set this and run it blindly on your entire collection to later find out it does not do it the way you expected.

A simple naming script like this could do it for you:

%genre%/$if2(%albumartist%,%artist%) - %title%

You might want to limit the genres to a single genre in options to keep it organized.

As for keeping the tags I see two options:

  1. If you don’t want to save any tags, not even the genre, disable “Write tags to files” in Options > Tags
  2. If you want to write tags, but preserve certain tags there is a whitelist option (“Preserve these tags…” in Options > Tags). Enter any tags you don’t want Picard to overwrite.

Please note that Picard will still write any additional tags it knows to the files in this case. You can use the $unset function in scripting to unset tags you don’t want to save at all. Search these forums, there are a couple of discussions about this. Also my usual recommendation: Don’t prevent Picard from writing the MusicBrainz IDs to your files. Having these in the files makes it so much easier for you to retag your files with Picard (you don’t have to match again), which might be especially useful if you want to update genres.


Ahh thank you. I can tell you put a good bit of time into your reply and I am very thankful for it.

I hadn’t found the Metadata > Genres option yet. I will give that a go before using per your suggestion.

Also, thank you for the warnings. I appreciate you keeping me from screwing myself.


Re-reading my original comment this warning could come along a bit patronizing. That definitely was not my intention, and I’m glad you did not perceive it as such :slight_smile: Picard can be very easy to use once you know it, but it is also a very powerful tool with a lot of options.

Luckily these forums are quite active, and you normally should find help here if you get stuck somewhere.

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