Does MusicBrainz Picard provide this feature?

Hi Guys,
I have just downloaded MusicBrainz Picard and searched on this community, but it seems that it can’t, like other tagging softwares I tried, provide me what I’m looking for. Maybe you can help me

Here is my example environment:

Queen - We will rock you
Michael Jackson - Beat it

Both mp3 are correctly tagged with Artist and Title idv3 tags. No other tags are stored inside all my mp3 files (I have cleaned all of them).

What I would like to do is (in priority order):

  • automatically tag year tag with originalrelease year in a bulk way;
  • automatically tag album with first album release;
  • automatically save album art inside mp3 with first album release.

For example:
ALBUM: Thriller YEAR: 1982

I have seen in this thread Original Release Date this solution:


but it seems not to work. If I’m right, I should insert that script and then save file, isn’t it?
Can you help me in finding the best way of doing this in the fastest way?

Thank you very much guys!!!


Picard is very album oriented, so it doesn’t always mesh well with the needs of people who’s collections are more oriented toward individual songs. There’s no automatic way to always relate each song to it’s original album release. When you load your songs into Picard, you’ll need to specify which release you want to relate them to. That choice is very specific. You’ll be choosing whether it’s the 1982 vinyl US release of Thriller, or the 1990 UK CD, or the French 7" vinyl single, or some 2010 digital download “Greatest hits of the '80s” collection, etc., etc., etc.

You can use “Scan” and “Lookup” to help you find the releases that contain the song, but ultimately, you’ll have to decide which one it goes on. You can also find the release beforehand on the website and drag it to Picard.

Once you have chosen the release, the Original date plugin should work. It looks at the release group that contains the release and takes the earliest date it can find.

Thank you for your answer Billy. So, according to your experience:

  1. What does that script that I reported really can do? Or script in general? Do you think there should be a way of make this operation authomatic and affordable?
  2. If Picard can’t really do that, do you have other suggestions?



  1. If the tag “originaldate” exists and has a value in it, that script will replace the “date” tag in a music file with the value in the tag “originaldate”. If not, it will use the value in “date”.

I really can’t think of anything that can look for individual songs in a database and consistently match them to the releases you want, then fill in the metadata from there. You’re actually asking for a lot here. For example, here’s Michael Jackson’s recordings page filtered on “Beat It”. Now, tell the database, in terms it’s search query language can understand, which one you want. Here’s the page for one of those recordings. Again, without human intervention, which of those releases do you want?

The thing with Picard, is it’s only semi-automatic. It can often get you close to what you want, but then you have to take it the last few steps. But that’s with full albums and consistent metadata to begin with. If you had all the songs from Thriller, even if you only had artist, album and song title filled in on each, a “Cluster” > “Lookup” would almost certainly bring you to the release group for the album. Then you’d have to pick which release within that group.

Starting as you are, with only the artist and title filled in is a lot harder. I don’t see any way to do this that doesn’t involve writing a complicated plugin, or even a standalone program.


Ditto Billy, you’re asking for something that’s very unreliable to do as a completely automated process. With practice, it can be pretty quick (at least for very popular/common material), but never 100% automated. And if you try to automate it and fail, you have an even bigger mess to clean up.

Also, beware that the database can only give you correct results if the correct results are there. That’s why I say you’ll have the best results with well-known material. I find that popular music from about the 70s forward is usually pretty accurate (partly because album formats were still in flux through the 50s and 60s), but the older the recording or the less mainstream it is, the less you can count on that.


Thank you for your suggestions, guys.
I solved my issue developing a bash script which queries via HTTP request Discogs site like this: artist+title, ordering results by relevance, extracting release_id and querying Discogs API to extract year and album of that release; finally I write results to a csv file which is imported via Mp3Tag inside my mp3s colletion.
I will use MusicBrainz Picard for bulk download of album art and at the end of all Mp3Tag to fit again mp3 metadata previously extracted (that’s because MusicBrainz Picard will overwrite them with new ones)
Accuracy is like 85%, that’s good for me. I spent 1 hour in Scripting and testing and almost 6 hours in total to check and complete missing metadata. I have almost finish to organize my collection which is like 23k and more songs… That’s good!
Thank you for your suggestions!


Hi Andrea, would it be possible for you to share the script? I need to do the same.

1 Like