Get rid of various artists

I have a lot of files which I have used musicbrainz picard to tag and move to proper directory, but I just noticed that many of the tracks have been moved under “various artists”. This is a very useless tag, all the songs have their own albums by the artist. Is there anyway to get real album of the musics rather than stupid top hits or should I just think of using another auto tag package?

I’m assuming you’re using “Scan” to match your files?

In Options > Metadata > Preferred Releases, move the sliders for Album, Single and EP to the right and move Compilation to the left. Even with that, you’ll still need to match some of them by hand. Picard is never fully automatic.

Thanks, I tried it. also found the other topic about the same issue:

But this doesn’t really help, I’m still getting 95% of the tracks tagged as compilations.

Is the issue with the tags saved on the files or the directory the file is saved in or both?

The track artist should be saved in the file as artist, and the directory naming could be changed by changing %albumartist% to %artist% in the naming script under Options -> File Naming -> Name files like this.

EDIT: You may also need to check “Use track relationships” under Options -> Metadata.

The problem is with the tags, I’m using media monkey as player and when I copy the files on my phone i’ll use tags, so directory structure doesn’t really matter to me.
That check box doesn’t make much of a difference either.
Interestingly, there’s another tagger named Jaikoz which uses musicbrainz database, but does a much better job at ignoring compilations. Unfortunately it’s not free like picards.

Looking up based on the artist and track name combined with sliders seems to hand better results rather than scanning the files.

Try entering the following as a script under Options -> Scripting:


You may need to play around with the case on the “albumartist” tag or change the tag name to match the one being used by your player.

If you already have correct album tags you probably don’t need ‘scan’.
Scan ignores all existing tags and simply searches for the same audio - which for popular tracks means Picard is guessing what you want out of possibly hundreds of releases with the track on it. ‘Lookup’ does the search based on your tags.
Scan is very useful if you have bad or no tags though, or are trying to identify a unknown track.

In general though I would never hit save without checking what Picard has matched your files with first, unless it’s on a backup of your files… there’s no such thing as an ‘auto-tag’ package out there unfortunately. Not any I would trust anyway.

A cursory check to make sure they’re in the albums you want is all you should have to do. If you want very specific tags (eg you want to have everything matched to a very precise release) it will take more time, but that’s up to you.

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Scan is also the only way to add the fingerprint to the tags without starting up another program. :wink: Unless you’re as bad a completionist as I am, though, I do second the recommendation to use Lookup instead.

One question: is your library primarily full albums, or do you have a lot of single songs from those albums?, because the latter is quite a bit harder to work with in Picard.

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Just a note for the OP, If you’re not taking the time for a very specific release, please don’t submit fingerprints! It can compound the issue you’re having - very non specific results using scan.

WovenTales, I am a completionist too, I use lookup, then drag the album off the result, hit scan, drag it back in, submit fingerprints ;0


So as a recap for anyone else who might have this problem:
I had lots of files with incomplete, bad, or no tag at all. I used scan to get the artists and titles (doesn’t always work right though, specially for non-English songs so do in small batches and double check them). At this point the sliders people talk about doesn’t work because tracks are being matched only by their finger print which probably has matched to a collection, thanks to people who have submitted every fingerprint for collections. Then I removed almost all the tags except for the title and artist, drag them back to unmatched on the left and hit lookup. Now the sliders come into play and most likely you’ll get matched with the correct album rather than some random collection. If a song still gets tracked to a collection, drag it back to unmatched, google the album and add it to the tag, then lookup again.

PS: If you’re not sure how fingerprints work or haven’t struggled enough with them to understand them, please don’t submit any.

@Aerozol: I never submitted any fingerprint ID before, but seeing such a problem, when a song does not match well and I have to do a lot of digging before it matches, I submit the fingerprint so others won’t have this problem, or at least they choose by sliders if they want to get rid of those useless collections.

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