Getting started the right way with cover art and KODI?

Brand new to Picard. I’ve used FooBar for years. But the time has come to switch to Kodi.
Anyone who uses Kodi knows it’s VERY particular. So first off, I’m wondering if there’s a Picard guide for Kodi here, which goes beyond the basic one on Kodi’s site?

Secondly, I have tried a couple of test files using the"Quick Start" guide. The first thing I notice right off the bat is that I’m going to want to use my own images for cover art.

Every folder is structured like this for example: D:/Music/ALBUM ORIENTED POP AND ROCK/311/1993 Music/

Inside this would be: “01 song name,” “02 song name,” etc.

After all the songs, would be one or more images called: front.jpg, disc.png, back.jpg.

I know there’s a place called 'local files under cover art, and there’s a ‘regular expression’ I have to adjust to make it use my cover art, and only my cover art. The text there is greek to me, and I don’t understand what the local files page is telling me in the guide.

I also don’t know if I somehow attach this information to each file, or to the folder as far as how Kodi will go looking for the front cover file?

Any help to get me off the ground? Thanks.


Fellow KODI user here… quick things I do based on your question
1\ go to OPTIONS \ OPTIONS \ SCRIPTING and add a new script for

That makes compilations work better in KODI.

2\ If you already have good art and want to just skip artwork completely Options \ Options \ Cover Art

  • Untick “embed cover images into tags”
  • Untick “overwrite the file if it already exists.” (avoids accidents)
  • Untick ALL the cover art providers.

That last one especially now stops Picard from doing anything to artwork.

3\ You probably also don’t want Picard moving or renaming files. So in the main OPTIONS menu untick Move and Rename options.

BIG TIP - backup first. Then experiment and fine tune.

4\ KODI is mainly going to look for the MBIDs for Release and Artist. So let these get added to the album tags and leave them alone once in the tags.

5\ After updating tag, rescanning in KODI is easiest from File Mode. Walk to the branch you need and Add to Library from there. You then get the option to fully rescan the tags.

Ask questions - we’ll help. We’ll also have questions for you to get more details about how you organise your files. I first came over here from KODI to tag a few CDs… five years later I am still here and now getting very lost in the exact pressing details of which manufacturer made my copy of Dark Side of the Moon. :smiley:


“…getting very lost in the exact pressing details of which manufacturer made my copy of Dark Side of the Moon.”
A-Yep. That’d be me about ten years ago when I digitized my whole library and tried to manually tag everything for Foobar. Some artists I got REALLY specific about the exactness and quality of file information, and the artwork… :laughing:
Great suggestions!
So, basically, I don’t even need to worry about writing complex scripts to make Picard use my album art. This will be done I scan my library with KODI., right?

95% of my library is already tagged decently to work great in Foobar. I’m guessing if I take my time with Picard, I can get much more detailed and accurate tagging going on than what I had, probably without much effort, as Picard uses existing information to figure out what the file is?

It seems it’s a two-step process. First, get your tagging right with every album and song, and make sure Kodi creates the library accurately first.
Let Kodi scrape further for art, etc., and tell KODI to only use the art have in the folder of the album.
In which case, I should be basically good to go already…Right?

Also, I have really high-quality images of the disc for every album. I used these in Foobar which had an add-on to ‘spin’ this image during playback to simulate an old-school record playing.
I suppose I could use Kodi to display that image instead… I guess I don’t need it to spin :slight_smile:
Thanks for answering I’m sure I’ll have more Q’s as I move into my project.

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Correct. If you have your art, just turn off Picards art lookups. KODI looks for artwork by name. If you already have that art, then you are fine. KODI will use the files you have now. Online lookups are for people without art.

Are you using a specific skin with KODI? Just follow their rules for art and manually tweak if needed.

If later you want Picard to start replacing artwork, we can have that conversation another day. I don’t use any fancy script for my artwork and by default get cover.jpg, back.jpg, medium.jpg, booklet.jpg, booklet (1).jpg, etc.

Yes. I used to tag with Winamp which was pretty dumb when tagging. It was not aware that different versions of CDs existed. All Dark Side of the Moon CDs were the same to it. In MusicBrainz each and every difference on a CD cover leads to a separate release. This is where things can get confusing and leads to some thought.

Not quite. I thought you said you already had the artwork? If yes, then turn off KODI’s looking up of data online. KODI SETTINGS \ MEDIA \ MUSIC and untick “Fetch additional information during updates”. Just get your tags right, and your artwork right, and then KODI uses those. Direct from your files.

First time KODI sees an album of yours it will deep scan the tags you have in the files. It stores album and artist by the MBIDs which Picard added. It will read the artwork you have sitting alongside. You don’t want KODI going online and finding something else as you’ll have better quality tags.

KODI does have skins to spin your disks too. This is another reason to keep Picard away from your artwork.

In summary - the main thing you are about to do is add MusicBrainz IDs to your music files. MBIDs to identify Album, Artist, Recordings. This is what KODI’s database then uses to key from. This is also how I can have five different versions of Dark Side of the Moon sitting together. My 20th Anniversary edition is separate from my 30th anniversary - even though they are all called “Dark Side of the Moon”.

Before I had the MBIDs all my copies of Dark Side of the Moon would be mingled in one confused album called “Dark Side of the Moon”. With the MBIDs in place this now does not happen and I have separate copies. I just use my own typed in Titles, over riding Picard, which lets me spot them apart in KODI in the GUI. As well as my own separate artwork for the different covers

Also remember that KODI does not care about your folder names. It will focus on the MBIDs to put an album together. NOT its position on the hard disk.

This also means you must make sure the whole album has the same MBIDs in it. A classic error in KODI is to only have half the tracks of an album with MBIDs, and the other half without. KODI then splits that album up

Sideways tips - beware of dashes, hyphens, apostrophes. MB database can be a headache for “prettifying” these and using Unicode versions that you can’t tell apart. Probably safest to tick Options \ Options \ Metadata \ Convert Unicode Punctuation to ASCII

And while we are talking tags, go select Options\Options\Tags \ ID3 \ ID3v2 and set it to 2.4. Only use 2.3 if you have old MP3 players that need it. V2.4 better handles multiple data and Dave makes use of these in KODI.

(I’ll stop now… I could type for ages about KODI and Picard but it is 2am and I should be in bed…)

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Get some sleep!
For next time - Replay gain. Is there a way to preserve this info when re-tagging with Picard?
Or - Should I just let Kodi do it…
Or - should I use a plug-in for Picard?

I don’t do Replay Gain, but you can get Picard to preserve any tags. Load up an album in Picard, locate the Replay Gain tags at the bottom of the page, Right Click and ADD TO PRESERVE TAGS LIST. Now it will keep the data you have marked. That is set for all albums you now load up.

Personally I tend to have options \ options \ TAGS \ Clear Existing Tags not ticked. I have other data in my tags I like to keep (like the comments). So I let Picard just update tags, never wipe them out.

If you are starting from good tags this probably makes sense for you too.

If you are starting from a heap of scrappy badly tagged files from odd download sources then you may prefer to wipe out and totally re-write the tagging block.

Note in the same OPTIONS \ TAGS section you get to see a list of what tags have set to be preserved. These will never be overwritten by Picard. Even though I don’t use replaygain I keep them and have these listed:


While talking “keeping tags”. Sometimes you’ll have an album you have a different title for. So just for this one album edit you dn’t want that changed. For example I have Dark Side of the Moon (20th Anniversary) in a title. When loading into Picard it wants to wipe that out and use a generic Dark Side of the Moon. To keep my title just for this one album, use the Keep Original Value menu as seen in below photo

Notice as I have the whole album selected in the top half I am keeping this for all the tracks on that album. Now when I load up this album in KODI it will store it in database as MusicBrainz Release ID but display my name and my artwork from my files.

In summary: you have two types of “keep that tag”.

  • When you Preserve Tag you are keeping these tags untouched for the life time of tagging with Picard. Ideal for Replay Gain.
  • When you Use Original Value you are only keeping that tag for just this one tagging session. Next time you load up that album you’d need to make the same request. Ideal for custom tweaks.

Seems to be going okay thus far. Except for Picard mysteriously re-setting all my tagging options to default a couple of times, not sure why…

This is more of a KODI question, but since you have it, I’m trying to find the right settings to make Kodi do the following.
Every album I have lives in its own folder under the band name. Inside are the music files, and then the album art.
Example -


When I tag the music files in each folder, I also choose the album cover art I have stored in the album folder to be embedded with the files and metadata using Picard.

I do NOT want Kodi to use the low-quality ones it finds online.
I’ve tried what I think is everything, but Kodi still wants to replace my cover art and disc art with stuff it finds online. Specifically, I would like to have the ARTIST thumbnail be a picture Kodi finds online, but I’d like the ALBUM cover art and the DISC art to be the files I have stored with the album.
After Kodi does its thing, I can often go and manually pick MY cover art over what Kodi has chosen, but I don’t want to do this each time for the thousands of titles I have…

Any help?
Do I need to erase my Kodi library and start over?

As noted in the waffle earlier.

You may also need to rename your “front.jpg” to “cover.jpg” or something KODI is looking for. You used to be able to do the following in the advanced settings, but don’t know if it works now


it’s also possible that you’ve got embedded album artwork in your files. I’ve had album art issues like this even before I started using Kodi, turns out I’d been appending the same 75×75 front album artwork to some of my albums over and over :sweat_smile:

granted, I’ve really only used Picard or whatever PC media player (Windows Media Player and iTunes) for tagging my files, so you may not have the same issue. :wink:

after a quick look in the Picard options didn’t turn up a setting to fix this though…

Great, thanks, I’ll try that!
I think it’s that I have the ‘Covers’ named ‘Front.’
Will I have to delete and re-do my library, or will it adjust automatically?

Is there a way to let Kodi find and use artist thumbnails online, but use my cover and disc art? Or is it one or the other?

You can go into File View and right click and force a deeper rescan of folders from there. That should update data.

I am on edge of knowledge now. I’m still on v18 and only really get covers.jpg/.png working via the hack of the Advanced Settings. I get my own cover art picked, but it then gets artist info from online somewhere. I think this is due to old settings of “Prefer Online Info” being off, and “Fetch additional info during updates” also off. I am only slowly getting an Artist Info Folder setup, but that clearly overrides any automatic data. Though I know I used to select a lot of images manually.

I have an old hack KODI setup using the default skins. I have not yet fully expanded into the artwork beyond the covers because I am still filling my library via scanning and MB.

In the coming year I’ll be looking more at how the mutli-disc art now works that Black Eagle has been adding. I’ve just had to spend a few years getting my collection in order first.

Was thinking this afternoon that maybe using the whitelist stuff in Kodi, it may be possible to pick and choose what gets used from the web, vs what gets used locally…

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