How does Picard handle saving album releases of different countries?

I noticed I have a folder with unsorted files from the band Front 242. All the tracks are from the album “Front by Front”, but Picard recognizes some of the tracks as part of the US album release, others as part of the Belgian album release.

I didn’t change anything in the file naming structure. If I click the save button, will Picard simply create a folder called “Front by Front” and move all the US and BE tracks together into that one folder, or will it create separate folders, like “Front by Front (US release)” and “Front by Front (BE release)” or something similar?

Picard will give you a suggested “Best fit”, but it is you the human who needs to choose the final answer. The identical music will have been released in both countries, so Picard really cannot tell if you have a US or Belgian edition.

If this means a half and half split between US and Belgium - then you need to drag the misidentified tracks back to the correct country.

If you want a more US or European tilt to your matches, then head into the OPTIONS \ METADATA \ PREFERRED RELEASES of Picard.

In here you can select countries to be checked for matches first.


Thing is, I downloaded these files ages ago from a non-official source (you know what I mean) and I’m totally ok with Picard identifying some tracks as US and others as BE. I don’t even want it to move all the tracks into one album folder, but keep the files separated by country.

What if an avid collector and fan has multiple country releases of various albums and uses Picard? How does the software create the folders then?

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Did your source give any country clue? I guess not. So this really will be just SINGLE country rip in your folder. When an album is released in USA and Europe it will nearly always be EXACT copies of AcoustIDs. So Picard will never know which to pick.

In this example it is best to use YOUR knowledge and correct Picard’s guess.

When I have something from “unknown” source, I’ll look at the track counts. Sometimes the editions vary by extra tracks.

If that still won’t let me tell, I just pick something that looks closest to my needs.

(And yes, I am that kind of OCD nutter who wants EXACT in my collection. And I do have USA and European pressings in different folders. This is easy to separate with the MBID’s available.)


That’s really up to how the user configures Picard. Picard’s naming is not fixed but can be very flexible adapted to users needs in Options > Filenaming. By default it won’t set the release country in fder names, but if you want this you can do it.


It would be nice if Picard added the country release to the folder name by default when there’s more than one in the database.

I was also thinking of this case:

  • I have an album with 10 songs saved on my hard disk
  • I download a song that Picard recognizes as a bonus song with track number 14 from another country release
  • Picard saves this into the existing album folder, so now I have 1-10 and 14
  • I download yet another bonus song from another country, which happens to be track number 14 too, but a totally different song

If I keep the standard naming structure, will it overwrite the existing number 14 or add a (2) to the filename?

I don’t think we will add the county to the default naming scheme, it does not seem to be used by too many users. The default naming schme somewhat resembles what a lot of users and music management in some form already use: Artist/Album/01 Title. There are a few minor scripting tweaks by default for handling disc numbers, tags without album artists and track artists, but overall it remains pretty easy to understand while using a default a lot of people find useful.

There are a lot of detail information people add to the naming, especially if they are the collector type. Look at the discussions here, many use some of release year, release type, release country, disambiguation comment, catalog number, bitrates and more in their naming. But adding all this to the naming wouldn’t be useful, it would basically fit nobody. Better is having a default that is both useful for many while being simple to understand and tweak.

So if you want the release country in your naming, by all means do so. You can add the %releasecountry% variable to the naming script.

If the title and this the file name is the same it will append the number. But you said they are different songs, so likely different titles also.


@CaptainKebab a country will not be enough. What happens when you get a UK release of the original 10 track CD, then a later release of 13 tracks, then a re-issue with an extra disc… it can get quite messy for some bands.

Go digging into the world of Scripting here on the forum. There are some scripts already buried in this forum of the exact kind of naming you are after which makes really complex folder names with cat numbers, countries, years and all kinds of extra variations.

Scripts may look complex initially, but give them time as they will let you have the exact collection as you want it.

But do beware some of that music from the High Seas :pirate_flag: as the tracks are not always what they claim. I’ve seen situations where album covers are clearly from different editions. Or someone has cobbled together an “album” but it turns out it is from multiple sources and qualities.

Better to focus on trying to get the more “complete” album in the first place.


Taking into consideration that bands sometimes even release several different singles/EPs/albums of the same name within the same year, and in different countries, it actually gets even more complicated to separate them.

Using Picard’s scripting and filenaming possibilities, I’ve been using an elaborate scheme for the past 15 years or so, and continuously refine it.

Basically, I use the album artist sortname, followed by the album title, followed by the release group comment (if any), followed by release year, album type, album subtype and release country in parentheses.

Let’s take some Peter Gabriel albums as an example: They are all called “Peter Gabriel” but actually are different albums: “Car”, “Melt”, “Scratch” and “Security”. With above logic, I get a good (separate folder) result like this:

Gabriel, Peter - Peter Gabriel (Car) (2002 album, XE)
Gabriel, Peter - Peter Gabriel (Melt) (1987 album, XE)
Gabriel, Peter - Peter Gabriel (Scratch) (2002 album, XE)
Gabriel, Peter - Peter Gabriel (Security) (2002 album, GB)

The relevant part of the (much more complicated) filenaming command is:

if2(%albumartistsort%,%albumartist%,%artistsort%,%artist%)/$if(%album%,$if2(%albumartistsort%,%albumartist%,%artistsort%,%artist%) - %album%$if(%_releasegroupcomment%, \(%_releasegroupcomment%\))$if(%date%%_primaryreleasetype%%_secondaryreleasetype%%releasecountry%, \()$if(%date%,$left(%date%,4))$if($and(%date%,%_primaryreleasetype%), )$if(%_primaryreleasetype%,%_primaryreleasetype%)$if($and(%date%%_primaryreleasetype%,%_secondaryreleasetype%),\, )$if(%_secondaryreleasetype%,%_secondaryreleasetype%)$if($and(%date%%_primaryreleasetype%%_secondaryreleasetype%,%releasecountry%),\, )$if(%releasecountry%,%releasecountry%)$if(%date%%_primaryreleasetype%%_secondaryreleasetype%%releasecountry%,\))/$if(%discsubtitle%,$if(%media%,%media% ,)$if(%discnumber%,%discnumber%: ,)%discsubtitle%/,),)

(all in one line!)

The above will also create subfolders for separate named media in a set, like:

…/CD 1: The early years
…/CD 2: Greatest Hits

(Find the full script here: Repository for neat file name string patterns and tagger script snippets)

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So wouldn’t (shouldn’t) the albums be named:

Peter Gabriel (Car)
Peter Gabriel (Melt)
Peter Gabriel (Scratch)
Peter Gabriel (Security)

Contrary to the year an album was released, those subtitles are artistic decisions by the artist, no?
So why not include them in the title?

I can see a problem with albums from e.g. Elis Regina, where several albums indeed are only called ‘Elis’.
Then it’s probably up to the consumer how he handles that in the music managing software of his choice?

I quite heavily rely on the MuscBrainz database contents, and of course the Style Guidelines in this respect.

Regarding the “Elis” albums, using my filenaming script above, these would come out as something like:

Elis (1966) (1966 album, BR)
Elis (1972) (1972 album, BR)
Elis (1973) (1973 album, BR)
Elis (1974) (1974 album, BR)
Elis (1974) (1993 album, BR)
Elis (1977) (1977 album, BR)
Elis (1980) (1980 album, BR)
Elis (1980) (1997 album, US)
Elis (1980) (2002 album, BR)
Elis (1980) (2006 album, BR)

I would not recommend changing an album’s title just for disambiguation—that’s what the disambiguation comments are for. Thankfully, Picard lets us use these. :slight_smile:

Maybe these eventually even get supported as official tags, see (and vote for!) PICARD-1617.


No, those aren’t decisions by the artist, those are fan nicknames based on the cover art. Except for “Security”. That album was released in Europe as another “Peter Gabriel”, but his American label (Geffin, I think) told him if he didn’t name it, they would. It was released in the US with the name “Security” on a sticker. But that’s the only official title, and technically only applies in America.


An additional remark: I would always keep the disambiguation text out of the album and track titles.

Album titles are used to look up cover art, track titles to look up lyrics. So if an arbitrary string would be added, you’d have no chance for possible lookups based on a file’s tags afterwards.

If I understood it correct, it’s about different releases for different countries.

But what is about the handling of releases with multiple release countries?
If there is a release with, let’s say, 3 countries (FR, GE and UK; all with same date) there will only one country be stored in the tag RELEASECOUNTRY (at least for FLAC). As I found no order key in the DB schema, it seems it will be the “first” country. As the order is typically not guaranteed in a database, this order may also change (e.g. after a reorg of the DB).
Maybe Picard is sorting it by date or by the country.

It would be fine to get a preferred release but the Metadata-Option is not in force here.
Personally I prefer DE (or UK), but I get FR for my tags.
It would be fine if OPTIONS \ METADATA \ PREFERRED RELEASES would work here too.
Or if would be fine if Picard would keep the local RELEASECOUNTRY tag, if the country is in the list.

P.S.: There is an index on table release_country (for “country”) which can cause a sort order from RDBMS, but this is not guaranteed by definition (AFIAK official docs for some RDBMS).

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