How to add Performer manual in a right way?

Hi all!

I am really confused. I want to add manually (without scripting) individual performers like “drums”, “Guitar”, …

Picard get just in a few albums performers online (like Bad Brains) and write in “musicancredits”.

Now I try it by creating a tag (MP3Tag or foobar2000) how it was shown in Picard. “Performer [Guitar]” but in ExifTool is defined as “UserDefinedTexT”.

Is there a “right” way to create a Tag in “MP3Tag” so that I always can write the guitarist or drummer and this field can read by other software in a right way?

Are there standards to write it so?
And why is it so difficulty to put this one of the most important information in a ID3Tag?

Thank you all for your help and kind regards.

There are a few steps to achieve what you want to see. I think you may be tripping over a few bit of the GUI prettifying tags to make them readable.

First step - make sure the release you are looking at actually has the instruments in the database. Not every entry in this database is complete down to the instrument levels.

Next up - if you really want to do this manually, you’ll need to have a look at the actual tag names. Which file types are you trying to tag? And which version of tags are you using? Example being that MP3 has a ID3v23 and ID3v24 which is a bit different as to how data is stored as tags. FLAC is different again. This especially affects the instruments.

Highly important is this page in the Picard manual. It shows you how tags are actually put into the files and the slight differences between filetypes

Personally if I am trying to look at which tags are actually in a file, I’ll make use of MP3TAG and the Extended Tags info. Though this is clearly “pretifying” the instruments like Picard does as it splits the performer tag into multiple entries.

When checked with Mediainfo or an EXIF tool you can see that the instruments in a FLAC file are just one long entry called “PERFORMER”.

Richard Wright (hammond organ, minimoog, rhodes piano and synthesizer),David Gilmour (bass guitar, guitar and synthesizer),Roger Waters (effects, guitar, tape and vocoder),Nick Mason (drums and tape),Roger Waters (lead vocals),David Gilmour (other vocals)


Roger Waters (bass guitar);Nick Mason (drums);Nick Mason (percussion);Richard Wright (minimoog);Roger Waters (background vocals);Richard Wright (background vocals);Richard Wright (rhodes piano);Richard Wright (farfisa);Richard Wright (hammond organ);David Gilmour (acoustic guitar);Roger Waters (vocoder);David Gilmour (electric guitar);Richard Wright (synthesizer);Roger Waters (lead vocals);David Gilmour (lead vocals)

Why do you not want Picard to just do this automatically for you? It will save you a lot of headache. It is also not too much of a faff to tweak Picard to only change certain tags.

It all depends on how many files you need to work on.

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Hello IvanDobsky!
Thank you a lot for your help. I’ll try to understand all the stuff and answering you to your question.

  1. Automatik-Tagging - I use two step for Tagging. First Picard and for the rest TagScanner
  • MusicBrainz Picard -> via online -> TagScanner -> Discog --> manual for Perforerm
  1. Mostly there are no performer, after I used online-tools and databases. I am not shure if I use picard correctly; abut mostly Picard add just the normal stuff. Even if the databases have Performer in CD-Info.

Maybe my CDs are to exotic (Hardcore, Funk-Fusion, Punk, Metal)

  1. Yes, I saw that Picard splits the performer Tag. I have no problem with this, but I want to create a mask, which will allways appear in MP3Tag to fill the performer. Or at least a possibility how I have to write in MP3Tag or Picard the Performers in a right way?

For example: MP3-Files:

Should I write the musicians in “Musicancredits” or in “PERFORMER”
How I have it to write: “PERFORMER [DRUMS]” “PERFORMER:DRUM” or Just “PERFORMER” to create a new Tag in MP3Tag?
I just want to use the correct term.
Or shouldn’t I create a new Tag in MP3Tag? But where can I write the information? I can’t find the TAGS TMCL:instrument (id3v24)
IPLS:instrument (id3v23)
In MP3Tag?

Which schould I prefer? id3v24 or id3v23 (currently I use the v23)?

Sorry, that I don’t understand all this. For me its a chaotic mess and I can’t find the information, how it should done in a “official” way.

Once again: Thank you a lot for your help.

Perhaps in Picard you have not checked ‘Use release relationships’ and ‘Use track relationships’?

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I just have checked “Use relase relationships”. To check “Use track relationships” helped for some CDs. Thank you a lot.

But how can I do this manual with CDs without informations about performers?

I’m not sure I understand what you want to do exactly (I haven’t read the posts very well), but ideally if you have a cd that contains information on performers that is not in the MusicBrainz database, you could try to enter it in MB’s database.
In that way it will show up with Picard too (after your edits have been approved), and other users will benefit too.


I would do that, as long if it would be checked so that I don’t make the mess more. :wink:

I hope it is ok, if I just start with performers. For example I have the original CD from:

And want to add “drums: Dennis Chambers” -> So I go on the right side an add relations to all songs
Boxes: Typ: “instruments” -> “artist” (german Künstler) -> searching for “Dennis Chambers” and add it as drums (drums set) and/or membranophone?

Which is better: drums (drums set) or membranophone?

Ah, we share a taste in music.
I’m not the best person to give you advice on entering data in the database (I have hardly done that myself yet)
Also you’ll probably best of by starting to read the documentation about it first.

There is also a test database where you can experiment with editing without doing any harm to the actual database:

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drums (drumset)

‘membranophone’ was (mistakenly) introduced earlier this year, and will probably be corrected/removed in a while.

Thank you a lot. I currently see, that discog have a lot more of metadata, than MusicBrainz.

I will read a bit in the documentation and then add Metadata to MusicBrainz database (first all my Dennis Chambers Stuff… I love his drumming).

It is a confusing mess, but there is order to the madness. Tagging specs have the annoying ability to evolve and get twisted by the different needs to different players \ editors \ devices. So the disordered chaos is the result.

As you are using MP3 files, it is best to concentrate on them this time.

Choice of id3v23 or id3v24 - What are you playing your music back on? As long as all your devices are up to date, it is probably best to pick id3v24 as it has better handling of these multiple entries. (And you only need to learn things once then)

Also which device \ player are you trying to see the instruments from? That too may have specific needs as to how the data is stored in the tags. (Some apps are fussy about the different dividers - , ; \ and so on.)

The simple option is to persevere with adding these details to the MusicBrainz database. Then you can use Picard to tag that data into the files. This means you don’t have to learn the exact details of how it all works, and you benefit the community by sharing your work.

Alternately, make a duplicated test set of files and load them up in tagged files in MP3TAG or TagScanner and make your own changes\test data. Then check if this is displayed correctly in your favourite player.

Here is the actual MP3 Tagging Spec. (More details on the site for deeper understanding if you need it)

In there section 4.2.2 it shows the performers are stored in the TPE1 and TMCL and other oddly named flags. Now this is where my knowledge runs out… I don’t think you can just type those in “raw” into MP3TAG. I think the tagging software is “pretifiying” the tag names.

I use mostly FLAC files so I am having problems locating example files on my own system I can check this with.

I think your best bet is trying to work at just updating MusicBrainz and then you don’t have to understand the technical bits :wink:

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Finally found one. An MP3 file with music credits in it. So I did a quick test.

MP3TAG is certainly translating the tag name into a clearer to read “MUSICCREDITS”. It then just puts a long list of instrument:Musician Name;

guitar:Mickey Mouse;drums:Goofy;Kazoo:Minnie Mouse;

So to manually hack this into any track using MP3TAG use the Extended Info to add MUSICCREDITS as a long list. Note the : and ; separators in there. And the ; on the end.

I just tested this out by throwing a MUSICCREDITS into a random MP3 using MP3TAG. I then looked at this in Picard and it happily split that up into the separate instruments and listed them as Performer [Kazoo], etc on separate lines

Thank you a lot for your help. I also try to to check mp3-files which already have Metadata from Picard. But even with this, when I tag it manually, I create more mess than order.

I will start to use MusicBrainz to tag direct in the database. So -maybe- one day the mess will be sorted out and we get perfect Metadata; at least regarding to the musicians.

I reading already the documents but it is a bit confusing (at least for me).

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The documents are confusing for most people. :smiley: Took me a little while to drill down through it all making sense of it.

Absolutely the best place for this is for the edits to go into the MB database. That means they are there forever for you and everyone else. So when you re-tag the files another day you’ll not need to renter all the details manually again.

Also, with them being in the database, you get the advantage that other people will also help check them.

But if you do want to manually adjust this - then MP3TAG lets you mess around with MUSICCREDITS in a list as noted in my post above. It then sorts out the cryptic tags for you.

Do you know a tutorial just for adding musicians in MB - Database? I think relationsships is the right one.

So I added the instruments to

And immediately it was added to the Database. I thought they will first vote for it and after 1 Week they accept or declined the new entrys?!

But when I did it right more Fusion-CDs will tagged by me (mostly with DC). :smiley:

Edit: Maybe it is just me, which can see and import the metadata.

My Picard sees it:

So, thanks!

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Thank you for helping and encouraging me and testing it.


Usually new data (but not changed or deleted data) will get added straight away.


Just playing with TagScanner / MusicBrainz Picard and ID3V2.3 vers ID3V2.4 Tags.

If I import the Metadata in ID3V2.3 -> The musicians are shown as “Involded Persons” in Tagscanner
If I import the Metadata in ID3V2.4 -> The musicians are shown as “Musicans Credits” in Tagscanner

Both versions aren’t shown in “Propierties” in foobar2000 in a right way.

Nice work - welcome to making a difference at MB. :grinning:

Good to see you are also adding plenty of notes as to where you get your data from. This is especially helpful when looking at a release in years to come.

I find working on MB releases can be such an addictive thing. End up chasing down so many fascinating little research tangents when checking up on data.

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