Is there a newbie instructable?

Just installed and scanned my first CD with Picard and have yet to discover what this software is actually supposed to do for me. I’ve ripped the CD using EAC and, of course, it all comes in with no metadata. I had hoped that this software would find metadata and add it to my music, but so far everything is pretty much greyed out and unusable. What is this app supposed to actually do?

I’ve watched a couple of videos on youtube - interesting, but so far not real helpful.

Have a look at the Quick Start guide, that should get you started. Also see the Basics and FAQ for some details.

Picard is a metadata tagger for audio files. You can use it to get proper tags for your files. For this Picard can load details about albums and songs from MusicBrainz and apply it to your files. It offers a couple of possibilities for you to identify and load the correct album, including searching based on existing metadata, acoustic fingerprinting (to identify songs even if there is no existing metadata), disc ID lookup (to load the album for an inserted CD) and manual search on


@lwalper And don’t forget: MusicBrainz can only offer Metadata which has been previously submitted by users (yourself or other users).

If you have some very specific CD, it can be that MusicBrainz doesn’t know anything about your CD.
You can check this on the website and enter your artist or album name manually in the search field (upper right corner).


Add the cuedata plugin to EAC. Then you can select the initial tag data for the CD when ripping.

Post rip take the tracks to Picard to properly tag in full. With the initially prepared data from EAC the matches will be easier to find.


OK. Thanks, that’s helpful!


There are a lot of steps here to get more and more precise. Some of it takes a little learning to get exactly what you want.

With iTunes it just rips and makes a close guess as to what something is. But you soon realise how much richness is missing.

EAC gives you a perfect rip to FLAC checking for errors in the original along the way.

With MusicBrainz you have a database that will match to the exact version of the pressing of the CD you hold in your hands. Those catalogue numbers, barcodes and so forth will become important to make the correct selections.

And sometimes when Picard fails to find a perfect match this is because your exact version of the CD may not be uploaded. That is the stage your addiction gets extreme as then you start uploading details from your own CDs to fill in the gaps of the MusicBrainz database.

Don’t be put off by the complexity. After a while you’ll soon get your head around it. And just keep throwing questions into this forum as we have all taken a similar trail to get here.