Is this common?

so i’ve been putting off editing my music library for literally years now but today i sat down and just started doing. once i found the right script to use and right settings to use it starts to pick up pretty fast and right now im in the middle of a groove and im just knocking them out, one by one… except something is slowing me down and i don’t know if its normal and i should just deal with it or if its an easy fix…
so pretty much, after i cluster a few songs i usually go directly to ‘scan’ (i havent seen a difference in ‘scan’ and ‘lookup’) but when picard pulls in the list, 99% of the time it matches my files with compilation type album like ‘thats what i call music 58!’ instead of the artists released album. i could finish a lot faster if i didn’t have to right-click the song and search for similar tracks and then import the right album and save.
so is there a setting i accidentally enabled or a way to get picard to show the artists album after scanning a file instead of the compilation albums? or should i be doing something differently?
idk if this is relevant but i read that having lots of ‘single’ mp3’s could make things more difficult and thats me. i don’t have many full albums, i mostly just (legally) download single songs i like from the album, never the entire album. could that be part of the problem?

The difference between “Scan” and “Lookup” is supposed to be just what you’re experiencing here, Lookup can use clusters of files to correctly identify the albums they belong to based on the metadata the files already have (and indeed, having many single files does make this more difficult).

“Scan” does an acoustic fingerprint of the file and identifies the Recording on the MusicBrainz side, and there is no way for Picard to pick the “artist album” as you call it (as they’re all just releases that contain the recording in question).


really?! i could have swore the few times i chose ‘lookup’ before ‘scan’ i ended up getting the same results but i guess it also could have just been those files and each one is different. ah well, at least its an easy fix, thank you for the quick response… back to editing!

You can change what kind of albums Picard looks for under options > metadata > preferred releases. This only applies to lookup.


In your case it could be that there is no big difference. As you wrote you tag single files, not entire albums. If you lookup individual files separately it searches for each file and tries to find matches based on the existing metadata. Scan also looks at individual files, but based on the actual audio. Both have in common that they could find any release that includes the searched song.

Still I would recommend to first try with lookup and only if this does not yield the desired results try scan. Also tweak the preferred release types as psychoadept wrote.

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@psychoadept why does it only apply to lookup and not to scan? I haven’t seen anything in documentation about this. I wish i knew that earlier :smiley:

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I can’t answer why, but I made a ticket for it:

ya i guess going the ‘lookup’ route rather than ‘scan’ route is a little better. one thing im noticing though is when i select multiple files and there are two songs from the same album, i am getting that album brought up twice and it isn’t recognizing that it goes together so i have to manually move the file so they are together. i guess this is my punishment for using youtube to mp3, limewire and bearshare for all these years :man_facepalming: kind of annoying but its gotta be done! i’ve been at this for about 3 days now, about 4 hours each day and im maybe 10% done lol … gunna take forever!