MusicBrainz Picard asks me to save a file every time

Hello, this is my first message.

I’ve been using MusicBrainz Picard on Ubuntu 20.04 since 2021, and it always worked like a charm.
Recently I’ve added some new mp3s. After the scan, the software ask me to save them.
After saving, if I close the software and I open it again, some of the files that I’ve previously saved are marked to be saved again (purple star). This keeps going on every time on the same few files.

I’ve also checked if there is problem of file permissions, but this is not the case.

How can I fix this? Are there any additional information I can provide to solve this problem?

Thanks in advance.

After you save the files and restart Picard, are the updated tags present in the files, or are they not actually being written? Are the files’ mtimes (the timestamps displayed by ls -l) updated when you save them?

@the_candyman Can you please post an example screenshot of the metadata comparison showing the metadata items that have changed?

Some things that can cause metadata to change:

  1. Change to underlying Musicbrainz data
  2. Random order of multi-value fields
  3. Plugins where the web response is not received
  4. Cover art mages changing
  5. Same cover art images being downloaded again and Picard not detecting that they are identical
  6. Tags not being saved from last time.

There may be others I haven’t thought of.

So we need to try to narrow this down a bit.


Possibly related to:
[PICARD-1001] Cover art changes are indicated even if there's no change after loading a release - MetaBrainz JIRA?
And linked tickets.

If you disable tagging with cover art and the problem goes away that’s probably it.

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Here is a screenshot of the ls -l before and after the saving.

Here is the screenshot of the tags list before and after saving.

It seems that no tags has been changed. Anyway, the file is marked to be saved.

Thanks for the replay. I’m going to try this solution.

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I read the post, but I was unable to find out how to disable tagging with cover art. Can you give me more hints?

An additional thought that may solve my problem.

I have the folder with the mp3, let’s say “folder_mp3”.
I load all the files of this folder, I scan them, fix errors and then I save them.
Tomorrow I will put new files in this folder. Again, I must load all the files of this folder, scan them, and so on.

Is there a way to keep them as they are the files that I previously saved and only scan the new ones?

I don’t if this make sense, but for sure will solve my problem… and I will not have to wait 15minutes of scanning everytime I open MBP.

You could load the files before you put them into the folder. If you configure Picard to move the files to the target folder you could probably simplify your process: you put your untagged files into one folder, load this folder into Picard to tag and save to move the files to the final folder.


Picard > Options > Cover Art > untick both ’embed cover art into tags’ and ‘save cover art as separate files’

I would never load my whole music folder into Picard tbh.

I move things into my music folder after they’ve been tagged with Picard, and if I want to update tags later I drop things in in chunks. Don’t forget that you can drag and drop folders into Picard.


That’s sounds clever!

Thanks a lot for this!

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An additional question… What about the consistency of albums? I mean, today I have “Another Brick In The Wall Part 2” from “The Wall”. Tomorrow I will add “Mother” from the same album. How I can be sure that both songs will be recognized to belong to the same album? Sometimes, I get duplicate albums.

There’s no way for Picard to know files added at different times belong to the same album unfortunately. You either have to load them at the same time and then click ‘cluster’ (which groups things according to their album tag) and then ‘lookup’ (not scan, which wont necessarily keep them together), or you have to group them into the same album manualy later (drag and drop is your friend again, load the duplicate albums into Picard and then drag and drop the tracks into the same album).

Picard is made to work with full albums ideally btw - I would consider getting those instead of random mp3s :stuck_out_tongue:

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ok, got it. Thanks again.

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The cover art issues have already been mentioned, but there are a few other known cases where changes can be indicated.

  • Lyrics in ID3v2.3 can trigger this, see PICARD-2069
  • In general there might be some issues with ID3v2.3, as it has some differences to ID3v2.4 and values need to be converted between both formats. So if this happens with files tagged as ID3v2.3 switching to ID3v2.4 might help
  • Multiple cover art files embedded in ID3 can cause this, as there is no stable sort order, see PICARD-1696

There really might be other cases, but these are the documented ones.