New to this, need a lot of help getting started

Last year, a friend of mine who is a DJ gave me a copy of his entire music library. Since then I have gotten into being a DJ myself. Going through all the songs he gave me is a pain, because they all seem to be in different formats for artist names, song names, descriptions. I am going to a assume that a lot of these were torrented or pirated, but I honestly have no clue how he acquired most of these songs. Currently I have around 45,000 songs, most with missing album artwork, weird names that include website addresses, as well as some songs that have 8 or more versions of the same song. I was recommended to use this website (app?) to help sort out and organize my library.

I have tried playing around with the picard app, but to be honest, i don’t really have any sort of a clue what I’m doing. I am fairly good with computers, but I am new to music, so I don’t know what a lot of things are.

How do I get this program to scan my entire library, and fix all the info for my songs? I want all the website name crap removed, weird symbols in the song names removed (unless they were intended to be there). I also would like album artwork for my songs.

Please help, I am in way over my head trying to organize 44,000 songs 0__0

Hey vansc14!

First of all, make a copy of some of your files, and try out Picard/ MusicBrainz on those.
Picard will rename your files and overwrite your existing tags, so it’s pretty important that you try things out on a backup first.

This should give you a good overview to get started with:
Perhaps try tagging some files with these instructions, and then let us know if you have any specific queries?

Keep in mind that a ‘magically fix all 44k songs with one click’ solution doesn’t exist - tracks might be missing from the database, the same song can exist on multiple albums (and Picard wont always correctly guess which one you want), and you will have to tweak things if you have a specific file naming and/or tagging format in mind.
But MB is very powerful and also relatively straightforward once you get the hang of it, so hang in there and give it a shot :slight_smile:

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thank you, I forgot to make a backup first. Which i am regretting. But almost ALL of my music is backed up on the iCloud.

I know it won’t be a “magic one button fix” and I’m completely okay with that. I have NO clue what most of the songs are. Its freaking 123 DAYS of music. Id be okay with it fixing 75% of all of them.

I have already read that guide, and I think I’m sorta getting the hang of it. Just the amount of music I am trying to process is 300 GB, so it makes the program freeze a lot. I wish there was a way to tell the program to use all available CPU, cause I have four cores, and the most its ever used is like 98% of one core. (I already asked an apple support guy about this issue, there is no fix to tell a program to use more CPU)

That’s a known issue with Picard, if you skip adding images it should load faster, but as it stands it will be loading a lot of images (and other data) into the memory at once.
I think the general advice is to work with smaller batches at once.
Also often it looks like it’s freezing, but it’s still doing its thing in the background. I suppose you could leave it running on everything overnight if you want to give that a shot.

As a side note, my workflow is usually:
add files to picard > cluster them > hit lookup > double check that editions are what I want etc (depending on how exact you want to be) > save
if lookup isn’t doing the job, I’ll use scan instead of lookup (lookup uses existing tags to search, scan searches for a matching acoustID/ checks the actual song data against the database)

I’m working with 44,000 songs, around 300GB of data. In my iTunes folder, i can either select one single album, or select all ~9500 albums in that folder. I would LOVE to be able to select multiple folders at once, without selecting all of them, or moving any of the folders around, or creating new ones.

Is it possible for me to select multiple folders?

also, is there a way to save ALL the changes made without having to select them all manually? Cause every time I use CMD+A to select all, then use CMD+S to save them, the program freezes. With this insane amount of songs, I don’t care about 100% accuracy. Anything is better than what I have now.

I don’t have a mac, and I don’t use iTunes anymore, so I can’t help too much there unfortunately…
Generally speaking though, iTunes will sometimes cause you problems that are beyond the scope of Picard/MusicBrainz - maybe someone with a mac has some other programs you could try (or not, no stress!)

You should definitely be able to select a few albums at once though? You can surely click and drag to select multiple folders, or click one, and then hold the shift or the command key and then select others.
Otherwise, drop everything into Picard, cluster it, and then use shift + click to select multiple files to run lookup/scan on.

My music collection is sizeable as well (and both of ours pale in comparison to some other digital hoarders), but unfortunately the answer still is that you have to work in batches, and not save everything at once. I know that’s not the answer you wanted, sorry!!
But it’s still much easier than doing everything manually :wink:

For the record, @vansc14 then had that problem between Picard and iTunes:

I think Picard should forbid using more than <insert a number here> files at a time.
Or at least warn the user that they will probably be unable to understand anything performed, because that’s really the case, even for someone used to Picard.


Thanks @jesus2099, I didn’t see that…
Can’t really say any more than I’ve already said I suppose.

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Click on one release at a time to just save that. Picard’s UI doesn’t support a progress bar for large operations

Hey @vansc14,

Review/research "best" workflow - this will be useful

I was once in the same situation; as I’m sure a lot of us were once upon a time :slightly_smiling_face:

Hope this is useful


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