Newbie, needs some advice

Hi All,

My music collection is a mess.

Lots of duplicates and incomplete data.

I need advice on step-by-step instructions on how to tackle the problem using the best software apps to de-dupe, then correctly populate the meta data so that my music will show up correctly when I eventually upload my collection to Plex Media server.

I’m many of you have discovered the most efficient way to do this so i was hoping for some tips.

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You asked a similar question three years ago:

Which of the given tips have you tried and what’s your progress so far? How are your files organized now? It would be good to know that before we start giving you similar answers that did not help you the last time :sweat_smile:

But the first step is the same as everytime: Back up your files :wink:


yeah, I gave up on this program 3 years ago. I was hoping there would be a change in the poorly, intuitive documentation and confusing if yet unrecoverable directions of how to setup MusicBrainz in the OPTIONS menu. The simple absence of “make my library look like iTunes formatted files and folder structure” still is evasive to the leadership braintrust at MusicBrainz.

If you are “right brain - visual oriented” like me, MusicBrainz can be the most frustrating exercise in dealing with “left-brain” software engineer types.

I believe your "“quick-start guide” requires a complete overhaul by a person that has a different perspective on how to convey information and instruction. If you haven’t taken the hint yet, and feel you keep giving out the same instructions to Users that “don’t get your site” the problem is not them - it’s you.

Best example is your response currently, "Which of the given tips have you tried and what’s your progress so far? How are your files organized now? It would be good to know that before we start giving you similar answers that did not help you the last time :sweat_smile:
But the first step is the same as everytime: Back up your files "

I could go on at length about how I get lost in your software in-between steps. Why? Because, first, it’s outdated vs. your current release, it’s clunky and most important, it’s incomplete.

I don’t even know if you work for MuscBrainz, but the company has some serious thinking to do if it really wants to reach another 50% of audience that doesn’t think like software engineers.

That’s what I expected and this is the reason why I asked for some information about you and your music collection. Everybody has his own habits of organizing files/music and a different level of experience, without knowing yours we can not effectively help you.

This is an open community forum and I’m just an (unpaid) user like most of the people here, so you can’t expect to get an elaborate customized step by step tutorial from me without providing some basic information when you are asked for it.


kellnerd - Hey, don’t get me wrong…thanks for your help. But, I’m moving on from MusicBrainz. I done fighting with its intuitive interface and ham-fisted “let’s get into the weeds” approach to customer support and documentation. This program suffers just so many because of the imbalance of input on the part of the creator. It just drives me crazy dealing with this software. I’m walking away and recommending to all my colleagues in the pro-audio industry to do the same.

That says a lot about your attitude, and it might explain why your collection is a mess, and you have been unable to fix that even after three years time.
Perhaps computers are just not your thing?


I must say I’m a bit confused by this thread. You come here, ask for help in the MusicBrainz Picard forums just to say a few hours later that you stopped using Picard years ago :man_shrugging:


In the OP’s defense, I myself have given up on trying to understand and master Picard twice over the period of a couple of years, only ‘seeing the light’ after the third attempt.
So I can certainly relate to the frustration. Just not to the attitude, the wordings, and the threat to disparage MusicBrainz/Picard towards his so-called ‘pro-audio colleagues’.

Let’s hope these pro-audio colleagues have their valuable audio files in better shape and order.


These kinds of threads are always bizarre to read. It is part of the problem of modern software. It is all dumbed down so hard now that something that gives choices like Picard becomes impossible to use for someone who thinks iTunes is music library software.

Picard is complex - probably overly complex - but it has to be complex to do the things it does with the data it has available.

Modern interfaces are about removing all the choices and having a big red “just do it” button which is ideally attached to a shop. Users don’t want the details Picard can supply. They just want a pretty picture and a file name.

We are all different. And have different needs.


It’s FREE. None of us are “customers”, we didn’t buy anything.

Picard is the front-end tagger for a complex online database. It’s not a file dedupe utility. Have you tried a file dedupe utility?

Seriously, don’t drive a nail with a wrench and then complain that Craftsman doesn’t know what it’s doing.


Weird as thread…

Gotta disagree with this though!

Modern interfaces are all about making interfaces not shit :wink:

I’ve got to remember that line. It apt for so many things.

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I’m going to a lot of modern looking websites but not getting the joy of a good UX.

It is. What makes you think it isn’t?

modern graphic design doesn’t = modern interface

This Discourse interface is pretty convenient compared to old forums :wink:


Let’s leave it at this point . Before Latour is invoked. :smiley:

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When I first started using Picard I found it confusing. The cluster business and automation gets in my way and I never let software fully automate itself otherwise you will end up in the same mess that iTunes makes of music libraries. Then you will look for another software that can clean that mess up and make an even bigger mess of it LOL I’m not one for reading manuals or following rules and like to use intuitivety (is that a word) or experiment to see what works for me. Just play with the software, explore and discover.

I manually drag an album one at a time into the left column press Scan and/or Lookup and everything moves to the right. Sometimes it will find the album straight away and sometimes tracks get spread over multiple albums (mostly if a compilation). I then drag the tracks into the correct album including any left behind in the left colum if available and remove the albums which where wrong. I then use the contextual menu to choose the right version or as close to it that I can find sometimes and / or refresh. I have to say Disclogs via Yate on a Mac which has access to both MusicBrainz and the Disclogs database has more choice including reel to reel rips and and all kinds of media via the Disclogs database. It’s easier to find by album release number, label, country too. Musicbrainz Picard does a pretty good job, I use both a lot of the times and then manually clean up unnecessary tags like the Musicbrainz and Disclogs specific tags. Yate is good for artwork too.

I digress…

Once tracks are all listed inside the album in the right column of Picard I can then check the tags for each track at the bottom. Colour coded bars really help and is one of the best features. Any changes can be manually typed in the right column down there or you can use the contextual menu on the left and keep original. Once happy I then save, remove the remains and move onto the next album. Simples!!!..Then off to Yate if needs be.

The worst thing anyone can do is allow a software to fully automate and not verify for yourself that everything is correct and make the necessary changes.

If Picard had a feature that when you click on other versions instead of the contextual menu then opened another window similar to what the Yate Disclogs options has where you can select media type, label, country etc, and a much larger selection choice, not just CD, SACD and the odd LP’s, then Picard would be the dogs dangles ( that’s a good thing by the way). Launching a browser and searching the database online is the not the way to go and then sending the tag across to Picard, it’s a real pain. Where Picard wins is it’s Acoustic ID and speed along with the automatic placement into a folder order and hierarchy when saving, according to your tagging script. But…I shall hold my hands up I often choose a CD version because that’s all there is and then afterwards move onto Yate Dicslogs to find the right version as LP or other and also grab artwork. I then use Kid3 to manually clean up the unnecessary database specific tags from both Picard and Disclogs. Once completed the album folder gets a cover icon, cue sheets get created and anything that I want and organised inside the main album folder and then, and only then do I move the album onto my NAS Music Library.

It’s a long laborious process cleaning up music libraries and tags. Don’t expect anything to do the work for you. There are no shortcuts…not many anyway.

Some of the bridge design software we use at work still runs purely on the windows command line. Think about that next time you’re driving over a bridge! And this guy is complaining that this FREE software doesn’t have an “idiot” button like all his Apple products. I greatly prefer flexibility instead of just following some software engineer’s way of doing things. Its really not that complicated, and you can find answers here on the forum, on youtube, or just on google. He should never use professional video editing software if he thinks this is hard.

p.s. - This is my first post :wink:

This thread is a perfect example of Right brain vs. Left brain.

Why doesn’t picard just offer BOTH solutions to satisfy both parties.

I’m not asking the Developer of Picard to change the product rather I’m just asking for an alternative Interface that is simplified. You know, like just changing the view on the interface.

An simplified interface like previous software like “Rinse” was a great example of a one-button clean-up.

It does not seem like the developers of Picard are open to doing this. Yes, that is their prerogative since the software is free. But, I’m just saying that there is a large audience that could be introduced to this simple interface view as a hook. THen later if they want to get into customizing, etc… they could go to the next intermediate level view, etc…

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Anyone have an idea of how I can add Genre to my collection?