Picard/MusicBrainz Change?

I’ve been a MusicBrainz/Picard contributor/user for the last few years. One of the things I started to depend on MusicBrainz/Picard for (aside from the community maintained repository) is embedding album art into my library. Since the last time I maintained my library with Picard, something major seemed to change, which I’m not entirely sure what. Albums Picard used to embed artwork into, no longer seem to have any artwork. Even worse, Picard seems to delete the existing embedded album art.

After a bit of digging, it looked like Picard was only fetching artwork from Cover Art Archive (even with all sources enabled). According to the debug log, the Amazon (and whitelist) requests always seem to fail, which I’m not sure is or isn’t related to the ASIN seemingly being removed from the tags.

Generally the quality with Cover Art Archive seems to be at least an order of magnitude better than Amazon, which seriously is awesome. Although the archive is kind of sparse for my library at the moment (at least the less popular stuff for now). So, as a user, it’s kind of seems like two steps forward and three steps back.

So, I guess my questions are…

  • Why is Picard deleting existing album artwork (without replacement artwork)?
  • Why isn’t Amazon a viable source anymore?
  • How do I contribute to CAA (BMP, PNG, etc…)?
  • When did CAA go live?

I checked the Discogs links for a lot of the albums that are missing artwork also, and it does seem to have better coverage at least for my library (e.g. Smile - Maquee). Is there any reason Picard can’t use Discogs as a source?

As for Amazon, we’ve been converting their URLs to use HTTPS. Unfortunately, released Picard versions don’t interpret those correctly. You could switch to a nightly build.

You probably have “clear existing tags” enabled in options.

[quote=“uxcn, post:1, topic:164736”]
How do I contribute to CAA (BMP, PNG, etc…)?[/quote]

It would be awesome if you could contribute!
The fact that you’re posting here means you already have a MusicBrainz account.
Just log in on MusicBrainz, find the release that needs art, click on the ‘CAA’ tab at the top, and upload your images!

A few notes:
We want the art to specifically represent that exact release, as opposed to being the most ‘audio player friendly’ image out there. So if it’s a digipak release, the cover image wont be square, or an old LP release might have text placed a bit differently than a higher-res nicer looking digital version, but we still want the LP cover on the LP.
In those cases there’s an easy solution, just set the art for the release group to the nicest cover, and use that when tagging, and then we can keep everything ‘correct’ :slight_smile:
You can tag multiple cover art types (most common is back + spine or front + booklet) by holding shift and selecting different types.

That’s about it, pretty straight forward! Happy uploading and tagging :muscle:


I’ll start using some of the nightly builds.

I think this is the default… which I don’t want stale tags polluting my library. Artwork is a bit different though (even though it’s stored in tags).

I guess Picard doesn’t understand the semantics of the tags?

Thanks @aerozol. I generally try to match the barcode with any of the releases I add info to the repository for. I have a few slightly obscure albums which I’ll probably start with.

Is there a mailing list for announcements like CAA? I had no idea it went live until just now; the same thing with the site re-design.

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Clear existing tags is off by default

Yes, see http://tickets.musicbrainz.org/browse/PICARD-257

Not sure I understand, can you explain what you mean and want to achieve. Picard if course knows which tag is the composer tag, so it can store the composer information there. But it has no deeper understanding of what a composer actually is.

CAA was publicly announced to be available in October 2012

Probably the best place us https://blog.musicbrainz.org, all new things tend to be announced there.


I don’t mean the natural language semantics, just the semantics as far as using Picard to maintain all the metadata/artwork for my library. Like for example, album artwork generally is a tag, but using Picard I don’t care it is a tag, it’s visual artwork.

Another example might be Amazon tagging all of their digital downloads with ASIN regardless of the value being stored with MusicBrainz. So, ASIN may be their primary key (no idea if this is correct); and so on…

Are you talking about the fact that the ‘clear existing tags’ button also clears cover art?
There’s not much point discussing it more, the ticket is here: http://tickets.musicbrainz.org/browse/PICARD-257
And it looks like it’s well underway. Voting for the ticket can give it more visibility though :slight_smile:

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Yes, but also more.

I took a quick look at the ticket. It looks like there’s a fix to preserve existing album art (not everything I had in mind though). I also took a look at PICARD-258 (also less than everything).

I’m going to start using the nightly builds for stuff, and I guess see where things go from there.

[quote=“uxcn, post:11, topic:164736”]
Yes, but also more.[/quote]
You can add comments to the ticket if you want it to be implemented in certain way, or make a new ticket if you want new functionality.

Let us know if you have any more questions though!

I’m having the same problem; albums that previously had art no longer have artwork.

After opening the albums in picard (nightly build from today) I can see that picard thinks there is 1 image for the album. Running picard with the -d flag I can see that it has found an ASIN:

> Found ASIN relation : amazon.co.uk B003JO88Q2

I see it downloads an image:

Downloading CoverArtImage(url=u’http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/P/B003JO88Q2.02.LZZZZZZZ.jpg’)

to a local file (which I can open and see it has artwork) and claims to store it in the metadata:

Cover art image stored to metadata: CoverArtImage(url=u’http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/P/B003JO88Q2.02.LZZZZZZZ.jpg’) [w=500 h=490 mime=image/jpeg ext=.jpg datalen=68803 file=/var/folders/9z/x9482xs935l8lcx8_mm71s880000gn/T/picardq7S0pA.jpg]

but the cover art panel in picard shows no image and saving the tags doesn’t store an image.

Any ideas?

I’ve been uploading images to CAA where I can but I’ve got hundreds of albums from before it existed and it’ll take me ages to make all the images :frowning: