Picard portable installation?

Is there any chance there could be a (Windows) portable installation in the future?

It would be very useful for e.g. having different installations available, e.g. one for tagging classical music, one for tagging non-classical music, etc.

Currently with using different scripts and plugins for classical vs. non-classical it is quite a hassle to set everything right for one or the other.

It would also be useful so that you could have one ‘testing’ installation for e.g. new beta releases, or for just plain testing without messing with your regular installation.


I have thought about this myself. Could it just be done with multiple picard.ini files? That is the only file that actually changes between runs.


Start with saving a copy of picard.ini as DefaultPicard.ini

Open Picard, set your choices, close Picard, save a copy as ClassicalPicard.ini

And repeat… for each layout. NonClassicalPicard.ini and so on…

Now it is a case of leaving a handy shortcut around to that folder, and just swap the ini’s as needed depending on the tasks in hand. Whichever is picard.ini today will be the one that changes your settings.

I have been thinking about a request for a Profile switch within Picard, but the above would also do the job.

Something like that had crossed my mind too, but a mix of being lazy and seeing bears down the road prevented me from giving that a try.

For example, I might want to have two different installations where both use a certain plugin, but with different settings.
The ini file is in appdata>roaming, but the plugins and their cache settings are in appdata>local

At this moment I have no idea how switching ini’s for this purpose will effect/allow different settings for the plugins.
Portable installations would have their own folders for plugins etc. and thus would be ideal for this.

Maybe I will go and try and experiment a bit with separate ini’s.
But testing and experimenting on my current well-running and fine-tuned Picard setup is exactly what I would like to avoid, hence the request for portable in the first place…

Relevant ticket.

Strange ticket to pick… that has already been done. Picard does now use an ini file and nothing in the registry. Otherwise my suggestion would not work.

I wonder if the command line option was completed?

At the very least this would be trivial to make work using a batch file. @hiccup how geeky are you? I could create you a batch file that would swap between the various ini files at each start if you want it.

Thanks for that offer @IvanDobsky, but I think just copy/pasting two different ini files is not too much of an effort for me.
It’s probably the plugins appdata/local folder that is going to present issues and will prevent this being an acceptable alternative solution anyway.
Our best hope would probably be a response from @outsidecontext, but I believe lately he hasn’t been able to spend much time on the forum.

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I just checked with @Zas in IRC and he reminded me that there is currently a command line option to select a different config file. Also, there is a ticket in the system about having different “profiles”. See https://tickets.metabrainz.org/browse/PICARD-9

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Thanks, but same as the other ticket that was referenced to earlier in this thread, it’s more than seven years old, and it isn’t specifically about the option for having portable installs.

So, regrettably it doesn’t seem likely this is going to happen any time soon.

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Don’t you use the same plug-ins for all versions? I thought the sub-folder was just holding the plugins without any changes between versions?

The enabled \ disabled states are kept in the picard.ini and will therefore change state when swapping ini files.

The only trouble will be if you need different settings for a specific plugin that keeps its settings somewhere odd.

That command line option will be the key. That certainly makes things even easier.

This AppData folder is where you are SUPPOSED to be working, so there should be no rights issues \ admin issues \ etc.

My attitude is - back it up, then hack it until it works. :wink:

Bit unfair that people keep picking up on the old tickets. There are not enough devs to keep on top of the current work, so it seems more logical we find a simple solution without having to re-write the main code. Especially as the devs have already seen into the future and added the command line feature that is needed to make this work.

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I am no coder, so please correct me if I am wrong:
This command line stuff you are talking about has no relevance to my wish for having the possibility of a portable installation.

If so, let’s keep this thread on topic and only about possible portable installation of Picard.

If and when I have the time and the courage to try out your suggestions, I will start a new thread, and be grateful for your help.
(or perhaps you could already start a new thread about this?)


It would allow you to have two different shortcuts sitting on your desktop. One would start Picard in configuration A and the other would start Picard in configuration B.

{snip… details moved to that other thread…}

Certainly easier than waiting for the Devs to invent the 12 day week and magically find development time that they don’t currently have the resources for.

All that is stopping the Portable version from existing is the ability to specify in the picard.ini the location of the plugins. Or maybe a command line option. Everything else seems to work fine after dragging the Musicbrainz Picard folder onto a memory stick and just trying it.

Though one needs to start Picard with the -c option to tell it that the config file is next to it.

(See the other thread for rantings and discovery testing)