[Questions] The methodology behind Scanning/Searching for Albums...?

So a few questions… I’ve used Picard to update a few 1,000 mp3’s, and it’s been a journey to say the least.

1. Why is it that “lookup” finds very little, even though we have the primary tags already in the file, Title, Artist, Album Name, etc.? To me, it should be the other way around, Lookup should find the specific Album we are looking for when the BASIC Tags are in the file already, and then Scan should ONLY be used for files that maybe aren’t as known, or some other issue, to find other albums, etc. To me, this system works backward?

2. I don’t get the point of “Cluster”? Sure, it groups files under an album, but it has no bearing on the Search Results, that I can tell? We still have to drag and drop files into the correct Album in the search results out of many albums found, such as below 6 being found.

3. On Scan/Lookup, why are many “other” albums found, even though we have the Album Title in the song in the file already? I mean, I can understand this being an “option”, to “expand” our search, but the primary search should match the files under the actual Album that the files are named under.

Take the screenshot below… 6 different results, files all mixed through them. And ironically, ALL of these files most of their tags have been filled up already by Picard. So, there should be no question what Album the files belong under (though to be clear, not using the specific MBZ Tags, but the issue is still the original question, lots of data that it should know what album the file belongs in, yet many other are found). Now, I do understand I can adjust the “amount” of results some with the “Sliders” in Settings, but still. I also understand find multi-albums can be useful in certain situations.

However, shouldn’t the program find the “correct” album, and THEN if we want to see other options we can “expand” the search or something?

The “Greatest Hits” album is the one all these songs belong with. Why isn’t the program just finding that initially, instead the files are split all over the place? Again, good option as a “next step”, but the default search should just find what we are actually looking for per the data already in the Tags.

Honorable mention… I also want to address as a “Newbie” in dealing with a music collection, tags etc., this has been a very painful process.
Instead of having like 15 Scripts (which were hard to figure out) and a million settings to change to try and get things right, the program should have a simple “allow/disallow” list, i.e. we should be able to “choose” what tags we want to see and what are updated/compared.

This definitely needs to be a future feature improvement with the program. It was an overly/unnecessary complicated process just to set the program up to do the basic job it should, see and update the tags we want. Scripts etc. are fine for the experts, but the basic feature set for the average user should be simple setup and usage. It also wastes time for people responding on the forum.
Unnecessary complexity is the bane of invention and performance…

Anyway, thanks for everything, I am happy with the product otherwise save things I’ve had issues with etc. Appreciate your alls work, and look forward to further improvement, especially with the Bugs and other Issues I’ve reported with the “Cover Art” system.

Take care…

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Kia Ora!

Sounds like some of your issues might stem from how the scan function works?

  1. You’re correct, ‘scan’ should be a last resort, as it ignores all your existing tags.
    If your existing tags are correct you should have good results with ‘cluster’ > ‘lookup’ on cluster.
    If you’re getting bad results with lookup then presumably your tags aren’t quite matching up with what’s in the DB? Maybe a non-standard tag you’re using somewhere?

  2. Lookup will do it’s best to respect a ‘cluster’ when matching, so it’s a important step. I’m not sure but scan might ignore it completely?

  3. Potentially answered above? Lookup + cluster should look for the album that’s in the tag, plus try keep a cluster (eg an album) together.

As you’ve said, Picard and MB aren’t very new-user friendly, so I’m not sure if any of this is made clear in the interface :disappointed_relieved:

This open source project tends to attract devs of the geeky sort (:two_hearts:) and basically if they’re not interested in working on UX then it doesn’t happen, and new features go in instead. Not sure that will change but thanks heaps for contributing with tickets!!

P.s. Though if you needed a lot of scripts it sounds like your needs are quite complex!

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LOL… Thanks much, you might have given me some pointers so I can improve what I’m doing.

Not too complex… :wink: Just don’t want to see/touch certain things (so need a bunch of $unset scripts), only want to edit certain things, etc.
A simple “choose what Tags you want/don’t want” would help some of us newbies some rather than having to have scripts, and maybe some other common actions in the UI of settings would be nice.

Scripts to me should be for those things most people wouldn’t ever like to do/use.
No worries, I appreciate the product existing, and the work making it happen, just throwing out me 2 cents to help improve, to reduce the confusion and stress for the average user. :slight_smile:

LOL… I was doing it wrong…

I see now I was needing to Cluster THEN do Lookup.
This wasn’t obvious…

There’s likely more complexity I need to figure out. LOL Thanks again. :heart_eyes:

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Picard 2.7 will have the ability to auto-cluster all added files that would otherwise be shown in “unclustered files”.

Yep, I see that in there…

Workflow examples are given in the very complete documentation. You definitively have to read it before posting here.

Picard is a complex tool mainly because it handles a complex problem.

If you have feature requests or bug reports, please create tickets, clearly explaining things, providing logs, screenshots, etc… For example, why you think this feature is needed, with a complete description (and eventually mock-ups).

You have to understand your use case is likely very different from other users.

The fact you need 15+ scripts for it to do what you need just shows you have special needs, and as you can see, Picard is able to handle that too because it is flexible enough.

Most users don’t use any script or plug-ins for it to do what they need.


Definitely, the docs are excellent now.

However I’m terms of UX it’s outrageous to expect every user to visit a website to explain the most basic functionality.

You can, sure… but I don’t know if I have any other software installed that even comes close. It’s quite special.

Of course, +1 for Picard being an amazing tool at handing complexity

Yep… I’m well experienced using 100’s of various software/programs, and always the most basic functions are “intuitive”.

It wasn’t “intuitive” that I needed to Cluster the files, then use Lookup, and then Scan only if needed.
What was intuitive is using either Lookup or Scan to find the stuff, but then using those alone wasn’t working as expected.

So, just a minor thing, but a frustration that could be improved without having to read a huge manual which people just don’t do by nature for the basic functions of things. Like, I’ve never read a manual on how to use my car, save for some “unique” function or process.

For example, maybe a way to improve this is in the TOP Right Corner of each button (Cluster, Lookup, & Scan), put a 1, 2, and then 3 (or 2+)… or something like that.?

This would help in understanding what needs to be done, a simple “Indication of Process”, without significantly changing anything UI wise.

I made a quick mockup for a default ‘basic mode’ display, with steps, a few years ago, but it didn’t get any traction:


Holy Cow… BRILLIANT aerozol…!

Great minds think alike… Exactly what I was saying and thinking.
Your mockup is very well done, and indeed should likely be how the UI should be setup to work.

Nice :+1:

@aerozol: would you mind create a ticket with this mockup attached?


I’ve given the mockup a makeover and made a ticket :+1:

Weeee… congrats! :heart_eyes:
BTW, I’ve given my input to even FURTHER improve the design, information, and process…
Hope you all like… :wink: