Re-tag without losing current cover art?


Yup, Picard-257 is trying to solve the issue. Can anyone compile what Zas did and try whether it solves the issue. If so, I understand the developers would be willing to include into the nightly builds. Thanks in advance!


It adds an option “Preserve image tags”, that will preserve existing images if “Clear existing tags” is selected. Yes, this will solve the issue. It looks clean and solid so far, but @zas expressed concerns that it should be tested by somebody. Once this has happened it will be merged and made available in the nightlies.


Thanks a lot. Does your email imply that you have tested it? If so, could it be merged? Also, if someone can provide me with a compiled test built, I am more than happy to test it.


Quick follow-up. Given this may now be tested by outsidecontext, could this be merged into the nightly builts?

I am waiting to retag my library, but this requires this features.

Thanks in advance for your help!


Anything still required to see this being merged? This has been tested by outsidecontext now.

Thanks in advance!


No, it hasn’t, yet. And posting here all the time won’t change that, as I don’t have the time at the moment. Why is disabling “Clear all Tags” not an acceptable workaround in the meantime? I mean that functionality has been this way since Picard exists, I am not quite sure why it suddenly is that urgent :slight_smile:

Update only selective tags

The ticket is open for four years (, so I thought it may be about time to get this sorted out :wink:


In my experience turning off all the cover art features in the preferences prevents this. I prefer to manually add cover art when I know I have good tags.


I am still facing the same issue that coverart gets wiped out when retagging. There seems activity in development, but not approved yet. Let me know if you need anyone to test. Thanks!


Can’t help you if you’re (still?) using the “Clear existing tags” (I never touch it myself – I frequently don’t want what MB has, and it really helps to keep my edited fields around), but if you aren’t, you can right-click the artwork and select “Keep existing artwork”. You have to do that for every track every time you load it, but it works.


Thanks for the message. Yes, I’d like to have the option to preserve artwork when selecting “clear existing tags”. As in feature request 257 from 2012. It wasn’t opened by me, but I agree this is a good feature request (and received 17 votes). There is even a PR ( and another user offered to test.

Is this something the developers are considering to implement? I am happy to test, but cannot code.


I’ve never tried it but there’s a plugin called Keep tags that sounds like it will do what you want in terms of keeping selected tags when Clear all tags is selected.


I think $keep would be overkill, but in any case it’s not possible to use scripts with artwork, so far as I know.

All we need is a way to add artwork to the “preserve these tags” list. I assume that hasn’t been done because of some technical barrier.


Keep is a misnomer. What it does is clear tags that are not marked to keep. So it shouldn’t clear artwork, but I haven’t tried it.


i’ve tried everything, but keep doesn’t work with artwork. whatever i do, it gets wiped out. any other thoughts?


I may have missed it in the earlier discussion, but if the existing cover shows at the lower right corner, you should be able to right click on it and select the option to keep the existing cover art. I believe that you will need to do this with each album processed.


I presume you deselected ‘clear all tags’ before using keep.


that’s the point of this feature request / bug fix.

i’d like to enable “clear tags”, but “preserve cover art”. the keep function allows me to keep all tags, but not coverart.

as rdswift points out, i can do it manually, but that’s not efficient. what’s missing is a setting to “preserve coverart” or a way how the keep function enables this. and/or a way to allow me to “existing tags” in the list of tags to use (besides amazon, archive, local tags, etc).

besides the mp4 issues, this for me is the major shortcoming of picard versus jaikoz and prevents me from retagging my library.


May I ask why you need “Clear tags”, then? I’ve never understood that option unless someone has horribly mangled their files, and it sounds like you have them mostly as you want them, if out of date.


I like my tags to be clean and many of my old MP3s have horrible tags (comments, bit rates, mbz things, compilation tags, etc). i know i could technically just ignore them and not other. but don’t we all use picard because we like our tags nice and tidy? :wink: