Retrieving original album title and artwork from compilation albums?

Is it possible with MusicBrainz Picard, or any other software, to retrieve the original album title and artwork when processing compilation albums? In other words, I have a compilation album with 20 titles, I then want to replace the album title of the compilation album with the album title of the album that the song originally appeared on, and then add the corresponding artwork for that album. Is this possible? When I play music, I have the artwork displayed on my TV, and I want to see the artwork and album name from the original release instead of the ones from the compilation album.

When I first deleted the compilation album title tag and then processed the files with MusicBrain Picard, it just replaced the compilation album title.


Okay… lots of waffle, slightly geeky :nerd_face:, ask questions for clarity, but our man Picard has your back.

Make it So! :jlpicard:

This idea will rename the files and loose all memory of them being part of a compilation, but it will get your aim of artwork and titles as per originals.

First off, make a copy of the files of a compilation album and test the results that way. I don’t want to wreck your music collection. :crazy_face: (This is tested, and does work)

You’ll need to enable the Rename Files and Move Files options in Picard to get this to work. Also enable “Embed cover images into tags”.

Now to improve the matching. In OPTIONS find Metadata \ Preferred Releases. These sliders let you bias the matches to your needs. Push the Compilation slider to the far left. Now push Single and EP to far right. Set Album a notch or two from the far right. This will then match the tracks towards the original Single or Album and ignore the Compilations.


Drag your compilation back to the left. Use the the SCAN button and it will use the acoustic fingerprints to match the tracks to the separate albums and singles. You’ll end up with no idea of the compilation album, but now it will be split into parts of the original singles and albums instead and show original art and titles.

This should give you a SCAN that matches Singles and Albums therefore scattering your Compilations into folders and tagging as if they were the original.

You will still need to drag tracks around for better choices, but the hits should be pretty good.

If you want to play this as the original compilation, you’ll need to use your media player to save a playlist to put the album in the order of the original compilation. If you have embedded the artwork then you can store the files back in a folder with the name of the compilation, but the files will be now tagged as originals.

Bonus Points for any other MB forumite who can come up with a one line script that will put the original Compilation Album title into the Comment tag. :grinning:


Hi Ivan, thank you so much for you extremely detailed reply! Much appreciated. Before I try out your method, I just realized that I actually don’t need the album title to change. I only want to replace the cover of the compilation albums with the cover art of the album that the song originally came for. Do you have a simpler solution for that? Thanks again!

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Hi @Doc911, glad that it helped.

Funnily enough there was an earlier draft of the above where I did keep the compilation album title but with separate Original Album artwork. I didn’t post that extra step after re-reading your initial question.

The way to get the specific album art is going to be to follow through all of the above, and Embed the artwork in the process. This will have all the files tagged as separate tracks, separate albums, separate embedded artwork.

Now to get those files back to being the Compilation Album will require you to drag all the separate tracks back on to the Compilation Album on the right hand side and drop them back on to their original slots one by one.

IMPORTANTLY you will then need to make sure that in the OPTIONS the “Embed Cover Images into Files” is UNTICKED. Turn OFF that embedding of artwork this time so as not to overwrite the images you gathered in the first step.

Now when you save you will get your Compilation album back, but have separate artwork…

Yes, this is a bit of a manual faff, but it does work. :slight_smile: