Tagging a huge collection

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So I’m kinda new to this software and don’t exactly know how it works yet.
I installed it because iTunes completely destroyed the organisation of my 1 TB collection and I wanted to get everything organised again as fast as possible.

My problem is that my collection exists of more then apparently 52.000 files…
I tried just dragging the whole disc into the program but it looks like this is gonna take weeks.
How am I supposed to do this?

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You’re asking questions in the right place.
If Picard is running it’s way through 52,000 files right now I am not sure whether you should just wait.
Or do something else.

Better qualified volunteer assistance will arrive soon from what I’ve seen.

Hang in there.

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Start small and work your way up. Remember Picard/Musicbrainz is aimed more at accuracy than speed. It’s not going to be fully automatic. Start with a couple of releases, then in the next batch, tackle a larger group. Keep adjusting until you have a batch size you feel comfortable with.

Or you could do like I do and add each and every individual release slowly and meticulously. It’s only taken me 7 3/4 years to get from the "A"s to the "O"s. :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

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Found this which will make you better informed but no better off if Picard is currently working on 50,000 files.

To the above I can add that Picard is built to “save what has been processed”.

The questions I’d like to know the answer to if my computer was working on 50,000 songs is,"How long should I wait before deciding that interrupting the process and turning Picard off would be a good idea?"
And, “How could I tell if Picard has frozen?”

Well, it has been running for a few days and I chose to stop it just now, think I’m gonna try doing it in batches.
It sometimes froze but always started working again after a while, it was just really slow.

Would be interested to hear roughly how many of the 50,000 were tagged by Picard in that time.

Sorry I didn’t see this thread earlier… definitely a good idea to quit the process haha
Whenever I accidentally drag too many files into Picard and it hangs, it’s always better for me to force quit and start again with less. It just really doesn’t deal well with thousands of files!

That said, it’s a great tagger, good luck and let us know if you have any other questions!


A while back I had experienced some hanging and I thought it was windows 10.

  1. When adding files, Picard would hang at different time during the process.
    Turned out to be a PLUGIN either the lyrics or playlist generator.
    I restored to defaults on the plugin page.
  2. When saving files - this would seem like a hang but if left it would normally finish.
    (when I was
    patient enough)
    it went away when I selected a smaller set of files to save at one time.
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I wish I had know about this when I started tagging my files!

I didn’t know you could just pull them all in and wait for picard to work on its own.

What I did was album by album: I felt safer that way and had complete oversight, so I could tell if picard matched my files to a wrong album, which happened quite regularly. Then, I’d just pull my files back out of the right pane and work on a different album. I was very persistent and repeatedly scanned and looked up and got 'em all in a few tries over a few hour duration each.

What I didn’t realize was that picard would just keep on working in the background on my files. Interesting and it might have saved me a considerable amount of time, but, given the number of false matches and the trouble I had getting them straight, I think taking a manual approach was likely better—album by album, that is. That way, I could check the match, see that it’s right and stash the successful album away into a different directory and move on to the next one.

I probably messed it up a few times by pulling mismatched files out of the right-hand pane and found them renamed in such a way that it was nearly impossible to tell what they were beforehand. That scared me. Perhaps, had I left the files in, they might have gotten rematched successfully?

Well, what I wanted was for the matches to occur with the releases I was entering into the database, since I knew that a large part of my collection wasn’t in there until I added them. This definitely slowed things down considerably.

But, it worked and I’m kicking off the boots for a bit.

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I think this is a misunderstanding, your approach definitely is better. Of course you can pull a large amount of files in, but as you have seen yourself there can be mismatches. And if you have hundreds of releases loaded in the right pane that is hard to correct.

That’s why we recommend doing only a couple of albums at a time. Doing a single album is probably a bit hard, you can do more. But start slow and if you feel comfortable work your way up.

Again this seems to be a misunderstanding. Picard does nothing in the background. When it shows you the matches on the right that is the matches it got. And it especially does not change filenames on it’s own in the background. The same only time it does anything to your files is when you hit the “save” button.

So how this is supposed to work is you load files into Picard and they show up in the left lane of unmatched files. You then match them to releases (with lookup, scan or by manually loading releases from MB.org) and they get loaded into Picard on the right pane. There you review the releases and if the files have been matched properly, and if you are satisfied you hit “save”. Only then renaming and saving happens. If you are not happy with the matching don’t hit save, but pull the files back to the left pane and try a different approach.


beets is another option for the first pass at tagging, especially if it’s configured only to auto-tag matches that are nearly certain. For large collections, there is a speed advantage with this approach, since it can save as it goes, it can run unattended, and resume if interrupted. With Picard, one must select the albums to save and save them after the scan is complete.

Even if beets or Picard determines that a match is nearly certain, the release can still be wrong (vinyl versus CD, for example). You can correct this by selecting an alternate release via the matched album’s context menu and (re-)saving.

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for what it’s worth, i was really struggling with the windows version as it crashed whenever i needed to tag more than 12 albums.
i ended up using Ubuntu on a pen drive and it flies through the files

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Did you create a ticket for this issue ?

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