Update only selective tags


Just wondering can when canning MusicBrainz Picard can update selective tags only ?

Most of my tags are correct, however i just need to update a large batch of songs (specifically only “Disc count”, “Disc Number”,“Track Count” and “Track number”

Is this possible to update these tags only using Picard and leaving everything else unchanged ?


In Picard, go to options > tags, and then enter all of the tags you want to preserve into the box under “preserve these tags…”.

Not really ideal, because it’s a bit tedious to enter everything manually, and it’s case sensitive etc, so if you have some random tags that you’ve forgotten to enter they’re going to get wiped. Worth trying with a copy of your files though!


That’s a bit harsh :slight_smile: They won’t get wiped but overwritten with data from MusicBrainz if available. Unless you have “Clear existing tags” enabled which will removed all Tags not preserved, but that Option doesn’t make sense in this case.


I second that, it is impossible for me to enter all the tags all my mp3 files use in the exclusion list (>50k mp3 's from many years).

I recommend an option: only update these tags: x,x,x,x
so: a whitelist of the available muscibraniz tag fields.

In my case, I want to have the fingerprint ID and the ASIN in my tags, but nothing else, as my tags are wonderful and the update function is abit radical imo. I cant let it run through my collection without loosing a lot of information. i.e. playtime differs in many cases, where my playtimes are correct (trailing zero).

btw is asin = isrc? is there a way to get isrc out of musicbrainz? I want to move from tags to id’s, cause with all the id’s available, i.e. isrc, spotify id, itunes id, youtube link etc etc i can move on to online collect infos about the songs i listen and display in real time. tags are great, but there’s more, i.e. discogs webpage etc, that i want to show while listening and i dont need that in the tags.



You don’t have to list every obscure tag that might happen to be in one of your files, just the ones supports and written by Picard, see http://picard.musicbrainz.org/docs/tags/

And let Picard also write the MusicBrainz IDs, they are the most useful identifiers if you later want to access more metadata from MB again. E.g. files with MB IDs can simply pulled into Picard again and saved with updated data from MB


in picard the tags are shown with first letter uppercase - when choosing “edit” the tags are indeed lowercase, as in the list you linked to.
anyway, for testing i added all tags to the blacklist, but still, when saving a scanned result, it seems to write the new tags to the file.

tags are:


It will write the tags to the files if they are not already present, but it should not overwrite them. Maybe make sure to specify the tags without any spaces, just the separated comma, e.g. title,artist,artistsort, not title, artist, artistsort. Not sure if this is an issue.

Also I would advise <you to write the MusicBrainz IDs and not put them on the blacklist. Also above you mentioned your desire to include some identifiers, so you are able to directly lookup the son on various sources. The MusicBrainz IDs are the best you can get here, since with those IDs you can lookup everything MusicBrainz provides, including links to Spotify, Youtube etc.

No, ASIN is the Amazon Standard Identification Number, the ID Amazon gives to it’s sold products, the ISRC is the International Standard Recording Code, assigned by national ISRC agencies to recordings.

Yes, if MusicBrainz has thie ISRC for a recording Picard will be able to load it and save it to the tags. Please note that a recording on MusicBrainz can have multiple ISRCs (since labels are lazy and sometimes just get new ISRCs for e.g. compilations), and also a single ISRC could point to multiple MB recordings (for e.g. the same reason as before).

Very good idea which makes a lot of sense. As I said above the MB IDs are probably your best bet here, since they give you access to all the other IDs as well. Not sure which player you want to use for this though, do you know one which uses the IDs stored inside the tags to show all this extra data from the different sites?


thx !
it works without the spaces.

i left all tag names in the blacklist.

now picard behaves as: update empty tags, but not overwrite any. thats ok!

but, the function cant be set for the covers? does it update all covers, no matter if they already exist (higher resolution existing covers updated by lower res?)? is it “apic” tag name, as mentioned in : Re-tag without losing current cover art? ?

also i dont quite get it, it seems that for some mp3 's if rescanned, picard suggests another cover image every scan…

still, an option to choose to only update specific empty tags would be nicer.

to your question:
no, for the moment i am doing acrcloud music recognition and fetching music info online according to the result. it is also possible to get the track played i.e. by clementine via dbus and with that info i display infos available.


If you keep the MBID’s, you can change your approach whenever you feel like it, just by changing your Picard settings.
If you don’t, you’re starting over every time - or more likely, end up stuck with something that could be better because you don’t want to start over.

Which is why we always recommend using them, not as advertising for MB or something like that :slight_smile:


Sometimes you might want to update only a specific set of tags, and at other times you might want to update a more complete set of tags for your albums.
Is there a way to have some presets for that purpose, or will you have to edit the exceptions list every time you want to do that?