Using Picard

How do I tag files with Picard?

There is a separate page that explains the tagging process.

The green "Tagger" icon disappeared from MusicBrainz.org, how do I get it back?

This icon shows up when a manual lookup is performed via Picard (using the bottom "Lookup" button).

Alternatively the parameter ?tport=8000 can be added to the end of almost any MusicBrainz URL and the green tagger icons will continue to show up from then on.

I'm trying to load a release in Picard, but all I'm seeing is "Couldn't load album errors". What's up?

If you get "Couldn't load album errors" for releases in Picard, this can occur for a number of reasons. Check the following things:

  1. Is the problem persistent for a given release?

    Try waiting a minute or two, or even a bit longer and then try again with a right click, "Refresh". Sometimes the servers are just overloaded and temporarily reject requests.

  2. Has the release been deleted/removed from MusicBrainz?

    If you are re-tagging files previously tagged with Picard, and get this error, the release has possibly been deleted. Try to right click and use the "Lookup in browser" option to view the release on the website - if you can't find it, it may have been deleted. This could be because you tagged a pending release that was voted down, or tagged against a release that was deleted because editors decided it wasn't a valid release. (Can happen for homebrew compilations, bad torrent or pirate rips, "advance" releases or very poorly added releases.) Usually there will be an alternate release you can tag against which you can find by searching or doing another clustered lookup from Picard. If you can't find a replacement and believe it has been deleted unfairly, submit a new release, supplying evidence of the tracklisting and as much information as possible to prove it is genuine and it may be accepted again.

I'm using macOS, where are my network folders or drives?

These should show up OK in the add file and add folder dialogs, but they aren't visible by default in the file browser pane. If you want to see them in the file browser pane, right click in the pane and select "show hidden files". They should then be visible in the /Volumes folder.

File Formats

What formats does Picard support?

Picard supports the following file formats:

  • MPEG-1 Audio (.mp3, .mp2, .m2a)
  • MPEG-4 Audio (.m4a, .m4b, .m4p, .m4v, .mp4)
  • Windows Media Audio (.wma, .wmv, .asf)
  • Microsoft WAVE (.wav)
  • The True Audio (.tta)
  • FLAC (.flac)
  • Audio Interchange File Format (.aiff, .aif, .aifc)
  • Musepack (.mpc, .mp+)
  • WavPack (.wv)
  • OptimFROG (.ofr, .ofs)
  • Monkey's Audio (.ape)
  • Tom's lossless Audio Kompressor (.tak)
  • Speex (.spx)
  • Ogg FLAC (.oggflac)
  • Ogg Theora (.ogg)
  • Ogg Opus (.opus)
  • Ogg Audio (.oga)
  • Ogg Video (.ogv)
  • Ogg Video (.ogv)
  • ADTS stream / AAC (.aac)
  • AC-3 (.ac3, .eac3)

WAVs cannot be tagged due to the lack of a standard for doing so, however, they can be fingerprinted and renamed.

What formats will Picard support?

Picard is intended to eventually support all formats (including fingerprinting), but this is a complex (arguably never-ending) process, and will take some time.

Which tags can Picard write to my files?

See Picard Tags for information on which MusicBrainz fields get written to tags by Picard. Picard Tag Mapping contains more technical information on how these are further mapped into each tag format.

How to I edit several tags at once? Why is it not easier do so?

Please realise that Picard is not designed as a general purpose tag editor. Its primary goal is to get community-maintained MusicBrainz data into your tags. Some secondary goals include

  • allowing rule-based (scripts, plugins) customisation of that data
  • encouraging users to create an account, fix and update data via the MusicBrainz website, thus sharing their work with the rest of the community - rather than fixing their tags locally.

To that end, Picard is likely to never have as much development focus on manual bulk editing of tags as other general purpose editors (e.g. Jaikoz, Mp3tag, foobar2000 or even many library managers such as iTunes, Windows Media Player, MediaMonkey). That doesn't mean that the team won't welcome patches in this area!

Having said all this, it is still possible in Picard:

  1. Click and select several files with CTRL or SHIFT
  2. Right click on one of them, then click Details...
  3. On the popup dialog you can see the tags, with entries that denote where tags are different across files. You can edit or add new tags here.
  4. On exiting the dialog, you have changed the tags in memory. You need to click Save in order to persist these changes to your files.

This process should work in both panes.

The built-in audio player cannot playback my file. Which formats does it support?

The formats supported by the built-in audio player depend on the formats supported by your operating system.

Windows: The supported formats depend on the installed codecs. Depending on the Windows version certain codecs are pre-installed, but you can install additional codecs.

You might want to install the Directshow Filters for Ogg to add support for Ogg Vorbis, Ogg Speex, Ogg Theora, Ogg FLAC, native FLAC, and WebM files.

See also Microsoft's Codecs FAQ.

Linux: On Linux the player uses GStreamer which does support most common audio formats, although some distributions might exclude some codecs due to licensing issues. For the best formats support make sure you install all of the GStreamer plugins available for your distribution.

I am using Fedora, why doesn't acoustic fingerprinting work?

Acoustic fingerprinting in Picard uses a tool called fpcalc, which is not available in Fedora. You can get it by installing the chromaprint-toolspackage from the RPM Fusion repository. This functionality is not contained in the main Fedora picardpackage because it requires the ffmpegpackage which cannot be distributed by Fedora. After enabling the "rpmfusion-free" RPM Fusion repository, install the package using (as root):

yum install chromaprint-tools


Where is the Picard configuration saved?

Picard saves the configuration in the file Picard.ini. Its location depends on the operating system:

Windows: %APPDATA%\MusicBrainz\Picard.ini
This usually will be C:\Users\YourUserName\AppData\Roaming\MusicBrainz, where YourUserName should be replaced with your actual Windows user name.

macOS, Linux and other Unix like systems: $HOME/.config/MusicBrainz/Picard.ini

I tagged a file in Picard, but iTunes is not seeing the tags!

Firstly, you need to force iTunes to re-read the information from your tags and update its library. This is discussed in the iTunes Guide.

Additionally, iTunes has a known bug in its ID3v2.4 implementation, which makes it unable to read such tags if they contain also embedded cover art. As a work-around, you can configure Picard to write ID3v2.3 tags.

My tags are truncated to 30 characters in Windows Media Player!

Prior to version 0.14, Picard's default settings were to write ID3v2.4 and ID3v1 tags to files. WMP can't read ID3v2.4, so it falls back to ID3v1 which has a limitation of 30 characters per title. To solve this on versions prior to 0.14, configure Picard to write ID3v2.3 tags instead.

Starting with version 0.14, the default settings have been changed to ID3v2.3 and this should no longer be an issue.

How do I tell Picard which browser to use?

On Windows, macOS, GNOME and KDE, Picard uses the standard browser for these systems. On other systems, you can use the BROWSER environment variable.

For example:

export BROWSER="firefox '%s' &"

Another approach that works in some GNU/Linux systems is the following command:

sudo update-alternatives --config x-www-browser

This should present you with a list of existing browsers in your system, allowing you to select the one to be the default.