Server address: The domain name for the MusicBrainz database server used by Picard to get
details of your music. Default value: musicbrainz.org (for the main MusicBrainz server).
Port: The port number for the server. Default value: 80 (for the main MusicBrainz server).
Username: Your MusicBrainz website username, used to submit
retrieve and save items to your collections and retrieve personal folksonomy tags.
- Password: Your MusicBrainz website password.
Automatically scan all new files: Check this box if you want Picard to scan each music
file you add and look for an AcoustID
fingerprint. This takes time, but may be helpful for you and MusicBrainz. Leave it unchecked if you don't
want Picard to do this scan automatically. In any case, you can direct Picard to scan a particular
music file at any time using the Scan button in the toolbar.
Check for updates during start-up: Check this box if you want Picard to check for program updates
automatically. Leave it unchecked if you don't want Picard to do this check automatically. In any case, you
can have Picard check for program updates at any time using the Help --> Check for update
command in the drop-down menu.
Days between checks: This option allows you to limit the automatic update checking by selecting
the interval, in days, between checks. Set this to 1 if you want to check daily, 7 for weekly
checks, and so on. Note that this only applies if the Check for updates during start-up option is
Updates to check: This option allows you to select which levels of update to check. Your options are:
For example, if you subscribe to Stable releases only you will not be notified if a new Beta or Dev
release is issued.
Stable releases only
Stable and Beta releases
Stable, Beta and Dev releases
Note: The update settings and "Check for update" function may not be available when Picard is distributed
as a package. In that case, the user should check with the maintainer of the package to determine when an
update is available.
Translate artist names to this locale where possible: When checked, Picard will see whether
an artist has an alias
for the selected locale. If it does, Picard will use that alias instead of the
when tagging. When "English" is the selected locale, the
artist sort name
(which is, by Style Guideline, stored in Latin script) is used as a fallback if there is no English alias.
Use standardized artist names: Check to only use standard
Artist names, rather than
which may differ slightly across tracks and releases.
Note: If the "translate artist names" option above is also checked, it will override this option
if a suitable alias is found.
Use standardized instrument and vocal credits: Check to only use standard names for
instruments and vocals in performer relationships. Uncheck to use the instruments / vocals as
credited in the relationship.
Convert Unicode punctuation characters to ASCII: Converts Unicode punctuation characters
in MusicBrainz data to ASCII for consistent use of punctuation in tags. For example, right
single quotation marks (’) are converted to ASCII apostrophes ('), and horizontal ellipses
(…) are converted to three full stops (.).
Use release relationships: Check to retrieve and write release-level relationships to your
files, e.g. URLs, composer, lyricist, performer, conductor, DJ mixer, etc. (You must have this
enabled to use Picard to retrieve cover art)
Use track relationships: Check to write track-level relationships to your files, e.g. composer,
lyricist, performer, remixer, etc.
- Various artists: Choose how you want the 'Various Artists' artist spelled.
Non-album tracks: Choose how you want 'non-album tracks'
(Recordings that do not
belong to any Release) to be grouped.
- Preferred release types: Adjust the sliders for various release types to tweak how likely
Picard is to match a file or cluster to releases of various types. You can use this to decrease
the likelihood of Picard matching a file or album to a Compilation or Live version, for example.
- Preferred release countries: Add one or more countries into the list to make Picard prefer
matching clusters/files to releases from the chosen countries. This list is also used to prioritise
files in the "Other Releases" context menu.
- Preferred release formats: Add one or more formats into the list to make Picard prefer
matching clusters/files to releases of the specified format. This list is also used to prioritise
files in the "Other Releases" context menu.
Use genres from MusicBrainz: Use genres
provided by MusicBrainz and save them to the
- Only use my genres: Check to only write genres you personally have submitted
to MusicBrainz. You'll need to set your username and password to use this feature.
Use folksonomy tags as genres: Check to use all
to set the genre. Otherwise only the tags considered by MusicBrainz to be proper genres will be used.
- Genres or folksonomy tags to exclude: Comma-separated list of genres or tags to ignore when writing genres.
- Minimal genre usage: Choose how popular the genre must be before it is written by Picard. Default:
90%. Lowering the value here will lead to more, but possibly less relevant, genres in your files.
- Maximum number of genres: Choose how many genres to use. Default: 5. If you only
want a single genre, set this to 1.
- Join multiple genres with: Select which character should be used to separate multiple genres.
- Enable track ratings: Check to write track ratings to your files.
- Submit ratings to MusicBrainz: Check to submit ratings to MusicBrainz. The tracks will
be rated with your account.
- Write tags to files: Uncheck to disable Picard from writing data. Picard may still move/rename
your files according to your settings.
- Preserve timestamps of tagged files: If checked, does not update the Last Modified date
and time of your music files when it writes new tags to them.
Clear existing tags: Checking this will remove all existing metadata and
leave your files with only MusicBrainz metadata. Information you may have added through
another media player such as
ratingswill be removed.
Remove ID3 tags from FLAC files: Check to remove ID3 tags from FLAC files –
Vorbis Comments are recommended for FLAC files. Picard will write Vorbis Comments to FLACs
regardless of this setting.
Remove APEv2 tags from MP3 files: Check to remove APEv2 tags from MP3 files –
ID3 is recommended for MP3s. Picard will write ID3 tags to MP3s regardless of this setting.
Preserve these tags from being cleared or overwritten with MusicBrainz data: This is an
advanced option: If you have tags which you need to preserve, enter their names here to stop
Picard from overwriting them.
ID3v2 version: Although id3v2.4 is the latest version, its support in music players
is still lacking. Whilst software such as
no problem using version 2.4 tags, you will not be able to read the tags in Windows Explorer
or Windows Media Player (in any Windows or WMP version, including those in Windows 8.1).
Apple iTunes is also still based in id3v23, and support for id3v24 in other media players
(such as smartphones) is variable. Other than native support for multi-valued tags in v2.4, the
Picard Tag Mapping
will show you what you lose when choosing v2.3 instead of v2.4.
ID3v2 text encoding: The default for version 2.4 is UTF-8, the default for version 2.3
is UTF-16. Use ISO-8859-1 only if you face compatibility issues with your player.
Join id3v23 tags with: As mentioned above, id3v23 does not support multi-value tags, and
so Picard flattens these to strings before saving them to id3v23 tags. This setting defines
the string used to separate the values when flattened. Use '; ' for the greatest compatibility
(rather than '/' since tags more often contain a / than a ;) and for the best visual compatibility
in Picard between id3v23 and other tagging formats.
Save iTunes compatible grouping and work: Save the tags
work so that they are compatible with current iTunes versions. Without this option
grouping will be displayed in iTunes as "work name" and
work will not be
available. See the Picard Tag Mapping for
Note: For other players supporting grouping and work you might need to disable this option. MusicBee is one example for this.
Also include ID3v1 tags in the files: Not recommended at all. ID3v1.1 tags are obsolete
and may not work with non-latin scripts.
You must enable "Option / Metadata / Use release relationships" for Picard to be able
to download cover art from MusicBrainz cover art relationships.
Embed cover images into tags: Enables images to be embedded directly into your music files.
Whilst this will use more storage space than storing it as a separate image file in the same
folder, some music players will only display embedded images and don't find the separate files.
Only embed a front image: Embeds only a front image into your music files. Many music players
will only display a single embedded image, so embedding additional images may not add any functionality.
Save cover images as separate files: In the file name mask you can use any variable or
function from Picard Tags and
The mask should not contain a file extension; this is added automatically based on the
actual image type. The default value is
cover. If you change this to
folder, Windows will use it to preview the containing folder.
In addition to scripting variables already available for a track you can use the following
cover art specific variables:
coverart_maintype: The primary type (e.g. front, medium, booklet etc.). For front
images this will always be "front".
coverart_types: Full list of all types assigned to this image.
coverart_comment: The cover art comment.
Overwrite the file if it already exists: Check this to replace existing files. This is
especially recommended if trying to write "folder" previews for Windows.
Cover Art Providers
Picard can download Cover Art from a number of sources, and you can choose which sources you want
Picard to download cover art from:
Cover Art Archive: The Cover Art Archive (CAA) is MusicBrainz own archive of cover art
in cooperation with the Internet Archive (archive.org). If art is available there, the Cover
Art Archive is the most comprehensive database of cover art (front covers, back covers, booklets,
Amazon: Amazon often has cover art when other sites don't, however whilst this art is almost
always for the correct Artist/Album, it may not be the absolute correct cover art for the specific
Release that you have tagged your music with.
Sites on the whitelist:
Note: CD Baby and other whitelist sites are no longer being used by MusicBrainz for new Cover Art.
Cover Art Archive
In this section you can decide which types of cover art you would like to download from the Cover
Art Archive, and what quality (size) you want to download. Obviously, the better the quality,
the larger the size of the files.
Most music players will display only one piece of cover art for the album, and most people select
Front (cover) for that.
When selecting the cover art image types, you can select both the types to include and exclude from
the download list. CAA images with an image type found in the 'Include' list will be downloaded
and used unless they also have an image type found in the 'Exclude' list. Images with types found
in the 'Exclude' list will never be used. Image types not appearing in the 'Include'
or 'Exclude' lists will not be considered when determining whether or not to download and use a
Since Picard 1.3, you can also decide to use the image from the release group (if any) if no front
image is found for the release. In this case, the cover may not match the exact release you are
tagging (eg. a 1979 vinyl front cover may be used in place of the Deluxe 2010 CD reissue).
This page tells Picard whether it should move your audio files to a new directory when it saves
metadata in them. One use for this is to keep your work organised: all untagged files are under
directory A, and when Picard tags them it moves them to directory B. When directory A is empty,
your tagging work is done. Check this box, and select a destination directory, if you want Picard
to move files this way. Uncheck the box if you want Picard to leave the files under the same
The Rename Files and Move Files options are independent. Rename Files refers to Picard
changing file names typically based on artist and track names. Move Files refers to Picard moving
files to new directories, based on a stated parent directory and sub-directories typically based
on album artist name and release title. However, they both use the same "file naming string".
Move files uses the portion up until the last '/'; rename files the part after that.
- Rename files when saving: Check to let Picard change file and directory names of your files
when it saves metadata in them, in order to make the file and directory names consistent with
the new metadata.
- Replace non-ASCII characters: Check to replace non-ASCII characters with their ASCII equivalent,
e.g. á,ä,ǎ, with a; é,ě,ë, with e; æ with ae, etc. For more information on ASCII characters
read the Wikipedia page on
- Replace Windows-incompatible characters: Check to replace Windows-incompatible characters
with an underscore. Enabled by default on Windows with no option to disable.
- Move files to this directory when saving: Choose a destination parent directory to move
saved files to.
- If you use the directory "," they will be removed relative to their current location. If
they are already in some sort of folder structure, this will probably not do what
- Delete empty directories: Check to have Picard remove directories that have become empty
once a move is completed. Leave unchecked if you want Picard to leave the source directory
structure unchanged. Checking this box may be convenient if you are using the move files option
to organise your work. An empty directory has no more work for you to do, and deleting the
directory makes that clear.
- Move additional files: Enter wildcard patterns that match any other files you want Picard
to move when saving files, e.g.
*.log. Using default settings, when these additional files are moved they will end up
in the release directory with your files. In a wildcard,
*matches zero or more characters. Other text, like
.jpg, matches those exact characters. Thus
*.jpgmatches "cover.jpg", "liner.jpg", "a.jpg", and ".jpg", but not "nomatch.jpg2".
Put spaces between wildcard patterns.
Name files like this: An edit box that contains a formatting string that tells Picard what
the new name of the file and its containing directories should be, in terms of various metadata
values. The formatting string is in Picard's
where dark blue text starting with a "$" is a function name and names in light blue within "%" signs
are Picard's tag names.
Note that the use of a "/" in the formatting string means that everything before the string is a
directory name, and everything after the last "/" becomes the file's name.
The formatting string is allowed to have zero, one, or multiple, "/".
If you select a file or cluster in the Left side of the Picard screen and click Scan, Picard will
invoke a program to scan the file and produce a fingerprint that can then be used to look up
the file on MusicBrainz.
MusicBrainz currently supports only AcoustID
(an Open Source acoustic fingerprinting
system created by Lukáš Lalinský)
but has previously supported TRM and MusicID PUID.
This is where you tell Picard which CD drive it should use for looking up CDs.
On Windows, Picard has a pulldown menu listing the various CD drives it has found. Pull down the
menu and select the drive you want.
In OS X, this option is currently a text field. The device is usually /dev/rdisk1.
If that doesn't work, one way is to simply keep increasing the number (e.g. /dev/rdisk2) until
it does work. A less trial and error method is to open Terminal and type
mount. The output should include a line such as
/dev/disk2 on /Volumes/Audio CD (local, nodev, nosuid, read-only). You need to replace
/dev/disk with /dev/rdisk, so if, for example, it says /dev/disk2, you should enter /dev/rdisk2
in Picard's preferences.
In Linux, Picard has a pulldown menu like in Windows. If you're using an older version with a text
field, you should enter the device name (typically /dev/cdrom) here.
On other platforms, the CD Lookup option is a text field and you should enter the path to the CD
Here you may enable/disable any of the plugins you have installed in Picard. Note that some plugins
have their own option page which will appear under here.
For a list of plugins see Picard Plugins.
If you need a proxy to make an outside connection you may specify one here.
It is recommended for most users to not change these settings. However for advanced users, it allows
you to tune the way Picard matches your files and clusters to to MusicBrainz releases and tracks.
- Minimal similarity for file lookups: The higher then %, the more similar an individual
file's metadata must be to MusicBrainz's metadata for it to be moved/matched to a release on
the right-hand side.
- Minimal similarity for cluster lookups: The higher then %, the more similar a cluster
of files from the left-hand pane must be to a MusicBrainz release for the entire cluster to
be moved/matched to a release on the right-hand side.
- Minimal similarity for matching files to tracks: The higher then %, the more similar
an individual file's metadata must be to MusicBrainz's metadata for it to be moved/matched
to a release on the right-hand side.
If you have absolutely no metadata in your current files, and you are using Scan to match
tracks, you may find you need to lower Minimal similarity for matching files to tracks in
order to get Picard to match the files within a release. Otherwise you may find that Picard matches
the track to a release but then is not sure which track is correct; and leaves it in an "unmatched
files" group within that release.
As a general rule, lowering the percentages may increase the chance of finding a match at the risk
of false positives and incorrect matches.
For scripting help see
and Picard Tags for variables available to script with.
Show text labels under icon: Uncheck to make the toolbar a little smaller.
Allow selection of multiple directories: Check to bypass the native directory selector
and use QT's file dialog since the native directory selector usually doesn't allow you to select
more than one directory. This applies for the 'Add folder' dialog, the file browser always
allows multiple directory selection.
Use advanced query syntax: Check to enable
advanced query syntax
parsing on your searches.
This only applies for the search box at the top right of Picard, not the lookup buttons.
Show a quit confirmation dialog for unsaved changes: Check to show a dialog when you try
to quit Picard with unsaved files loaded. This may help prevent accidentally losing tag changes
you've made, but not yet saved.
Begin browsing in the following directory: By default, Picard remembers the last directory
you loaded files from. If you check this box and provide a directory, Picard will start in
the directory provided instead.
User interface language: By default, Picard will display in the language displayed by your
operating system, however you can override this here if needed.