Ressources documentaires pour Mandriva Linux et les Logiciels Libres

Music tagging made easy with MusicBrainz

I must admit that I have a big collection of music files. Tagging correctly theses files take a long time, and the queue of files waiting to be tagged is becoming quite big. Whereas this was optional before, I do appreciate now to have the album covert art as it can be displayed when listening to my music on my Androïd based phone ( Acer Liquid Metal ). So I decide to look for a solution allowing to automatically tag my musics files, and if possible automatically recognize the song, and also fetch the album covert art. I found the solution while reading the latest Amarok 2.4 release note. Amarok is a very good music player developed for the KDE desktop under Linux, but which can be used in others D.E and Operating System : please feel free to visit the Amarok download page 🙂

In the Amarok 2.4 release, they added music tagging using MusicBrainz. Whereas i had already heard about MusicBrainz, I had never really check what MusicBrainz was offering as features. So I decide to take a look at the MusicBrainz Wikipedia page … What can I say ? MusicBrainz is just awesome especially thanks to the acoustic fingerprinting feature ( PUID ) which allow to recognized a song from its acoustic fingerprint : no need to worry about tags or  filename, just feed it with the music file, and it will detect the song and filled the tags. MusicBrainz allows also to retrieve the album covert art. Last but not least, MusicBrainz service is free and people can contribute their data to increase and improve the database !

Ensure about the fact that Amarok was using the acoustic fingerprint feature, I decide to consult the MusicBrainz enabled applications page. There were many Linux applications listed like Amarok, Audacious, Banshee. However the most interesting one was MusicBrainz Picard : a python based application, supported by MusicBrainz, cross-platform ( Windows, Mac, Linux ), supporting acoustic fingerprint recognition and of course … free.

MusicBrainz Picard application screenshot

Installing MusicBrainz Picard under Linux Mandriva is very easy using urpmi : urpmi picard. To start the application, you just need to launch the picard binary, or use the entry menu in Sound & Video -> More -> MusicBrainz Picard. Here are some advices to a smooth experience :

  • Enable covert art retrieval support, by activating  the corresponding plugin in Options -> Options -> Plugins.
  • Enable automatic scan in Options -> Options -> Generals ->[ ] Automatically analyze new files.
  • Display by default the album covert art in the right lower part of the main window in View -> Covert art.

Now you just need to add a file or a directory, and Picard will scan. On the right pane, you will have the estimated album names ( Picard view is album oriented ). When clicking on the album name, you will see the list of songs for the albums, and your files will appeared with a green or orange rectangle at the front. Double-click on the song ( or right click -> Details ) to display its properties, the album covert art ( if found ). You have the possibility if you want to edit the metadata. To save the change, select the song or the album, and then do right click -> Save or CTRL+S.

Happy tagging !

For further references :

3 Commentaires

  1. 26/01/2011    

    I like picard a lot, that’s why I have packaged it for Mandriva 🙂 Do you get errors when trying to calculate PUIDs as well?

    $ picard *.mp3
    [mp3 @ 0x7fefbc004350]Header missing
    [mp3 @ 0x7fefbc0030f0]max_analyze_duration reached
    [mp3 @ 0x7fefbc0030f0]Estimating duration from bitrate, this may be inaccurate
    [mp3 @ 0x7fefbc004350]Header missing
    [mp3 @ 0x7fefbca44c90]Header missing
    [mp3 @ 0x7fefbca45c00]max_analyze_duration reached
    [mp3 @ 0x7fefbca45c00]Estimating duration from bitrate, this may be inaccurate
    [mp3 @ 0x7fefbca44c90]Header missing
    [mp3 @ 0x7fefbca45c00]Header missing

    • darkmind's Gravatar darkmind

      Indeed, i do have errors too :
      [mp3 @ 0x89b22f0]overread, skip -6 enddists: -4 -4


      [mp3 @ 0x9888fd0]Header missing

  2. 27/01/2011    

    Super article, merci Fabrice pour ce tuto de qualité !

    You’re the best linux teacher 😉


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