MusicBrainz Picard / Documentation / Options

Products > MusicBrainz Picard > Picard documentation > Options




Preferred Releases

Folksonomy tags

The following settings are only applicable if you enable the use folksonomy tags as genres option.



Before Tagging

Tag Compatibility

Cover art

You must enable "Option / Metadata / Use release relationships" for Picard to be able to download cover art.

In versions of Picard prior to 1.2, you will also require the Cover Art Downloader plugin available on the Picard Plugins page


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:

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.

File Naming

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 directory.

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.


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.

CD lookup

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.

Other platforms

On other platforms, the CD Lookup option is a text field and you should enter the path to the CD drive here.


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.


Web proxy

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.

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 Picard Scripting and Picard Tags for variables available to script with.

User interface