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MusicBrainz Picard

It's not often I'd call myself "excited" about a program, but MusicBrainz Picard is a really great program. It lets you tag MP3s by looking the up in an online database.

That's very much like what a ton of other programs do, but the interface for this program is nice for doing a lot of MP3s all at once. The thing I really like about it is that it makes it easy to assign metadata to those MP3s that the program couldn't identify itself. It identifies what MP3s it can, and then displays a list of albums that it thinks the identified MP3s belong to. You can drag-and-drop unidentified MP3s onto the correct tracks in those albums manually to tell it what to do with the songs it missed.

The other nice thing is that it works well for tracks with non-English metadata. My many folders full of Japanese music were easily identified by this program and filled in with correct Japanese titles and artists and album names. Whatever tagger I'd used in the past (I can't even remember now) had used horribly mangled Engrish romaji for metadata, which was always disturbing.

The only thing that's annoying about right now is that this program is a QT4 app. This is the first QT4 app I've used, and I can't figure out how to set a QT4 theme, without installing KDE4 which I don't want to do. So the GUI looks horrible. I'm sure the GUI looks nice when it's using a proper theme, but even with screwed-up fonts and colors the program is very usable.

This program is in Portage of course. It apparently has some heavy Python dependencies on top of QT4, but such is life.

February 02, 2008 @ 3:02 PM PST
Cateogory: Linux


Quoth aron on February 03, 2008 @ 3:35 AM PST

Nice tip, I'll put it to good use. Thanks! =)

David Hilton
Quoth David Hilton on February 03, 2008 @ 2:24 PM PST

I found Picard a couple of months ago, through Amarok. I was using the "Fill in tags with MusicBrainz" feature to identify some unknown music.
At any rate, I must agree that Picard is very useful.

Unfortunately, it's not very clear how to automate lookups by the audio data (like Amarok) as opposed to the existing metadata.

Oh well. In general, I must agree. It is a very usable application.

Quoth Patrick on February 03, 2008 @ 3:23 PM PST

Use /usr/bin/qtconfig to change Qt settings (same applies to Qt 3 - /usr/qt/3/bin/qtconfig then). The configuration is saved to ~/.config/Trolltech.conf for Qt 4 and .qt/qtrc for Qt 3.

Quoth Brian on February 03, 2008 @ 4:43 PM PST

Patrick: Hey you're right. I thought /usr/bin/qtconfig would've been for qt3. Thanks.