The Productive Song Renamer - MusicBrainz Picard

I am sure that most of you have had a Music library similar to mine, full of untitled tracks, some rare songs you got through friends, some foreign songs you didn’t know the title of.

We all had this library at some point {:center}We all had this library at some point

Lot of the times the advice I keep getting is get Google Music, Spotify or Apple music, while these are great options, I keep going back to the comforts of a desktop player, on Windows/Mac that’s iTunes, on Linux that’s Banshee.

While the likes of Spotify and other online services are brilliant for Mobile its just no where near as great experience for Desktop / Laptop. The apps are always prone to crashes and uses up lot of RAM and network bandwidth. There are many other quirks that are due for a separate article.

In this day and age hard disks are pretty cheap and all my songs can fit into 100GB, few years back this would have been an astronomical number. But even the highest spec phones are coming with insane storage options starting at 64GB. Plus I just didn’t feel like giving up on the Oldies songs I had with me.

(Italic) So what’s the Solution to Hell Hole we know as the Untitled_Track_SomethingIDK.mp3 ?

Enter MusicBrainz Picard, a free open source software that can crosscheck your songs against music databases and correctly identify your songs.

This is a joint effort of 57 contributors, the Program is written with Python, by the looks of it seems to be using some low level machine learning stuff to identify the songs. You can check it out on GitHub.

Quick How to

I’ll run through a quick start, but I won’t go through the other advanced stuff.

Add your music folder

Select the obscure Tracks and Right click and select Scan

After a while the results will show up on the Side Bar

Lets Expand the side bar

What this says is, the song was also found on a database categorized under the above CD title. and the song was the Track 11 on the CD. It says its a poor match, but don’t be alarmed just right click and give the song a listen. Its likely the correct one.

Open with the Music Player

Open with the music player

iTunes Plays the Song

iTunes plays the song

Alternatively you can look up on the browser and check on the database

If you’re happy with the result, just click on save

The changes should show up on the Music Player, when you right click and play again

Did you rename all songs one by one ??? You said its the “Productive” Song Re-Namer !!

I didn’t rename everything one by one, I just select all and Save the info. You can do it one by one if you’re OCD about it.

YOLO !!!


What if its wrong info being saved???

Live with the consequences, I refuse to spend more of my time renaming dead artist sound tracks.

So the Good stuff …

  • It can identify song with a accuracy of 50% - 90%, I only tested on old 60’s songs, and some Chinese and Japanese songs that I didn’t know the title or to how to type the lyrics.

  • As I mentioned earlier worked for the Chinese and Japanese songs I had.

  • It has plugins that can do lots of other stuff. Just head over to File –> Preferences –> Plugins just click on install button next to the plugin name. There’s a description window just below so you know what you’re doing.

  • Lots of features that I may never use. The only reason I got this app is to Re Title the songs correctly with the least effort. (Renaming 100GB of songs is not an easy task)

  • Doesn’t Conflict with iTunes, sometimes when you rename a song on File Browser and Try and open on iTunes it shows the old info, with this its not the case.

The Bad stuff …

  • Took me a while to understand the User Interface, while this is by far the best UI I’ve seen. It’ll take some time to figure out everything.

  • Sometimes it doesn’t identify songs, no application is 100% perfect. But the app will tell you how confident it is about the similarity, so you can check on YouTube if its correct or not.

  • There are so many other music players out there, so I’m not sure if it will conflict or not, I only tested on iTunes.

  • So give it a try and comment here if I missed out on any info I should have mentioned.