MusicBrainz is a project that is creating an open content music database, a type of "Wikipedia for music" and software for auto-tagging your music. The base contains information about artists, their recorded work and their intertwined relationships. Each artist has a minimum of album title, track titles and track length. The database is added to by volunteer editors that follow specific style guidelines. |
The goal is to have release dates, country of origin, the CD disc ID and an acoustic fingerprint (sample) for each track. As of July 2010 MusicBrainz had more than half a million artists and nearly ten million tracks. You can use MusicBrainz to look up tracks and releases from your own collection and write clean tags to your files.
MusicBrainz Picard supports most audio file formats and looks up CD and disc ID submissions. It uses an album oriented approach that lets it use the MusicBrainz data to correctly tag your music.
When you are using Picard you first must select an unidentified track; it will match a sampling to its central database when you hit the "scan" button. The song previously listed as "Track 8.mp3" in your "unknown artist" folder will be identified and renamed properly like "Pink Floyd\Any Colour You Like.\03 Dark Side of the Moon.mp3".
MusicBrainz Picard is one way to clean up your music collection on your computer. Since music that you download or rip doesn't always include artist and track information, you may have a lot of unidentified tracks in your library. It works regardless of which music manager you use - whether it is iTunes, Winamp or Windows Media Player.
While Picard's interface is not always easy to work with, the MusicBrainz database can change your music collection from a disorganized train wreck to an easily read and accessible library.