Music tagging

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Home icon grey.png   ▶ Music library ▶ Music tagging


Starting in v16 "Jarvis", Kodi will ask the user who adds any file music source, if it should be loaded into the library.

We recommend you say yes to this prompt as the Kodi Music library has many extra features that help with music navigation, metadata and artwork retrieval.

Once the music is loaded in Kodi's library, you can start to organize and browse music in all kinds of awesome ways. We have chart views, artist, genre, and many other views. Starting from v15 "Helix" you can also create your own custom music nodes just like smart playlists. For example you can now create an A-Z artist view, or all music from the 2000's. See Music nodes for a guide.


Contents

1 Explanation of Music importing options

The first thing we need to do is go to System >> Settings >> Music >> Library

And look at the options available:

Music-Library-settings.jpg


Include Artists who appear only on compilation albums

Turning this option on will the artists lists will show many more artists than you would normally like to see, it will include all artists found on every track of the album rather than just the main album artist(s). An example could be an album by a band, with 1 track that has a collaboration with a rapper on 1 song. With it on the rapper would be listed, off only the band is shown. Unfortunately this option is poorly named, and has nothing to do with compilations. When you tag your music you can either set the album artist(s) or if all the songs in an album have the same artist that that is taken as the album artist. If all the songs in an album have different artists then the album artist is taken as "various artists". Basically you will normally want to turn this option off if you want a nice clean Artists view.


Fetch additional information during updates

This option will grab extra metadata and artwork for artists and albums from online sites (or local NFO files). Since we are a media centre and this kind of stuff is great, we recommend you turn this option on. It will download lots of things with scrapers such as artist biographies, moods, artist thumbnails, album artwork etc. However if you have a large music collection it can take some time, and you have to be confident that your files are well tagged first.


Prefer online information

This option will overide some of the artist and album data, that was initially derived from the tags in your song files, with information it finds online. The song files themselves are not changed in any way, just the data in the library. Providing that the scraper can uniquely identify the artist or album, this could be used to compensate for minimal tagging, but if you have tagged your music well it is better to let them take precedence, hence we recommend you switch it off normally. This makes it easy to tag your music files and know exactly how they will show up in Kodi. It also makes it easy to change data by simply editing the id3 tag.


Scraper selection

This option lets you choose a scraper to grab metadata such as artist biographies, and artwork such as pictures or artists. Kodi uses 2 scrapers here, one for the artist, and another for the albums. The difference being the album scraper is able to grab cover-art and album descriptions, genres and reviews. We recommend you stick with the universal scraper here, which will use the MusicBrainz API to search and a number of different sites such as Fanart.tv, TheAudioDB.com and Allmusic to grab the additional data. Since some of these sites are open, it is possible to add information to these sites and scrape the new data from them instantly.

2 Tagging with MusicBrainz Picard

OK.. lets get one thing straight before we start. Kodi uses the Musicbrainz Artist and Album ID's to do all its metadata lookups. If you have these tags present in your music files then Kodi does not need to do a name search on your music which could introduce errors. This means that the chances of accurate artwork and metadata retrieval will be hugely increased. It also helps to avoid problems such as confusion over artists with the same name. Both Mp3tag and Picard tagging software that can add these tags. MusicBrainz Picard is thats what we are going to use in this example. Thankfully, once its installed it takes about 4 clicks to tag something perfectly as the tagger app is based on online lookups.


NOTE: That's not to say the old method of tagging files(with software likehttp://www.mp3tag.de/en/ or MediaMonkey http://www.mediamonkey.com/) with accurate Artist and Album naming doesn't work. We just have a better way these days. Ultimately this method still uses the MusicBrainz ID to lookup metadata and artwork, you are just relying on the musicbrainz NameSearch API.


So with that said, lets look at how to tag an album in Picard to be loaded into Kodi.

Install (https://picard.musicbrainz.org/) then open Picard . Lets try to Auto Tag an Album:


1) Click the Add folder icon in the top left of the toolbar and select the folder the album is in.


2) Click the "Cluster" button (this brings all the files together so picard knows its a single album).


3) Now click "Lookup". You should now see the album on the right hand side box. (Picard has basically preformed an online search for your music on the MB site and selected what it thinks is the album)


4) Assuming its found the correct album, thats basically it. All you need to do is click save and Picard will save a whole wealth of new tags in your music.


Lets now look at those tags:


Picard1.jpg


Now lets click on a file that has 2 artists collaborating. In this case its track number 3

03-50_cent-patiently_waiting_ft._eminem.flac


Picard2.jpg

So this song has 2 artists "50 Cent" and "Eminem".

As you can see it has them listed in the ARTISTS tag.

This is very important as Kodi will now have 2 artists on the album and treat it as a compilation release.


Picard3.jpg

And if we look further down the list, we can see the release has lots of MBID's now that Kodi can use for online lookups.

That's basically it, picard makes music tagging incredibly easy and quick.

NOTE: Picard works by using drag and drop a lot. If it misidentifies a track or release, try dragging it onto a track to match it up. You can also right click on the album >> other verions. To select the correct release.

3 Loading Music into Kodi Music Library

Lets now add this folder as a source in Kodi and scan in it into the library.

Go to:

Kodi >> Music >> Files >> Add Music >> Select the album folder (or your music folder if you have many albums) >> Scan to library when prompted.

Assuming you have the options to search online for metadata enabled, Kodi will now scan the tags to populate the libarary, and then lookup and additional bits of artwork and metadata for artists and albums.


Kodimusicimport1.jpg


You can now browse the library by artist, album or via many different views.


Kodimusicimport2.jpg


All artwork, artist biographies and details are now loaded into kodi's library.


You can see the biography and additional details by selecting an artist in the Artists view, and hitting the info button ("i" on the keyboard).


Kodimusicimport3.jpg


You can even change your scraper settings to download the biography in many different languages.

4 Tags Kodi reads

The music library is created by scanning metadata that is embedded in the music files, not by looking at the file names or the folders they are located in. Kodi reads the following tags. The Kodi version shows that the tag was added from that version onwards, and the actual ag name is given in the various tag formats supported.

Kodi Version Vorbis (.Flac) ID3v2 (.mp3) APE MP4 ASF
v16 ARTIST TPE1 ARTIST \251ART Author
v16 ARTISTS ARTISTS ARTISTS ----:com.apple.iTunes:ARTISTS
v16 ALBUMARTIST or ALBUM ARTIST TPE2 OR ALBUMARTIST or ALBUM ARTIST ALBUMARTIST or ALBUM ARTIST aART WM/AlbumArtist
v16 ALBUMARTISTS or ALBUM ARTISTS ALBUMARTISTS or ALBUM ARTISTS ALBUMARTISTS or ALBUM ARTISTS ----:com.apple.iTunes:ALBUMARTISTS
v16 ALBUM TALB ALBUM \251alb WM/AlbumTitle
v16 TITLE TIT2 TITLE \251nam
v16 TRACKNUMBER TRCK TRACKNUMBER or TRACK trkn WM/TrackNumber or WM/Track
v16 DISCNUMBER TPOS DISCNUMBER or DISC disk WM/PartOfSet
v16 YEAR TYER YEAR \251day WM/Year
v16 DATE TDRC, TDRL DATE
v16 GENRE TCON GENRE \251gen WM/Genre
v16 MOOD TMOO OR TXXX:MOOD MOOD ----:com.apple.iTunes:MOOD WM/Mood
v16 COMMENT COMM COMMENT \251cmt (COMMENT)
v16 CUESHEET CUESHEET
v16 COMPILATION TCMP COMPILATION cpil
v16 LYRICS USLT LYRICS
v16 REPLAYGAIN_TRACK_GAIN REPLAYGAIN_TRACK_GAIN REPLAYGAIN_TRACK_GAIN ----:com.apple.iTunes:replaygain_track_gain replaygain_track_gain
v16 REPLAYGAIN_ALBUM_GAIN REPLAYGAIN_ALBUM_GAIN REPLAYGAIN_ALBUM_GAIN ----:com.apple.iTunes:replaygain_album_gain replaygain_album_gain
v16 REPLAYGAIN_TRACK_PEAK REPLAYGAIN_TRACK_PEAK REPLAYGAIN_TRACK_PEAK ----:com.apple.iTunes:replaygain_track_peak replaygain_track_peak
v16 REPLAYGAIN_ALBUM_PEAK REPLAYGAIN_ALBUM_PEAK REPLAYGAIN_ALBUM_PEAK ----:com.apple.iTunes:replaygain_album_peak replaygain_album_peak
v16 REPLAYGAIN_ALBUM_PEAK REPLAYGAIN_ALBUM_PEAK REPLAYGAIN_ALBUM_PEAK ----:com.apple.iTunes:replaygain_album_peak replaygain_album_peak
v16 MUSICBRAINZ_ARTISTID MUSICBRAINZ ARTIST ID MUSICBRAINZ_ARTISTID ----:com.apple.iTunes:MusicBrainz Artist Id MusicBrainz/Artist Id
v16 MUSICBRAINZ_ALBUMARTISTID MUSICBRAINZ ALBUM ARTIST ID MUSICBRAINZ_ALBUMARTISTID ----:com.apple.iTunes:MusicBrainz Album Artist Id MusicBrainz/Album Artist Id
v16 MUSICBRAINZ_ALBUMARTIST MUSICBRAINZ ALBUM ARTIST MUSICBRAINZ_ALBUMARTIST ----:com.apple.iTunes:MusicBrainz Album Artist MusicBrainz/Album Artist
v16 MUSICBRAINZ_ALBUMID MUSICBRAINZ ALBUM ID MUSICBRAINZ_ALBUMID ----:com.apple.iTunes:MusicBrainz Album Id MusicBrainz/Album Id
v16 MUSICBRAINZ_TRACKID UFID MUSICBRAINZ_TRACKID ----:com.apple.iTunes:MusicBrainz Track Id
v16 RATING POPM
v16 METADATA_BLOCK_PICTURE or COVERART or COVERARTMIME APIC covr WM/Picture
v17 COMPOSER TCOM COMPOSER \251wrt WM/Composer
v17 CONDUCTOR TPE3 CONDUCTOR ----:com.apple.iTunes:CONDUCTOR WM/Conductor
v17 LYRICIST TEXT LYRICIST ----:com.apple.iTunes:LYRICIST WM/Writer
v17 REMIXER or MIXARTIST TPE4 REMIXER or MIXARTIST ----:com.apple.iTunes:REMIXER WM/ModifiedBy
v17 ENSEMBLE (TIPL) or TXXX:Ensemble ENSEMBLE
v17 ARRANGER (TIPL) ARRANGER
v17 ENGINEER (TIPL) ENGINEER ----:com.apple.iTunes:ENGINEER WM/Engineer
v17 PRODUCER (TIPL) PRODUCER ----:com.apple.iTunes:PRODUCER WM/Producer
v17 DJMIXER (TIPL) DJMIXER ----:com.apple.iTunes:DJMIXER WM/DJMixer
v17 MIXER (TIPL) MIXER ----:com.apple.iTunes:MIXER WM/Mixer
v17 PERFORMER TMCL PERFORMER
v17 LABEL TPUB LABEL ----:com.apple.iTunes:LABEL WM/Publisher
v17 RELEASETYPE MUSICBRAINZ ALBUM TYPE MUSICBRAINZ_ALBUMTYPE ---:com.apple.iTunes:MusicBrainz Album Type MusicBrainz/Album Type

5 Data Kodi Scrapes

Having created the music library entries, Kodi can then scrape additional artist and album data from either online sources or from local NFO files. This can be automated as part of update library by enabling "Fetch additional information on update" setting. However, it can be best to scan music files and check the resulting library first, before scraping additional information.

The Universal Album Scraper and The Universal Artist Scraper settings allow the user to choose which online sources are used for different pices of information.

TADB - The Audio Database AM - Allmusic MB - Musicbrainz

The additional information scraped is:

Artist

  • Life span (Born, Died) - TADB/AM/MB
  • Formed, Disbanded
  • YearsActive - AM
  • Genres - TADB/AM
  • Moods - TADB/AM
  • Styles - TADB/AM
  • Instruments
  • Biography - TADB
  • Discography - TADB/AM/MB
  • Thumb - fanart.tv/TADB/AM/HT
  • Fanart - fanart.tv/TADB/HT

Album

  • Genres
  • Year
  • Compilation
  • Moods - TADB/AM
  • Styles - TADB/AM
  • Themes - TADB/AM
  • Review (description) - TADB
  • Thumb (cover) - fanart.tv/TADB/AM
  • Label
  • Rating - TADB/AM/MB
  • Votes

Notice that Genres, Year, Compilation and Label may have been derrived from tag data and these will take prescidence. These values can be overwritten by the scarped values if "Prefer Online Information" setting is enabled. But note that if an album is mis-idenitified by the scraper then with "Prefer Online Information" the album artists will also be replaced with those the scraper found.

6 NFO files

Like with most metadata in XBMC, MusicBrainz tags can be added using NFO files. Both album.nfo and artist.nfo files can contain the MusicBrainz tag or simply contain a URL to the correct page on the MusicBrainz website, similar to how Movies can contain an IMDb URL NFO file.


7 See also

7.1 Similar page names


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