Difference between revisions of "Music tagging"

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(Tags Kodi reads)
Line 127: Line 127:
== Tags Kodi reads ==
== Tags Kodi reads ==
{| class="wikitable"
! style="text-align:left;"| Vorbis
! ID3v2
* Artist name (TAG:artist)
* Musicbrainz Artist ID (TAG:musicbrainz_artistid)
! MP4
* Album title (TAG:album)
* Musicbrainz album ID
* Year
* Genres
* Compilation (own tag not "Various Artists" as artist)
* Thumb (cover)
| ----:com.apple.iTunes:ARTISTS
== Data Kodi Scrapes ==
== Data Kodi Scrapes ==

Revision as of 12:28, 1 February 2016

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 imported.

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 imported 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.

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:


Include Artists who appear only on compilation albums

Turning this option on will show many more artists than you would normally like to see as it will include any "extra" artists found on an album. An example could be an album by a band, with 1 track that has a collaboration with a rapper on 1 song. It can also include VA albums. The option is triggered if more than 1 artist is found on an album. Basically you will normally want to turn this option off if you want a nice clean Artists view. You can always go to the compilations node to see the albums and artists that are missing.

Fetch additional information during updates

This option will grab extra metadata and artwork from online sites. 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 ect.

Prefer online information

This option will overide some of your tags with information it finds online. It can be useful to get very accurate music data, but we recommend you switch it off normally so your id3 tags take precedence. 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. To date, the only bit of tagging software that can add these tags is MusicBrainz Picard so 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 like MP3tag http://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 imported in 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:


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



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.


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 Importing into Kodi

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, and lookup and additional bits of artwork and metadata.


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


All artwork, artist biographies and details are now imported 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).


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

4 Tags Kodi reads

Vorbis ID3v2 APE MP4 ASF

5 Data Kodi Scrapes


  • 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


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

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