Artist information folder
|Music Library Index||Artist information folder|
In v18 the concept of the Artist Information Folder is introduced as a new way to handle providing local artist artwork and information via nfo files. The Artist Information Folder is a user nominated folder that Kodi will look in first for artwork or NFO files for any artist.
This topic is of interest to those users that want to provide local artwork for artists, or capture their current artist art and additional data for transfer to another installation of Kodi
- 1 History
- 2 FAQ
- 2.1 Do I need to have an Artist Information Folder?
- 2.2 Why would I want to nominate a folder?
- 2.3 How do I setup the Artist Information Folder?
- 2.4 How is the individual artist information organised and populated?
- 2.5 How does Kodi use the contents?
- 2.6 Does the Artist Information Folder have to be separate from my music files?
- 2.7 What happens if I make the Artist Information Folder the same as my main music source?
- 2.8 What happens when I have a separate Artist Information Folder but also leave artist NFO and artwork files above my music files?
- 2.9 Does this affect Album artwork and NFO Files?
- 2.10 When using File View mode will I see the artwork from the Artist Information Folder?
- 2.11 Why won't the scan pick up my artwork?
- 3 Recommended Setup
- 4 Using Export With The Artist Information Folder
- 5 References
In v17 and prior releases of Kodi the ability to automatically fetch local art and information from NFO files depended upon the music files being in a strict Artist > Album > Songs folder structure. Kodi populated the basic library by using data embedded in the music files. It did not use the folder structure or filenames to populate the library, but it would try to identify a unique folder for each (album) artist and a unique folder for each album from the location of the related music files, and look there for art and additional information for the artist and album respectively.
Unfortunately not all music fits neatly under such a strict layout. For example:
- Collaboration albums with more than one album artist (very common in Classical music with composer, conductor and orchestra credited, but happens in pop when two artists in there own right make an album together).
- All the albums by an artist had to be on the same music source which made it difficult to organise libraries to suit personal preferences.
Art and additional information could only be provided for album artists, not those artists that only feature as a guest on some songs on an album by another artist or on a compilation album, nor the other musicians and professionals that contribute to the production.
The way Kodi tried to identify folders from their contents, combined with a slightly inaccurate music file arrangement, produced some unexpected art results that were often difficult to pin down. 
From v18 the Artist Information Folder can be used to resolve many issues with providing local art and additional information for Artists. Local artist art and nfo files can be provided without requiring a specific folder for music files, and artist NFO files can be kept separately from the music rather than jumbled with it.
3 Recommended Setup
A frequent question from users is what do you recommend?, in the case of the Artist Information Folder the answer is simple: unless you have local artwork for artists, or want to enter artist information via NFO files there is nothing to do. For a first time Kodi user the recommendation is to tag your music files accurately, scan them into the library and allow the scrapers to fetch additional artist and album information and artwork for you.
With v18 you can arrange your music files however you like and still have access to local art and NFO files. We would recommend that all the music files from an album are kept in a unique folder, perhaps with subfolders for each part of a multi-part set. Perhaps you choose to arrange those in artist folders of some kind, but that does not have to be strictly adhered too. You could divide a large music collection by genre (with an artist having albums in more than one), or by decade, or some broader music category e.g. Xmas music. Use an Artist > Album > Songs structure if it is convenient for you.
Once you start to extend your use of Kodi then a number of situations can arise:
- you have artists that the scraper was unable to find information or art for
- you want to manually edit some of the information
- having selected particular art from the many choices the scraper has found you want to backup that choice
- you want to transfer your current library to another installation of Kodi
Then it is time to setup an Artist Information Folder.
- Create the Artist Information Folder outside the folders which hold your music files
- Name that folder in whatever way suits you
- Once the folder is created set this folder in the Artist Information Folder setting here... See: Artist Information Folder Setting
- Use the export facility to populate the Artist Information Folder
A typical folder structure type is displayed below:
f:\ .......................................(Drive root) | |__ArtistInfo ............................(Artist Information Folder) | | | | |__MyMusic ...............................(Source) |_____Pop Music .......................(Source) | |__ Madonna ........................(Artist folder) | | |__ Beautiful Stranger (1999) ..(Album folder) | | | |__ Songs | |_____Compilations .......................(Source) | |__ Essential Eighties .............(Album folder) | | |__ Songs | |_____Classical ..........................(Source) | | | |_____Soundtracks ........................(Source) | |
4 Using Export With The Artist Information Folder
The export facility is the easy way to create artist folders in the Artist Information Folder, and populate them with the current artwork and additional artist information that has been already been scraped (or create empty files as templates that can be manually edited).
To do this directly export the music library, choosing To library folders as the kind of export output. Choose in the items to export which artists to do this for:
- album artists
- song artists
- other artists - the musicians and other people involved in production
However if you are concerned about what is going to be created you can choose Separate files for each item as the kind of export output. This will create the artist folders (and album folders for each artist) in a destination of your choice. Use this as a harmless test to see what is going to be produced without impacting your music files or Artist Information Folder.
The various music export options are described in more detail here.
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