NFO files/Albums

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1 Introduction

Unlike the video library, Kodi cannot create library entries for music from nfo files. Instead, Kodi scans the embedded tags in the song files to create the library entries. The nfo files can then be used to add additional information to what has already been scanned into the library from the embedded music file tags.

2 nfo Name and Location

For additional album information each album needs to be in its own unique folder, and have a separate album.nfo file located there. See right image below

2.1 nfo Tags

The following table lists the available tags that can be used in the album.nfo file. Some tags are used when scanned into the library, other tags are ignored.

The "Required" column indicates whether a tag can be optionally added or ommitted when creating the nfo to suit your purpose.

NFO (xml) Tag Required Overwrites * Multiple ** Notes
<album></album> Yes No No The top level parent tag for the nfo file. All other tags must be contained within these two tags
<title></title> No Yes No
<musicbrainzalbumid></musicbrainzalbumid> No No No Exported but tag not used when scanned
<musicbrainzreleasegroupid></musicbrainzreleasegroupid> No No No Exported but tag not used when scanned
<scrapedmbid></scrapedmbid> No No No Was mbid data scraped (true/false) or did it come from the embedded tags
<artistdesc></artistdesc> No No No Exported but tag not used when scanned
<genre></genre> No Yes Yes See: MusicBrainz
<style></style> No No Yes
<mood></mood> No No Yes
<theme></theme> No No Yes
<compilation></compilation> No Yes No Is this a Compilation album- true/false
<boxset></boxset> No Yes No Is this album part of a Box Set- true/false
<review></review> No No No Album review
<type></type> No Yes No See: MusicBrainz
<releasestatus></releasestatus> No Yes No See: MusicBrainz
<releasedate></releasedate> No No No Exported but tag not used when scanned
<label></label> No Yes No Record Label
<duration></duration> No Yes No Duration in seconds. Exported but tag not used when scanned
<thumb preview="path"></thumb> No No Yes Path to available online artwork
Importing will also accept paths to local art files which can subsequently be exported
<path></path> No No No Exported but tag not used when scanned
<rating max="10"></rating> No No No Album rating
<userrating max="10"></userrating> No No No Album rating by user
<votes></votes> No No No Number of votes for <rating> tag
No Yes Yes Scraped album artist credits can replace those derrived from music file tags.
Note even when overwrite is disabled missing album artists will be added
<releasetype></releasetype> No No No Not used. See note in Technical Details below

This is an internal flag.

* If the setting Prefer Online Information in Settings>Media>Music is enabled, these items may be overwritten in the library database.
** With multiple value fields those values are entered using an XML tag per value. When no data exists the XML tag will not be created on export

3 Technical Details

The information in this section is provided for technical interest and reference only. It can be safely disregarded if you have no technical interest in nfo and database functions

  • A number of database fields can be populated initially by music file tags, but then be overwritten by online scraping or nfo scanning. Whether this occurs depends on the setting Prefer Online Information in Settings>Media>Music. If disabled, these fields will remain with the data scanned from the music file tags. If enabled these fields will be overwritten by information obtained from either the online scrape or local nfo file scan. The affected fields are shown in the tables below. If you are satisfied with your tagging, leave this item disabled.
  • v18 introduces the Artist information folder which enables the use of local artwork and information (nfo files) for all artists, not just album artists as in previous versions. This is of benefit for collaboration albums, various artist releases and classical recordings to name a few.
  • There is no XML tag for votes of individual Songs. This can only come from the music file tags. Album votes can come from either online or local nfo scraping.
  • The data within the nfo file should, theoretically, all go to/come from somewhere in the database but, because the content source of the data field can be diverse, the data does not always come from a single source or go to a single database field. Scanning is not just about reading data but processing it too. As some fields are initially set from tags and can then be overwritten by nfo data, there is also a merge process involved in scraping.
  • There exist peculiarities with some XML tags in the nfo files:
    • <name> in artist.nfo can overwrite the name of the artist in the artist table, if "prefer online info" is "enabled", but does not change that name anywhere else
    • <releasedate> is required as part of the internal function of the online scraping process. It does not map directly to any db field, and nothing (currently) happens with its data. Exporting the library to nfo files will create an empty XML tag. It is not used during import/scrape.
    • <artistdesc> tag in the album.nfo file is related to the strArtists field of the album table of the database. It is derived from ALBUMARTIST and ALBLUMARTISTS tags from the music file tags. If those two tags are empty, then it will be derived from ARTIST and ARTISTS tags in the music files. It is exported to album.nfo as <artistdesc> but the value is not imported/scraped.
    • <releasetype> appears in the album.nfo by mistake. It is an internal flag that, in nfo files, will always be output as <releasetype>album</releasetype>, and it is ignored during import/scrape of the nfo file. It relates to the strReleaseType field of the album table in the database. It does not relate to the RELEASETYPE tag in the MusicFile, which connects to <type> in album.nfo.
  • In music the only XML tags with a qualifier is Rating and User Rating. It limits the maximum score that is possible for the given rating. This is relevant as Kodi switched from a maximum 5 rating to a maximum of 10 rating.

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