Manage your music collection with Picard
Pickin' and Grinnin'
Getting that iTunes experience requires more than just Amarok or Rhythmbox. It also requires planning – especially if you went digital before the Linux desktop had audio players.
While the younger set lives blissfully unimpressed by anything that preceded downloaded music, many Linux users nostalgically hang on to compact disc collections. Tools such as Gnome's Sound Juicer, Gtk's Grip, and KDE's KAudioCreator copy CDs to hard drives easily, and the modern versions of these tools let users add information about the CD to the files and directories in which they are stored. But if you don't have this information or it is outdated, mislabeled, or just plain wrong, where do you get it and where do you put it? Simply put, it all comes down to tagging.
Recently I tagged my entire 400+ CD collection using Picard, the official tag editor for the MusicBrainz project. Despite its lack of meaningful documentation, Picard is both stable and easy to use. It allowed me to tag all my music quickly, relabeled the directory structures in a more appropriate and consistent manner, and even added album art. The result is a music collection fully compliant with Amarok, MythMusic, KPlaylist, and a host of other multimedia tools for Linux.
In this article, I examine the standard tag format for audio files known as ID3, I discuss working with tags in Picard and MusicBrainz, and I walk you through these tools so you can update your audio collections quickly and painlessly right from the desktop.
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