All of my music is on a local server, which makes it difficult to re-tag songs with the correct data using only the standard mac os x programs (iTunes..). I’ve tried using Songbird with the directory browser plug-in (slow), and an unstable version of amarok – but the quickest/most accurate option was to use MusicBrainz. SongBird HAS a plug-in that is in development, but when I tried installing it today, I kept getting errors that prevented the install. When that plug-in is working I would much rather use it, so that I can do everything in one place.
Since it is not working now, I went over to the musicbrainz website and downloaded Picard Tagger –
MusicBrainz is a database of music album “dna” that you can use to compare your songs against, and confirm that you have the correct artist, album, song, track number etc; (these are called ID3 tags) for your songs and/or albums. It also has a few optional plugins that make it even more useful. The plugins are difficult to install (compared to other apps like Firefox or Songbird) – but worth it. I explain how to install them later.
This is a (seemingly small) large reason I prefer Windows for music – Winamp with the AlbumList plug-in. Can’t beat that… It’s very fast at loading large libraries – whereas songbird’s directory browser is begrudgingly slow at it.
Anyways, Here is a quick video how-to that will explain MusicBrainz Picard Tagger much better than I can with words.
Next I noticed that there was album art functionality in Picard, but could only get it to send me to the appropriate page on Amazon in a browser. This was confusing at first – but here’s what you have to do to get it working:
- Download the Cover Art Downloader Plugin. (to the desktop – or wherever you will remember)
- Open the “Terminal” application (hit cmd+space to bring up spotlight search, and type in terminal – or you can find it in applications/utilities/ through the Finder)
- Type the following code into Terminal, hitting enter after each line (this will create some hidden folders where Picard looks for plug-in files):
- Now quit Terminal (cmd+Q) and switch (cmd+tab) to the Finder
- On the menu bar at the top of the screen you will see “Finder File Edit View Go Window Help” – click on Go, and then choose “Go To Folder” from the drop-down menu (you could also press shift+cmd+G on the keyboard)
- Now paste the following into the Go To Folder box that popped up:
- This will open up the (hidden) folder where you need to put the plug-in – Drag the coverart.py file that you downloaded into this folder. (from the desktop or wherever you thought you would remember – remember?)
- Now (quit and restart if it’s open currently) open MusicBrainz Picard Tagger again and in the menu bar at the top of the screen choose “MusicBrainz Picard” and select “Preferences”
- In the left column, click on “Plugins” – and then click the checkbox next to the Cover Art Downloader option and hit “Ok”
- Restart MusicBrainz once more and you’re all set!