Picard: Common questions answered

There seem to be many questions about Picard at the moment and a lot of people who love the old tagger interface and are frustrated with Picard’s UI. So, let me address the feedback we’re getting from our users: “MBTagger was perfect. Picard sucks.” — Ok, this feedback doesn’t help much, but we understand that … Continue reading “Picard: Common questions answered”

There seem to be many questions about Picard at the moment and a lot of people who love the old tagger interface and are frustrated with Picard’s UI. So, let me address the feedback we’re getting from our users:

  • MBTagger was perfect. Picard sucks.” — Ok, this feedback doesn’t help much, but we understand that you are frustrated. We’re working to improve Picard as we speak and the latest release is a beta release, so please bear with us.
  • I don’t understand the Picard interface.” — We understand that there are some people who prefer to tag tracks, not albums. We also understand that the UI is not immediately intuitive. We have plans to fix this, and to allow Picard to be usable by people who prefer to tag tracks and those who prefer to tag albums. For our thoughts on this improved interface, check out this wiki page. For more documentation on how to actually use Picard, see HowToTagFilesWithPicard. And to calm down all the people who are threatening to leave the project if the old MBTagger goes away, we plan to improve the interface of Picard way before the old MBTagger stops working.
  • Picard keeps crashing on me.” — It works for us, which is sucky since we can’t fix your crashes if it doesn’t crash for us. We’re actively soliciting feedback from people who can reproduce crashes. If you have a case where Picard crashes for you consistently and repeatably, please file a bug report.
  • Picard screws up my files!” — First, check to make sure you’re writing the right version of id3v2 tags. Depending on what other programs you use, you may need to switch to version 2.3/2.4 or vice versa. We know about some incompatibilities between the MusicIP Mixer and Picard. We’re going to start working on these issues soon.
  • How do I get PUID’s into MB?” — This answer has two parts. First, to create a new PUID for a file that MB doesn’t have a PUID for currently, you need to download and run the file through the MusicIP Mixer. (Yes, we know not everyone wants to use the Mixer application — for you we’re going to create stand-alone analyzer applications soon). Once a file goes through the MusicIP Mixer, in theory it should become available to the MusicDNS.org service (that MusicBrainz uses) within 24 hours. In practice, this is not happening yet. The MusicIP folks are working on this! Once the MusicDNS.org service has a PUID, you can re run the file through Picard and it should pick up the PUID and prompt you to submit the PUID to MB. Again, there may be bugs in the process — we’re working to iron out the bugs as we speak.

What can you do if you’re affected by these issues? Here is a quick check list for you:

  1. Do you have an issue not addressed herein?
  2. Can you reproduce the issue?
  3. Yes: Please review the open bugs for picard and if this bug doesn’t already exist, please add a new one.
  4. No: Please stop using Picard 0.7.0 for the time being and go back to Picard 0.6.0 or the old MB Tagger. Then wait for a new release of Picard and see if your problems have improved.

Bottom line: If you’re frustrated by how things are working right now, go back to a non-beta release and give us more time to iron out these issues. We’re aware that you are frustrated and we’re working on it. But if people keep pestering us with the same issues over and over again, it only keeps us from fixing actual bugs.

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Releases: Picard and libtunepimp

We released the 0.6.0 version of Picard today — this release fixes many bugs and adds the much anticipated mp4, mpc and wma plugins! Also included in this release are support for generating cuesheets, M3U, PLS and XSPF playlists. The downloads links are: picard-0.6.0.tar.gz (*nix tarball) picard-setup-0.6.0.exe (windows installer — XP, 2000, NT, Me, 98, … Continue reading “Releases: Picard and libtunepimp”

We released the 0.6.0 version of Picard today — this release fixes many bugs and adds the much anticipated mp4, mpc and wma plugins! Also included in this release are support for generating cuesheets, M3U, PLS and XSPF playlists.

The downloads links are:

To make all the changes happen inside of Picard, we also needed to release a new version of libtunepimp:

Thanks again to Lukáš Lalinský for brining you this release!

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Debian maintainer for Picard wanted!

libmusicbrainz and libtunepimp and many of the requirements of Picard are in Debian, but Picard itself has not been packaged up for inclusion into Debian. I would love to find a volunteer to take on the task to package Picard into a .deb so we can get it into the Debian respositories. If you’d like … Continue reading “Debian maintainer for Picard wanted!”

libmusicbrainz and libtunepimp and many of the requirements of Picard are in Debian, but Picard itself has not been packaged up for inclusion into Debian. I would love to find a volunteer to take on the task to package Picard into a .deb so we can get it into the Debian respositories. If you’d like to help, please post a comment!

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Releases: Picard and libtunepimp

To go along with the recently updated server, we released version 0.5.1 of Picard today. The downloads links are: picard-0.5.1.tar.gz (*nix tarball) picard-setup-0.5.1.exe (windows installer — XP, 2000, NT, Me, 98, 95) To make all the changes happen inside of Picard, we also needed to release a new version of libtunepimp: libtunepimp-0.4.1.tar.gz (*nix tarball) Important … Continue reading “Releases: Picard and libtunepimp”

To go along with the recently updated server, we released version 0.5.1 of Picard today. The downloads links are:

To make all the changes happen inside of Picard, we also needed to release a new version of libtunepimp:

Important note for Picard users: Picard 0.5.1 introduces a new naming variable %albumartist (and %albumartistsortname) to support the new features on the server. Individual tracks on single artist albums may now be attributed to different artists which will cause these tracks to be saved in different locations on your hard drive if you use %artist in your naming string right now. You should replace all instances of %artist and %sortname with %albumartist and %albumartistsortname, respectively, if you want to keep organizing your files in the same manner as you did prior to the 0.5.1 release.

Thanks very much to Lukáš Lalinský, for taking on this release singlehandedly!

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Picard 0.5.0 released!

After too many months of tinkering the latest stable release of Picard has been released: picard-0.5.0.tar.gz (Linux tarball) picard-setup-0.5.0.exe (Windows installer) Big thanks goes out to Lukas Lalinsky for fixing many bugs and creating the Windows installer. Also, many thanks to everyone who helped work on the Norwegian, German, French, Russian and Slovak translations! Technorati … Continue reading “Picard 0.5.0 released!”

After too many months of tinkering the latest stable release of Picard has been released:

Big thanks goes out to Lukas Lalinsky for fixing many bugs and creating the Windows installer. Also, many thanks to everyone who helped work on the Norwegian, German, French, Russian and Slovak translations!

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Bad news: Picard on OS X

In the last few days I’ve been playing around with Picard on OS X. After fixing a few bugs in libtunepimp that prevented it from compiling on OS X, I managed to get Picard to come up. However, there are so many UI bugs that it is essentially unusable: Drag and drop does not work … Continue reading “Bad news: Picard on OS X”

In the last few days I’ve been playing around with Picard on OS X. After fixing a few bugs in libtunepimp that prevented it from compiling on OS X, I managed to get Picard to come up. However, there are so many UI bugs that it is essentially unusable:

  1. Drag and drop does not work
  2. Some options dialog items won’t un/check
  3. Adding files from Add Files dialog doesn’t work
  4. The UI is butt-ugly

This is the same code that has undergone a fair amount of debugging on Windows and Linux. Given that the code works fairly well on those two systems, I have to suspect the wxWidgets toolkit on Mac OS X. I looked into a number of UI bugs listed above only to be stumped by these bugs on multiple occasions. The code looks ok and works great on two platforms. No manner of tweaking the code allowed me to make any headway on any of the bugs.

My conclusion: wxWidgets on OS X, even the 2.6.x version, is still not ready for prime time. Thus, I’m sad to say, Picard won’t be coming to OS X soon. If someone has more experience with wxWidgets on OS X and would like to take a stab at looking at these bugs, please do. At this point I should spend my time on bugs that will make Picard better on the two platforms where there is hope.

I’m bummed. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

Picard 0.5.0-test2 released!

With much help from Lukas Lalinsky and Dave Evans, we’ve finally managed to scrape together the next picard release. The highlights for this release are: Full UNICODE support on all supported platforms. Tags and filenames are now read and written with the proper encoding support. ID3v2.3 AND ID3v2.4 support — selectable in the options dialog. … Continue reading “Picard 0.5.0-test2 released!”

With much help from Lukas Lalinsky and Dave Evans, we’ve finally managed to scrape together the next picard release. The highlights for this release are:

  • Full UNICODE support on all supported platforms. Tags and filenames are now read and written with the proper encoding support.
  • ID3v2.3 AND ID3v2.4 support — selectable in the options dialog.
  • Increased stability
  • A more rounded feature set
  • Tons of bug fixes
  • UI improvements
  • Built on top of a release version of wxWidgets, for greater stability
  • New windows installer

Downloads:

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Picard update

I know that a lot of people have been waiting for the next release of Picard. Fortunately, I’ve been working on it — unfortunately its taking me a bit of time to get to the next release. In order to get end-to-end UNICODE support in Picard, a number of serious changes were required to the … Continue reading “Picard update”

I know that a lot of people have been waiting for the next release of Picard. Fortunately, I’ve been working on it — unfortunately its taking me a bit of time to get to the next release. In order to get end-to-end UNICODE support in Picard, a number of serious changes were required to the underlying libtunepimp library.

The good news is that these massive changes are nearly done. The bad news is that the application will probably no longer run on Win 9x and Me — the UNICODE support in those two OSes is too weak. And the one thing I want to get right with this release is the UNICODE support. It is exciting to see Picard writing Cyrillic filenames — that’s for sure.

I’m trying to finish up the app in the next few days — stay tuned.

MusicBrainz Tagger reviewed in the Washington Post

The Washington Post covered the MusicBrainz Tagger in their weekend edition (reg required): MusicBrainz does this by computing a music file’s digital fingerprint, based on its length and acoustic properties, then seeing if it can find a match in a growing online database of songs. The program will then work its magic, even reporting its … Continue reading “MusicBrainz Tagger reviewed in the Washington Post”

The Washington Post covered the MusicBrainz Tagger in their weekend edition (reg required):

MusicBrainz does this by computing a music file’s digital fingerprint, based on its length and acoustic properties, then seeing if it can find a match in a growing online database of songs. The program will then work its magic, even reporting its confidence in less-than-exact matches. It was right in most of our tests, even when it reported that a song’s fingerprint matched only 55 percent of a title in the database.

Just wait until they see Picard… Speaking of which, I’m supposed to be working on that right now.