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I'm a noob to the world of Kodi and after learning through the school of hard knocks I have finally got my Movie library into a reasonable shape and loving it. So now I'm about to embark on the next wild adventure of importing my music into Kodi and really looking for some advice on how to do this as painless as possible....

I am running Krypton 17.6 with Aeon Nox Silvo on apple TV and Windows 10. My music collection is in reasonable shape having used Tagscanner for many years, albeit that its not perfect. I have had a read through the Wiki and for the most part my files are pretty much in-line with what is suggested however I use iTunes to organise my music so my music doesn't have the year incorporated into the folder title and all the compilations are contained with the same music root folder. 

Comparatively between Tagscanner and MusicBrainz Picard the former is more simplistic but does a great job in embedding the tag info required by iTunes. So as soon as I started importing my music into Picard I am starting to find issues that require correction which then cause files to be lost in iTunes. I located this guide which describes how to use Picard and not affect iTunes. I am noticing though that its not just a case of moving/renaming music but iTunes can lose the file by altering metadata, ie dealing with AC/DC.

Before I embark on this next journey I thought someone might have some advice on how to do this without causing myself lots of issue and hard work in importing an existing collection and maintaining the iTunes library?

What information does Kodi need to get all the bells and whistles going and can it be done with a program like Tagscanner rather than re-doing all my files in Picard. If not, will the guide mentioned above adequately address the required information?
(2018-04-16, 06:13)Carnigg Wrote: [ -> ]I have had a read through the Wiki and for the most part my files are pretty much in-line with what is suggested however I use iTunes to organise my music so my music doesn't have the year incorporated into the folder title ...
I think that the wiki says it, but I will repeat....  
Unlike video, the music library does not care about folder names or music file names. It uses the tags embedded into the music files to determine year, and everything else, it does not parse names. In fact you could have all your accurately tagged music files in one flat folder, horrible for humans, but Kodi would still identify albums and artists etc. The only thing that would not be possible is the automatic use of local art and NFO files, that does need a hierarchical folder layout (but not folder names).
(2018-04-16, 06:13)Carnigg Wrote: [ -> ]and all the compilations are contained with the same music root folder.
There is an issue (solved in v18) that relates to the location of compilations that can confuse how local art files are found. Naming the folder that contains your compilations so that it is processed last can help avoid that, but you should still be able to use the music library even if you have not done that.

I do not use iTunes, but I'm sure there are plenty of users that use their music files with both. You should be able to use Picard to add Musicbrainz id tags without removing whatever it is iTunes needs, but again I don't know what that is so can't give details.

Having Musicbrainz Id tags in your music files makes scraping additional artist and album information and art more efficient (twice as fast) and accurate, but again you can use Kodi without. Scraping will work on name alone, but first thing it does is try to find the album or artist in the Musicbrainz db anyway. How successful this is will depend on your tagging, and the uniqueness of artist names etc., it can produce some unexpected results.

I hope someone that uses iTunes will come along and guide you some more. Meanwhile I would ensure "fetch additional information on update" setting is disabled, add your music source, scan to library and see what happens. If the resulting music library is a mess you can always drop it.

What can happen, and how messy can it be? Well if you have artist names like "artistX (featuring artistY)" Kodi will not know that is 2 individual artists. As a result the artist list will look cluttered, and it won't be subsequently able to fetch info and art from online sources for "artistX (featuring artistY)". Also if for iTunes you have used something other than space-slash-space " / " as an item separator, and have single value frame tags e.g. ID3 v2.3 in mp3 (rather than 2.4 or FLAC files) then Kodi won't be able to split them. That will effect artists when more than one collaborates, and genre mostly.

However there are things you can do with the advancedsettings.xml, and using the ARTISTS and ALBUMARTISTS (note the "s") tags that can help Kodi recognise and separate your combined tag values.

If that goes well then to get the pretty images etc., then use "query info for all" from the context menu first while looking at albums, and then when looking at artists. That will go and fetch art and info, although there will probably be gaps. That will all work far better if you can manage to tag your music files with Musicbrainz Ids.

Bottom line is try it and see Smile
Thanks for that @DaveBlake

I have gone back to Picard and tried to get Tagscanner to emulate what Picard is doing, which it cant. So I have started to re-tag my music with Picard so far it hasn't been to bad, although the results have been interesting and what's happen to my music rips over the years, but I fear that is probably a combination of tagging, iTunes and windows. This Musicbrainz guide is more of an open slather reshuffle of all the music to match new tags as when a artist or album name is changed iTunes will move it to a new location and rename it based on the tag. Doing this brought back all the horrifying memories of dealing with iTunes to start with and the problem with it is that if you have any other information stored in your music folder it doesn't move and needs to be moved manually.

So now I am re-tagging one album at a time and checking the impact with iTunes.

I'll give Kodi a try when I get sick of doing this and see how bad things look.
One of the best things about picard is you can drag and drop an entire collection into it and it should lookup everything automatically if your tags were good in the first place Wink

Clearly it won't be perfect, but its quite good when you get the hang of it.
It going ok about 90% are going straight in to picard, but some are proving more difficult. Tagscanner is a little more simplistic on what it tags and I didn't really bother selecting album version and all that, just what looked right.

My collection wont go straight in to picard, to large.
I re-tagged my music collection with Picard about a year ago. Two things that stood out as potential "gotcha's"...

1. I had to add about 40 albums to MusicBrainz either because the album was not listed or I had a different release to the others that were listed. This was quite time consuming
2. When I checked to ensure I had the correct release, I would lazily check the first few songs to ensure it was correct. If only I had properly checked the listing of all the songs in the release, it would have saved me hours of re-checking and re-tagging during my learning curve. In many cases it was two songs that had their order swapped at the bottom end of the listing. (why???!!!!)
(2018-04-17, 22:34)Karellen Wrote: [ -> ]I had to add about 40 albums to MusicBrainz
I might have two albums in that boat that just dont seem to fit Picard at all. I have left them for now and will return later.
 
(2018-04-17, 22:34)Karellen Wrote: [ -> ]I would lazily check
Yup, I have moved from individual album checks to whole artist collection then tried to import a whole block of artists before Picard crashed.....will get there eventually.
When using Picard I feel it is important to work album at at time and check that you fetch the correct release, or at very least one that matches the number and order of tracks. I tend to point it at a number of music folders, use the "cluster" function that yourns it into a list of albums, and then find album at a time.