When the CD is available

This is perhaps the best case scenario, because it provides the greatest chance of tagging your music files with the most accurate match from the MusicBrainz database. It is also one of the easier methods for looking up the release.

1. Rip the CD to music files

Extract the music filed from the CD using your favorite ripping program (e.g.: Exact Audio Copy for Windows, X Lossless Decoder (XLD) for macOS, or Whipper for Linux). The format for the output files depends on your personal preference and the formats supported by your player. A popular format is FLAC, which is a compressed lossless format.

2. Lookup the CD on MusicBrainz

With the CD in the drive, it can be looked up automatically using the “Tools ‣ Lookup CD” command. See the Lookup CD or Ripper Log section for detailed instructions.

3. Select the correct release

A list of all releases matching the toc of the CD will be displayed for selection, with an option to submit the disc id if none of the releases are a match to your CD. Before proceeding, please check to ensure that the release you select properly matches your CD (e.g.: release country, date and label, catalog number, barcode, media type, and cover art). This is especially important if you are going to submit any information such as acoustic features to AcousticBrainz or AcoustID fingerprints.


4. Load the files

Drag the files or folder from the browser to the “Unclustered Files” section in the left-hand pane. You do not need to scan or cluster them.

5. Match the files to the tracks on the release

Drag the files from the left-hand pane and drop them on the release in the right-hand pane. Check that each track on the release is associated with only one file. The release icon should turn gold. See the Matching Files to Tracks section for details.

6. Verify the metadata and cover art

Check that the metadata and cover art image for the release and tracks are what you want. Adjust if required. See the Setting the Cover Art section for details.

7. Save the files

Save the files using the “File ‣ Save” command. See the Saving Updated Files section for details.

8. Calculate and submit AcoustID fingerprints

This step is optional, but appreciated because it will help identify the files for others to look up for tagging.

Select the album entry in the right-hand pane and calculate the AcoustID fingerprints using “Tools ‣ Generate AcoustID Fingerprints”. Once the fingerprints have been calculated, submit them using “Files ‣ Submit AcoustIDs”.


AcoustID fingerprints should only be submitted after the files have been tagged with MusicBrainz metadata, and you have verified that the files have been matched to the correct track on the proper release.