When files are not grouped and have little or no existing metadata

This is perhaps the worst case scenario, because it provides the greatest chance of tagging your music files with an incorrect match from the MusicBrainz database.

In this situation, you will need to feed batches of files to Picard to process. In order to minimize the performance impact, it is recommended to keep the batches relatively small (i.e.: approximately 200 files at most in a single batch). Picard will try to group them into clusters based on their AcoustID fingerprints.


This workflow will likely only partially match the files to a release in each batch processed. This means that an album may not be fully matched, tagged and renamed until multiple batches have been processed.

1. Load the files

Drag the batch of files to process from the browser to the “Unclustered Files” secion in the left-hand pane.

2. Scan the files

Select the files in the left-hand pane and scan them using the Tools ‣ Scan” command. Picard will attempt to calculate the AcoustID fingerprint for each of the files and then retrieve releases with matching recordings. See the Scan Files section for details.

3. 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 will likely remain silver, indicating that not all tracks have been matched to files. See the Matching Files to Tracks section for details.

4. 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.

5. Save the files

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