While we try really hard to provide the best music matching experience around, there’s always a possibility that something in your library might not match correctly or might not be able to match at all. This should be rare for most users, but if it does occur, there are several things you can check and do.
Prepare Your Music Files
There are a couple of things you can do to give Plex the best chance to match your content correctly.
Organize the Files Appropriately
At the very least, you should ensure that your music content is organized so that content from different albums are contained in different folders. Throwing a bunch of tracks from different artists or albums all in the same folder will very often lead to poor results.
The best way to do things is to put tracks inside an album folder and put that album folder inside one for the artist. e.g. organize using the
Music/ArtistName/AlbumName/TrackNumber - TrackName.ext folder hierarchy. As an example:
/Music /Foo Fighters /One By One /There is Nothing Left to Lose /Pink Floyd /Wish You Were Here 01 - Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Parts I-V).m4a 02 - Welcome to the Machine.mp3 03 - Have a Cigar.mp3 /U2 /Joshua Tree
Warning: If you don’t organize your music content appropriately, it is very likely that you could experience poor identification and matching.
Tag the Music Correctly
Besides having the files organized appropriately, tagging your tracks correctly can influence how well they are identified and matched. Ideally, you’ll want your tracks to have accurate “Artist”, “Album”, and “Track” tags. The “Album Artist” tag can also be very useful in cases of compilations.
If you’ve enabled the Prefer local metadata advanced preference for your music library, then you must ensure that all of your music content has full, accurate metadata tags. Without accurate tags, your content won’t be identified and matched correctly when that option is enabled.
Tip!: Most users should not enable the Prefer local metadata preference and we do not recommend doing so by default. Only enable the preference if you really know that you need it.
What if Content Isn’t Matched Correctly?
Finding Unmatched Content
If content isn’t matched correctly, there are two broad possibilities:
- The content matched as the wrong thing. This can sometimes be difficult to detect, since it basically requires you to notice that something’s wrong. You can help give yourself a chance to notice by upgrading a few artists at a time, as recommended in our music upgrading article.
- Plex isn’t able to match the content at all, in which case it will remain unmatched.
In the latter case, it’s easy to identify unmatched content. You can do so by browsing the library in your web app and filtering the library with the
Make Sure the Item Exists on MusicBrainz
Plex makes use of MusicBrainz as the central resource for matching content.
Search on MusicBrainz
If an artist or album is not matching correctly, you’ll first want to check to make sure that there is an entry for it on MusicBrainz. Visit the MusicBrainz website and search for the artist or album (in MusicBrainz terminology, albums are “release groups” and individual editions/versions are “releases”).
Related Page: MusicBrainz: What is a Release Group?
“Fix Match” the Item
If you’ve verified that the item exists in MusicBrainz, you can then do a Fix Match… on the artist or album. If the correct item isn’t automatically displayed when doing a Fix Match, you can Search using the artist name and year (and album name for albums). Choose the appropriate result and your server will then grab the metadata for the item.
Related Page: Fix Match / Match
Submit New Content to MusicBrainz
In cases where you cannot find the artist or album on MusicBrainz (or you found an entry, but it needs to be corrected or expanded), you can submit information yourself. This way, you help everyone else in the future, too!
MusicBrainz has a lot of information to help you out. To get started, we recommend reviewing these two articles:
- MusicBrainz: Beginner’s Guide
- MusicBrainz: How to Contribute
Tip!: When you update an album (release group) or artist on MusicBrainz or submit a new one, you’ll want to make sure to appropriately cross-link it to other sources. In particular, you want to add the corresponding album/artist entry from AllMusic as an “external link” for the release group/artist on MusicBrainz. That ties the two together, allowing Plex to also benefit from the metadata available on AllMusic for that entry.
Once new, edited, or updated content is submitted, it goes through a review process. The length of time the review takes can vary.
After you submit something and it’s been approved through the review process, the new/changed item will be available to Plex soon after. The exact timing can depend on when you catch things “in the cycle”, but the content will be available within about a day and a half (36 hours) at the longest, and sometimes in as little as a few hours.
Once you’ve given things enough time to make sure the data will be available to Plex, you can then do a Fix Match… on the artist or album, as noted earlier.