Frequently Asked Questions

Why don’t all my songs appear in the song list when searching for them?

Do you have a global filter in use? Check the Browsers tab in Preferences.

Where does Quod Libet store all its metadata?

The short answer was originally: in ~/.quodlibet/ For newer versions of QL it’s more complex:

  • On all platforms, if the QUODLIBET_USERDIR environment variable is set, this will be used

  • On Windows, it will be in your user’s AppData folder under Quod Libet (except portable builds)

  • On OS X, it will be in ~/.quodlibet/

  • On Linux / Unix systems:

    • if the XDG_CONFIG_HOME environment variable is set, XDG_CONFIG_HOME/quodlibet/ will be used

    • else if folder ~/.config/ exists, ~/.config/quodlibet/ will be used

    • else ~/.quodlibet/ will be used still

Under there you’ll find all sorts of things, separate from the audio file tags themselves, e.g.

  • songs - the pickled songs database.

  • config - the main Quod Libet configuration file - edit with care

  • playlists/ - a directory for all playlists

  • lists/ - a directory for saved searches and so on

  • stations / stations_all - the Internet radio stations lists

Whenever I type a space, Quod Libet pauses

Users of some keyboard layouts, including the popular French Alternative, may hit this bug. In these layouts, the spacebar sends a non-breaking space character, which GTK+ interprets as <control>space. This is a known bug in GTK. You can work around it by changing your keyboard layout to send a regular space.

How do I add custom / unusual tags to the columns in the song list?

  1. Refer to editing tags if you need to add any custom tags.

  2. Right-click the song list header bar and select Customize Headers from the context menu (or click Preferences from the main menu and select Song List)

  3. In the Others field, click Edit, then Add, and enter the custom tag name, remembering that they are case-sensitive.

Lesser-known (but useful) tags here might include ~#playcount, ~#skipcount, ~#bitrate or ~playlists.

How do I use a different soundcard with Quod Libet?

See the chapter on configuring the AudioBackends in the user’s guide.

Why does Quod Libet sort my songs out of order?

Music metadata, like music, comes in many languages, and sorting multi-language text is hard to do. It depends on your language as well as the text being sorted, and often is still not well-defined. Unicode Technical Standard #10 outlines an algorithm to sort multi-language text, but even then it needs ordinal data for each character for each language. We don’t know of any Python implementations of it, and any implementation we use would have to be fast since we compare thousands of strings when sorting.

I have two albums with the same name which are merged in the Album List

Tag them with different albumartist tags. You can also use musicbrainz_albumid tags, which several other taggers and our “MusicBrainz Lookup” plugin can write.

I have two discs of the same album, and they don’t get merged in the Album List

Make sure they have the same name (i.e. without “(disc x)” on the end). If they are still not merged, they have different albumartist, labelid or musicbrainz_albumid tags. If they have different label ID tags, delete the incorrect one. If they have different MusicBrainz album ID tags, add a labelid tag that is the same for both albums.

Where does Quod Libet store ratings and playcounts?

By default these are in the internal database - and remember this is indexed by filename, so renames will lose data. For this and other reasons, some users prefer to save save them in the tags themselves (under an email address), using the most appropriate tag for that format (e.g. ID3’s popm tag for ID3). See the configuration under Preferences -> Tags -> Save ratings and play _counts in tags.

Note that some caching is used, so changes aren’t written all the time. Try the Update Tags In Files plugins to control this explicitly.

Can I show more than 0 to 4 notes when rating songs?

Close Quod Libet; in ~/.quodlibet/config find the ratings = 4 line. Change it to ratings = however many ratings you want. It’s best if the value divides 100 evenly; multiples of 2 and 5 are good. You will need to use the ratings right-click menu to set ratings above 4.

How can I hide incomplete albums from the Album View?

One way is to enter #(tracks > 5) into the search box above the album list - this will only show albums with greater than 5 tracks.

How can I list my tracks based on their ratings?

Right-click somewhere on the headers bar (below the search bar), select “Track Headers” from the menu and add “Ratings”. Now if you click “Ratings” on the headers bar your tracks will be sorted based on their ratings.

How is album art handled?

There are many ways users like to keep their album art, and Quod Libet supports graphics (primarily .jpg but .gif and .png also) in these ways:

  • Files in the album directory with fixed names eg folder.jpg, cover.jpg, front.png

  • A file containing the labelid (eg COCX-32760 cover.jpg)

  • Files of certain other names linked to a given album in a shared directory: <musicbrainz_albumid>.ext or <artist> - <title>.ext

  • Sub-folders of certain names (covers/ or <labelid>/) with compatible images in them.

  • Embedded cover art in the file itself (incomplete support in some formats).

There are fuzzy-matching algorithms to try to determine the most specific match if multiple of the above exist.

If you’re adding new album art, the Album Art downloader plugin allows you to do so easily and is compatible with the above.

Why do songs disappear from my playlists?

This is due to the way the library works, and that playlists entries are based on filename. One of several things might have happened, before a re-scan of the library (on start-up or otherwise)

  • The songs have been renamed, moved, or their directory moved. Note this includes using Rename Files from the tag editor.

  • A removable (mounted) media device - USB disk, network share, internet folder or whatever is/was no longer available (at the time of refresh).

Note if you’re using the Auto Library Update this will happen immediately (There are ideas to improve this: Issue 961).

Can QL read my ID3 tags encoded in euc-kr / cp1251 / windows-1252 etc?

You can define a custom list of encodings to check. UTF-8 is always tried first, and Latin-1 is always tried last. To make your own list, close QL, open up ~/.quodlibet/config, and find the id3encoding option. You can enter any valid encodings here, separated by spaces, and they will be tried in order. If you have files already imported into your library with incorrect tags, you’ll need to reload them.

Quod Libet saves ID3 tags in UTF-8 or UTF-16.

What does the name mean?

Quodlibet or Quod libet is Latin for “whatever you please” or “whatever you want”, which is the kind of attitude we want to convey with QL: you control how you fiddle with your music. A quodlibet is also a type of musical composition, an improvisation by several players or vocalists at once, which is a pretty accurate description of QL’s development.

Ex falso quodlibet, or “from a falsehood, whatever you please” is one of the properties of material implication (if/then) in classical logics; in standard notation it can be written as ∀A (⊥ A).

Finally, the initial directory imported into Subversion was named ql, because I was experimenting with a syntax for a _q_uery _l_anguage.

Where do the release names come from?

Daily Dinosaur Comics at the time of the release.

I like <my favorite player>, so I won’t use Quod Libet!

Okay. We think Quod Libet beats other players in the areas where it counts (where exactly it does count is undecided; ‘tag editing’, ‘massive libraries’, and ‘regexp searching’ have all been cited); we didn’t like the other players. If you do, continue using them. You still might want to check out Ex Falso, since while there’s an awful lot of media players out there, there are far fewer choices for tag editors. You could also help us make Quod Libet better.

Changing the volume in Quod Libet changes the main volume!

Since version 3.5, Quod Libet will control the PulseAudio stream volume directly (same as the application slider in pavucontrol) which might have an effect on the main volume and vice versa. To restore the old behavior disable flat-volumes mode in PulseAudio. See man pulse-daemon.conf for more information.