Simple music collection refresher
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What is it

mu-refreshy is a small program made to help refreshing music collection.

I have quite a big music collection and it's hard and time consuming to keep it up to date.
I couldn't find suitable solution so decided to write this instrument.
Basically it tries to answer simple question: which artists have released new albums since last time I checked.

Keep in mind that I made this program just to solve my problem in the simplest way so it's not user-friendly at all.

How it works

  1. mu-refreshy scans your music library to get info about what artists and albums you have
  2. For every artist call to musicbrainz is made to get full albums list (assuming it is full; unfortunately it's not, so better go and contribute there)
  3. Results are printed on console or into xml file, all remote albums with release date older than your local ones are considered as new
  4. You can use xml file for future calls, all remote albums would be considered as local


Contents of artist folder (just one for example):


Program text result:


Result in xml format (part of it):


It takes about 40 minutes to process around 3000 files in 8 threads.


Only UNIX (I'm using Gentoo, Ubuntu also would work because travis).

mkdir build && cd build
cmake ..

Binary in bin/mu-refreshy.



mu-refreshy [options] <root>

root specifies directory with music files. Also can be set through options.


  • -h --help print help info
  • -r <path> --root=<path> set root directory with music files, required, can be set without flag
  • -s <method> --scan=<method> set directory scan method, default is all files, see more info below
  • -i <file> --file=<file> set input xml file to read additional data from previous runs
  • -f (txt|xml) --format=(txt|xml) set output format, plain text or xml file, default is text
  • -t <number> --thread=<number> set amount of threads for parallel file processing, default is 8

Scan methods

  • all scan all files in given root directory and it's subdirectories
  • album faster method for organized collections. Scan one file per sub-subdirectory. Works only if you have <artist>/<album> structure
  • artist special case for my personal needs, probably useless to everyone else. In the root are unsorted files and artist subdirectories (without album sub-subdirectories). Scan only files inside subdirectories.


mu-refreshy --scan=all -t 1 "/mnt/music/In Flames" 2>/dev/null

Scan all files in given directory in one thread and output results on console in plain text.

mu-refreshy --scan=artist --format=xml "/mnt/music/" >result.xml

Scan files inside artist subdirectories in multiple threads and store results in xml file.

mu-refreshy --format=xml --file=result.xml "/mnt/music/In Flames" >result2.xml

Scan all files in given directory using additional data from previous run and store results in new xml file.

Future plans

Probably would not develop it further because problem solved. But if I return to it anytime at least there is a plan what to do.

  • Contribute info to musicbrainz
  • Ignore case when comparing albums
  • Use remote albums info to update local albums to get more precise dates and results (also ignore case in name comparison)
  • Windows cross-compilation support. At least working precompiled executable
  • Service virtualization usage to avoid calling to musicbrainz in tests
  • Configurable musicbrainz endpoint
  • Main application source decomposition and test coverage
  • Automatic artist disambiguation mechanism (take artist with the most releases, for example)
  • Filtering by album type
  • musicbrainz answers caching (actually good for only not found queries so can be simplified)
  • Maybe add some kind of profiling

Known issues

  • Local albums ID and type are always empty
  • Local albums release date is always on the first of january (only year info), so they can appear as new
  • Remote albums with unknown release date are on 1970-01-01
  • There can be several remote artist IDs, only way to resolve it is to fiddle with xml files