How “Metadata from the Internet” works


How “Metadata from the Internet” works

We love the elegant and clean Now Playing screen of HiFiBerryOS.

One big block here is the album cover display. However, not all music sources provide a cover for the song that’s playing. If you’re listening to a web radio stream, it might send the current song (not all radio stations do), but there will be no cover art. Also with some of your own music files that you stream from your Roon or Logitech Media Server might miss covers.

At this point “metadata from the internet” kicks in. It first tries to identify the current song and album. Then it uses MusicBrainz to get more information to this song and album including a unique ID for song, artist and album (called MBID in MusicBrainz terms). Based on this ID, it uses other services like Last.FM, Cover Art Archive and Fanart.TV to find a cover for this song.

The process might take a few seconds and finally you will get covers not just for your songs for almost any song you’re playing:

Does it always work perfectly? No! Sometimes, guessing the right album can be just wrong and you will see another cover. However, we think this iosn’t a huge problem as it usually works quite well. If you don’t like it, you can easily turn it off under “General / User interface”.

There are more data that are retrieve during this process like release date, artist bio and many more. Right now, these are not displayed in the user interface, but you can access them using the audiocontrol API.

Last updated: February 22, 2020