Seed your database – part 2 – fix mismatches

This step addresses how to handle scrobbles which cannot be matched against your MediaMonkey database without some assistance. The mismatches can be due to any of the various causes discussed in an earlier section of this Users’ Guide.

It may be too exhausting to attempt to address all of the mismatches, so the general aim is to handle at least the low hanging fruit, and the most impacted albums. This tool attempts to do much of the leg work for you, and to present the issues for you in a sequence where the most played albums and tracks are presented first.

Status report showing fresh unprocessed scrobbles

The Status report reminds us of our current situation. We have downloaded 366 fresh scrobbles, and 182 of them are unmatched. Those unmatched scrobbles will be ignored and lost unless we provide, or accept fuzzy logic generated, rules enabling them to become successfully matched against your current MediaMonkey database. The Details button will list the unmatched scrobbles, but that is not a great deal of interest while we are seeding the database with historic scrobbles, as there will probably be many mismatches.

With mismatches you have four options:

  • either use MediaMonkey to re-tag your track to conform to the tags imported from Last.fm; the scrobble will become matched when you retry the Approve action
  • or use the AlbumPlays action list (described below) to generate, or accept, rules enabling Last.fm tags to be translated back to the current tags in your tracks
  • or inform AlbumPlays that you do not own the track (or album), and that you play it from a streamed service; album plays will discard the scrobble, and also discard any future unmatched scrobble for that track or album
  • or force close the Get batch of scrobbles without fixing the remaining mismatches; scrobbles which remain unmatched will be discarded
Scrobble matching

The term matching refers to the process of identifying the track, in your MediaMonkey database, which corresponds to each fresh scrobble imported from Last.fm. This achieved by matching the scrobble Artist, Album & track name tags against those in MediaMonkey.

AlbumPlays is initially configured with an option aimed at making quicker work of the seeding process. Where a match cannot be found using the full tag set, this option will try for a match using only the artist and track name tags, ie. ignore the album tag. I have found that this can make a dramatic difference to seeding difficulties if your tracks contained a lot of blank album tags, or you have re-tagged many of your album titles.

**Warning: If the same artist & track name tag combination exists in several albums, this shortcut may match the scrobble to the incorrect track version. This can only occur where the track is unable to be matched using the full artist|ALBUM|track tag set.

See here for how to turn off this option.

Action Lists

An action list of new rule templates will have been automatically created for any unmatched albums and tracks found in your current batch of fresh scrobbles. Where you complete a template with your own tags for the track or album, it will create a rule from the template, enabling the scrobble(s) to now become matched.

If you installed the fuzzy logic extension to Python, and if a closely matching track can be identified, AlbumPlays will have already fleshed out the template with its guess of the correct tags. This fleshed out template is awaiting your approval.

For each template where you supply, or accept, corrected tag information, there are two outcomes:

  • the related scrobble(s) will be become matched when the Approve action is rerun against the current batch of imported scrobbles
  • and the rule template will be promoted to become a permanent rule; it will be automatically and silently re-used whenever the same track(s), or album, are played in the future, and those scrobbles cannot be matched naturally against your MediaMonkey database of that time.

Templates may alse be used to advise AlbumPlays that you don’t own the track or album. This will:

  • have no impact upon the current scrobble; it will remain unmatched and rejected
  • but it will create an ongoing rule, so that if the track or album is re-encountered, and remains unmatched against the MediaMonkey database of the time, the play will be automatically suppressed, so that it doesn’t re-appear in your action list

Firstly we should work with whole albums (ie. issues at the album level; an apparently incorrect album artist name, or album title).

Use menu option Edit|ActionListAlbumBasedRules.

Edit menu

The system has defaulted as being streamed, any scrobble where neither the album artist, nor the album, was found in your MediaMonkey database. It has hidden these rule templates from your initial action list as they require no action from yourself. The Template Editing facility will therefore, by default, display only action items which it thinks that you may own, because it has found either the albumartist or album name in your MediaMonkey database.

If the current batch doesn’t have too many unmatched scrobbles, you will be taken directly to rules editing screen, Otherwise, for computer resource efficiency reasons, you will be presented with a series of smaller action lists. The templates are sorted so that you are firstly presented with a grid full of the albums having the largest number of plays within the fresh batch of scrobbles. As you handle each grid, you will be returned here so that you may call for the next grid, until you have handled all grids, or you decide that you have done enough work on this batch.

 Pre-filter templates before editing

In the example displayed below the fuzzy logic extension to AlbumPlays has been installed, so any near matches have been identified, and pre-selected. Note the following situations: .. (nb: all images in this web site may be enlarged by clicking upon them)

Editing rule templates at the whole album level

  • number 1 – the album “Europe ’72” by the Grateful Dead – I have 14 scrobbles for this album – the issue which caused the mismatch is that when I played the album it was tagged as “Europe ’72 [Bonus Tracks]” – I have since changed my MediaMonkey database & track tags to delete the “[Bonus Tracks]” part, so the historic scrobble has not been matched against my current tags.

    We can see that there is a combo-box in the Album column, but none in the Artist column – this implies that “Grateful Dead” is in the MediaMonkey database, but the current album name was not. The Album combo-box will contain the list of the correct titles for all my Grateful Dead albums. … As I have the fuzzy logic extension installed, AlbumPlays has preselected “Europe ’72” from the list of my Grateful Dead Albums

    nb: this particular error type would have been automatically resolved, without you seeing it, if you retain the install time default which enables automatic fallback matching on just Artist & Track tags.

    ACTION: if I wish to fix these 14 scrobbles, and create an enduring rule, I need to provide the current tag for these tracks into the “Correct Album” cell. I can achieve this by:

    • either leaving the fuzzy logic pre-selection in place … for this example this is your best corrective action
    • or by selecting a different entry from within the combo-box
    • or by cutting and pasting a tag value from MediaMonkey
    • or by typing in a manual correction

    The updated, or approved, template will enacted after your press this screen’s Update button, and then rerun the Approve action against the batch of scrobbles

  • number 2 – in this case the album title is correct, but the artist tag has changed. I had re-tagged the artist name from “The MG’s” to “Booker T. & The MG’s”. Again the fuzzy logic extension has made a pre-selection for me

    We see no combo-box in the album column, so we know that the album artist name is probably OK. The Artist combo-box will contain the list of any artists for whom I own an album titled “Time is Tight, Disc 2”

    ACTION: leave the pre-selection in place, as it corrects the mismatch

  • number 3– these tracks from Egberto Gismonti’s album have two combo-boxes, but no fuzzy logic suggestion. This usually means that either there was no MediaMonkey tag which closely enough resembled the scrobbled tag, or the Artist & Album tags are correct, but there is a problem with the track tags.

    This illustrates some of the complexity which can arise during tag matching. When I look into my MediaMonkey database I see that this collaboration album has two separate AlbumArtist tags; “Egberto Gismonti” and also “Charlie Haden”. But its tracks have just a single Artist tag; Charlie Haden.

    So the fuzzy logic has made a reasonable guess. It guessed “Egberto Gismonti”, but since that already was the scrobbled tag, it suppressed its guess.

    ACTION: either use MediaMonkey to add Egberto Gismonti into the album’s artist tags, or select Charlie Haden from the template’s artist combo-box

  • number 4– the same situation as the 1st example; just included here to illustrate the contents of an opened combo-box

  • number 5 – I do own some tracks by Marc Johnson, but not the album titled “The Sound Of Summer Running”. I would have played these tracks from a streaming service

    ACTION: either just ignore the blank template, or flag the album as “streamed” – in both cases the scrobble will be discarded, but if I flag the album, unless I buy the album and load it into MediaMonkey, any future scrobbles from this artist|album combination will be automatically be flagged as being streamed, and will not bother us in any future action list.


Where there is was a template with both combo-boxes, this could mean that MediaMonkey has one or more albums with the scrobbled album title, but they are “owned” by other artists. Also that the scrobbled artist does have albums, but not one with the scrobbled album title. …. Alternatively it may mean that both the artist and album tags are correct, but there is a problem with the track tag. We will cover track tags shortly.

Scroll through the grid:

  • fix any uncorrected entries which are important to you
  • blank out any incorrect fuzzy logic assumptions (the top line of each the combo-box will be a blank line, so either select that, or backspace through the fuzzy logic selection using the keyboard)
  • and then press F3, or use the Navigate|Apply menu item.

Important: If you exit via any other means (ie. just close the window, or press F4) your actions, and all of the pre-selections will be ignored.

Provided that you exited via the Update button or F3 key, the following actions will be taken:

  • accepts any fuzzy logic pre-selections which you have not rejected (blanked out)
  • accepts any entries that you have made
  • the new rules are queued ready for the next Approve action; they have not yet been applied to the unmatched scrobbles

The Next button will call for the next grid of items requiring attention (ie. those albums which are also unmatched, but which had lessor plays than those on the grid which you have just handled).

Process all grids, or as many as you can be bothered with, and then close the dialog box which is offering you the grids. … nb: fuzzy logic pre-selections will not generated nor enacted unless you display their grid. So you should consider viewing all grids, even if you are down amongst the minor items which you don’t care too much about.

The “next” button becomes disabled when you have completed all grids. Press the Finished button.

Press the Run button again to re-run the “Approve” action. This will apply your new rule set against the unmatched scrobbles. The log will show the progress that you have made.

You should consider taking menu item Edit|ActionListAlbumBasedRules once more, to make a final review of any items still outstanding. Now that many issues have been fixed, and therefore removed from view, it will be easier to see any remaining issues. Also when you correct one half of a scrobble, it sometimes enables the fuzzy logic (or the combo-box) to you assist with any issues with the other half.

You can make further template changes, and then re-run the Approval action, as often as you like.

Unfinished business; also problems with tracks

This illustration shows that some plays, which we thought that we had fixed, are still unmatched. The example shows the “Booker T. & The MG’s” album. We now have the correct artist and album name, but template is still in our action list, so something is still wrong.

To this point we have been dealing with problems at the whole album level. We now need to address any individual track tag problems. From the main window, take the menu item Edit|ActionListTrackBasedRules. This takes us to a similar template editing facility, but in this case we can adjust artist name and track name for individual tracks, rather than the album and artist name tags for the whole album, which we have been working with so far.

The display shows any unmatched tracks, whose album has not been flagged as being streamed by the above process, and for which we do own an album matching the scrobbled album title.

Example of a template rule for a track

The illustration shows that the Booker T album had an additional problem to the artist name which we have already fixed. There is also a missing comma inside one of the track names. At this point, all the tracks plays, except this track, will be applied to our MediaMonkey database. We can also fix this track by accepting the fuzzy logic pre-selection, or by selecting the correct track name from the combo-box.

As before we must exit via the F3 key or the Update button.

When we have processed all grids we rerun the “Approve ” action.

The rule editing screens, at both the Album and Track levels, sort and filter problems to aid you during this task. As already described, they sort the incidents so that you are initially presented with those affecting the most scrobbles. They filter the incidents so only those still requiring action from yourself are displayed. See the description of the “display grid filters” in the next page, to see how to adjust these filtering options.

.. and when you feel that you have done enough

Once we have completed all our template adjustments we check the “ignore unmatched scrobbles” check-box, and re-run the Approve action one last time for the current batch. This will:

  • force close the editing cycle, and junk any fresh scrobbles which remain unmatched
  • import all of the matched scrobbles, and update MediaMonkey play count and date last played data
  • set the AlbumPlays UI ready for your next “Get” action
Increase the number of fresh scrobbles obtained from LFM

Once you are happy that the communications with Last.fm, and the application is updating your MediaMonkey play counts OK, you may increase the number of scrobbles that are downloaded from Last.fm with each “Get” action The Last.fm section of the FAQ explains how


The next section provides some tips describing how best to use these facilities, and also describes a few further features and tools within the UI.

Previous step: Seed your database – part 1 – getting historic scrobbles.

Next step: Seed your database – part 3 – tips and advice.