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In this guide we will explain the basic steps to begin working with Lidarr. This guide assumes that you have already installed the application. Installation instructions can be found here. We will focus on the minimum setup/options to get a working configuration. There are additional setup and considerations if any of the following situations apply:
If any of the above situations apply please refer to the Quick Start - Advanced section.
This guide is broken into sections. It is recommended to read the whole guide to have a complete understanding but you can jump to specific sections for immediate concerns. Use the outline to the left to quickly jump.
To properly use Lidarr the underlying concepts must be understood. At a high level it follows the principles of the other Arr applications. Lidarr acts as a music library management system, data aggregator and automation platform for finding and downloading media.
From there the deviation is pretty substantial. Music library management is a very complicated process as there are many competing variables that impede the process. Unlike Movie or TV Show management there are not a consistent set of standards for music tagging, naming or storage. This has been further complicated by the changing methods of music distribution from physical media to electronic. Finally the opinions on how to handle this management are wide and varied.
Lidarr utilizes information from data aggregation services to properly tag and manage the music library. This third party data represents media in defined categories and types.
If the data does not exist in the 3rd party services it can NOT be managed by Lidarr.
Details are below to participate and contribute.
The main service utilized is MusicBrainz. This is free service that is community driven and ultimately exists and survives on your contributions and participation. Release creation and contribution is beyond the scope of this guide. Instructions can be found here: How To Contribute
Ultimately the data is defined by the 3rd party data standards. If the standards do not align with your use case - Lidarr may not be the proper solution. Other applications for the management of your media may include:
These implementations may be used in tandem with Lidarr but this is beyond the scope of this guide.
Lidarr has selected the
Release standard of music media management. This means that for the system to work properly all media being processed by the system will need to be a
Examples of Releases:
Every item to be managed must have a correlating
Release in the 3rd party data service.
Releasesmust exist in the 3rd party services to be managed in Lidarr.
Artists are exactly what are to be expected the
Release Artist. Unfortunately artist naming, styling, changes over time, user preferences and other reasons have convoluted what constitutes this
Examples of correct and incorrect "Artists":
This list could go on and on. Once again all
Releases are correlated with a
Artist. You must find (steps later in this guide) and use the proper
Artist to download a
Release Artistsmust exist in the 3rd party services to be managed in Lidarr.
After installation and starting Lidarr, you access by opening a browser and go to
There are two options shown on the startup screen but we will not be utilizing those initially.
We will be using the default configuration of settings to configure Lidarr. This will utilize the existing Profiles, Quality, Tags, etc.
For a more detailed breakdown of all the settings, check Lidarr > Settings
First we’re going to take a look at the
Media Management where we will set the
Root Folder. This will be the location that the media files will be stored in.
Media Management on the left menu.
Add (+) of the
You'll be presented with the following window:
Friendly Nameof the storage location.
Pathto the data storage location. The system/user must have the proper permissions to this storage path. This folder cannot be your download location!
Leave the other options at their defaults.
If utilizing a
Root Folderwith existing files. Review the Quick Start - Advanced section for considerations.
Download Foldercannot be the same location!
Profile settings will stay at their default values.
Quality settings will stay at their default values.
This section sets the indexer/trackers that you’ll be using to find downloadable media files.
Add (+) of
Indexers. You’ll be presented with a new window with many different options. Lidarr considers both Usenet Indexers and Torrent Trackers as
Add at least one
Indexer in order for Lidarr to properly find available files.
Understanding the configuration/concepts behind
Indexers are beyond the scope of this guide. The internet holds a wealth of information on the subject.
Downloading and importing is where most people experience issues. From a high level perspective, the software needs to be able to communicate with your download client and have access to the files it downloads. There is a large variety of supported download clients and an even bigger variety of setups. This means that while there are some common setups there isn’t one right setup and everyone’s setup can be a little different. But there are many wrong setups.
If following this guide and your
Root Folder did not have any media files you will need to add an
This will link to the search screen to find an artist. Search and select the
Artist you want to add. This will bring up the "Add new Artist" window.
We will utilize the default selections. Which should include:
This will kick off the
Artist metadata download. This will take some time depending on the amount of data to gather. Remember this information comes 3rd party sources and is only as complete as what the community has contributed.
Click the newly added
Artist. (Bob Dylan in this example)
Metadata Profileis in use the only
Releasesshown will be of the type
Don't like the metadata downloaded? - Contribute to make it better!
Finally time to download/import your first
Release that you are looking to add to your library. Select the Manual Search (human) icon next to the release.
This will bring up the
Release selection window. This windows will display the results of the
Indexer query or simply put the search results of available downloads.
Quality Profileallows any file type. The default
Release Profileallows all downloads. For a detailed breakdown of these advanced settings, check Lidarr > Settings
Review the download window for the various provided information:
When you have reviewed select the download icon (number 4) to download the available
If configured properly the download will be sent to your
The download will be added to the
Queue and will go through the various states of your type of
Finally the download will be imported to your
Root Folder. If everything is successful it should appear as below.
You can find your downloaded files in your
Root Folder and are able to consume utlizing your media player of choice.
This advanced section is intended for setups that may have special considerations. Review if any apply to your configuration and potentially save some headache.
The following sections will assist with common pitfalls and problems.
As stated ealier in the Concept section. Lidarr should not be used if your intended use does not match Lidarr's management system of
Releases. Lidarr will NOT work with the following use cases:
Low to no curation of loose files will not work with Lidarr. Best to not attempt utilizing these files with Lidarr.
Speciality libraries create unique issues for any management system. These situations may work with Lidarr but it may require extensive work on your part, pretty much foregoing the automations built in. For example:
Releasesmetadata will likely not exist or be incorrect.
Releases. 3rd party data services will return no metadata. They will not be automated and Lidarr will not be able to apply management.
Releasesin the Electronic genre. This is in relation to libraries of mixes, beats, samples etc. (Beatport). 3rd party data sources do not recognize these as
Releases. They will not be automated and Lidarr will not be able to apply management.
Automated Import is a scheduled process and cannot be stopped once started
Do NOT add a
Root Folderwith existing files until you have reviewed this section in full
Lidarr utilizes an automated system of adding
Release Artists and
Releases located in your
If Lidarr's use case matches and you do not have unique or speciality libraries. You can proceed with importing your existing library.
It is imperative that your existing library files are structured and follow Lidarrs management system of
Releases. This means the following will not work:
For the automated process to work your files must be prepped to make sure this flows efficiently or works at all.
It is recommended to follow the standard folder structure:
\Root Folder\Release Artist\Release\XX - Track
This when combined with proper tags will allow for almost 95% or greater recognition by media players.
Tagging can be a complicated procedure. The amount of files and how they are currently tagged will determine the amount of effort required.
The recommended methods for tagging your files include:
Use of these applications is beyond the scope of this guide but it is preferable to associate MusicBrainz Release ID's as part of the tagging process.
Most tagging software is capable of Folder Structure & Renaming while properly tagging files.
Once files are properly tagged and named the following items should be verified to ensure that the process will complete successfully:
ReleaseDisc/Track Limits - Releases that have substantial amounts of tracks or discs should be removed from the import process. They can be manually imported utilizing the built in procedures. There is no exact limit but to be safe releases larger then 25 discs or 250 tracks should be removed.
Release Artistwith many
Releases- Lidarrs automated process compares releases to your files. Though not likely to fail, having these files go through the automated procedure will result in a substantial increase in import time. There are singular artists with 1000's of releases.
Releases. This is highly variable based on your storage, internet speed and system performance.
Releases) for the