Searching and Filtering in Decibel


Search results in Decibel are track-based, meaning that searching operates on tracks, and the albums and artists shown in the search results are generated from tracks matching the search criteria.

After performing a search, pressing return from the search box applies a filter to the library and displays only the matching tracks.

Metadata Indexed for Searching

The following metadata fields for each track, separated into words, are indexed for searching:

Name Description
title The track’s title
artist The track’s artist
album The track’s album title
album_artist The track’s album artist
composer The track’s composer
genre The track’s genre

Search Syntax

A search covers each word in all of the metadata fields listed above.

The text entered into the search box is interpreted as a word prefix, meaning that a search for flow will return flower but not wallflower.

Advanced Search Mode

Advanced search mode allows finer-grained searches of the library. For example, it is possible to search for tracks with titles containing a specific word that were performed by a specific artist.

Advanced search mode is enabled in the Advanced pane in the Preferences window.

Note: When advanced search mode is enabled the meaning of text entered into the search box changes.

Advanced Search Syntax

Unlike basic searches, advanced searches do not find partial matches automatically.

The equivalent to a basic search for overture is overture*. The asterisk indicates that the token overture should be treated as a prefix.

Searches for specific columns use the format column:value, where column is one of the metadata fields listed above.


  1. To search for tracks by Pink Floyd:

artist:"Pink Floyd"

The quotation marks are needed since the query contains multiple words.

  1. To search for tracks by Pink Floyd on their album The Wall:

artist:"Pink Floyd" AND album:"The Wall"

  1. To search for all versions of Pink Floyd’s Another Brick In The Wall:

artist:"Pink Floyd" AND title:"Another Brick In The Wall"

  1. To search for tracks by Pink Floyd and covers of Wish You Were Here:

artist:"Pink Floyd" OR title:"Wish You Were Here"

Further Reading

Advanced search mode uses the FTS5 syntax which is too broad to cover fully here.