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How to add high-res album cover art to your mp3 collection

I've posted a tutorial on how to find and add high-resolution album cover art to your MP3 collection and ensure that they show up in most hardware and software players.

How to add high-res album cover art to your mp3 collection

Reply #1
Very nice article. Learning something new everything, I hadn't heard about TagClinic. Nice that your are happy with MM3, because I wasn't.

From a personal blog of mine:

iTunes to MediaMonkey to iTunes

I gave MediaMonkey 3 a shot today, after a successful trial in VMware Workstation last night. The reason I tried MM3 was, it being the first media player I heard that can automatically rename files and move them immediately after renaming tags. This behavior is not enabled by default however. I added the my proper iTunes managed 19910 tracks to MM3 and noticed

  1. tracks getting moved. For example a song belonged to AC/DC artist folder moved into a AC-DC artist folder
  2. tracks getting renamed (variant 1). For example 1-03 Secrets.mp3 renamed to 03 Secrets.mp3. I realized MM3 did not by default use the DiscCount tag to rename files.
  3. tracks getting renamed (variant 2). For example "07 What is Love_.mp3" which has the Name tag as "What is Love?" renamed to just "07 What is Love.mp3". iTunes used underscore for illegal characters but MM3 just did not include them at all.

All this damage was done without me even enabling Automatically organize files. I understand this behavior (such as using underscore for illegal characters) can be customized using the MM3 ini file. However by default doing such damage is certainly undesired.

I noticed another disastrous thing happening. A bunch of files with the AlbumArtist\Album\Track structure were moved into the AlbumArtist folder "AC/DC". I am really not sure how this happened but it did. I immediately terminated the process, uninstalled the piece of crapshit.

Lesson learnt to have only one music manager.

I managed to get everything back to normal with the help of Synchroclean® using iTSfv.

I also notice you have mentioned iTSfv in your article. I am glad.

How to add high-res album cover art to your mp3 collection

Reply #2
Your blog entry was interesting nevertheless I would strongly disagree with one statement:

Quote
I read an article once where the writer compared keeping album art separate and external from the music files as analogous to keeping EXIF data separate from digital photos.


If you are used to some 500x500 one-image-per-album strategy this might be right. On the other hand if you use scaned art in higher resolution and multiple images per album you will artificially blow up the size of the tracks. E.g. having an 1 MB  file embedded on every track blows up your collection significantly. Not to mention that embedded album art is doubtful to be future proof.  I only used iTunes once, but if I remember correctly it is not capable out of the box to display album art that is just stored within the folder. As with many things Apple and MS adhere here to there own standards and it is more than doubtful that within 5 years time it will be still supported in the way it is now. Is it that hard in the year 2008 that a software recognizes that there is some image in a folder and simply to display/transfer that? Keeping everything separate is clearly the better choice on the long run.

Last but not least I would not recommend to remove ID3v1 tags as this is the oldest and most widely supported standard. Most software allows you to chose the tag by setting a priority. In this way you assure backwards compatibility on other/older hard/software.

How to add high-res album cover art to your mp3 collection

Reply #3
Id agree with Chris: that seems an odd statement to me, too.

It seems to me to be stretching the definition of metadata a bit -- which is what EXIF data is -- to count an image file as metadata.  I don't think a CD cover could really be said to be "data about" the CD in any significant sense, and it certainly doesn't describe the music, which is something heard. It also can change on reissue although the music hasn't changed, and on occasion can be released in a range of colours as a gimmick -- so which one would be the "metadata"?  I'd see it more as something ancillary to the music.  But maybe I'm mistaken and Comp. Sci. people would have some definition of metadata that does make it so.

I think it's kind-of nice to have if you like that sort of thing but also fairly irrelevant if you don't care -- or are blind, I suppose.

I never used to bother to use it, but I have for some while now.  I use iTunes primarily on the Mac and only imbed an image if the iTunes Store hasn't got an image to add to my iTunes database.  I occasionally listen on another machine under KDE in Amarok.  There again I don't imbed -- partly because I use Ogg Vorbis on that machine, that being, so to speak, the native format for Amarok and there's no standard for imbedding in Vorbis Comments, anyway, but also because it seems easy just to drop a single JPEG called cover.jpg into the relevant directory and let Amarok find it.

But I can understand that some people like to imbed everything for all the reasons you give.  You've got yourself well covered doing both plus:

Quote
“AlbumArtSmall.jpg” (because I’ve seen enough references to it so something must use it?)


I've never heard of that one.

Thanks for the link.  It's interesting to find out how other people like to manage their files.  Anyway, I hope you had fun writing that blog post and that you get plenty of enjoyment from your music collection.

How to add high-res album cover art to your mp3 collection

Reply #4
I beg to differ on the reluctance to embed artwork.

The ID3v2 specification supports Artwork and it is just not for one type but for wide range.

Code: [Select]
4.14.   Attached picture

  This frame contains a picture directly related to the audio file.
  Image format is the MIME type and subtype [MIME] for the image. In
  the event that the MIME media type name is omitted, "image/" will be
  implied. The "image/png" [PNG] or "image/jpeg" [JFIF] picture format
  should be used when interoperability is wanted. Description is a
  short description of the picture, represented as a terminated
  text string. There may be several pictures attached to one file, each
  in their individual "APIC" frame, but only one with the same content
  descriptor. There may only be one picture with the picture type
  declared as picture type $01 and $02 respectively. There is the
  possibility to put only a link to the image file by using the 'MIME
  type' "-->" and having a complete URL [URL] instead of picture data.
  The use of linked files should however be used sparingly since there
  is the risk of separation of files.

    <Header for 'Attached picture', ID: "APIC">
    Text encoding      $xx
    MIME type          <text string> $00
    Picture type      $xx
    Description        <text string according to encoding> $00 (00)
    Picture data      <binary data>

  Picture type:  $00  Other
                  $01  32x32 pixels 'file icon' (PNG only)
                  $02  Other file icon
                  $03  Cover (front)
                  $04  Cover (back)
                  $05  Leaflet page
                  $06  Media (e.g. label side of CD)
                  $07  Lead artist/lead performer/soloist
                  $08  Artist/performer
                  $09  Conductor
                  $0A  Band/Orchestra
                  $0B  Composer
                  $0C  Lyricist/text writer
                  $0D  Recording Location
                  $0E  During recording
                  $0F  During performance
                  $10  Movie/video screen capture
                  $11  A bright coloured fish
                  $12  Illustration
                  $13  Band/artist logotype
                  $14  Publisher/Studio logotype


In my opinion Artwork is here to stay.

 
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