How to Embed Album Art In MP3 Files
By on August 21st, 2009

Album Art If you are an audiophile and anything like me, you probably have got loads of music stacked up inside folders and folders. Managing a large collection of music can be a bit of a task sometimes, but with the help of some useful tools it can be made much easier.

Album Art is one thing that makes browsing your music library a lot more easier and fun. The graphic draws your attention towards the band or artist and forms a virtual connection that links your music taste with it. However, it’s not necessary that all your music would have embedded album art information. Probably, some of your music came from CDs, some from friends, a fraction from online stores and maybe, a larger fraction from, well, The Pirate Bay for instance.

Difference between external and embedded album art:

Album Art can either be external or embedded into the file, in the ID3v2 Tags. The ID3v2 tagging standard allows any kind of image to be embedded into the audio file. JPEG or PNG files can be embedded, but JPEG has been the norm. The difference between embedded information and external information is as simple as it sounds. When you embed something (an image file in this case) into the audio file, the size of the audio file increases relatively. Although external information does not increase the size of the file, the major drawback that it creates is unportability of the information. If one media player recognizes external Album Art, your media centre might not recognize. Plus, external files also increase clutter.

How to Embed Album Art into MP3 Files?

What we’ll need:

  1. Mp3tag Mp3tag is an advanced ID3 tag editor that also lets you edit embeddable information, like Album Art.
  2. The Album Art graphic file: You’ll of course need the graphic file that you wish to embed as album art. The recommended dimensions are 200×200 or 300×300. You can try searching for Album art on Google Image Search or Wikipedia. You can also you use a software like Album Art Downloader that will fetch you the Album Art for the specified Album from various sources like Last.fm, Amazon, various online music databases etc.

Here we go:

1. Open Mp3Tag, go to File > Change Directory (Ctrl+D). Select the directory of your Album or where your music files are located. Similarly, you can drag-n-drop the files you wish to edit and embed Album Art.

2. Select all the files with the mouse pointer or press CTRL+A. Right click on the selected files and chose Extended Tags.

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3. A dialog box will open that lists all the extended tags of the files selected. On the right, you’ll see a box where you can select the Album Artwork. Click the Add Cover Button on the right (which has a star on it), browse and select the image file you’ve downloaded and chosen to embed as artwork and click open. Then click Ok.

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4. Voila! Your selected music has been updated with the Album Art of your choice.

Mp3Tag is quite a powerful tagging software. You can use it to edit other meta information in your music collection and wash out the mistakes in the tags. incidentally, you can also extract artwork from mp3 files, by clicking on the save’ button.

Well, I think that solves it. Have an organized and lively experience with your music! :)

Image courtesy: tupton

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Author: Keshav Khera
Keshav Khera is a young freelance writer from India. Alongside writing for the web, he also attends school and tries not to bunk classes. He keeps interest in music, table tennis, reading and of course, twitter (@keshav)

Keshav Khera has written and can be contacted at keshav@techie-buzz.com.

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