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MP3 album art question


  1. Doit2it

    Doit2it Well-Known Member Contributor

    I spend countless hours with the program MP3Tag adding album art and correcting tags on my collection of MP3s. All MP3s play fine on my computer and on my 2 MP3 players and 2 Android smartphones.

    I have a Pioneer DEH P6000UB that can play MP3s off a jump drive. Now some, but not all of the MP3s I added album art to will not play on my car stereo. If I go back in and remove the album art, the file will play fine. I have tried a couple of other MP3 tag programs to add album art and get the same result.

    What is happening and how do I fix the album art so I can keep it, and it will play? Why does it only affect some and not all MP3 files?

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  2. mikedt

    mikedt 你好 Guide

    More than likely the some of the album art images are too big. There are a few players that can't handle embedded MP3 album artwork that are too large. Car players can often be challenged by things like this. Suggest you try no bigger than 150x150 pixels and no larger than 30k-40k per image. Also the images must be JPG, not PNG, GIF or BMP.
    Doit2it likes this.
  3. Doit2it

    Doit2it Well-Known Member Contributor

    I'll give that a shot. It's strange that I have many files that have 500x500 album art, and some work, some don't. The car stereo doesn't even show album art, but that's what is mucking up my MP3s.
  4. Speed Daemon

    Speed Daemon Disabled

    I wouldn't embed album covers in the MP3 files themselves. Not all software supports the very latest ID3 tags, and will choke on stuff like that. I stick with music management software on my computer that use their own databases to store extra metadata and BLOBs. That way I know that my music files aren't going to suffer from bloat, and will play on anything when I go mobile.
  5. Davdi

    Davdi Well-Known Member Contributor

    I add the album art as a separate .jpg in the album's folder, that way the images are just ignored by the car player but picked up by phone/tabelet/computer/MP3 Player. My car player won't show album art either.
  6. alostpacket

    alostpacket Over Macho Grande? VIP Member

    As someone who writes music software, I say put 'em in the id3 tags! 500x500 is usually a good size.










    *grumbles about supporting iTunes nonsense dbs*......
  7. alostpacket

    alostpacket Over Macho Grande? VIP Member

    Also btw, there is no music software ever invented that correctly handles all Album Art.

    Sadbanana.
  8. Doit2it

    Doit2it Well-Known Member Contributor

    So what happens when album art 'corrupts' a MP3 file? Is it the size (Kbs) of the image overlaps the space in the meta data area saved for art, or is it something else?
  9. Speed Daemon

    Speed Daemon Disabled

    With all due respect to the developer in the room, you are entitled to have your MP3 files uncorrupted. The fact of the matter is that the MPEG-1 standard makes no provisions for embedded metadata in MP3 files. ID3V1 is usually a safe addition, but later ID3 versions are notorious for causing problems.

    MP3 files are very long in the tooth, and in a perfect world they would have been retired by all vendors. I use the FLAC file format wherever I have the disk space and CPU power to do so. My PMP chokes on some FLAC files, so I use Vorbis lossy compression (with the Ogg container, called "Ogg/Vorbis") when I can't use FLAC. Sadly, the major online music management websites have refused to support anything but MP3. Because of this I also rip MP3 copies of every music file (for a total of 3) with every music CD I get.

    I can tolerate hand-editing the metadata once, but like to keep my music files read-only so that metadata that I don't want or need stays off of my music. After all it's my music! Don't let someone else's software be the boss of your music. :)
    alostpacket likes this.
  10. mikedt

    mikedt 你好 Guide

    Is there a formal written spec for embedded MP3 album art? Has to be a >= than a certain version of ID3 tags?

    I've found some players(usually car head units) can't deal with embedded album art file sizes larger than a certain size, and this is players that do not show album art. I came across this with some podcasts that have a largish embedded JPG image in them.
  11. Speed Daemon

    Speed Daemon Disabled

    No, there is no formal spec.

    There is an id3.org website with lots of documentation, but it's not endorsed by any of the MP3 spec owners.

    Maybe I did a poor job of explaining it, but no ID3 tag is certified to work with MP3 files. The MPEG standard that defines MP3 is a closed and proprietary one that people are not welcome to come in and alter, as is the case with FOSS. Because of that, any ID3 tag can bork a perfectly fine MP3 player. Yes, most will accept basic ID3v1 tags, but beyond that it's playing with fire. With ID3v2 and beyond, there are major issues with all of the mainstream players.
    Doit2it, mikedt and alostpacket like this.
  12. Petrah

    Petrah Psychotic Female Guide

    Agreed, and ditto!
    Speed Daemon likes this.
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