Fix missing album art - the easy way

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Impala
Posts: 2077
Joined: Sat May 12, 2018 3:03 pm

Fix missing album art - the easy way

Post by Impala » Thu Feb 11, 2021 3:52 pm

Several discussions in different areas of the forum have mentioned a problem with album cover art not displaying on the (Mib3) Infotainment system. Often, this has been raised in topics which were opened to discuss other issues, so rather than go round finding and updating each of these different discussions, I thought it best to start a new topic specifically to present the findings of an extensive investigation carried out by Buddy1 and myself (Impala) over the past few weeks.

First, our conclusions;

1. This issue is not new or confined to VW cars.
2. The issue affects the latest VW Mib3 media players and has been reproduced on my 2019 R-Line (Mib2).
3. The issue can arise for a variety of reasons, which are now better understood and listed below.
4. Although the root cause(s) cannot be remedied, the effects can be mitigated or corrected by owners using a variety of methods and tools.


The main reasons for non-display of cover art which we identified are;

• Physically missing artwork images - affects any media player
• Artwork image dimensions too large for the VW media players - affects Mib2 and Mib3
• Artwork image files hidden by MS Windows don't display - affects Mib3

Much of this depends on the software used for ripping CDs, and MS Windows Media Player which is one of the most widely used media management tools, is one of the main sources for the above issues.

Physically missing art, often caused by a CD not being recognised during ripping or 'lost' when moving music between devices, can only be resolved by downloading images from Internet repositories (or finding the 'lost' art files). Details of how to do this, and sources or artwork, can be found in the web pages listed at the end of this post.

It is possible to fix the other issues manually using a mixture of software tools and MS Windows commands, such as the 'attrib' command referred to in another topic.

However, this can all be laborious and time consuming, so I have written a PoweShell script (RecoverArt) to bring it all together in one place. This is entirely self contained and does not require installation but unfortunately it is only for those with a Windows computer.

The script will search an entire music collection on local storage or removable media (SD card or USB stick), identify all albums without a cover art image file, extract images embedded in mp3/wma music tracks to Jpeg files, resize images to any specified dimension, and remove MS Windows hidden file attributes.

The script and instructions are in the attached RecoverArt.zip file. If anyone has any problems, or wants to provide feedback or suggestions, please feel free to do so. General points can be done via replies to this topic, but anyone with more specific issues can contact me by PM and we can arrange email follow up if required.

RecoverArt.zip


Additional Resources

There is a vast amount of information on the internet about how to locate missing album art and various tools which can be used for embedding images into mp3 files. The following links give a good overview;

https://millennialdiyer.com/articles/mu ... c-library/

https://millennialdiyer.com/diys/music/ ... diamonkey/

https://captainrookie.com/how-to-embed- ... dio-files/

https://lifehacker.com/find-and-embed-a ... ion-397258

https://lifehacker.com/alpha-geek-whip- ... -ii-231476


Sources of Cover Art:

https://musicbrainz.org/search - Good quality images with several versions and in a few alternative dimensions

https://www.amazon.co.uk/b?node=77197031 - Good quality images, fewer versions

https://www.google.com/advanced_image_search - Very variable quality, some obviously just scanned and misaligned


Library Management and MP3 Tag Editors:

https://www.mediamonkey.com/ - Comprehensive library management but layout and complexity may not appeal to all

https://www.mp3tag.de/en/ - An easy to use mp3 tag editor with a clean layout
1.5 TSI DSG R-Line MY19 Indium Grey, rear view camera, park assist.
Ordered 22/06/18
Built w/c 25/03/19 :(
With dealer 13/05/19 :P
Collected 20/05/19 :D

Impala
Posts: 2077
Joined: Sat May 12, 2018 3:03 pm

Re: Fix missing album art - the easy way

Post by Impala » Fri Feb 12, 2021 3:27 pm

I have made a minor change to reduce the length of script output during image resizing when there are lots of albums/images which don't require resizing and only a few which do.

I don't think people would want a long list of albums which weren't changed, so the process now only lists the albums with images which have been resized.

New zip file attached.

RecoverArt v1.0.1.zip
1.5 TSI DSG R-Line MY19 Indium Grey, rear view camera, park assist.
Ordered 22/06/18
Built w/c 25/03/19 :(
With dealer 13/05/19 :P
Collected 20/05/19 :D

Ray Cathode
Posts: 56
Joined: Sun May 24, 2020 12:28 pm

Re: Fix missing album art - the easy way

Post by Ray Cathode » Sun Feb 14, 2021 12:45 pm

Thanks for this - will be very useful. However, missing album art is something I have been lucky enough to avoid so far. I use dbpoweramp for copying in flac and it's not really possible to copy a cd without album art because a little window will popup at the bottom of the screen showing you the album art it has pulled from the web. If you don't like it you have the option of changing it before ripping. Also, If the art you wish to change it to is too big a file it will automatically resize it to something more appropriate.

I used to use sd cards in the car but now have usb drives instead and I have noticed that these do not play tracks in the same way as the sd drives. For example; say I want to make up a "best of" of my albums. So, I copy them to the usb stick, no particular order, and I copy loads of artists from A to Z. When I play them in the car it will play the two AC/DC I copied first, then two Beatles tracks and then Carrie Underwood and so on. It plays them in alphabetical order, which seems logical/reasonable enough but that's not how I want to listen to them.

The sd cards would play them in numerical order which is far better because, although it is still possible, the chances of the two songs from the same artist playing in succession can only happen if you have copied the same track number from different albums. Even then there's a workaround as you have the option of changing the track number.

I have not really had time to have an in-depth look at this because my car is in a garage about twenty minutes from my house - not as if I can just pop outside and try things out.

EDIT: Forgot to mention there is a "Favourites" I think you can select with each usb stick which will play the tracks in the order you choose. That's a bit of a faff but possibly a solution.
Passat Estate SE NAV 7 speed DSG
Mar 2020
Area View Camera
Discover Navigation
Park Assist
Proper spare wheel

Impala
Posts: 2077
Joined: Sat May 12, 2018 3:03 pm

Re: Fix missing album art - the easy way

Post by Impala » Sun Feb 14, 2021 5:31 pm

Hi 'Ray', you are absolutely right and there are lots of music collection management programs out there which are far better then Windows Media Player or, dare I say it, ITunes. Of course many just opt for the easy route of using what comes standard with a PC or iMac, while others may not want to fork out extra cash or try lots of dubious freeware that may leave all sorts of garbage on their systems. Personally I've only tried a couple but I wasn't greatly impressed byt the 'skins'.

As for your track selection/playback annoyance, I suspect this is more to do with the media player (ie Mib2 vs Mib3) rather than SD vs USB. Are all these tracks in one folder, or do you retain Artist and Album folders and then want to play entire albums in a particular order ? Have you tried creating your own playlist(s) and then copy the playlist files to the SD/USB ?

I think the Mib2 recognises playlists but I'd need to check again to see if it actually plays them !
1.5 TSI DSG R-Line MY19 Indium Grey, rear view camera, park assist.
Ordered 22/06/18
Built w/c 25/03/19 :(
With dealer 13/05/19 :P
Collected 20/05/19 :D

Ray Cathode
Posts: 56
Joined: Sun May 24, 2020 12:28 pm

Re: Fix missing album art - the easy way

Post by Ray Cathode » Sun Feb 14, 2021 8:31 pm

The dbpoweramp is not free so I guess you pay for ongoing support and no rubbish is loaded on your pc when you install. I bought it quite a few years back as I wanted to rip all my cd's to a NAS and then stream them around the house using Sonos. Sonos Port now connected to NAS and hi-fi amp and additional Sonos speaker in kitchen. No more cd playing. Windows Media Player wasn't really an option as my pc hard drive is limited, WMA files are huge, and to stream using WMP/Sonos you had to leave your pc on. If it went to sleep then the music stopped.

That's why I chose the NAS. Ripping all my cd's was a chore but all done now plus I have them all backed up if the NAS dies - don't want to go through that again. It was then a simple matter of dragging either whole albums or tracks from albums to a card/usb. You could have your whole cd collection available to play in the car or (perish the thought) on your phone.

The file structure is Artist, Album and tracks. When I copy a track from an album it automatically copies the album art too, which is useful when compiling playlists.

https://www.dbpoweramp.com/
Passat Estate SE NAV 7 speed DSG
Mar 2020
Area View Camera
Discover Navigation
Park Assist
Proper spare wheel

Impala
Posts: 2077
Joined: Sat May 12, 2018 3:03 pm

Re: Fix missing album art - the easy way

Post by Impala » Tue Mar 09, 2021 7:18 pm

I have updated the RecoverArt script to v1.0.2 to fix a couple of minor issues and improve usability in some areas.

The main functional change is to check mp3/wma files for embedded cover art and determine image dimensions without extracting the images. This is done during the initial survey phase and details are added to the search summary to allow users to review image dimensions before deciding whether or not to extract the images to Jpeg files.

It should be noted that this is only done for albums which do not already have a cover art Jpeg file.

Full details can be found in the Change History within the script or the ReadMe file.


RecoverArt v1.0.2 -

RecoverArt v1.0.2.zip
(6.84 MiB) Downloaded 48 times
1.5 TSI DSG R-Line MY19 Indium Grey, rear view camera, park assist.
Ordered 22/06/18
Built w/c 25/03/19 :(
With dealer 13/05/19 :P
Collected 20/05/19 :D

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