A new-user's experience - embedding album art

I'm a very recent new-user of Mp3Tag, and now that I've completed the task that caused me to find and download Mp3Tag, I decided that I should give some feedback.

First, just an overall comment: Mp3Tag seems to be an excellent piece of software, and certainly one of the very best in its class. (And, ditto for its community-forum! I'm a lover of the Stack Exchange family of forums...specifically StackOverflow.)

My feedback #1: The "can't see the forest for the trees" problem:
For context, here's the question that I asked at StackOverflow: How to add cover-art to mp3 file using Mp3tag program - Stack Overflow
As you can see, it wasn't at all obvious to me, that the 'secret' to understanding Mp3Tag's UI is to think: 'RIGHT-click'. So my thought (suggestion) would be to add a FAQ entry (and maybe a "getting started" example) on "Basic use of Mp3Tag", showing/describing how to embed an existing cover-art file into an existing MP3 music file.

[ A related programming suggestion: Each time one iterates thru adding a cover into an MP3 file, it brings up that dialog where one chooses among their existing covers, which one to embed.
It would be very helpful if that dialog REMEMBERED which cover was selected on the previous pass, and positioned the dialog THERE (instead of at the beginning of the list), on the assumption that the user has a short series of songs all from
a single album. That way, the user wouldn't have to scroll thru
a list of, say, 40 album covers, to re-find (scroll) to the same cover-file each time. ]

My feedback #2: Make mention in that FAQ/getting-started-example, about the existence of the "Album Art Downloader"
program, as the best approach to finding any album-art images
that the user doesn't already have! [ In my case, I already had covers that 'Windows Media Player' produced, back when I used its 'track-ripping' feature to acquire MP3's for my tracks-of-interest. But, for about 20% of MP3 file collection, I did not have album-art images, because they were not acquired via track-ripping. [ In my case, I struggled needlessly, google-searching for images of my missing album covers, and then re-sizing them to 200px by 200px, using the image-editor MSPaint. So, today, I plan to download and test-drive "Album Art Downloader", to retrieve the remainder of my missing album art! ]

Cheers...thanks for listening !

Did you know...
that there is an action to embed covers without the need to right-click for each individual cover?
The picture filename can be specified with tag variables, scripting functions, text constants and OS filename wildcards.
Such an action should help you to reduce the user input.

Did you know that there is an action in MP3tag that reduces the embedded pictures to user-definable dimensions? Like that it is not really necessary to

Did you know that there are web source scripts in MP3tag that try to find an album cover?
That is probably the reason why MP3tag users often don't see the necessity of a third party program for that purpose.

1 Like

Thanks for those explanations...no, I wasn't aware of those built-in features in Mp3Tag. (Again, trying to learn about and use those 'advanced features' seems a bit overwhelming, due to my "can't see the trees for the forest" impression of Mp3Tag, as a new-user. Concepts such as "...tag variables, scripting functions, text constants and OS filename wildcards..." are far beyond my present understanding". And, I'd think that most new-users to Mp3Tag, would feel the same way. And that, like me, they don't expect to use MP3Tag much beyond their first week or so, to carry out the basic task that they acquired Mp3Tag to solve.)

I usually find it a pity when new users make suggestions for features or functions that are already there.
E.g. a "getting started" section, called "First steps" can be found on the first page of the help.
Advice on how to

is the problem that you chose to be the first - and for the clarification of how to do things, there is a forum section "HowTo".

Then there is the search and "embed cover from file" would lead to a thread like

which offers some advice.
And if you haven't found what you are looking for then you can still start a new thread - which will probably lead to a quick response.
Uh, and on the topic of the folder where MP3tag looks for a cover ... set Tools>Options>Folders the folder for pictures to %_directory%\ and the search should start in folder of the select file (but there are users that have a "Download" folder where they save the results of their search - so remembering that folder would be more convenient for them. Workflows differ, MP3tag is adaptable).

2 Likes

First of all, thank you for pointing me to your 'first steps' document, because NOW it becomes clear to me that one can select more than just one single file to edit simultanously! (That will now allow me to choose multiple tracks from the same album, and then just point once to their common cover-image-file for that album! Excellent feature!)

As it turns out, I now recall that I DID find the 'first-steps' document, back after I downloaded, installed, and first tried using Mp3Tag. (As I recall, after seeing the vast array of buttons and menu drop-downs, I then clicked on "Help', and found that document.)

But here's where I got confused:
Step 2 of that document starts out by saying:
"Now select the file to edit by using the mouse or the keyboard."
To get across the idea that multiple files can be selected, the words "file" should all say "file(s)". (Also, it should say "and"
instead of "or", since selecting MULTIPLE files requires the use of both the mouse AND keyboard.) Also, in the next paragraph that begins: "If there are more file selected...", the word "file" should be "files".

Lastly, (and probably most importantly), Mp3Tag's non-standard use of a right-click instead of a left-click, to select a cover-image, should be mentioned, by adding a note at the bottom of step 3. Maybe something like:
" Note: To select a cover-image-file, you need to use a right-click, rather than a left-click."

[ I remember now that I was in complete 'mumble-mode', when I first tried to select a cover-image, but the usual 'left-click' did nothing at all! It never occurred to me to try doing a right-click. That confusion is what caused me to start this discussion-
thread. ]

Once again...thanks for listening.

I doubt that this is non-standard.
The left-click usually selects an object for further treatment.
The right-click then opens a context menu that (may) show(s) the allowed functions for the selected object. In this case, among others, there is the function to add a (further) cover.
Actually, you could drag&drop a picture from other applications, e.g. the web browser to that square in the tag panel to add a cover, provided, you save the change afterwards.

But this is not the quickest way if you already have a picture file in each folder for an album. Then it would be a time saver to
select all files of all albums in one go,
click on "Actions (quick)"
select the action type "Import cover from file"
enter as filename: *.jpg
click OK to execute the action.
As a result the first found picture from each folder will be embedded.

There are several key combinations that allow the use of the keyboard for almost all functions. Tab is used to move through the fields. Using Shift or Ctrl along with the arrow keys can help to select multiple tracks in the browser window. And of course the many Alt and Ctrl key combos are very helpful as shortcuts, you will quickly get used to these if you have a lot of files to manage.

I doubt that this is non-standard.

Yes, I suppose that one could debate the 'non-standard' question. Still, if Mp3Tag was my product, I'd do 2 things:

  1. Make the needed edits in steps 2 and 3 of 'First Steps'.
  2. Do a tweak to the coding, so that either a right-click or a left-click would activate the dialog.

That would be inconsistent with standard Windows behavior. Pop-up menus are virtually always activated via a right click. (as noted earlier by @ohrenkino)