"Artist" cover art is useless?

Hi there,
I discovered lately that we could add a picture of the artist/band as a cover art into the the music files, so I took the time to do it on my last albums tags.

But then, either on my smartphone, my car's headunit, or my cowon, the artist category still apears coverless. My headunit and smartphone give me the possibility to download automatically (ugly) pictures of the artists, but it seems that the time I took to add proper images into the music files that mp3 tag recognizes was kida useless.

Have I done anything wrong or any of you have the same issues?!

PS : nothing changes either I tag the image as "artist" or "lead artist"

So it is down to the functions of your player.
Perhaps it wants to see a picture per folder with a special name to show the artist.
Or it has not been implemented at all to show more than just the cover as data from the tags and the rest then has to be retrieved from somewhere else, as you describe.
I would ask the suppliers of the player why they don't comply with the ID3 standard.

I depends on tag format as well, some expect id3v2.3, some expect id3v2.4.
Also character encoding matters, I've seen reeal obscure headunits which need "non standard" tag format, to display cover art or id3 tag data. For example id3v2.4 but with UTF-16 encoding.

In short I would recommend, experimenting a bit with different tag standards and encodings.

You cannot set UTF-16 for V2.4 with MP3tag.
I wonder what the character encoding has to do with the display of several embedded pictures.

Not sure either, there should not be any, but this is how Headunit behaves on my brothers Ford Mondeo.

Wan't cover art, id3v2.4 with UTF-16 is the way to go.
Otherwise you get only text tag and generic, built in cover image.

And yes, mp3tag does not allow you to do that as it violates the standard.

On my old car, Skoda Octavia it only worked with Id3v2.3 with UTF-16, anything else and only text is displayed without art.
On my current Seat Cupra, it supports id3v2.4 UTF-16, id3v2.4 UTF-8 and APEv2, everything works.

As you see, there is no "standard" everybody implements it as they see fit, even when headunit manufatcurer is the same (usually it is not car manufacturer, who builds them), different models behave completeley different.

Yes there ist. It's the standard laid down in the ID3 specification.
As soon as a player claims to be compatible with that standard, the player has to comply with the rules. Otherwise it is a serious design flaw and product defect which should entitle you for a refund or replacement.

Well, you probably still understood, what I tried to say with that and why I put it into quotation marks.
There is id3 standard, but it has been always up to manufacturers to follow it and so far it is mostly a mess. (Pretty much same situation as with HDMI ARC and CEC)

Believe me, I have owned lot's of different equipment, including cars and I could write a book about this.

For problems with a Ford, see


I still think that our discussion is a detour from the original topic whether it is worthwhile to embed an artist image.

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Hi, thanks all of you for your answers :blush:
So I guess I'm just gonna live it up for the moment, as there's no real standard about this and what could work with a device won't on another. It's a pity, cause every other tags (lyrics, informations, front cover,...) worked well so far on every device, but the artist image...
It's just a detail I'll deal with.
Thanks again for your time, everyone :wink:

Far from it.
Even the fairly widely spread players like iTunes and Windows Media Player do not show the same data:
WMP shows LANGUAGE but not BPM and iTunes vice versa.
WMP looks at the rating, iTunes doesn't.
WMP never shows more than the first embbeded picture, iTunes allow you to scroll through.
And to put it right: there is a standard in how to tag the files so that it can be recognized by other programs that follow that standard.
But there is no standard which features have to be implemented.

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