Embedding Cover Art in Flacs --- Any Downsides?


I am considering embedding cover art into my flac files. There isn’t that much upside so I want to be sure there are no downsides. The upside is that it’s cleaner than having a bunch of identically named jpg files (folder.jpg) in the respective album directories. If somehow the directory structure was corrupted it would be a mess to get everything organized again. The only downsides I know of is the time to embed the art (trivial given that I can do that with an action on a large set of albums) and a very small 0.2 percent increase in disk space taken (My 600 CDs would require as much space as 601.2 CDs that have no cover art embedded).

My questions are these: Does modifying my files to include cover art pose any more risk of corrupting my files than would modifying a standard tag, such as “album”? What if inserting art required rewriting the file to make room, and modifying the album tag would not? Is the risk of corrupting my files large enough to worry about? Should I limit the size of batch runs to insert cover art?

Thanks in advance for indulging my overly cautious nature.



You could create a .st5 checksum file for every .flac folder and after you've added the cover pic use the .st5 to verify that the audio information is still 100% ok. 'Trader's Little Helper' is the name of a software capable of doing that. Might be useful if you want to edit your tags and to know that the audio is still valid.
On the other hand I don't see special risk in your intended action.


Thanks very much for the suggestion. Trader's Little Helper is a nice program. It's probably overkill but it gives me peace of mind. My first batch for cover art import was 50 albums, and there were no errors.

It would be nice if the program allowed one to create st5 files for every subfolder of a chosen folder and verification on every st5 file in a chosen folder and its subfolders. As it stands, I create one very large st5 file for all flac files in the folder and its subfolders. That facilitates future verifications only if the directory structure remains unchanged.

I became concerned about the possibility of files becoming corrupted only recently after reading a thread at the slimserver forum. Prior to that I had never considered the possibility that a file would become corrupted. I personally have never lost work that way. But then I checked around and became aware that IT professionals do worry about such things and that good backup and mirroring software does allow for checksum data verification. But I have no idea how high the probability is of a file becoming corrupted due to random events (i.e., not because of a bad program). Does anyone know about how large that risk is?