I've been a longtime user of Mp3tag although first time posting on the forums. In the past, I mostly used it to tag MP3s although lately, I've been trying to get my CD collection into FLAC format. I'm using EAC to rip and encode. For any post-rip tagging, I've been using Mp3tag. Although everything looks good on Windows Media Player, I can't get album art added to FLAC files to display on my BMW iDrive system (2014 model). Most files I rip and tag using EAC will display album art properly in iDrive - a few covers didn't work but I suspect image issues there. But if I add any album art to FLAC files using Mp3tag, they don't display properly in the car.
Not sure if it's a bug in Mp3tag, EAC or iDrive. I did try to rule out an image problem though. I took an album art jpeg that worked properly in another FLAC file and inserted that image into a FLAC file using Mp3tag and the image didn't display properly in the car.
I'm going to run some more tests but I thought I should post this to see if anyone else has come across this and whether there's an easy workaround or fix.
Having album art display in your car when listening to your music collection is a pretty cool thing that I'm just getting used to, and want to figure out how to make mp3tag work with the BMW software.
Note that when I test with Windows Media Player, everything done with Mp3tag works perfectly, so it could very well be some problem with the BMW software. I haven't tested with other players yet. My next set of tests were going to be with the upstream flac utilities - I hope to have some time to do that this weekend.
Thanks so much. By the way, it's so awesome that mp3tag is still the best tagging software after all these years. It's been like 10 years since I first downloaded it! Kudos to you for keeping it going and doing such a great job.
not sure where you've uploaded the files — I can't access them. Can you try any file sharing service like Google Drive or Dropbox if you happen to have anything like that? You can also use https://www.file.io
Thanks a lot for the praise! Glad you like it Mp3tag
I had a look at the files and I think I can't be of much help here.
The files are not corrupted in any way (tested via flac.exe -wst) have correct metadata (tested via metaflac.exe --list) and the file which shouldn't display any cover art anymore really doesn't have cover art included (verified with a hex editor).
Okay, thanks for checking them out. Let me do some more testing on my end.
On the file without artwork, the BMW must be doing some sort of caching on the file. Come to think of it, all of my problems may be down to a bad caching function on the BMW as IIRC, the ones that don't work were previously loaded into the car with either non-existent images or broken ones.
So, I did a bunch more testing, including using metaflac to compare tags between working and non-working flac files. There were some case differences but changing those didn't really give any consistent behavior. My conclusion in all of this is that the BMW software doesn't actually support embedded flac artwork at all. I think it's just pulling the jpeg from the folder containing the flac files and displaying it as the cover art. I did verify that the BMW software will in fact use an available jpeg in the same folder as the flac files as long as its size is at or under around 250x250 - it doesn't have any special name requirements for that file.
The big problem comes in the fact that it seems to be caching some information and not refreshing it. For files that failed to display artwork, I have yet to figure out a way get artwork to display for those files even with a "better" jpeg sitting in the folder. It seems to remember that there's no artwork for that file. I could probably change the metadata and filename to trick the caching system but that seems like a bad workaround. If you remove the artwork, it won't matter because it will display what it has cached regardless. Once cached, it no longer needs any artwork at all in the folder containing the flac files.
Until BMW has better support for embedded artwork in flac files, I think it's best to not rely on that functionality and just use the jpeg in the same folder option to display cover art with your flac music. Just make sure the artwork meets the minimum requirements and is one you like since it may be difficult to change it later.
I've noticed that with lots of autos, including high-end, sophisticated automobiles, that the digital music capabilities are about 20 years behind the times. Very odd as it can't be that hard to take existing technology and incorporate it into the automobile system. But it's not just BMW. It seems to be almost every automobile system.
I'm not familiar with the BMW system but thought I'd mention for a couple other regular music players I've used where updated cover art hasn't refreshed properly that removing the albums from the device then letting the database re-sync before re-adding the album again caused them to update correctly.
The other thing I wondered, while just throwing around ideas, is whether Options>Tags>'Preserve file modification time when saving files' is checked in the Mp3Tag preferences and if this makes any difference to how it checks for updates to files (though not sure if the car's system can actually see such file information like timestamps).