Homemade Album Artwork

I have several "albums" for which I have created my own cover art. These cover art files reside on my hard drive as .jpg files. These files don't seem to convert to tags like regular cover art downloaded from the internet. Is there something I have to do to to get everything in sync? Thanks for your help.

You have said, that your image files reside as "*.jpg" files on your hard disk.
Does that mean for sure, that these files are internally of imagetype JPEG?
Where on the hard disk does such a jpg file reside?
In the same folder as the related media file?
Please explain in detail the technical specifications for a "regular cover art downloaded from the internet".

There is no problem to store a bunch of files at once into a mp3 file like the following list ...

Filename Filesize Width Height Test.cover.front.01.jpg 286 1 1 Test.cover.front.02.jpg 314 2 2 Test.cover.front.03.jpg 348 4 3 Test.cover.front.04.jpg 397 9 7 Test.cover.front.05.jpg 605 19 14 Test.cover.front.06.jpg 1.301 38 27 Test.cover.front.07.jpg 3.263 76 54 Test.cover.front.08.jpg 9.422 152 109 Test.cover.front.09.jpg 29.510 304 218 Test.cover.front.10.jpg 100.484 609 435 Test.cover.front.11.jpg 370.070 1218 870 Test.cover.front.12.jpg 2.574.354 2437 1740 Test.cover.front.13.jpg 3.826.721 4874 3480 Test.cover.front.14.jpg 9.582.136 9748 6960 Test.cover.front.15.jpg 24.480.518 19496 13920

For the last one biggest file there is a problem in Mp3tag to display the Width and Height dimensions and the image preview.

Is it possible for you to check your image file ...

... with the tool "identify.exe" from the Imagemagick suite ...
Example (in a commandline window enter the command "identify" with parameters) ...

identify Test.cover.front.15.jpg Test.cover.front.15.jpg JPEG 19496x13920 19496x13920+0+0 8-bit sRGB 24.48MB 0.000u 0:00.000

... with the tool "exiftool.exe" from Phil Harvey ...
Example (in Explorer drag and drop the testfile onto the filename "exiftool(-k -a -u -g1 -j).exe") ...

[{ "SourceFile": "T:/TEST/Test.cover.front.15.jpg", "ExifTool": {
<!--coloro:#000000--><span style="color:#000000"><!--/coloro-->"ExifToolVersion": 8.95<!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc-->
}, "System": {
<!--coloro:#000000--><span style="color:#000000"><!--/coloro-->"FileName": "Test.cover.front.15.jpg"<!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc--><!--coloro:#000000--><span style="color:#000000"><!--/coloro-->,<!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc-->
<!--coloro:#000000--><span style="color:#000000"><!--/coloro-->"Directory": "T:/TEST"<!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc--><!--coloro:#000000--><span style="color:#000000"><!--/coloro-->,<!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc-->
<!--coloro:#000000--><span style="color:#000000"><!--/coloro-->"FileSize": "23 MB"<!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc--><!--coloro:#000000--><span style="color:#000000"><!--/coloro-->,<!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc-->
<!--coloro:#000000--><span style="color:#000000"><!--/coloro-->"FileModifyDate": "2013:02:11 16:09:28+01:00"<!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc--><!--coloro:#000000--><span style="color:#000000"><!--/coloro-->,<!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc-->
<!--coloro:#000000--><span style="color:#000000"><!--/coloro-->"FilePermissions": "rw-rw-rw-"<!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc-->
}, "File": {
<!--coloro:#000000--><span style="color:#000000"><!--/coloro-->"FileType": "JPEG"<!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc--><!--coloro:#000000--><span style="color:#000000"><!--/coloro-->,<!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc-->
<!--coloro:#000000--><span style="color:#000000"><!--/coloro-->"MIMEType": "image/jpeg"<!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc--><!--coloro:#000000--><span style="color:#000000"><!--/coloro-->,<!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc-->
<!--coloro:#000000--><span style="color:#000000"><!--/coloro-->"ImageWidth": 19496<!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc--><!--coloro:#000000--><span style="color:#000000"><!--/coloro-->,<!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc-->
<!--coloro:#000000--><span style="color:#000000"><!--/coloro-->"ImageHeight": 13920<!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc--><!--coloro:#000000--><span style="color:#000000"><!--/coloro-->,<!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc-->
<!--coloro:#000000--><span style="color:#000000"><!--/coloro-->"EncodingProcess": "Baseline DCT<!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc--><!--coloro:#000000--><span style="color:#000000"><!--/coloro-->,<!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc--> <!--coloro:#000000--><span style="color:#000000"><!--/coloro-->Huffman coding"<!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc--><!--coloro:#000000--><span style="color:#000000"><!--/coloro-->,<!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc-->
<!--coloro:#000000--><span style="color:#000000"><!--/coloro-->"BitsPerSample": 8<!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc--><!--coloro:#000000--><span style="color:#000000"><!--/coloro-->,<!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc-->
<!--coloro:#000000--><span style="color:#000000"><!--/coloro-->"ColorComponents": 3<!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc--><!--coloro:#000000--><span style="color:#000000"><!--/coloro-->,<!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc-->
<!--coloro:#000000--><span style="color:#000000"><!--/coloro-->"YCbCrSubSampling": "YCbCr4:2:0<!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc--> <!--coloro:#000000--><span style="color:#000000"><!--/coloro-->(<!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc--><!--coloro:#600000--><span style="color:#600000"><!--/coloro-->2<!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc--> <!--coloro:#600000--><span style="color:#600000"><!--/coloro-->2<!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc--><!--coloro:#000000--><span style="color:#000000"><!--/coloro-->)<!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc--><!--coloro:#000000--><span style="color:#000000"><!--/coloro-->"<!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc-->
}, "JFIF": {
<!--coloro:#000000--><span style="color:#000000"><!--/coloro-->"JFIFVersion": 1.01<!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc--><!--coloro:#000000--><span style="color:#000000"><!--/coloro-->,<!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc-->
<!--coloro:#000000--><span style="color:#000000"><!--/coloro-->"ResolutionUnit": "inches"<!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc--><!--coloro:#000000--><span style="color:#000000"><!--/coloro-->,<!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc-->
<!--coloro:#000000--><span style="color:#000000"><!--/coloro-->"XResolution": 96<!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc--><!--coloro:#000000--><span style="color:#000000"><!--/coloro-->,<!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc-->
<!--coloro:#000000--><span style="color:#000000"><!--/coloro-->"YResolution": 96<!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc-->
}, "Composite": {
<!--coloro:#000000--><span style="color:#000000"><!--/coloro-->"ImageSize": "19496x13920"<!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc-->
} }]

Both tools display reliable information about the image file type.

... or use the graphic application "IrfanView" ...
While loading the file into "IrfanView", it reports instantly, when the file extension does not correspond to the file content.


The JPEG files I have are located in a different file than my media (.mp3) files. They are all about 715x715 and 275KB. I have copied many album artwork files from the internet and tagged them to my media with 100% success. It's just these files I store locally that don't seem to work. Thanks for your help.

One step further, the type and size of the image files seem to play no role.

Can you provide a small example image file?
How is your workflow in detail, step by step, when tagging the media file with a cover image file resp. when embedding the cover image into the media file?
What operating system do you use?
Which user is the owner of the jpeg files, which user is the owner of the media files?
(Adjust your file manager to display the owner of the files).
How are the assigned rights for accessing the related files?


If I tell you why I have this problem, you're going to think I'm nuts. I've copied all my music onto a USB thumb drive and am using that to play music in my car (2013 Ford Fusion). I'm trying to get all the album artwork to display on the My Ford Touch screen when the music is playing. As I've said before, all the artwork I've copied from the internet shows up as expected. Only the artwork that I've copied from my own computer does not. I have one more "experiment" to try. If that fails, I will respond to your last post with my workflow. I want to thank you for helping me through this.

:huh: I do not understand how a car should be involved in the process while finding out what is the problem with the image file.

You should keep the test bed small:

  • one small media file,
  • one corrupt image file,
  • the application Mp3tag,
  • the computer.

You should follow and answer the questions, otherwise the remote help will be immediately doomed to failure.
Note: You are my hands and my eyes and I am your brain.


The car is the only place I have a problem. Everything on my computer, iTunes, iPod, etc. works properly - the album artwork that I have on my hard drive is displayed. I am the owner of both the jpeg and media files. I'm using Windows 7 Pro as my O/S. Here's what I do to embed the artwork into my media files (all in MP3TAG):

Select folder (album) - edit - select all files - right click in box for cover art - click add cover - navigate to my hard drive - click on jpeg cover art file. I make sure that "front cover" is displayed.

I've uploaded a smaller version of one of my cover art files. I made it smaller to get by the 200K upload limit. Could my cover art files be too large for MP3TAG to handle properly?

dluhop, thank you for your cooperation.

You should have to say that fact immediately.

That sounds ok.

No, not for Mp3tag and mp3 files.
As I have pointed out above in post#2 there seems to be practically a wide open limit for the size of an embedded image file.
But some external portable media players may have a limitation regarding the size of the embedded image file (in Bytes or Width x Height dimensions).
If the player's manual contains no statement about those limits, then you have to investigate it for yourself.

Please explain in detail the technical specifications for a "regular cover art downloaded from the internet", which is displayed by your car player.


I've examined typical artwork files that I've copied from the internet that work in my car. The only thing I can determine is that they are jpeg files, typically 225 x 225 px, about 7 or 8 KB in size. I cannot copy these files directly to my hard drive. For some reason, the paste command is "greyed out" when I try to paste to my hard drive. I have been able to paste them into a Word document, and then copy that file onto my hard drive. MP3TAG must have some special way of saving these files as tags. The only thing I can think of is that the software in my car just will not display the tags properly. When I play a song in my car that is tagged with some of my own artwork, a generic image is displayed for the artwork. I've got to get a new USB memory stick and experiment with only one or two songs at a time.

To further complicate thing, I'm leaving for a vacation on Friday. I don't think I'll be able to work on this problem again until I get back on March 3rd. I want to thank you for all the time and effort you've put in to help me.

I've uploaded a typical artwork file from the internet that is displayed properly in my car.

Please tell us what does Mp3tag display in the column "TagRead (TagTypes)" ...
(defined as ... %_tag_read%[' ('%_tag%')']) ...
for such a media file which won't display it's image file in the car player.

Please try out the attached three image files, embedd them with Mp3tag as the one and only "front" cover into three copies of the same media file, and report which of them does work in your car player.


I have over 2100 songs on the memory stick that I'm using in my car. The vast majority of them display the following in the Tag Column:

ID3v2.3 (ID3v1 ID3v2.3)

A few display: ID3v2.2 (ID3v2.2) and, a few others: MP4 (MP4). These last are songs I bought from iTunes, and have not converted to .mp3 files.

All the songs that don't properly display artwork in my car have the first listed Tag type. There seems to be no correlation of Tag types among the songs that display artwork and those that don't.

Sorry, but I can't try the 3 different image types until I come back fro vacation. Going to the Dominican Republic for 2 weeks - get out of the snow.

The tag-types are ok.
I only wanted to make sure, that there are no other strange combinations of tag-types envolved.

You are a lucky man, happy vacation!


One more thing to think about. All the artwork that doesn't work in the car was scanned by me into jpeg files. I don't know if that's important, or not.

Yes, my idea is to check it, whether the jpeg format has some influence to the error condition.
Your example jpeg file, which do not work on your car player, has the jpeg encoding with "subsampling OFF".
Therefore I gave you three jpeg files, created by standard conversion, with different jpeg quality and dimensions.
I am expecting the test result.


Detlev, I'm back from vacation and ready to conduct experiments with my embedded .mp3 files to see if we can get album artwork to show up in my car.

To summarize: I've copyed all my music files from iTunes onto a memory stick. I have 2100+ songs. To the best of my knowledge, they all show album artwork except those album covers that I scanned with my computer and saved on my hard drive.

I will do this tomorrow (Sunday). I will start with the 3 files that you posted previously. I hope you're still there and remain interested in helping me.

Success! All 3 of the files you posted to the forum are displayed in the car. Also, I have a web site. One of the album covers I created is on the site. I downloaded that image and it worked, too. Maybe the mere fact of posting an image file to the web makes it work when downloaded. Is there something I can do to the scanned images on my hard drive short of putting them all on my web site and then downloading them. Thank you very much for your help. I had no idea how to do this.

Finally figured it out. Homemade album artwork will show up in My Ford Touch if the .jpg files are relatively small. The files I was using were way too big. Files in the 40-50 KB range work perfectly. This case is closed. Many thanks to Detlev for pointing me in the right direction.

I read somewhere that many Mp3 players are limited to images no greater than 200x200p or 300x300p. Many images I've gathered through Amazon are 500x500, so I resize them in Photoshop to 300x300p... what a pain!

I've had good luck with Google instead of Amazon. Just google the album and click on images. Most of the ones shown are small enough to work properly with .mp3 files.

Gather covers with Album Art Downloader XUI
Download Album Art Downloader from Sourceforge

You can use it with mp3tag. Configure it in Tools with the parameter
"$if2(%albumartist%,%artist%)" "%album%" "%_folderpath%Folder.jpg"

In the options menue of Album Art Downloader you can tell it to show only covers from a special range of size.

There is no need to use photoshop to resize the covers.
There are a lot aof programs that can do this in batch-modus.

For instance Irfanview.
Download irfanview

You can also use this tool in mp3tag and call it with the parameter
%_folderpath%\folder.jpg /resize_long=300 /resample /aspectratio /one /convert=folder.jpg

Anyway: I am only looking for larger cover-files and embed them in the size of 800x800 in the cover-tag. I don't have crap players that are not able to show larger covers.