new album art questions - windows 7

tricky issue that I'd appreciate help with.

I have a huge MP3 library which I have migrated from XP to Win 7. I keep this on 2 pcs, using synchromagic to copy changes frmo source to target PC & to delete target files not on source.
So when I add album art to source PC I want to replicate all changes on target PC

Now the album art is a crazy mixture of art embedded into files via MP3tag, folder.jpg files that I have downloaded & inserted. and a mass of album art small, album art large, album art follwed by strings of numbers.... that windows has added to the colelction over time. also a mess of desktop.ini files. I add art either with mp3tag, or by dirext paste art into icon in WMP12 - that is quick and easy for individual single tracks - just grap image fro amazon & paste it tinto WMP12. I don't know how/where that is stored though ?

  1. I figure that any *art.jpg which has a long string of numbers in its name is XP specific & can be deleted.

  2. the synchro option is not to copy any hidden files or system files, I worry that with that setup it will not copy over all changes I make to album art, espicially as I read that WMP12 has it's own separate cache somewhere.

  3. synchronising with the option to copy hidden & system files unticked I hit a problem that syncho cannot copy some folder.jpg & album art files, because the target file is a proected system file & it is not allowed to overwrite it.
    I used to use a batch file work around in XP to unset all hidden & system attribute prior to copy, but have mislaid that & am not sure if it would wrtk in win 7.

  4. I am pretty sure that there is no need to copy desktop.ini files to target pc & they can safely be excluded. I am unsure about including / excluding the various *.jpg and about what to do with hidden/system tags.

I really could use a clear explanation of what files win 7 / WMP 12 creates & needs for art, and how bst to synchronise across 2 PCs. MY limited understanding is that wmp12 will look at the embedded art in files that mp3tag has placed, but will make it's own workging copes of those images & store them somewher as album art ?

I have clse to 50Gb of data so deleting all on target & making clean copy would be undesirable, esp if there's also a WMP12 cache that would be left behind.

Let's not compare about sizes.
To your problem:
Yes, there is a cache and that is worthwhile cleaning once in a while as WMP in any system will recreate that. It is called graficcache in a directory Media Player which somewhere in your application data.
Also you can safely delete the album arts with the long numbers behind it - they will also get regenerated.
Then the batch job for hiding and unhiding your files would be best executed from a command shell opened in your root directory for the music.
Use the following commands:
attrib -h -s folder.jpg /s
attrib -h -s album*.jpg /s

This will recursively delete all "hidden" and "system" atrributed from folder.jpg and album*.jpg files.

To hide them again use the reverse commands (again in the root directory):
attrib +h +s folder.jpg /s
attrib +h +s album*.jpg /s

A good idea may also be to let MP3tag export all albumarts from inside the files to a folder.jpg file in each directory. THere is an action for that (Alt-5, new action, Export cover).

And then it may also be a treat to let AlbumArtFixer (freeware) run over your WMP library and let it check whether all album arts are present and have the right attribute.

After that: happy syncing

thaanks for that, particularly fro the batch commands.

I am still not entirely clear which of these need to be copied via synchromagic & which can be left to regenerate. they all seem to have hidden & system attributes:
folder.jpg ( created by windows)
album art ( all varieties)

there were also folder.jpg files ( not system or hidden ) create by me but I suspect that WMP12 is slowly working through & replacing all of those with system files- I am not sure how to prove/disprove that. it may change folder.jpg only when a track from that album is played ?

PS I now think I was wrong about album art + long number string named files being xp specific. I looked at a newly created subfolder & saw some with yesterday's date.

All of these files can be deleted since Windows and WMP will create new ones, but you might want to hang on to the folder.jpg files until you have all of your tracks properly tagged.

It's important to know that WMP never creates or updates the album art tags. It creates those files and updates the WMP database, but not the tags.

So what you should do is use Mp3tag to make sure all of your tracks have an album art tag, then you don't need to rely on external files for the album image.

i thouhg that also, but I seem to have disproved it.

I coped an album art picture from amazon and posted it into WMP12 - using right click paste album art on the album icon within WMP12

I then ran synchromagic to compare all mp3 files with my backup, and all individual files for that album showed as changed files. An inspection with mp3tag showed new album art withinthose files.

so it seems that WMP12 can & does embed art into tags. Note also , there are reports that it damages files in the process if it tried to embed art filesthat are larger than 16k.

I stand corrected, I never tried that method and it does create the tag.

The I way I did it was to put a track without an album art tag into the WMP library and did an internet lookup and update. The art shows up in WMP but not in Mp3tag which means the tag wasn't created.

ok - that makes sense - I decided a while ago never to let windows look up and change album art unsupervised as it gets too many things wrong, esp if you have obscure tracks. I have a lot of tracks from guitar tuiriton books and play-alongs which really confuse it. So for those I find the book on amazon & use mp3tag to add book cover image to the files.

I also learned a new fact while browsing earler- when windows creates an "albumart + long letter & number string.jpg" file name, that alphanumeric string is an CD reference - called a GUID - and every CD has one, apparently. I don't know where or how that global database is mantained though.


  1. almumartfixer will not run in win 7 64 bit, even in compatibility modes. it won't hutrt to work though slowly & manually though. it's time I cleaned out some of that 50Gb!

I had to tweak the batch code - as written it gives access denied on all files when run from music directory. ( I use an account with admin privilege, but Ikeep win 7 UAC enabled)

when forced with right click run as admin, it starts from system32 directory and thus does not find the files, so I had to add CD C:\ then CD C:\users\myname\music.

my understanding of this whole ares is improving though. I've finally decided to organise my files by artist then by album instead of having only an artist folder. that will take a while as I don't trust windows to do it for me, but it will help prevent WMP from showing wrong album art. WMP can only create 1 x folder.jpg per folder.

i can[t figure how to set run as admin to be default - that option is greyed out in properties.

thanks for the

Did you know that this task...

... can be done by mp3task by renaming files with the tag-filename function and include a backslash:
the format string could look like this:
.\%artist%\%year% - %album%\%track% - %title%

The delete all folder.jpg and stuff
(del /s folder.jpg
in cmd-shell)
then export folder.jpg from the files with an action.