There is no best place as the display of pictures is a feature of the player.
And depending on the implemention of the player, you have to supply the data.
But for all the variations that are out there, the embedded pcitures are the best basis if the player requires picture files with a certain name in the file system.
In your current system - how does the player know which picture should be used for which file?
There are two schools of thought for keeping album art organized, embedded into each file, or a single image file grouped by each album when organized in a folder structure like Albumartists\Album\Track+Title or similar. There are pros and cons for either method.
When a single file like folder.jpg or cover.jpg is used, it saves some storage space, rather than being duplicated in each file. But there is some risk that players may not find these separately stored image files or associate the wrong ones during playback. This does mainly depend on your folder\file storage preference, as some players struggle with many image files in the same folders as mixed album files.
Embedded art of course means that the artwork is stored in each and every file sharing that album name, but really given the availability of large storage devices now at reasonable cost, this IMO is the better approach for compatibility with the majority of players whether for PC, Mac, Android, or iOS devices. There is no need to associate an external image file. Certainly when it comes to player and library management programs, it is the most reliable means to have the correct art displayed for each track.
Indeed. But only that makes the files portable and stand-alone and you can expect the same results on every device (or change the local player if it cannot cope with the embedded data).
External files in the file system that are only related to the audio files because they share the same folder are bound to get lost as soon as the directory structure changes or a player does not support a hierarchical folder structure.
i am using MP3Tag.
that Action might be helpful - once yoiu get allyour ducks ie iumages in a row
problem with MP3Tag is the degree of 'short order' coding you have to do, espec when you don't know RegEx at all
I'll second @MotleyG. I now embed the cover in each file. Space is cheap, and it beats the old "Folder.jpg" system, which worked okay-ish, but never perfectly. It did take me some time, spread over a few months, to update all my tracks. But it was worth it ("a labor of love" is a perfect description). And now I do it to all new music, it's second nature now.
One thing I like is the ability to have different art per track, if you want. Particularly for some of my live bootlegs, I'll use pictures from the concert (if I can find them), or ticket stubs, or whatever, for some of the tracks.
maybe it was a different app, but i thought Album Art Downloader was embedded with MP3Tag?
and i have never had great results with AAD, and it drove me mad with umteen windows opening which you couldn't w/o closing the app.