Windows 10 displays wrong artwork in file thumbnails

I use Mp3tag to add multiple images to the tags for my flac files and label them accordingly (Set cover type...), starting with Front Cover, then Back Cover, then Leaflet, etc. All my 3rd party music players (JRiver MC, foobar2000, MusicBee) show the proper Front Cover thumbnails as desired.

However on some of my Windows PCs (but not all), Windows Media Player and Windows Explorer thumbnails show the last image I added to the tags. In my case that is typically not the Front Cover whenever more than 1 image has been added. Note that if I do a binary file compare between flac files on machines which show Front Cover vs Last Added Image thumbnails, the files themselves are binary identical.

Is this a known issue with Microsoft and flac files, and if so is there a work around?

Mp3tag Ver. 3.05
Win 10 Pro 64bit Ver. 20H2, OS Build 19042.867, Windows Experience Pack 120.2212.5510

Windows flac file support is poor and looks like they are stuck with something like the old V1 tags for mp3s.

See if you have hidden files like thumbs.db and folder.jpg in the folders.
Also, if you use WMP, empty the graphics cache which is somewhere in %appdata%.
Then, to help windows, use MP3tag to export the front cover as a file with the name folder.jpg.

And when you use WMP again this folder.jpg (maybe of better quality) gets replaced by low-quailty folder.jpg. :rage:

I think with these modifications to the registry, the external files stay as they are:

If these keys don't exist already, add them.

Thanks for all the suggestions about hidden attrib, folder.jpg, WMP cache, etc., but I see no changes after playing around for some time with these things. For example deleting the cache, folder.jpg and AlbumArt*.jpg did not change display of the album art.

The problem is immediately corrected if within Mp3tag I select all files in an album directory and then add my cover art jpg as the last cover art image in Mp3tag's sequence. Then that cover art image appears as the icon in windows explorer for all flac files in the directory, as desired (to correct the directory icon itself, I then go into its properties menu > Customize > Change icon... > Restore Defaults). If I have only one cover art image, then that is the one that shows up for all files.

Has something recently changed between how Mp3tag handles a list of image tags and how windows interprets that list? Did I do something to change that relationship, since the problem only exists on 2 out of my 3 PCs?

No recent changes here from my side.

"recently" is misleading in my description. It is only recently that I noticed this issue, but normally I use detailed view in Win 10 file explorer so it is quite possible the problem has eluded me for a long time.

I confirm that:

  1. All three of my 3rd party music players respect the Cover Type set by Mp3tag, i.e. internally they always display a Type 3 (Front Cover) image tag if available to display album art.

  2. Win 10 Explorer respects the Cover Type on one of my PCs, but on two others it uses the last tagged image to display album art, irrespective of the Cover Type set by Mp3tag.

  3. Historically, I found the respecting PC had the Windows Media Player feature turned off, while the two disrespecting PCs had it turned on. Today I turned WMP feature off for the disrespecting PCs, but that did not change the described behavior, even for a newly ripped CD. Perhaps there is a registry setting that controls this behavior.

So at this point I think it is just another in a long line of Windows 10 flac issues.

Likely Solution: While comparing file properties between PCs, I just discovered an old unregistered installation of dBpoweramp Release 16.6 on the one computer that recognizes Cover Type image tags properly. I am guessing that dBpoweramp's shell extensions are what allow Explorer to properly recognize the album covers!

Is there any reason not to install dBpoweramp on the other two PCs?

Disclaimer: I have no commercial interest in dBpoweramp or any related software. I am just reporting my experiences.

I have been using dbpa for years, and have no issues.

@MotleyG: Thanks for the dBpa recommendation.

I installed latest dBpa Music Converter on the other two machines and that immediately displayed the desired file thumbnails from the flac Front Cover (Type 3) tags. To clear all undesired album folder thumbnails and show covers there as well, I deleted my entire music library, then recreated it by copying from a backup. Works great (no hidden files, album.jpg, folder.jpg, etc.).

You may also want to search for WMP Tag Plus if you are a Windows user. Besides improving WMP as a plug-in, it does also add explorer improvements.

Thanks, but I prefer that WMP not touch my files. In fact, since encountering the issues mentioned here, I've turned off windows Media Features (type "features" in Windows search bar to turn Windows features on or off).

BTW, to give dBpa full control of my flac thumbnails, I found it necessary to implement Spoon's first registry hack described here:
This is when and why I stopped using dBpoweramp.
Maybe that problem has been fixed.

Can't say either way, but that post was from 8 years ago. I don't use the ratings enough in any way to be able to tell you otherwise. But all other benefits from the rip quality, to the conversion features, and the aforementioned explorer integration are the reasons I gave it the thumbs up.