Guide to getting album art in WMP10 and Energy Bliss

Discussion in 'Windows Media Player' started by MB, Nov 27, 2004.

  1. MB

    MB Guest

    Guide to Media Player 10/Energy Bliss and tagging MP3’s with the correct
    album art.


    1. Files that control album art in XP and Windows Media Player
    2. What if album art is not found by Windows Media Player?
    3. Scanning in you own album art.
    4. Getting Energy Bliss (EB) visualization to display the album art properly
    5. What if I don’t have the original CD to get the art off of?
    6. What if I already have the ripped files but no art and no CD?
    7. What if I only have one track and not the whole album?
    8. What if I can’t find the album art?

    This guide is far from complete as I only know what I know so if you know
    something I don’t and wish to add it feel free to do so. I do not consider my
    self the appointed expert in all things on digital music or WMP10.

    *From here on when I speak of WMP I mean WMP 10 and no other versions since
    I have not tried this on any other version at the time of this writing.
    When I say WMP it means Windows Media Player.
    When I say EB it means the Energy Bliss visualization for WMP10.

    What I do know is the problem I have had getting my CD collection ripped
    into MP3 format, getting the right ID tags in place and all associated album
    art to display properly in EB.

    So after several weeks of searching and trial and error here is all I know
    about this process.

    Note: I am assuming you know how to rip a music file to MP3, what MP3s are,
    what album art is and the other basics. If you don’t then I suggest you also
    search as I did or look in the Help files for Media Player.

    If you are struggling getting the correct tags to come up on your MP3s and
    you want the correct album art to display in Energy Bliss for WMP 10 then
    this is the guide for you.

    Energy Bliss is my favorite visualization for WMP10. The main reason is that
    I like the whole package, the clouds, the graphic equalizer, and the way the
    album art displays, the title of the track and on and on. It’s clearly one of
    the best skins so far in my opinion.

    Needless to say I wanted all my music that I rip to have the correct tags
    and the correct album art to show up. So I began the process of ripping and
    started to notice that some of the CDs I have were not coming up with the
    right art or were not even found in the database Windows media services
    accesses.

    If you are having the same issues then here is how I went about getting all
    mine to display properly.

    Files that control album art in XP and Windows Media Player

    The album art is controlled by files in the folder that WMP rips to. If you
    allow WMP to rip these file off the original CD as it creates the MP3 file it
    also goes to the internet, finds the correct album art and tags the MP3 with
    the appropriate ID information and album art. The 4 files are:

    • Folder.jpg
    • AlbumArtSmall.jpg
    • AlbumArt_{12345678-1234-ABCD-1234-123456ABCDEF}_Large.jpg
    • AlbumArt_{12345678-1234-ABCD-1234-123456ABCDEF}_Small.jpg

    Folder.jpg is the file that XP uses to display the album art in the folder
    when you are view is set to Thumbnails. This is also used by WMP to display
    album art when Show Media Information is turned on.

    AlbumArtSmall.jpg is used in XP for folders as well as in WMP to display the
    Album art when the WMP is minimized or sized smaller that full size.

    AlbumArt_{}_Large.jpg
    AlbumArt_{}_Small.jpg

    Are the specific tagged art files that WMP extracts during its search for
    that particular album or song. These are the files to have when using WMP/EB
    (Windows Media Player/Energy Bliss) in order for EB to show your album art
    properly. In all my research and trials after I had all these files in place
    the correct album art would always display properly in every situation in
    both XP and in WMP/EB. So if you want the whole scope of album art working to
    your advantage you must have all 4 of these files in the folder where your
    music files are stored.

    What if album art is not found by Windows Media Player?
    Scanning in you own album art.

    If the incorrect album art was not displayed or did not match the album art
    I had with the original CD or was not found by WMP then I would scan it in
    manually. There are other 3rd party tools I have seen that can grab it, but
    for me it was faster to scan and edit it (which I could in less than 5
    minutes per) and know I have the right art in good quality.

    Basically you scan the album cover in using a scanner of course.
    Save it to .jpg format.
    Then using your favorite image editor resize the image to 200x200. This is
    the largest sized image that is used for Folder.jpg. The other file
    AlbumArtSmall.jpg is sized to 75x75.

    Stick to these parameters and you won’t have problems. Make them larger or
    smaller and you will have issues in the way the image is displayed if at all.

    Copy these images making sure you have named them correctly to the folder
    where the matching music is stored and you’ll have album art displayed
    assuming you have Show Media Information turned on in WMP.

    Tip: If you have copied your album art and the folder art in XP is still not
    showing properly then right click on the folder and Refresh Thumbnail.

    Now if you want Energy Bliss to show the correct album art in its
    visualization then you are going to have to make sure you have
    AlbumArt_{}_Large.jpg and AlbumArt_{}_Small.jpg in the folder as well.

    Getting Energy Bliss (EB) visualization to display the album art properly

    When you place your CD into your computer and WMP loads up it polls the
    internet to find the album art for the album. When it does it will
    automatically create all 4 of the files we are discussing after the first
    file is ripped from the CD to the specified folder. This is by far the
    easiest method to getting album art associations. But WMP is not perfect.
    Sometimes you will get the wrong album art or no album art at all. And if you
    get none or the wrong one then that is what is going to display in EB.

    You need to have the tagged AlbumArt_{}_.jpg files in order for EB to show
    them properly. If you are not using the EB visualization then all you need is
    Folder.jpg and AlbumArtSmall.jpg. And in order to get the tagged AlbumArt
    files you need either the original CD to rip from or have WMP poll the
    database and find the album info so it can create the tagged files.

    To get the right album art even if WMP does not find it, go ahead and rip
    the CD and let WMP create the files. Then scan your album art as described
    above. Rename the scanned and properly resized files to the exact proper
    filename and copy over the file that WMP created.

    Tip: Do both 200x200 files first. Then resize to 75x75 and do those after.
    Here is what I did to make it simple. Copy the 200x200 sized .jpg to your
    desktop. Rename it to one of the filenames that are 200x200 in size. Copy it
    to the folder with the music and overwrite the file. Rename for the second
    200x200 file and copy again overwriting the original. Then resize the 200x200
    ..jpg on your desktop to 75x75 and do the same renaming/copying procedure.
    Then just delete the file off your desktop.

    Tip: Typing
    AlbumArt_{2134235-42512323-234542-2342134}_Large.yadda.yadda.yadda is a
    chore. Instead right click on the original file WMP created, go to
    Properties, highlight and copy the text, and paste it when you rename the
    desktop .jpg.

    If after you have ripped your tracks and you notice that the 4 files were
    not created chances are that WMP did not contact the database over the
    internet or no information was found.

    • Check to see if you have a good connection to the internet.

    • Check that metaservices.windowsmedia.com site is up and running as it has
    been known to go completely down for hours.

    Once contact is made then you need to manually Find Album Info and let WMP
    see what it can find. It may find it. If not then you need to Edit the tracks
    manually and use the default album art WMP has. When you click Finish the
    files should be created. The key is to get the files made and then go back
    and scan in your album art from the CD and copy them over using the method
    above.

    Tip: Unfortunately if you manually edit the track information and click
    Finish when the metaservices.windowsmedia.com site is down you lose all the
    info you just typed in and the files won’t be created. The site must be up
    and WMP must contact the site for the files to be created. Don’t waste your
    time typing in album track info for 12 tracks when the site is down or your
    connection to the internet is not working. You will just end up pulling your
    hair out having to type it all in again.

    What if I don’t have the original CD to get the art off of?
    What if I already have the ripped files but no art and no CD?
    What if I only have one track and not the whole album?
    What if I can’t find the album art?

    Remember in EB you have to have the correct tag information for each track
    in order for WMP to associate the album art with the track. Otherwise the
    album art will not show up in the visualization. You will just get the
    generic album art and we don’t want that now do we?

    Well if you don’t have the original CD for WMP to poll then you will run
    into more issues. You see in order for WMP to pull the correct info for ANY
    ripped file it has to be properly tagged. If the file is not properly tagged
    then you are going to have to do more manual editing of the track in question
    until WMP can find something. If the file has been properly ripped and tagged
    then WMP will do a search.

    Use the Find Album Info on the track in question and see that WMP comes up
    with. It may come up with the right album and info. If it does make sure you
    click that Finish button in the lower right corner of the Album Info window
    or you will not get those all important files created.

    If WMP finds nothing then you will need to right click the track and use the
    Advanced Tag Editor to properly identify the track or edit it in the Find
    Album Info results. Sometimes more info is better. But sometimes in order to
    get a correct hit on the windowsmedia database you need less information to
    widen your search. Thru trial and error of changing the title of the track,
    artist and album I eventually got something to come up in WMP. Remember if
    you can get something at this point is better than nothing since you don’t
    have CD art to scan in.

    Note: For some reason WMP only comes back with 7 albums that closely match
    your track data. There is no way to increase the number of results that I
    know of. So if the first 7 hits are not it then you will have to retry, use a
    3rd party tool, or just let it be.

    Also doing research helps. If you only have one track from an album, and you
    don’t know which album it’s from Google it or look it up on Amazon or
    Gracenote. Find the album artist etc and edit the tag again in WMP, and then
    see what it will find.

    I’ve had to do entire ripped albums like this in order to get the right art
    to come up. Again the key is if you can get one track to come up in WMP with
    the correct album art then you’re good to go.

    Tip: If a single track is just not coming up for you at all, no matter what,
    research and find the album or artist. Find another different song on the
    same album and retry your search using that song. Fool WMP into getting the
    album art. Then just go back and change the Tag information to the correct
    Tag. Remember that WMP will change the Tag information after you click Finish
    even if its wrong. Just get the album art to save then change the Tag back
    using the Advanced Tag Editor. Your album art will remain.

    If after you have tried all these methods and you still have no album art
    you will have to resort to some 3rd part tools in order to get your album
    art. I know of one called Album Art Tool (find it here) . I never had to use
    it but it may work for you. If that doesn’t find the art then I’m afraid you
    are at the end of your rope. Get out a pad and pen and start drawing then
    scan it in is all I can recommend or just be happy with the generic album art
    EB displays.
     
    MB, Nov 27, 2004
    #1
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