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Old 07-04-2010, 10:54 PM
DSperber DSperber is offline
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Default J3 support for "album art": ID3 or %albumname%.jpg or ???

Still awaiting the arrival of my J3, and I'm still struggling to get my [perhaps defective] 32GB microSDHC card to load (to full capacity) without BWZAAP corruption of the FAT32 directory...

But in the meantime I'm still researching the use of "cover art" and MP3, and how I might best go about doing that with maximum convenience.

I currently have album art JPGs for each and every one of my 1000+ CDs, as managed by Musifind Pro (my CD database software). However the names of those JPGs as stored were assigned by MFP on a purely numeric basis, e.g. 00000001.jpg, 00000002.jpg, etc.

The JPGs themselves were either (a) downloaded automatically (by MFP) from AllMusic (where they are relatively small size, e.g. 200x200, but from virtually complete album art database), or (b) manually then overlaid by me with larger (500x500) and better quality images retrieved from CDNow (i.e. Amazon) where users upload their own high-quality scanned images.

Anyway, they are simply numbered JPGs in the MFP database, associated with the album's entry in the MFP database.

I want to get those same JPGs to appear whenever I play an MP3 track from that album... either on my computer with Winamp, or on my someday-will-arrive new J3.

On Winamp 5.572 that I use, there is built-in support for "album art" presented in a new window. This supports JPGs that are either (a) imbedded directly into the ID3 tag, as the APIC frame within the ID3v2 tag fields, or (b) placed in the folder containing the MP3 file with a name corresponding to the "album" name from the ID3 tag. If the folder organization is that it matches the "album" name for all MP3s contained within that folder, then I guess you could describe it as "foldername.jpg", but I actually do believe it's looked for as "%album%.jpg", so that you can actually have multiple album art JPGs within a single MP3 folder, each tied to various MP3 files which have that same "album" name in their ID3 tag.

If the album art is imbedded within the ID3 tag itself, it can also be displayed on the "album art" tab from the "display file info" dialog. But if present in this way it will for sure be shown in the "album art" window as the track plays. I suspect if a JPG is present in the ID3 tag and a %album%.jpg is also present in the folder, that the ID3 tag JPG version will take precedence for display in the album art window.

Obviously, it makes more sense from an efficiency perspective to put a single JPG in a given MP3 folder (which corresponds to an album, if that's what my organization scheme is... which it is) than to imbed that same JPG multiple times inside of the ID3 tags for each MP3 file within that folder.

However given my current MFP database for those "numerically named" JPGs, I will have to manually rename each one (to "albumname.jpg") if I copy it into each target album MP3 folder. That's a lot of manual effort.

On the other hand, I can use MP3TAG to instantly imbed each currently named (numeric) JPG into the ID3 tag of every MP3 file in a given MP3 album folder, with virtually zero effort... but at the cost of replicating that JPG multiple times (i.e. identically in each and every MP3 file in that folder), thus increasing file space used.

Either approach will work with Winamp, and the pros and cons of each approach are obvious.

My question concerns the Cowon J3. If album art IS supported, is it supported via either method as Winamp supports?

Or is it only supported in one particular way (imbedded in the ID3 tag or placed as albumname.jpg in the MP3 folder, but not both)?

Or is there yet some other unique method used by the J3 that I need to adhere to as part of this album art project?

Thanks.
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  #2  
Old 07-05-2010, 12:38 AM
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NeedBalanceCtrl NeedBalanceCtrl is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DSperber View Post
My question concerns the Cowon J3. If album art IS supported, is it supported via either method as Winamp supports?

Or is it only supported in one particular way (imbedded in the ID3 tag or placed as albumname.jpg in the MP3 folder, but not both)?

Or is there yet some other unique method used by the J3 that I need to adhere to as part of this album art project?

Thanks.
I'm not an expert but I will relay my experiences on the J3.

1) The J3 will display embedded album art.
2) If no embedded album art, it will display a jpg file in the folder with the name "cover.jpg"
3) Embedded image takes precedence over cover.jpg. So if you have a track with an embedded image and it's in a folder with a cover.jpg, the embedded image will display, not the cover.jpg.

My suggestion to you, do not tinker with your system now. Wait until you have the J3 in hand to actually test a few tracks/cover art and see for yourself what the J3 is capable of. The above three points I have tested out myself and I know the J3 works in this fashion. It may have additional capabilities that I currently am not aware of. You may even discover some after you've played with the J3 yourself. So again, my advice, don't tinker with your system until you have the J3 in your hands.
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  #3  
Old 07-05-2010, 02:42 AM
DSperber DSperber is offline
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Originally Posted by Need Balance Control View Post
1) The J3 will display embedded album art.
2) If no embedded album art, it will display a jpg file in the folder with the name "cover.jpg"
3) Embedded image takes precedence over cover.jpg. So if you have a track with an embedded image and it's in a folder with a cover.jpg, the embedded image will display, not the cover.jpg.
Did a little more experimenting with Winamp and album art.

Turns out that in addition to JPG's with the complete %album%.jpg name format (which supports unique JPG album art within the same folder, for MP3 tracks containing different album values in their ID3 tags), it also supports fixed names of either "cover.jpg" or "folder.jpg".

Winamp order of search/use precedence for display in the Album Art window is: image imbedded in ID3 tag, %album%.jpg, cover.jpg, folder.jpg. Also supported are BMP, PNG and GIF.

So it's obvious a constant of "cover.jpg" could be used in each of my hard drive MP3 folders for use by Winamp, while at the same time having those very JPG files also work with the J3 when those folder get copied over to the portable media player (or 32GB card... if I ever get that working successfully).

As you suggest, I will think about this a bit more first, since I would also like the the same JPG files used by my CD Database program. As I described earlier, these CD-related files are currently purely numbered file names in a single default DATA directory for the MFP program. But there's nothing to prevent me updating each pointer to instead point to the very same "cover.jpg" files each located in the proper D:\MP3 folder location which would conveniently support both Winamp and the J3.

Although it would take a bit of work to move and rename these JPG files, the end result would be one single location (i.e. the D:\MP3 album's folder) where one "cover.jpg" image would be. That single folder/file structure would support MFP, Winamp, and also J3 (on its own storage).

Sounds like a good idea to me.

Last edited by DSperber; 07-05-2010 at 06:21 AM.
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  #4  
Old 07-05-2010, 12:40 PM
Resiak Resiak is offline
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You could easily attach album art by using iTunes. You will have to do it album by album so a bit of patience is required. You can also use a software named Tag&rename which works really well. Once tagged by either of these, J3 will show the album cover as it plays a track.
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Old 07-05-2010, 02:30 PM
DSperber DSperber is offline
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Originally Posted by Resiak View Post
You could easily attach album art by using iTunes. You will have to do it album by album so a bit of patience is required.
Don't need it (and besides, I don't buy music downloads).

I already have all of my CDs managed by database software, and I already have 500x500 JPGs for each CD (manually retrieved from CDNow Amazon). I only needed to learn how to make those same JPGs usable by both Winamp and the J3.

Turns out Winamp and the J3 use the same approach... either (a) imbed the JPG inside the ID3 tag, or (b) place the JPG in the album's MP3 file folder and call it either %album%.jpg, or cover.jpg, or folder.jpg.

I can do any of these easily enough simply by copying/renaming my existing 500x500 JPGs from the single DATA folder used by my CD Database program into the appropriate MP3 file folder. If I want I can even go back and update my CD Database album art pointers to point to the MP3 file folder location and JPG name.


Quote:
You can also use a software named Tag&rename which works really well. Once tagged by either of these, J3 will show the album cover as it plays a track.
I'd use a program I already have named MP3TAG for this particular purpose, to imbed the album art JPG into the ID3 tag for each folder of MP3 files... if that's the way I wanted to go (which I still may do).

For all other tagging services I use a program named MP3/Tag Studio. Gives me everything I need (other than supporting album art within ID3 tags) in a very nice user interface.
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Old 07-18-2010, 04:38 AM
Yosaki Yosaki is offline
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I just got the J3 and none of my album arts work. They are added in through mp3tag and they all use to work on my samsung p2. They show up on windows media player and itunes. I know you can put the cover.jpg but that would defeat the purpose of editing the tags which didn't work. any ideas?
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Old 07-18-2010, 09:39 AM
DSperber DSperber is offline
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Sorry... no idea to suggest.

As I stated earlier, since album art on a player was all new to me, at first I experimented using the imbedded APIC frame approach. I used MP3TAG to install the cover art I'd already collected in my CD database.

And I was able to see those JPGs automatically using Winamp 5.58 (via the Album Art window, or RMB -> file info). And the J3 also presented them.

I also experimented with %albumname%.jpg in the album folder, and that worked as well. But it was obviously much more time consuming to have to type the true album name into each copy/rename JPG file obtained from my CD database of JPGs (which was just pure numeric... 00000001.jpg, 00000002.jpg, etc.).

In the end I simply decided that the effort involved in using MP3TAG to mass-install individual JPGs into the tracks contained within my 1000+ folders (for each album) was a bit laborious. Also, I didn't want to end up with maybe another 60MB of space used up for the individual 1000+ JPGs multiplied into maybe 700MB of space (for the 6200+ tracks) required.

Also, I didn't want to bother creating proper name JPG titles for each album's JPG. Much too time consuming.

So I developed a very fast workflow to get the proper JPGs copied/renamed to "cover.jpg" from my CD database into the individual album folders first (which thus triggered album art display using Winamp on my PC, which I wanted). Then copying these folders from PC to J3 also satisfied the J3's album art functionality, but also kept JPG overhead to a minimum (i.e. 1 per album folder... which made excellent sense).

As far as why your imbedded JPG (presumably in the APIC frame) doesn't work on the J3... don't know. If it works with Winamp (and MS Media Player) it sure seems like it's imbedded correctly.

Sorry. No help here. Maybe size issues? Are they JPG? My images are high-quality 500x500, but I wouldn't think that should be an issue. I believe the J3 also supports BMP, PNG and GIF.
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  #8  
Old 07-18-2010, 12:38 PM
Yosaki Yosaki is offline
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So is there a program that can find the album arts and create a cover.jpeg file? When you say you used your CD database that copied the jpg to your j3, you mean you ripped the album art from the cd to your j3?

One thing to point out is that i had music on my microsd card (from my phone) and i put it into the j3 and some of the album art showed up. This is all very confusing. I'm pretty sure its not using the cover.jpeg style either.
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Old 07-18-2010, 04:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yosaki View Post

One thing to point out is that i had music on my microsd card (from my phone) and i put it into the j3 and some of the album art showed up. This is all very confusing. I'm pretty sure its not using the cover.jpeg style either.
It uses embedded images first. If no embedded image, then it displays the cover.jpg if available.
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Old 07-18-2010, 07:31 PM
DSperber DSperber is offline
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So is there a program that can find the album arts and create a cover.jpeg file? When you say you used your CD database that copied the jpg to your j3, you mean you ripped the album art from the cd to your j3?
I use a program named Musifind Pro as my "CD Database" software. It supports "associated image files", i.e. cover art. You simply create a JPG however you want (placing it in the cover art folder with a unique name) and then point to it. Standard naming convention is purely ascending numbers, so that's what I use.

You can scan covers from CD jewel boxes if you want, but that's largely unnecessary. Just go to CDNow-Amazon and search for the CD you want to buy (or get the cover art for). You will inevitably find one or more uploaded cover art JPGs submitted by normal people who are happy to submit their own high-quality scans and have them hosted by Amazon. Typically, the high quality ones are 500x500, perhaps sharpened and color adjusted, sometimes adjusted for use on iPod, or smaller dimensions, or whatever. Some are obviously lesser quality or look worse than others.

I just try to pick the best one I can, and download it to my CD Database (assigning the next available number). It is these very JPGs (accumulated over the years) that I also copied into the album folders of my MP3 collection on hard drive and then manually renamed to "cover.jpg", which now has gotten re-copied again over to my J3.

For example, here is the Amazon page for Eagles Greatest Hits 1971-1975. You'll find the standard Amazon cover art in the upper-left corner. It's typically too small for my desires (I look for 500x500) and lesser quality, although they typically have an album cover for just about every album they sell (and even for those that are "no longer available"). If you click on the "larger image" version you'll get a popup window with the full size of that album cover... which still may look like junk.

But you will typically also find multiple album covers uploaded by Amazon shoppers who like to do this kind of thing. Inevitably you'll browse what's up there and find that one which is obviously the "best" (to your eye). That's the one you can then download (just right-click on it and "save image as...").

Amazon is my source for album art.

In absolute worst case if Amazon just doesn't have the album art I'm looking for I'll fall back to Allmusic.com, which has an enormous database of everything, and typically has 200x200 album art for just about everything. Normally I would not choose these because they are lower quality and smaller, but if I can't find 500x500 high-quality scans I don't want to have nothing. I have very few of these, but I do have some.

NOTE: even if the true cover.jpg image file in your album folders on the J3 is 500x500 or even larger, the J3 software appears to scale it down to the standard small JPG image dimensions you see on the player's screen. These down-scaled JPGs are retained separately in a system folder on the J3, for direct rapid access used by Matrix Browser and the player. I believe this complete collection of small JPGs is rebuilt each time the J3 is booted (as part of what goes on during "album scan", assigning a unique name for the small JPG to tie it to a specific album). But obviously the larger and higher quality the original cover.jpg images are, the reduced smaller ones displayed on the J3's screen will be comparably better.

Last edited by DSperber; 07-18-2010 at 07:45 PM.
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  #11  
Old 07-18-2010, 10:07 PM
Yosaki Yosaki is offline
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Ahhh. Thank you so much for the lengthy type up. I really appreciate it. It was very helpful.
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  #12  
Old 07-19-2010, 02:47 AM
Yosaki Yosaki is offline
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Now this brings up anther question. I just tried the cover.jpg style and it works! But now the album arts show up in my pictures. I'm guessing there is no way of getting rid of them hmm?
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