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Old 07-19-2009, 05:18 PM
ti_marner's Avatar
ti_marner ti_marner is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: UK
Posts: 17
Lightbulb Cowon S9 Album Art - Quick Q & A

I've noticed a couple of people asking how to get album art to display correctly on their S9, so as someone who has 100% of their album art showing on their S9 I thought I'd post this quick guide. Hopefully it'll solve some problems.

The Cowon S9 reads album art in two ways, Embedded Album Art and from a JPG file stored alongside media.

Embedded Album Art
Most audio containers have support for album art within their metadata header, embedded inside the media file itself. The Cowon S9 will happily read this data directly out of the file, and it seems that it prefers album art to be stored in this way.

The only exception to this seems to be WMA files, or so I've found so far. I'm using firmware v2.30 at the moment, and the S9 doesn't seem to read embedded album art from the ASF container. There is a workaround for this however.

JPG Files
The S9 will also read album art for media files directly from a picture file stored in the same folder, which must be named cover.jpg (folder.jpg will not work). For any media files that show up on the player without album art, this is the fallback.

Pros & Cons
File Size - Embedding album art means that the media file itself is larger, however if you compare a 300x300 pixel cover image at ~50KB with an MP3 file anywhere from 2048KB upwards (FLAC could be 5x bigger) then it's not that big an increase.
Portability - Keeping separate image files in the same folder as your media is a hassle, especially when there's no way to identify the image apart from opening it up.
Organisation - If your media library needs a bit of sorting out, or you have media from different albums in the same folder, eg. a three disc album, hands down you'll want to embed your album art.

Not Showing?
If you've embedded album art into your MP3, FLAC, etc. files and it's not showing up, it may be corrupt. Simply remove the artwork from the files and re-store it. This should solve the problem.

Tag Editing Software
MP3Tag -
I personally use MP3Tag. It's free, it reads all the formats I throw at it, and I get full control over what it does.

MediaMonkey -
Player: Cowon iAudio S9
Headphones: Sony MDR-ED21LP, Shure E2c (earbud fan)

Last edited by ti_marner; 07-19-2009 at 06:28 PM. Reason: Clarification on software
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