Album art can be installed into MP3 files relatively easily using ID3 tags. However, prior to you start filling up all of your MP3 documents with functions of art, there room a few things the you should stop come consider first.

You are watching: How to get and set album art of an mp3 file

While MP3 documents were not initially intended come store extr metadata within them, the release of the ID3 sign protocol in 1996 unexpectedly made this a possibility. However, that wasn’t until version 2 the the protocol became obtainable that MP3 files can actually contain embedded album art.

So, before you start cutting and pasting large graphics and including them right into your arsenal of MP3 tracks, what carry out you need to consider to avert potential disaster?

ID3 Tags and also MP3 Files

A typical MP3 document only contains audio data, through no additional information about the artist or form of audio had within it. To incorporate such extra details in an MP3 track, tag data is usually included to the beginning or finish of the audio record in ID3 format.

ID3 tags enable you to store additional information within her MP3 files such as the track title, artist name and even album art. If you’re not acquainted with ID3 tags, girlfriend may find my previous short article on What room ID3 tags in MP3 files? helpful.

Image Types

While the ID3v2 sign standard permits any type of image to be installed in one MP3 file, the does advise that either PNG or JPEG layouts should be provided when interoperability v playback devices is required. Almost speaking JPEG images have actually been adopted as the de facto standard in this respect.

The ID3 typical is very flexible through regards to the form and variety of images that have the right to be installed in a MP3 single file. The full list of different images that deserve to be embedded are:

$00 – Other$01 – 32×32 pixels ‘file icon’ (PNG only)$02 – Other file icon$03 – covering (front)$04 – sheathe (back)$05 – Leaflet page$06 – Media (e.g. Label side the CD)$07 – lead artist/lead performer/soloist$08 – Artist/performer$09 – Conductor$0A – Band/Orchestra$0B – Composer$0C – Lyricist/text writer$0D – recording Location$0E – throughout recording$0F – throughout performance$10 – Movie/video screen capture$11 – A shining coloured fish$12 – Illustration$13 – Band/artist logotype$14 – Publisher/Studio logotype

Quite an exhaustive list, and while a solitary MP3 record could embed all of the over images, in practice just one image is ever before usually embedded.

File Sizes

Unfortunately, any additional information the you add to one MP3 paper will increase its paper size and also this is of specific importance when including images due to their potential size, even with compressed photos such as JPEGs.

However, this does must be take away in context. For example, including an 80kB JPEG image to a single 8MB podcast won’t have a far-ranging effect; it’s just a 1% increase in file size.

If on the other hand you include an 80kB album image to every single track in her MP3 collection, let’s speak of 1,000 songs, then you’ll require any extr 80MB the storage, which can otherwise organize a additional 20 songs or so (another 2 albums).

Current Media Player Support

home windows Media Player embeds album artwork together 200 x 200 pixel images, although will display larger images if castle are embedded in the playing record as a larger size. iTunes currently displays album art as 200 x 200 pixel images. The picture to the right is sized at 200 x 200 pixels by way of example and is 35kB in paper size.

The resolution of the iPod nano and also iPod classic screens is 320 x 240 pixels. The iPod touch display screen is 480 x 320 pixels, more than sufficient to display images of 200 x 200 pixels.

The present Standard

The bulk of podcasts that include images embedded within them embrace an picture size that 300 x 300 pixels.

The snapshot to the right is sized at 300 x 300 pixels and also is 62kB in file size by means of example.

JPEG images of this dimensions will differ in paper size (dependant on the compression ratio used and image complexity) from roughly 10kB to 80kB or so. A 300 x 300 pixel picture is actually over twice the dimension of a 200 x 200 image, and will subsequently lead to approximately double paper sizes.

Adding Your very own Pictures

So if you’re creating your own podcast and want to enhance it with your very own logo, or simply want to embellish few of the tracks that you currently have in your MP3 arsenal with album art, what’s the best way forward?

It’s probably ideal to standardise ~ above JPEG pictures to ensure that your artwork deserve to be viewed on the bulk of feasible playback devices.

Image size are probably best collection at 300 x 300 pixels to display in reasonable quality on many playback systems. However, if you’re concerned about the space taken increase by these images, 200 x 200 pixel photos may it is in the far better option because that you, to reduce the image paper size to about fifty percent that of a 300 x 300 pixel image. The BBC (a valuable technical yardstick I’ve always found) embed 300 x 300 images in their podcasts.

If your current software doesn’t permit you come embed or include images to her MP3 papers directly, climate standalone tag editing and enhancing software have to offer friend this functionality. Some beneficial examples of together are:

What ID3 Tags should you use in a Podcast?
What room ID3 tag in MP3 Files?Alternative ID3 sign for adding Artwork come MP3 Files
What is a Podcast?


Rory commented

18 Sep 08 in ~ 10:39 pm

Danny commented

17 Dec 08 at 7:41 pm

Dacey commented

01 Mar 09 in ~ 11:01 pm

ronald commented

26 Apr 09 at 5:38 pm

on my ipod touch under artist,when i choose an artist the screen moves to show the album covers through album name, touch the album that then reflects the tracks in ~ the album.perfect! now with part artist, that goes directly to the track, no album cover. Ns ise media monkey come embed the artwork for albums and cover. My itouch shows the consist of for all albums in covering flow yet doesn’t present the album artwork in album category. Ns tried to reembed the art work, stays the same. Any kind of ideas why. Give thanks to you if you have the right to reply

abel commented

01 might 09 in ~ 1:24 am

This is too confusing. Ns noticed that part music albums form the network come through artwork hidden and also when the songs room in the mp3 player the pictures are displayed. How can i put this come my song that ns ripped from my CDs?

I have a usual folder on one NAS for all of my MP3s. Ns am teh only one that has write privileges come it, so as to avoid inadvertently deletions through the remainder of my family. I newly went through, making use of iTunes, and added album art to all of my MP3s. I then checked out my wife’s machine, ran iTunes finagled approximately a bit and was unable to view the album art as I had expected. I even deleted an album from her iTunes and then re-added the folder and still there was no album art. So, i am right now confused, as while I expropriate what friend say, it would certainly seem that my records are no holding the album art. In fact, right currently I have selected all songs in she library (all of which are located on this read-only share because that her) and also told iTunes to upgrade the album art – which that is currently doing. This is suggesting to me the iTunes is save on computer the album art in that is catalogue and not the mp3 record itself. Deserve to you confirm or explain what i am witnessing?

Can anyone assist me ~ above inserting album art making use of ID3 form.If somebody like to help me please send a post to +94712950269 or answer by leaving a comment come this!I would certainly be gratefull if you’d aid me!

I have added album arts tags to every my music records (set in ~ 600 x 600 pixel resolution).

I want to include back covers and also sleeve notes, i beg your pardon I deserve to do – yet don’t know of any type of players that will certainly actually display anything however front cover arts work.

Any suggestions?

Thnks Richard – i guess the will save me a most time and effort, as I have 8600 mp3 files I was going to include additional images to!! Still, i will continue to scan the back covers and also notes – i am certain a player will appear with the town hall capabilities one day.

Don’t recognize if anyone has actually checked the end “”. The a website for share high resolution album images (600 x 600 pixels). There space thousands of albums currently on the website – and its cost-free to download these images. I am right now uploading my photos to share through the site.


Your article is extremely helpful. However, you execute not mention what setting to usage for dpi (unless ns missed it). I’m scanning photos from CDs and resizing them utilizing Photoshop. Mine 300 x 300 pixel picture are about 150 kb. You mentioned a 62 kb size. What dpi must I be using? What jpg quality must I select when saving the files?


Im trying come embed the album arts in the mp3 tag file using VB code but cant discover the indict to execute it. Can anyone help me in this respect?

Richard-Thanks because that a really informative thread.My concern is this: “If friend embed album arts in a single mp3, will certainly that be enough to screen the cover for the whole album, or would certainly I must embed that art in every track on one album? would certainly it have to be the first track on the album? Last?With +- 9000 mp3 files, it would save so much time and disc room if I can simply embed as soon as per album.Thanks!

I dislike MP3.

A couple of years ago, I added cover art to every my mp3 files using iTunes. Now after I installed Win7 with WMP, i no longer use iTunes. Unfortunetely, WMP cannot check out the cover art from all mp3 files – only som that them.

If I add album art to one album in WMP, it refuses to include the cover come all documents in the album. Nomatter exactly how I do it. Likewise, Windows traveler can read the album arts for the album, but not all records in the album.

See more: What Is Another Name For Voltage ? Synonyms For Voltage

What is dorn with human being making software program for playing mp3 files? i mean, this is not obtaining a rocket come the moon or something. How hard can the be?

So, every I have to do is when AGAIN to add the abum arts to each paper using 3. Component software? This is not just lame – the is level stupid.

I do indeed sympathise with your plight having actually experienced how various media players handle track artwork very first hand!

Hi Richard

I adhered to your guide and installed the Mp3Tag software. It works outstanding! ns can change everything (even remove covert iTunes tags) and add Album arts to EVERY file. Great!

Now ns only have to edit one more 638 albums – or delete 90% of castle which I never ever hear quiet