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Windows 7: Corrupt Album Art Cache

07 Aug 2011   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium, 64 bit, SP1
 
 
Corrupt Album Art Cache

I have purged my album art cache so many times and I'm sick of it. I manually removed every single picture that I did not want in there. It took a long time and I had to do it more than once! I thought I had it all straigtened out and now I'm seeing this kind of stuff:

View in Music Library, arranged by folder:
Name:  snip3.JPG
Views: 1241
Size:  9.7 KB

When I open the album to see the songs, I see this:
Name:  snip4.JPG
Views: 33
Size:  49.4 KB

View in Music Library, arranged by album:
Name:  snip5.JPG
Views: 1239
Size:  9.7 KB

This is only one example. I have many, many more albums that look like this. Some in album view have this:
Name:  snip 6.JPG
Views: 1242
Size:  8.9 KB

Any help at all is appreciated!



My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Aug 2011   #2

Windows 7 Pro x64 (1), Win7 Pro X64 / WinXP Pro x86 on (2)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by katiebuglove View Post
Any help at all is appreciated!
I recently discovered a really wonderful music/video player/organizer/playlister program: Jaangle. It has now become THE single consolidated program I use for all of these functions, although I still have other programs also available for use (though I still use MP3Tag as my tagging utility, although Jaangle also has such functionality).

I have all of my album art stored as individual "cover.jpg" files located in each of my album folders, with my music collection on one drive and organized as d:\Music\Artist\Album. I do NOT use imbedded album art in the tags of my MP3/FLAC files.

You might consider going this route, using 3rd-party programs to handle your music collection needs.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Aug 2011   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium, 64 bit, SP1
 
 

So, my problem is "embedded" art? Can I stop/undo this? How did the absolute wrong art get put on the songs themselves? But more importantly, if I go with Jaangle, will it have all the wrong artwork imported?

Thanks for answering me, I appreciate it!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


09 Aug 2011   #4

Windows 7 Pro x64 (1), Win7 Pro X64 / WinXP Pro x86 on (2)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by katiebuglove View Post
So, my problem is "embedded" art? Can I stop/undo this? How did the absolute wrong art get put on the songs themselves? But more importantly, if I go with Jaangle, will it have all the wrong artwork imported?
Well I don't know the details of your music collection. I didn't know whether or not you'd imbedded album art inside the tags of the files or not, I really was just mentioning that I myself do not use that approach.

I use the single external "cover.jpg" approach because it's far easier to maintain a collection that does not use imbedded album art. Since I already was organized \Music\Artist\Album, why not just put the one single "cover.jpg" for that album's art inside that one single album folder? Then no music files in that album folder need to have album art in their tag, which of course simply duplicates the identical album art JPG which would already be in all the other music files in the same folder.

So why do it that way? Why not just have a single "cover.jpg" file for the album folder itself, and nothing inside each music file tag? Seems much easier to maintain and simpler to manage, and also takes up less space since there's no duplicate album art inside of each music file from that album.

If you want to reorganize things, and remove all the imbedded album art from your tags (if you have that), and put one of those JPG's into the \Album folder as "cover.jpg", I'd recommend using MP3Tag (if you don't already have it installed). This would be a one-time effort, but in my opinion well worth doing. It would also give you a chance to make a complete pass of your music collection, re-examining your album art, organization, etc.


But to your question as to what might be causing your current Music Library issues, I honestly don't know. I do not use this approach and have always used 3rd-party programs since I started MP3 work back around 1999 with Win98 where built-in OS support for music player/management wasn't nearly what it is today with Windows 7. I use Winamp as my "external player" for MP3 and FLAC.

I have about 1100 true physical CDs (i.e. "albums" on my PC) in my collection, and have extracted about 6700 tracks to MP3 (using LAME) and FLAC (using FLAC Frontend). I use Audiograbber for the rip to WAV, and also to invoke LAME for the encode to MP3 and to delete the WAV, and then Audiograbber does the tag on the MP3. For FLAC I again use Audiograbber for the rip to WAV. Then I use FLAC Frontend to invoke FLAC for the encode to FLAC (you also need to download and install FLAC itself), and delete the WAV, and then FLAC Frontend does a partial job of tagging. I clean up all tags (both MP3 and FLAC) using MP3Tag. Note that many people use EAC to do the rip and encode-to-FLAC or to MP3 via LAME, and then to partially tag the resulting MP3 or FLAC, but I prefer Audiograbber.


Again, I suggest that you review your imbedded album art using MP3Tag, at least to review it. You can decide whether to retain it (if it's correct, and you want to retain that approach), or correct it in specific cases if you need to, or eliminate it completely and go with external "cover.jpg" by extracting individual album art JPG's and saving them as "cover.jpg" into the album folder where they belong.

Note that this whole approach does NOT use any Windows 7 "album art cache" or thumbs.db or anything like that. It's all self-contained in your private music collection folders, and is utilized by the 3rd-party programs you use to manage it and play music.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Aug 2011   #5

Windows 7 Pro x64 (1), Win7 Pro X64 / WinXP Pro x86 on (2)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by katiebuglove View Post
So, my problem is "embedded" art? Can I stop/undo this? How did the absolute wrong art get put on the songs themselves?
Don't know where you got your music files from, nor whether or not or how album art got imbedded, if it did get imbedded.

But you can certainly examine (and repair if necessary) everything in each music file tag using MP3Tag as part of a "music collection health-assessment project". You'll have an opportunity to re-think all that you've done up until now regarding your collection and organization scheme, and perhaps re-do what needs to be done if you now have a clearer and better idea. Again, this is a one-time effort, but obviously appropriate and beneficial in the long run.

Note that Jaangle offers a multitude of presentation schemes and sort sequences. I've chosen Artist - Album (sorted alphabetically), because that works perfectly for me. If you select the high-level artist line (in its "Explorer" pane) you see the total sum of all tracks by that artist for all albums in your collection that have tracks by that artist. If you expand that artist (by clicking on the "+") you see the individual albums indented, and if you select any one of them you see just the tracks of that particular album. You also have album art, artist art, artist biography, and album review/tracklist as the information retained by Jaangle, of course along with all the detail information from tags for every music file itself.

All of the outside information mentioned above is retrieved automatically by Jaangle from LastFM (for artist bio/art) and from Amazon (for album review/tracklist and art if you don't already have your own cover.jpg art).


Quote:
But more importantly, if I go with Jaangle, will it have all the wrong artwork imported?
Perhaps... at least to start. But you can always fix things (using either MP3Tag or Jaangle) and "rebuild collections", or just "re-read tags", or various other actions provided by Jaangle to keep you correct and up-to-date when you've performed maintenance of any kind on your collections.

And the result will be proper music files, and proper database files in the Jaangle directory. There's no use of Windows 7 facilities or "Library". It's completely external, using 3rd-party Jaangle.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Aug 2011   #6

Windows 7 Home Premium, 64 bit, SP1
 
 

I downloaded the MP3Tag program and I'll give it a try tomorrow. It can't be any worse than combing through the album art cache (a couple times a week!), removing everything that I know doesn't belong, and then trying to install the correct artwork in WMP (which doesn't fix the wrong artwork in Windows Explorer!) only to find the next day that several are wrong again! I probably shouldn't be so picky but this stuff not only messes up my WMP, and music library but also my mp3 player, so I want everything just so.

I have always used folder.jpg (in XP, should it be cover.jpg in Windows 7?) for each file, but that didn't add the album artwork in WMP, so I would cut and paste that artwork on the album and then I would have a couple more pictures added to the album folder. Thought I was doing it right....

Thanks so much for taking the time to answer my questions. I'll let you know how I do.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Aug 2011   #7

Windows 7 Home Premium, 64 bit, SP1
 
 

I was going to check out Rinse tonight and it wants to know where my itunes xml file is. I don't have itunes, I have zune and I only want to clean my music library, so I guess I'm out of luck....
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Aug 2011   #8

Windows 7 Pro x64 (1), Win7 Pro X64 / WinXP Pro x86 on (2)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by katiebuglove View Post
I downloaded the MP3Tag program and I'll give it a try tomorrow. It can't be any worse than combing through the album art cache (a couple times a week!), removing everything that I know doesn't belong, and then trying to install the correct artwork in WMP (which doesn't fix the wrong artwork in Windows Explorer!) only to find the next day that several are wrong again!
It'll take some playing around to fully appreciate how to use MP3Tag, i.e. its customization settings, how you arrange the columns, how you can most efficiently modify the data in a tag (i.e. you can either (a) enter data in the "tag pane", which I feel to be a bit clunky and slow but does allow you to manipulate album art if you need to, or (b) overtype directly into the detail list fields using the TAB key to enter/move-to-the-next-field, and ESC to end the edit of a given row), etc.

Here's what my MP3Tag interface looks like, although I generally do NOT have the "tag pane" showing since I'm a "power user" and simply type/tab/ESC my way through the detail rows themselves.




Quote:
I probably shouldn't be so picky but this stuff not only messes up my WMP, and music library but also my mp3 player, so I want everything just so.
I don't use WMP except for playing videos. I use Winamp for playing music. I also have G-Force installed as my "visualization", because I think it's fantastically entertaining. I also have the "Album Art" window active for Winamp, to present the "cover.jpg" art when I play music.

My Winamp presentation looks like this:




Quote:
I have always used folder.jpg (in XP, should it be cover.jpg in Windows 7?) for each file,
Depending on the Windows player program you use, you can typically use either "folder.jpg" or "cover.jpg" with no consideration.

However my Cowon J3 portable music player only supports "cover.jpg", so that's what I've used on my PC collection. I simply COPY/sync my PC's music collection folders to the J3 storage, so going with "cover.jpg" works for both PC and J3.


Quote:
but that didn't add the album artwork in WMP
Again... I don't use WMP because it's under-engineered and clumsy. Using Winamp, or Jaangle, as the player, is the real solution for me. I like Winamp because it also provides song-specific EQ-presets if you want to make use of them, so that each track when played will load it's own unique saved EQ settings (that you created yourself) for optimal sound for each and every track. Or, you can use a default EQ if you have no specific previously saved EQ for a given track.

Jaangle has just one 3-band EQ, but it still seems to sound great. Plus, its organizer interface/presentation is far more powerful and user-friendly than Winamp's, and it makes browsing and playing music a breeze.


Quote:
so I would cut and paste that artwork on the album and then I would have a couple more pictures added to the album folder. Thought I was doing it right....
It's really really easy and straightforward, if you simply have just one single external "cover.jpg" file in an album folder, and no imbedded album art in any music file.

Then you can use Windows Explorer or any similar File Manager (e.g. Free Commander) to maintain your collection.

You can download album art from Amazon (locate the album you are interested in, as if you were going to buy it, and then click on the "see all customer images" link and examine each one, deciding which one you like and then downloading it to your album folder as "cover.jpg) if you don't have your own CDs and scanner. Mostly the art on Amazon is excellent, and I look for high-quality 500x500 images.

In my own case if I can't find a good one I'll scan my own CD cover and tweak it with Photoshop, and then re-size to 500x500 and save it as "cover.jpg" in the album folder.

But again... no imbedded art, use external "cover.jpg" universally in album folders for compatibility with PMP's and PC, and use Winamp or Jaangle as the music player (not WMP).

Note that both Winamp and Jaangle can also produce M3U playlists, if you want to make use of that functionality as well.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Aug 2011   #9

Windows 7 Home Premium, 64 bit, SP1
 
 

I have all the correct album art in a folder,so that's not a problem, but see my next post, it's a moot point as I don't have an itunes xml thingy....
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Aug 2011   #10

Windows 7 Pro x64 (1), Win7 Pro X64 / WinXP Pro x86 on (2)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by katiebuglove View Post
I have all the correct album art in a folder,so that's not a problem, but see my next post, it's a moot point as I don't have an itunes xml thingy....
I'm not sure I follow, but I believe Rinse is related to iTunes in terms of being usable.

I myself don't use iTunes (nor anything Apple-related) and thus have no use at all for Rinse, so don't have any considerations here. I simply have my MP3 and FLAC music files organized by me, myself, into ordinary Windows folders that are organized by \Music\Artist\Album.

All album art is my own, downloaded from Amazon or scanned by myself, and each one saved as "cover.jpg" in the individual corresponding album folder.

My tags are my own, either created automatically by Audiograbber when I produced the MP3/FLAC files myself from CD, or subsequently edited using MP3Tag if any individual or mass editing was required.

In other words, my collection and everything about it, and all of the player/organizer programs I use, are my own. 3rd-party programs used as players or organizers or taggers, no Windows library/WMP impact or use of built-in Windows facilities, no album art thumbnails in thumbs.db involving Windows or WMP, no imbedded album art in tags to worry about, no Apple, etc., etc.

And this all works beautifully when just copied to my Cowon J3 (again, not Apple) portable player... which itself is 100% Windows-friendly, and lets you do anything you want via Windows Explorer or similar file manager programs under Windows. No Apple software or websites involved.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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