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Windows 7: Corrupt Album Art Cache

18 Aug 2011   #51
katiebuglove

Windows 7 Home Premium, 64 bit, SP1
 
 

Quote:
Need more info.

You mention "scanned"... so does that mean you actually used a scanner, to scan the CD cover yourself? If so, can you please describe this process. What scanner, what scanning software, what scanner software settings (e.g. DPI and any other sharpening/de-screening settings), what are the dimensions and format of the "raw" results of the scan (e.g. is it TIF)?
HP6480 Scanner (flatbed on my all-in-one printer)
Crappy Windows scanner software, 200DPI (resuloution?) Bitmap


Quote:
And what editing software are you using to then rotate/crop/edit the scan, touch up its contrast, brightness and color (and how are you doing this), and then how are you re-sizing and saving your adjusted scanned image into a 500x500 JPG?
For my own mix cd's with my original artwork, I use Paint Shop Pro v X. I open the 200x200 folder.jpg, resize to 500x500, open the new scan in the PSP, make my adjustments, copy and paste over the original folder.jpg and hit "Save".

For purchased cd's, I drag the one I want from Amazon (500x500 or as big as I can get), delete the orginal folder.jpg and rename the new one folder.jpg. If these need touchups I take them to PSP, make my adjustments, hit "Save" and then delete orginal 200xd200, rename the new one folder.jpg.

Quote:
After you tell me your approach, I'll tell you mine.

But obviously there's no way you should end up with a 200x200 result unless you are using some tools or techniques I'm unfamiliar with. I can attest to the fact that I end up with 500x500 high-quality JPG's when I go through my own scan-my-own procedure. Need to know how you re-size and save.

I need to hear your story, to suggest where your 200x200 results are coming from.
If anyone knows, I'll bet you will.


Quote:
I finally have finished my "single artist" CDs, and also my "soundtracks". And I'm halfway through my "compilations" (which actually have far fewer tracks I want to put into FLAC format, so they go very quickly).

I have maybe another 90 or so compilation CDs and I'll be done! Perhaps 1-2 more days, since these go very quickly now.

As I mentioned before, I'm using this pass as another opportunity to review my album art, and re-scan my own if it turns out I'd accepted one previously that while 500x500 upon further inspection looks fairly crummy.

Most exciting, it does appear I'll be able to still get the entire new collection onto my 32GB+32GB Cowon J3 player. Looks like when I'm done the entire music collection including selective FLAC replacements for MP3 will be about 59GB. I currently have 900 FLAC files out of 6700 total tracks (i.e. the rest are MP3), and will probably end up with about 950 FLAC files at the end.
Cool!


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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18 Aug 2011   #52
katiebuglove

Windows 7 Home Premium, 64 bit, SP1
 
 

One more thing: The only, ONLY reason that I open WMP is to rip factory cd's because it looks up all the tags. Some I want, like track names, but it adds all kinds of album art that I don't want. I suspect that this is part of my problem, as I delete those, add my own 500x500 but it reverts to 200x200. Not always, though...very puzzling.

Anyway, I looked over your primary and secondary programs that you use. I may be missing something, but what do you use to rip? And does it have album info lookup?

I have Cakewalk Pyro software, mostly for editing tracks such as fade in, fade out, etc. It has a feature for lookup but sadly it doesn't work. Will have to contact them.

If I can find a suitable program, I will never need WMP again!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Aug 2011   #53
dsperber

Windows 7 Pro x64 (1), Win7 Pro X64 (2)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by katiebuglove View Post
One more thing: The only, ONLY reason that I open WMP is to rip factory cd's because it looks up all the tags. Some I want, like track names, but it adds all kinds of album art that I don't want. I suspect that this is part of my problem, as I delete those, add my own 500x500 but it reverts to 200x200. Not always, though...very puzzling.

Anyway, I looked over your primary and secondary programs that you use. I may be missing something, but what do you use to rip? And does it have album info lookup?
Grrr... my computer just locked up a few minutes ago, and I'd spent about 30 minutes responding to your prior post regarding the 200x200 issue. I will have to re-write it all again a bit later.

But as far as what I use to rip commercial retail CDs, it is Audiograbber. I also have Exact Audio Copy (EAC) installed but feel it is far too complex in its setup and use. I've never had any problem with Audiograbber and its interface is much much simpler and easy-to-use. Been using it since 1999.

To make an MP3, I have Audiograbber set up to invoke LAME directly for the encode step. I use the external LAME.EXE program. Audiograbber itself does the rip to WAV, then invokes LAME to encode to MP3, Audiograbber then deletes the WAV, and Audiograbber creates the ID3 tag.

And yes, when you insert a CD Audiograbber will go up to FreeDB to retrieve all of the album info and track list details.

Production of FLAC is a slightly different process, but still uses Audiograbber for the rip to WAV. However nothing further is done. I then use FLAC-Frontend to invoke the FLAC encoder against the WAV file I just ripped to with Audiograbber. FLAC-Frontend invokes the FLAC encoder, then deletes the WAV file, and also creates the FLAC tag. Unfortunately FLAC-Frontend has a minor problem that fails to fill in the internal "title" tag field value, and it also doesn't support individual artist and year for "compilations", so I have to use MP3Tag to clean up the FLAC tags after the actual encoding and partial-tagging is complete.

I'll be glad to share my Audiograbber setup (including parameters for the invoke of external LAME.EXE for MP3) if you're interested. I can post screenshots as the easiest way to provide assistance. In my opinion there's no reason for you to deal with EAC.

Note that Audiograbber does NOT deal with album art at all. This is strictly your own job, typically finding an acceptable cover from Amazon but otherwise making one yourself.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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18 Aug 2011   #54
katiebuglove

Windows 7 Home Premium, 64 bit, SP1
 
 

I downloaded Audiograbber but it told me something like, not a valid wav file. Is this because the tracks are .cda format (or something like that?) and they have to be converted to wav before they can become mp3?

Very interested in how you do it, if not too much trouble.

As far as WMP messing with folder.jpg sizes, I got everything the way I wanted (without opening WMP!) and transferred to usb flash drive. Then I deleted my entire music library so that when I rip a new cd, I don't have to wade through all of them and the fixed ones don't get corrupted again and get mixed up with the good ones (run-on sentence, please excuse). As soon as I get one ripped and the artwork on it, in the proper size, I send it to flash drive and delete it from my computer. I went through my archives of cd's I didn't think worthy of putting on my hard drive. As it turns out, I'm looking at a pile of about 60 that I want to add to my library, but not the way I've been doing it. Way, way too much work. Stupid WMP. Why is Windows (Microsoft--Bill Gates) so evil?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Aug 2011   #55
dsperber

Windows 7 Pro x64 (1), Win7 Pro X64 (2)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by katiebuglove View Post
I downloaded Audiograbber but it told me something like, not a valid wav file. Is this because the tracks are .cda format (or something like that?) and they have to be converted to wav before they can become mp3?

Very interested in how you do it, if not too much trouble.
I'm not sure I follow.

Assuming you set up Audiograbber correctly (see my screenshots that follow), you just insert the CD and let the rest happen automatically.

It will go up to FreeDb to try and find the CD there. If it finds a unique hit it will retrieve the information and populate the screen. Single-artist or multi-arts (compilation) will be detected automatically, and the interface of artist name and track name will be populated accordingly.

If there are multiple hits (because multiple people have submitted their own personal CD data for the same physical CD to FreeDB) then you'll get a popup box allowing you to choose one of the multiples. It's not really important which one you choose, because you can always overtype and edit whatever information gets populated on the screen. So the FreeDB info is really just a starting point, which saves lots of time usually. But again, you can make any changes you want before you do the rip/encode/tag. And even then, you can also make further changes with MP3Tag. So it really doesn't matter which album you pick when multiple hits exist.

Also, I very often make changes to either artist or title after the data from FreeDB has been retrieved, because my music collection has artist as "lastname, firstname". And I also move leading "The" to the end or artist or title, as "..., The". Inevitably this is not how the FreeDB data submitted by others looks so I have to make those changes myself.


For example, I just inserted one of my "oldies compilations". FreeDB was queried, there were two hits, I picked the first one in the list, and the following results were produced by Audiograbber:



After possibly editing the artist name and track name data, along with the master artist/album and year/genre information at the top, you check the box next to the one or more tracks you'd like to extract from the CD. When you push the GRAB button icon, the process will begin.

The two buttons at the lower-left corner allow you to automatically (a) check for all tracks, or (b) un-check for all tracks. And then you could always manually check or un-check individual tracks as you want.

You can force a re-query of FreeDB by pushing the FreeDB button.

You can preview tracks directly from the CD using the player controls at the bottom. Just select a track's artist or title value to light it up, and then push the PLAY button, etc. In order to preview another track you must first push STOP for the current track and then the select that other track and then push PLAY again. Only one track at a time can be played, so you can't select multiple tracks and than use the "skip-forward/backward" buttons (I don't know why he even invented those buttons).


Here are my settings (pay careful attention to radio buttons and checkboxes):

(1) Settings dropdown from Menu (note the three checked items):



(2) ID3V1 tag... (note the comment I've inserted, indicating the encoder used, just because I wanted that information present in tags):



(3) ID3V2 tag... (again, my own comments are inserted just so I would know what was used to do the encoding):



(4) General Settings, "Naming" tab. This is where the target parent folder is specified. Underneath this parent folder, sub-directories will be created according to the boxes checked. My collection organization is essentially (a) D:\MP3\Artist\Album for single-artist CDs, and (b) D:\MP3\Oldies Collections\Album for multi-artist compilations (kind of like "Oldies Collections" is the conceptual "artist" for all these albums.

So I have two approaches in Audiograbber, depending on whether I'm working on a single-artist CD or a multi-artist compilation. The example in the screenshot is shown for a compilation but either of these two setups is used depending on which type of CD I'm working on:

(a) single-artist CD: parent directory for me is D:\MP3
Sub-directories - "artist as directory" checked, "album as directory" checked.

(b) multi-artist compilation CD: parent directory is D:\MP3\Oldies Collections
Sub-directories - "artist as directory" UN-checked, "album as directory" checked.



(5) General settings, "Silence" tab. I don't have anything checked here, but Audiograbber can be requested to automatically detect leading or trailing silence on a track and to delete all but a specified amount of that silence.

I don't use this feature. If I want to make an abbreviated partial rip (e.g. the long 12" version of a song is on a CD, but I don't want the whole thing) I will use the "Rip offset" tab to specify the start/end time manually. I would use the same manual approach if I needed to eliminate silence at start or end of the track, rather than this "delete silence automatically" tab.



(6) General settings, "rip offset" tab. As I stated above, the "partial rips" checkbox is normally UN-checked. Only for special situations would I check it, and then specify the (a) rip only value length of the rip as n seconds, and (b) starting at m seconds into the track. Alternatively you could specify it more precisely in frames rather than seconds.



(7) General settings, "time est" tab (no changes from default), and "misc" tab:



Note that with "dynamic sync width" specified for the rip method, this is a very reliable technique. But if there is a read-error I do NOT want the rip to continue, instead I want it to fail and abort the process. So I've UN-checked the "continue even if syncronization fails" box.

Also, you can "select all tracks by default" if you want every track to automatically get checked for ripping when you insert it. I don't like that, and prefer NO tracks to be automatically checked. Instead I preview each track (if I'm not familiar with the CD) right there using the player controls, and then check that track if I decide I want to grab it.

(8) General settings - "more misc" tab.



(9) MP3 Settings. This is changed either for (a) FLAC -> grab to WAV file, or (b) MP3 -> grab to MP3 file via intermediate WAV file and delete the WAV file.



Note that my command-line parameters for external encoder LAME (when encoding to MP3) is fully shown in that box. You need to download LAME from its web site and place LAME.EXE in the folder pointed to in this MP3 Settings panel.

(10) Normalize settings. I normally don't use this (because I don't trust it), but theoretically "normalization" can be applied if the track is lower than or higher than a specified percentage value compared to 100% treated as fully modulated. I don't fully understand this criteria, and I don't trust it.



Besides, if a track is "quiet" I want my MP3/FLAC version to also be quiet. I only use normalizing for overloading tracks that are too loud (i.e. 100% or louder). Then I'll normalize down to 98%.

I myself only DO or DO NOT use "normalization" in this criteria-driven way as facilitated by this dialog. When I do use it I simply say "use normalizing, and normalize to 98%" (which I've pre-entered on this screen, so that this value either is or is not used for normalization, depending on the simple "normalize" checkbox on the main interface next to the normalize button icon). Alternatively, if you push the normalize button icon on the main interface you'll get this "normalize settings" window and you can fool with more details (but I don't).

So I watch the level indicator on the rip screen while the ripping is proceeding, and if it ever shoots up to 100% I know it must be "overloading". I will then push the ABORT button to stop the current overloading track's rip, uncheck earlier non-overloading tracks I may have already ripped happily without "normalizing" checked, check the "normalize" box on the main interface (which essentially checks the "use normalizing box on this screen) and then push the "grab" button again to re-initiate the rip starting at this track.

And when this track completes (with "normalize" still checked), I keep my eye on the level meter for the next track, in order to decide again whether to leave "normalize" checked for this next track or whether to abort it, uncheck the prior track, uncheck the "normalize" box, and then push the grab button to re-initiate the rip on the current track but this time with "normalize" set back to OFF.

This is just my own approach, as I don't like making MP3/FLAC versions of tracks which are too loud and hit the 100% modulation level. If they reach 98% or 99% I'll let them go. But if they hit 100% I'll "normalize" them to 98%. That's just me.

(11) FreeDB settings. Enter your own email address, which is needed for the access to complete.



Note that you can specify here that you'd like the FreeDB response data to be stored locally. This used to be in an INI file under Win98, as a locally available database. Then, if you ever reinserted the same CD again the local database INI file could be examined first and the duplicate query to FreeDB avoided. Also, this INI file used to be read by the Win98 CD player program to provide track information, before the days of WMP and its access to FreeDB.

However there used to be a limit in size for this INI file in Win98, which I think was 64K. So if you had lots of CDs then this 64K limit was eaten up very very quickly.

I've turned off that checkbox, so I have no idea how it would work today in Win7 if I turned it back on. But I don't want to retain the information anyway. I'm never going to put the CD back in for Audiograbber after right now, or if I do then I don't mind if it queries FreeDB again.


Good luck. Let me know if you have more questions (e.g. if you want to create FLAC, and not just MP3).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Aug 2011   #56
katiebuglove

Windows 7 Home Premium, 64 bit, SP1
 
 

Okay, it's working.... Don't know what I did the first time, I never seem to do the right thing the first time. Thank God for you!

I'll let you know when my first cd is finished and how it sounds!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Aug 2011   #57
dsperber

Windows 7 Pro x64 (1), Win7 Pro X64 (2)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by katiebuglove View Post
Okay, it's working.... Don't know what I did the first time, I never seem to do the right thing the first time. Thank God for you!
Hope my "tutorial" above is helpful.


Quote:
I'll let you know when my first cd is finished and how it sounds!
If you download LAME, and you specify the arguments to it in the MP3 Settings as I have shown:
%s %d -q 0 -V 0 -b 64 -B 320 -m s --vbr-new
then I'm sure you will be THRILLED with how it sounds in MP3 form encoded this way.

But it will sound even better (i.e. exactly like the original CD track) in FLAC, if you want to take up about 50-60% of the WAV size on your hard drive. Typically this is 3-4 times the size of the MP3 file.

And of course Jaangle can play either MP3 or FLAC. I hope you've enabled its 3-band EQ (in the lower right corner):

My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Aug 2011   #58
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

Dsperber:

You are quite the guru on mp3tag, so I am wondering if you can help me with the following:

I have a 21,000 plus mp3 collection. All are individual songs as opposed to "albums". My Explorer directory structure is by genre (blues, country, etc) and within each genre I have individual artists. Each song is named in this format:

Steve Alaimo - Every Day I Have To Cry Some

Here's the deal: I have NO interest in any tags other than artist, title, and (occasionally) album (I sometimes want to know from what CD it was ripped--usually I don't).

So, I have NO interest in album art, genre, year, and all other tags.

I would like to delete ALL tags from ALL 21,000 songs EXCEPT for artist, title, and album.

I know I can do this one song at a time, but that is so laborious I would not even begin to do it.

Can mp3tag (or any other app) do this as a batch job, walking down my entire collection in an automated fashion, and delete these unwanted tags--retaining only the three tags I want to keep???
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Aug 2011   #59
dsperber

Windows 7 Pro x64 (1), Win7 Pro X64 (2)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ignatzatsonic View Post
Here's the deal: I have NO interest in any tags other than artist, title, and (occasionally) album (I sometimes want to know from what CD it was ripped--usually I don't).

So, I have NO interest in album art, genre, year, and all other tags.

I would like to delete ALL tags from ALL 21,000 songs EXCEPT for artist, title, and album.

Can mp3tag (or any other app) do this as a batch job, walking down my entire collection in an automated fashion, and delete these unwanted tags--retaining only the three tags I want to keep???
Absolutely. But it's not a "batch job"... it's even simpler than that.

It's a single-click function (once you set up the tag pane correctly and get the tracklist to show all 21,000 of your files) and the program will simply mass-apply your request to all 21,000 songs. It'll take a little time to complete of course, but it will be a single-click action to do it all.

So, you want to delete (i.e. BLANK out) all tag fields except for artist, title and album, which you want to KEEP. This is really nothing more than (a) specifying the <keep> value for each field in the tag pane that you want to keep (i.e. artist, title, and album), and (b) specifying the <blank> value you want to blank out for each field in the tag pane that you want to blank out.

Then you will simply push the "SAVE" icon button (leftmost button) and your request will be mass-applied to all selected tracks in the tracklist pane.

(1) First, you must get all 21,000 tracks into the tracklist pane (on the right side). This is easily accomplished by doing a "change directory" to whatever is your highest-level parent folder older over your entire collection. The "change directory" button on the button bar can be used, or File -> change directory from the Menu bar.

(2) The "please select a directory that contains audio files" dialog window will then appear, and you navigate to that highest-level parent folder.

AND... you check the "subdirectories" box at the bottom-right of the dialog window. This will cause MP3Tag to recurse down through any and all sub-directories under the folder you just navigated to, meaning in your case ALL of your 21,000 music files will be enumerated in the track list since you pointed to your highest-level parent folder.

It may take a bit of time to recurse and list 21,000 tracks, but it will finish and the tracklist pane will now show all 21,000 tracks.

(3) Now select ALL of the tracks in the tracklist pane. Simply select the first track shown, and then press both CTRL+a on the keyboard (you can press CTRL and keep it down, and then press the "a" key) to "select ALL". Every one of the 21,000 tracks will light up.

(4) Over in the tag pane on the left, from the dropdown list for title, artist and album you pick the <keep> value. And for all other fields you pick the <blank> value.

That's all you need to do.

(5) Now push the blue SAVE icon button, and sit back and wait.

(6) Mission accomplished.


You should probably experiment first on just one folder (without the "subdirectories" box checked, for the test) to prove to yourself that this method works and you have confidence in the results.

Then you can do what I describe above with complete confidence, without first taking a backup of your collection (although I suspect you already have one, or you might want to take one anyway just in case you are skeptical or don't want to risk any disaster).

Or, perhaps you might want to do this in subsets... say one genre at a time as you have your collection with major genre sub-folders under the parent folder. Up to you.


Incidentally, you can do the same type of thing but removing album art for all your 21,000 tracks if that's also on the maintenance agenda.

Again, you select all 21,000 tracks in the tracklist pane. Then set the <keep> value in each of the tag pane's fields, so that there is no change to any of the other fields. Then right-click on the album art area (bottom left of the tag pane) and select "remove cover". I don't know if the deletion of album art for all 21,000 files will then happen immediately, of whether you also need to then click the SAVE icon to make that happen.

I don't have imbedded album art, so I can't confirm right now for myself exactly what the right sequence of steps is. But you can probably try this yourself and see how it works and what you have to do.

However I'm certain that removing album art from multiple tracks at once is done in this way, or close to this way. Experiment for yourself on a few files, just to be sure.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Aug 2011   #60
katiebuglove

Windows 7 Home Premium, 64 bit, SP1
 
 

Okay, you are my new guru--I'm officially off WMP! Your tut was excellent, I had the program set to your specs in a matter of seconds, it was darned near automatic and you're right--the sound is excellent!

MP3Tag
Jaangle
AudioGrabber w/Lame

Can't think of anything else I need, can you?

Stay well, my friend, I (and the whole darned music community) will need you again!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Corrupt Album Art Cache




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