Old 24th December 2011, 17:32   #1
stevew09
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erm... album art

Hi all,

Just started using winamp after using wmp for years, however I'm finding hard to get album art, when I search for it through winamp it can't find any, even for some very popular CD's. I read somewhere that winamp uses allmusic.com for this, if I search for the CD on that site and can find it and it shows album art....

Any ideas why Winamp can't??

Cheers

Steve
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Old 24th December 2011, 20:00   #2
Deffervescence
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Re: Seeking album art

Steve;

As far as I can tell with my own custom tagging, Winamp's album art/tagging subfeature (via the 'View File Info' panel) depends on a very precise inclusion of the artist's name, the album name, and the year, with the biggest difficulties involving harder to find or local-press discs.
Sometimes even one piece of info missing, or if the service that Winamp uses has even a minutely different spelling of one of those pieces of information, it'll turn up empty. More recent releases and certainly big name releases (Nine Inch Nails, Lady Gaga, Celine Dion) will probably have a broader range of possible 'hits', and the odds are it'll come up with something (again, barring obscure or bootleg releases, or releases from other countries of a domestic album release).

My usual solution for this is a simple search in Google, using this syntax '<album name> <artist> amazon'

Say if I was looking for art for Nine Inch Nails' 'The Downward Spiral':

'nine inch nails downward spiral amazon'

The odds are the Amazon webpage regarding The Downward Spiral would be on the first page of results (and in this case there would be more than one Amazon hit as I know TDS has a Deluxe Version and at least one vinyl release, but I digress). There are very few instances in which even an obscure pressing (say Gary O's 'Strange Behaviour', which as far as I know never made it past vinyl after its release in the 1980s) doesn't have at least a small thumbnail, free to download, of the album art.

Amazon isn't perfect, but it's actually quite good at finding high-resolution album art (and often of liner notes and tray scans, again, as far as I know, that you'll be able to freely download) for both popular releases and less recent ones.

My biggest complaint with Winamp's album art 'finder' is that frequently the found covers are only 150x150 to 200x200 pixels, which makes it look a bit blocky if you like your Album Art panel big like I do, but I don't have any less respect for the handiness of the search feature.

Hope this helps!

-Deff.
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Old 25th December 2011, 08:48   #3
stevew09
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Thanks for the great informative reply Deff. How do you get the album art into Winamp (as I guess you save the art from Amazon). I tried doing this and saving the jpg file in the album folder that that did not work either.

I tried leaving some of the boxes empty, for example I was trying with a Dave Brubeck CD, so I left the album and year text boxes empty and it retuned no results (It must of been able to find matches with Dave Brubeck, so I guess from this the search seems to need at least album and artist filled in) Is there a wildcard character I can use? (I tried * to no avail)

One question I have is "Why can't winamp get the album cover automatically like WMP does?"

Also if I want the album art on my Samsung Galaxy S2 do I need to do anything special as the album art dialogue window states the art is only for winamp...?

Cheers
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Old 25th December 2011, 09:06   #4
stevew09
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Ah figured out how to get the album art from the web into winamp - Use File info and load the cover art.

Have to see if the art now persists when I sync with Android phone....
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Old 25th December 2011, 19:03   #5
Deffervescence
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Re: Album art

Steve,

Not a problem regarding the assistance. It took some figuring out to get a handle on the 'how' as opposed to wondering the 'why' of how different media players use and access album art (and how to link them with media file); in my case, WMP and Winamp; and I'm pleased to save you the trouble and spell what I've learned out plainly. I'm glad my explanation was succinct enough; I'm afraid I'm not the greatest of teachers.

As for your question regarding album art, I can try to explain what I've gathered from my own experiences:

Winamp, as far as I can tell, doesn't what's called 'embed' art in a given music file. Usually when I either import album art (Load Artwork on the Album Art tab) or sometimes find a hit in the Album Art search feature (Download Artwork on the Album Art tab) it saves a JPEG in the appropriate resolution with the same name as the album's save directory (presumably the album name, in most case, spelled the same as the tagged album spelling) that directs Winamp to display that graphic in the Album Art window when that MP3 or group of MP3s is played. Alternatively, you can simply drop the album art in the album's folder in Windows Explorer by titling it 'folder.jpg' (make sure the suffix is spelled 'jpg'- if it's spelled 'jpeg' WA may not recognize it) and Winamp should cue it up automatically.

Windows Media Player: this gets a touch more complicated, and outside of MP3s (in the case of lossless WMAs, which I use frequently) I'm partly guessing at this. WMP downloads art from their own service when a CD is ripped (regardless, AFAIK, of ripped format) and saves two or three low-rez linked cover art graphics (usually JPGs) that are both linked directly to that album (and directory) as opposed to the individual MP3s if they're moved out of the directory they were original ripped to (which I have found will have WMP display no album art as a result). It might occur to a body that you could move the linked JPGs with the MP3s as long as the whole thing is together, but regrettably (and I have yet to find a way to make the attributes stick in Windows Explorer for these files) the linked graphics are all Hidden. Programs like IrfanView (freeware graphics viewer) will recognize them but I have yet to be able to manipulate them as necessary in Explorer. However, in the case of graphics you add manually in the Advanced Tag Editor, said graphics are directly embedded in the music files (making them functionally a part of each file). This is the most reliable way to ensure (or attempt to ensure) an orphan music file will or will likely retain its album art on an MP3 player or smartphone.

As for your Android, I have so little experience with smartphones and their format styles that I really couldn't tell you with any certainty anything worth supposing. Sorry about that. But I'm happy if I've helped outside of that!

Have a good one, and by the way, a very Merry Christmas to you and yours!

-Deff.
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