Add or change album art in Windows Media Player


Windows Media Player can display the album cover artwork associated with the songs in your Player Library.

Where does album art come from?

The Player downloads album art from an online database where the information is supplied by a variety of non-Microsoft data providers, such as AMG.

The Player downloads album art when you rip a CD. To do so, the Player attempts to match the CD to an entry in the online database. If it finds a match, the Player automatically downloads the media information that's available for the CD, including album art. In addition, the Player periodically scans your Player Library for songs that are missing album art. If it can match a song that is missing album art to an entry in the online database, the Player will download the missing album art. For information about changing how the Player downloads album art and other media information, see Media information in Windows Media Player: frequently asked questions.

Why is album art missing sometimes?

The Player might not download album art from the database in the following situations:

  • You aren't connected to the Internet when ripping a CD.

  • You're connected to the Internet, but the online database is missing album art (or there's no media information at all) for the CD you are ripping.

  • Your system administrator has prevented your computer from downloading items such as album art from the Internet.

  • You ripped the CD using a program other than Windows Media Player; doing so might prevent the Player from finding a match in the online database.

Finally, if the online database contains incorrect album art for a CD, the Player will download that album art.

The following procedures describe methods you can use to fix missing or incorrect album art.

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To add album art from the online database

You can try to match an album in your Player Library with an entry in the online database. If you find a match, the Player will download whatever album art is in the database to your computer.

When the Player downloads album art, it also downloads all other media information associated with that album (such as the album name, song titles, and so on). If you've manually edited the media information for that album in your Player Library, then following these steps will overwrite your changes.

  1. Connect to the Internet.

  2. Click the Start button Picture of the Start button, click All Programs, and then click Windows Media Player.
    If the Player is currently open and you’re in Now Playing mode, click the Switch to Library button Picture of the Switch to Library button in the upper-right corner of the Player.
  3. Browse to the album that you want to fix.

  4. Right-click the album, and then click Find album info.

  5. If you get an error message that says that you must change your privacy settings before you can update media information, do the following: Click the Tools menu, click Options, click the Privacy tab, and then select the Update music files by retrieving media info from the Internet check box. Then, repeat the previous step.

    If the Tools menu isn't visible, you'll need to show the menu bar. To do so, click Organize, point to Layout, and then select Show menu bar.

  6. Do one of the following:

    • If the correct album or artist information appears in the search results, select the correct entry, and then follow the instructions on the page to update the album art and media information automatically. If the correct album information does not appear in the search results, follow the instructions on the page to search again using different search criteria.

    • If the correct album information appears with a generic music icon displayed as the album art, then album art is not available for download. See the procedure about how to add album art manually in this topic.

To add the album art of your choice manually

If some of your albums are missing album art, you can manually add a picture of your choice. When you do so, the picture is embedded into the file, and the Player will always show the embedded file as the album art (as opposed to any album art that the Player may have downloaded from the online database).

  1. Click the Start button Picture of the Start button, click All Programs, and then click Windows Media Player.
    If the Player is currently open and you’re in Now Playing mode, click the Switch to Library button Picture of the Switch to Library button in the upper-right corner of the Player.
  2. Browse to the album that is missing art.

  3. Find a picture that you want to use for album art (the picture can be on your computer or on a webpage), right-click the picture, and then click Copy.

    The original picture can be in any of the following formats: BMP, GIF, JPEG, PNG, or TIFF.

  4. In the Player Library, right-click the album art box, and then click Paste album art.

    A copy of the picture is embedded into each of the songs from that album. The copy of the picture is automatically scaled to the appropriate size and converted to the JPEG format before it is embedded in the file. The original picture file is not modified.

Note

  • If you cannot add album art manually, verify that you have permission to modify the file. For example, right-click the file, and then click Open file location. In the folder, right-click the file, click Properties, and then clear the Read-only check box if it is selected.

Where can you view album art?

Album art can appear in a variety of places inside and outside the Player, including:

  • In the Player Library

  • In the list pane on the right side of the Player

  • In the status area at the bottom of the Player (near the playback controls)

  • In certain visualizations

  • In the Windows folder where you store your music files (for example, the Music folder)

  • In the Info Center View (to see this view in Now Playing mode, right-click the area where videos and visualizations appear, point to Visualizations, and then click Info Center View)

  • In the Find album information dialog box (the dialog box that appears when you click the Find album info command)

The album art that appears in the Find Album Information dialog box is provided by data providers, such as AMG. The album art that appears in the Info Center View is provided by the online store that you currently have selected. For information about how switch to a different online store, see Shop online in Windows Media Player.

To view album art when playing music

  • Do one of the following:

    • Begin playing the song in Now Playing mode. Right-click an open space in the Player (to the left of the Stop button, for example), point to Visualizations, and then click Album art.

      If the Player is currently open and you’re in the Player Library, click the Switch to Now Playing button Picture of the Switch to Now Playing button in the lower-right corner of the Player.

      Large album art appears in the visualization area.

    • Begin playing the song in the Player Library. If the list pane is not visible, click the Play tab.

      If the Player is currently open and you’re in Now Playing mode, click the Switch to Library button Picture of the Switch to Library button in the upper-right corner of the Player.

      Small album art appears in the list pane.



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