Add or change album art

You can use Windows Media Player 11 to display the album cover artwork that is associated with the songs in your 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 is available for the CD, including album art. In addition, the Player periodically scans your 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. However, if the correct album art is not downloaded automatically when you rip a CD, you can try to match an album in your library with album art in the online database, a file on your computer, or from a webpage.

Why album art is sometimes missing

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

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

  • You are connected to the Internet, but the online database is missing album art (or there is 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.

Add album art from the online database

You can try to match an album in your 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. Note that 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 have previously edited the media information for that album in your library, the following procedure will overwrite your changes.

To add album art from the online database

  1. Connect to the Internet.

  2. In Windows Media Player, click the Library tab, and then browse to the album that you want to add art to.

  3. Right-click the album, and then click Find Album Info.

    Screen shot of the Find Album Info command
  4. If you get an error message that says that you must change your privacy settings before you can update media information, do the following:

    1. Click the arrow below the Library tab, and then click More Options.

      Screen shot of the More Options command
    2. Click the Privacy tab, and then select the Update music files by retrieving media info from the Internet check box.

    Screen shot of the Update music files option
  5. 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. You can match your own album art to the album by following the procedure in the next section.

Add the album art of your choice manually

If some of your albums are missing album art or if you want to replace existing art with your own, 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).

To add album art to all songs in an album

  1. Click the Library tab, and then browse to the album that is missing art.

  2. Using either Internet Explorer or Windows Explorer, in another window, find a picture that you want to use for album art (the picture can be in a file on your computer or on a webpage), right-click the picture, and then click Copy.

    Screen shot of the Copy command

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

  3. In your library, right-click the album art box, and then click Paste Album Art.

    Screen shot of the Paste Album Art command

    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.

    If you cannot add album art manually, verify that you have permission to modify the file. For example, right-click the file, click Open, right-click the file again, 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.

View album art

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

  • In the library

  • 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, click the Now Playing tab, right-click the area where videos and visualizations appear, 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)

    Note that 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.

To view album art when playing music

Do one of the following:

  • Begin playing the song, and then click Now Playing. Click the arrow below the Now Playing tab, point to Visualizations, and then click Album Art.

    Screen shot of the Album Art command

    Large album art appears in the visualization area.

  • Begin playing the song, and then click Now Playing. If the List pane is not visible, click the arrow below the Now Playing tab, and then click Show List Pane.

    Screen shot of the Show List Pane command

    Small album art appears in the List pane.