Coding and programming HOW TO: Add missing album art to media systems

Annoyed that the album art for your songs not showing up on your fancy built in media system? If you have a seat with the Easy connect system or newer there is a way around this. It’s a bit time consuming but if you’re a completionist like me it’s not too difficult to rectify!

First things first I would like to acknowledge the following threads in being VERY handy in showing me what the initial cause of the problem. What I am doing is writing this up in a how to guide, I am in no way claiming I solved the issue and would like to make sure credit is given to those who were discussing the issue before I showed up!


So what is the basic problem here? Well the media systems do not like your album art to be bigger than 500x500 pixels in size, and prefer to be in JPEG file format. So what do you need to do to sort this out?

Well your first stop is to download and install onto your computer an MP3 tag editor. Some media management software comes with this included (media monkey etc). I myself however use "mp3Tag" you can download it here and don’t worry its free....


With this installed you need to get your music files that you want to play in the car back onto the computer, so whether it is on your phone, USB memory stick or memory card hook this up to your computer so you can access the files directly.

Open mp3tag and after dismissing any welcome messages click on the file menu and select change directory. This will open up a typical file browser window. Just look for the drive or folder where your music has been stored. Be careful however if you just open the very top directory it will read all you MP3 files and may take some time to load! If you have organised your music into folders, just clicking on the individual folder will only load those songs in that directory. Making it easier to manage.


Navigate your way through the list and find a song that is either missing art which you want to add. Or by looking at the info next to the small thumbnail you will see its dimensions. If you find a song with album art bigger than 600x600 pixels it needs reducing.


Next to do this you will need a basic image editing program to reduce the size of the pictures. I’m using some ancient piece of software that came with an old scanner. When you are ready right click on the album image that is too large and select the option “copy cover”


Head over to your image editor, paste it in and simply reduce its size. Id normally say to be safe reduce it by roughly half. It is never going to show up in great detail anyway so don’t worry that much. Once you’re done simply copy the reduced image and switch back to mp3tag.


Now right click on the album cover again and this time pick “remove cover” once its gone in the empty space right click once more and select “paste cover”



That’s it your correct size cover is now in place, and you can see its resolution right next to the image. All you need to do is click the save icon and the new info will be written to the file. Should you wish to change any other info on the file you can do it at the same time. You can also change the album art for multiple songs. Just highlight them at the same time using either the control or shift method of highlighting multiple files and removing and adding the album art as described previously.


Now what if you don’t actually have an album image to reduce? Well fear not head over to http://www.albumart.org/ and you will find scans of most album artwork, pop your album name into the search bar and hit enter.


Once you find a cover you like simply right click it to copy it. Head over to mp3tag and just as before paste this new image in by right clicking the empty space and selecting “paste cover”


And don’t forget to save!

And if albumart.org doesn’t have your image just use Google image search and right click and copy the image as usual.

I have tested this working on external storage such as a Memory stick and a Memory card, however i cant confirm as yet if this works for phones/ipods. If your having issues give this a try and it might fix it!
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