Author Topic: Have 'search internet for pictures' not removing embedded artwork from files.  (Read 920 times)


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You have a folder with files that have embedded artwork in them.
There is no folder.jpg present in the folder.
You have set the order to display artwork as:

1. folder.jpg
2. embedded

Then suppose in albumview you are looking at the (embedded) art, and you are curious if MusicBee might find a better image, and you select 'search internet for picture'.
You see a likely candidate, you uncheck 'embed the picture in the music file', because you don't want MusicBee to make changes to the files themselves or their embedded artwork, and you select 'save to folder.jpg'.

Contrary to what I would expect, all originally embedded artwork is deleted from the files by this action.

In my opinion either MusicBee should not delete the already embedded artwork in this case, or the panel should clearly state that when you choose not to embed the offered image in the files but to save it as a separate file, that will also delete the already present artwork.


Also the wordings for the different options used in the panel still confuse me a bit.

With the settings below, are both 'linked', or just the second one? And are both saved?

And a similar confusion with these settings:

At the bottom it now says 'or save the picture', but 'save to folder' is also checked. So are both saved?

Perhaps it's my lack of a proper understanding of the workings of the panel, but I think a small revamp of the panel and use of the wordings 'and', 'or', 'link', 'save' might be helpful here.
Last Edit: June 04, 2019, 03:58:47 PM by hiccup


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I don't think embedded covers should remain when you replace them by a standalone cover. In most cases it would just waste space. It might be nice instead to have the option, when replacing a cover, to keep the old one as a separate file named old_cover.jpg or something.

Regarding the wording, it is a little confusing. The "or" refers to the "link to an organised copy" option. Save to folder.jpg does what it says, it saves the cover you just added to a separate file. The link is there for special cases where you want to link to a specific file that doesn't follow the usual file naming. MusicBee figures out which cover to display itself based on the options you chose for covers. So, with both checkboxes checked, and assuming the following options :

MB would look in order for :
1. The picture you specifically linked
2. If it's absent, the cover.* file
3. If it's absent, the folder.jpg file
4. etc


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I think about these artwork issues a lot, and I'm not sure really how they can be updated/amended to address every situation.

For my purposes right now, I have been going through my library, searching for larger artwork for the full albums I have, and then unembeddeding the small artwork and saving the larger artwork as linked Cover.jpg organized files.  So unchecking "Embedded" to remove the embedded artwork works exactly as I want it to for my purposes.  I want it to remove the embedded when I save a linked.

However, there are songs within some of these albums which were previously released as singles and retain their single version artwork as secondary embedded images.  Doing the process above not only removes the album cover (intended) but also erases the embedded single cover.

I've developed a very manual "examine/copy/paste/search/save" regimen for updating artwork.  It gets very cumbersome (really, it's just clicking and stuff - first world problems - but it feels like more work than it should be).  Maybe if you're working on the designated "primary picture" only that picture should be affected and everything else would be left alone, or something like that.  I'm sure that would interfere with someone else's process, though, which is the problem.

I don't know that there's a one-size-fits-all way to handle all artwork desires.  What exists now seems to be pieced together from various wishlist items over time. Maybe some forum brainstorming is in order for a rethink of how artwork is handled across the board.
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Thanks for the feedback guys, good food for thought.
I'll digest it all later and probably do some more testing.

For now I will only restate my personal issue with MB removing embedded here.

When any software deletes either files or metadata, I think it should be very clear that it is doing that.

That the link to embedded artwork is removed, yes, obviously.
But that the actual artwork is removed, I don't like that very much, and the panel does not make that clear at all.
Some users may not care much about that, but others may.

And for the 'space' argument, I feel it should be up to the user if he has a problem with 'wasting space' by having both embedded artwork and separate artwork files, and not the software making that decision for him.

(and we are generally talking about kb's here, not mb's, so I don't see that as a valid argument)


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See also this thread as Steven already stated his view on the issue:

It's about pasting a picture in the clipboard using track info panel, but the context is almost the same. Steven ended up adding another command "Paste add" in addition to the existing "Paste" command that just replaces existing picture without confirmation.

Maybe the same approach can be taken with the search internet for picture dialog as well by allowing the user to choose between Replace and Add.


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My conclusion for now,

After some more testing it is clear to me that it is indeed impossible to make use of MusicBee's 'search the internet for picture' feature without it either deleting or overwriting your embedded artwork.
Even though the feature itself really works beautifully and gives great results, for me that's reason not to use it anymore and (stick to) using AlbumArt Downloader instead to find artwork.