Feb 03 2009

MP3 ID3 Cover Art on Windows Mobile

Category: Windows MobileTeknovis @ 11:10 pm

Like many people, I have a very large collection of MP3s on my computer. I diligently ripped most of them from the original CDs, and I ensured that the ID3 tags were set correctly. My ripping software automatically gets this information from a database on the Internet, and I am really only interested in the artist name, album name, song title, track number, genre, and cover art.

I share my MP3s with my family, so the MP3s get played on several different computers using different MP3 players, and they also get played on several different types of mobile devices. Everything works really sweetly because all of these MP3 players can read the ID3 tags.

When I bought my HTC P3600 PDA, which runs Windows Mobile 5.0, I also bought a large miniSD card to hold a selection of my MP3s. I was really annoyed the first time that I played an MP3 on it, because the default MP3 player does not use the cover art contained in the ID3 tags! This is another sad instance of Microsoft ignoring a well established standard!

After doing some searching on the Internet I found a simple hack that works if all of the MP3s that share a cover art are in the same directory.

  1. Extract the cover art image from the MP3. This is easy to do using the MP3 player on my computer.
  2. Save the image as Folder.jpg in the directory containing the MP3s that share this cover art. The image will usually be approximately 300px by 300px.

Unfortunately, this does require some effort every time that I want to add new MP3s to my PDA :(

I have since discovered that the MP3 player in Windows Mobile 6.0 does not use the cover art in the ID3 tags, but the same workaround described here enables it to display the cover art!

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