I have a lot of music on my computer, and while I don’t use it as my primary media player or organizer, it’s nice when it works as it should, as I still use Windows Explorer or Windows Media Player from time to time to view files, etc. One annoying thing I noticed was that my MP3 files were not showing album art in explorer and in WMP.
Instead of getting album art when clicking on a music file, I kept getting the default MP3 music icon on Windows:
Windows Media Player had the same issue where album art was not recognized as expected and the default image was displayed:
I embed the album art using a tag editor program called MP3Tag. Adding an album cover is very easy, you just drag and drop an image file into the album cover slot. Everything seemed to work fine because the cover art is displayed in the MP3Tag program, so I had no problem until I looked at the files in Windows Explorer.
After some research and experimenting with some settings, I was able to get the images to display correctly on Windows. In this article, I’ll cover a few things I’ve tried, and hopefully one of them will work for you.
Method 1. Use another program
The first method – using a different program
For some reason, the first thing I tried was to use a different program. Instead of MP3Tag, I tried Media Monkey and added the album art that way, which seemed to work. Another program that people mentioned was TagScanner. Even though it worked, I really like MP3Tag, so I figured there must be something in the program that I can change to make it work.
Method 2 – MP3 Tag Format
The second method – format MP3 tag
In MP3Tag, you also need to make sure you write v1 and v2 ID3 tags. This ensures that if a program like Windows Explorer can only read one format, it can still view the album art rather than display anything.
Alternatively, you can try a different format for versions. I tried the 2.3 UTF-16 format for v2 and the album art started to display well in Windows Explorer and Windows Media Player. For some strange reason Windows 7 doesn’t like ID3 v2.4 tags. So check what version you are using, change it to 2.3 and you should be fine.
Method 3 – Windows Properties
The third method – Windows properties
Another thing that has worked for some is open the MP3 folder and select them all. Then right-click and select Properties. Then click the Details tab. Then you just need to change any of the details, ie year, etc. Just delete it and then re-enter.
Once you do this, the Apply button becomes active again and you can click it. For some reason, all the thumbnails on some people started showing up after that. Maybe it re-reads the file or something and then displays the album art correctly.
That’s all. If you have the correct format for ID3 tags, you can easily view album art in Windows Media Player and Windows Explorer. If you are still having problems and are unable to show the illustration, please leave a comment here and we will try to help. Enjoy!