How to Add Album Art to MP3

Does it annoy you when a friend sends you a song that only contains a song name, but no album artwork or information about the artist? Adding album art is one of the best ways to arrange your music library, customize your music files and make them more accessible on different devices.

It is an important aspect of building a good-looking, high-quality music collection as they make it easy to tell which song is playing on a playlist.

Album art is an image or group of images, which are displayed along with the music while it’s playing. They are designed to give your music a distinctive feel and help you remember what you are listening to.

This article will walk you through the MP3 file format’s structure, album art format & requirements, mp3 tagging, as well as how to add album art to MP3 files on Windows, Mac, Android, or iPhone.

Understanding the MP3 File Format – Why Don’t MP3 Files Contain Album Arts

The MP3 file format is a type of digitally encoded audio format developed by MPEG. It compresses digital files using the “lossy” compression algorithm to reduce the file size and maximize the quantity of music that can be stored and shared between several devices. 

When it comes to storage and sharing, the format is crucial and MP3 is a popular audio format often used for sound effects, music, and more.

If you’ve ever downloaded an mp3, you’ve probably noticed that album art isn’t part of the file. That’s because MP3s, unlike other music formats, don’t have artwork associated with each song.

The lack of album art is one of the most common complaints about this format. It makes it difficult for people to know what song they’re getting when they download a file.

How Album Art Works – Formats and Requirements

Album art is an essential component of your music listening experience, and a strong visual composition is just as crucial as a good sound.

There is no one-size-fits-all album cover artwork that works for all websites. Because each site and app has its own image requirements, UI, and restrictions, it’s different across all platforms. 

However, a typical artwork could range from 800 × 800 pixels (as on Soundcloud) to 3000 × 3000 pixels 

certain file extensions and formats, such as JPG, PNG, and BMP.

Understanding ID3 Tags – Adding ID3 Tags to Your MP3 Files

The ID3 tag is a metadata container used in MP3 files. It contains information about the file, such as the artist, title, and album. If you want or need to edit or alter your mp3 files, you must know how the id3 tags work. For anyone working in the music industry, ID3 tags are essential.

If you take time to properly tag your MP3s, your music can be enjoyed by more people. It is no wonder MP3 tagging is becoming more and more important for musicians with a drastic rise in streaming services.

Adding ID3 tags to MP3 files is an excellent way to increase the discoverability of your music. Metadata, such as artist, album, and song information, can be found in MP3 files.

You can also include the lyrics to a song, which can be quite useful for listeners who don’t know the words. Moreover, you can add all of the metadata to an MP3 while preserving the audio.

How to Add Album Art to MP3 Files On Windows 10

How to Add Album Art to MP3 Files Using Windows Media Player

Windows Media Player is Microsoft’s longest-running native media player that came preloaded with every Windows operating system package. It has been a well-known media player software for watching videos, playing audio, and displaying images since the early days of Microsoft’s inception. It also supports editing and adding album cover arts manually as well as using its own album art searchable tool.

The Advanced Tag Editor was a fully-fledged tag editor included in Windows Media Player versions 9 to 11. However, with Windows Media Player 12, this feature was removed.

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Method 1: Using Windows Media Player search tool

  1. Type in ‘windows media player’ in the search bar or just scroll down and choose the option after clicking on the Start 94Lb1fm3vjwSvtv62cMzuAx9I button.
  2. In the windows media player window, head over to the Library → Music → Album.
  1. Scroll down to the track with the missing album artwork and right-click on it, then choose Find album info.
How to add album art to mp3 - Scroll down to the track with the missing album artwork and right click on it, then choose Find album info.
  1. In the following window, Windows will search an online database known as ‘MusicMatch’ to look for a variety of information or metadata about the mp3 file, such as the track title, release year, tracklist, album art, and so on.
  2. Tap on the appropriate album art and then click on Finish to once you’re done adding the artwork. 
  3. You can also edit the ID3 tags if you want to make changes or add anything new by right clicking on the album title and selecting the Edit button.
You can also edit the ID3 tags if you want to make changes or add anything new by right clicking on the album title and selecting the Edit button.

Note: Make sure your internet connection is not broken before beginning this step, as it requires online access to the database.

Method 2: Using the copy-paste method 

  1. Open Windows Media Player from the Start menu. Click on Library, then go to the Album category.
  2. Now, scroll down to the track where you have missing album art and keep the media player screen either opened or minimized. 
  3. Now, go to your browser window and search for the missing album artwork by typing in the title track name and album in the search box, then hit Enter. Copy the album cover from the results and head back to the media player window. You can also design and/or customize your own artwork (make sure it follows the platform requirements) using online free tools or apps like Canva as per your desired size and artwork needs.
Right click and Copy the album cover from the search results
  1. Now, right click on the album with the missing artwork and select Paste album art. Your artwork will now contain your chosen cover art.
Right click on the album with the missing artwork and select Paste album art

How to Add Album Art Using Windows Media Player Manually

Method 1: Using the drag and drop method

  1. Open the Windows Media Player and go to Library → Music → All Music. Choose the album title where you want to add the image.
  2. Go to your Downloads folder where you have downloaded or created new album art and drag it to the album icon. This will add your chosen image as the album artwork. 

Method 2: Using the Advanced Tag Editor (Windows Media Player versions 9 to 11)

  1. Go to WMP. Then Library → Music → Album. Right-click on the album you want to change and tap on Advanced Tag Editor. 
  2. Then go to Pictures → Add → Open and add the image you want to select as the new album cover and then click on Apply → OK.
Then go to Pictures → Add → Open and add the image you want to select as the new album cover and then click on Apply → OK

2. How to Add Album Art to MP3 Files Using VLC Media Player

Different audio or music players use cover art and other metadata information in different ways. The information is stored on the MP3 file itself. If you add a cover image, the file size will be changed, especially if the image is large.

When you transfer the same MP3 file to your smartphone, for example, your player will use the album picture and other metadata information to display on the screen while listening, as well as the ability to sort or browse by artist, genre, and so on.

Below are the steps to add or modify your album art on VLC Media Player:

  1. Open VLC Media Player by clicking the desktop icon or choose it from the search results. 
  2. Choose the album title where you want to edit or modify the artwork. Go to the Tools tab from the menu bar then select Media Information. (Alternatively, hold down Ctrl+I to open the Media Information window)
 Go to the Tools tab from the menu bar then select Media Information.
  1. In the pop up dialog box, right click on the album cover icon at the bottom right. Here, you can do two things:
Add cover art from file

Option 1: Download cover art

You can choose this option to let VLC automatically search and download the album art from the internet.

Option 2: Add cover art from the file 

You can choose this option if you already have an album art manually created or downloaded from the internet. In that case, you can just add the image and save the changes. 

3. How to Add Album Art to MP3 Files Using Groove Music

Groove Music (previously known as Xbox Music) is a music player that comes preinstalled on Windows 8, Windows 8.1, and Windows 10, and supports a number of formats like .mp3, .flac, .wav, .aac, .m4a, .wma, and so on.

Below are the steps to add or modify your album art on Groove Music:

  1. Open the Groove app from the start menu or the search bar.
  2. Go to My Music, then choose the Songs category and scroll down to the one with the missing album art.
  3. Right click on the track name and click on Show album from the pop up menu. 
 Show album option in My music
  1. In the next window, you will see the album page with all the tracks listed. Tap on the three dots on the right side and click on Edit info.
Tap on the three dots on the right side and click on Edit info.
  1. In the Edit Album Info page, click on the pen icon on the album logo from the left side. 
  2. This will take you to your file explorer app where you can choose the desired album art and click on Open to add.
  3. Next, once you have added the artwork, click on the Save button to save your changes.
click on the Save button to save your changes

How to Add Album Art to an MP3 File on a Mac

How to Add Album Art to MP3 Files With iTunes 

Songs, albums, and videos purchased from the iTunes Store or downloaded via Apple Music have artwork. You can also customize any song or other item in your library with your own artwork.

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You may import a variety of image formats, including JPEG, PNG, GIF, TIFF, and Photoshop. Before you may add the artwork to WAV files, you must first convert them to another format.

You may also modify the artwork for any playlist in your collection.

Below are the steps to add or modify your album art on iTunes:

  1. Open the iTunes app on your Apple device. Go to Music located in the upper left side of the menu bar and then click on Library
LIbrary tab in iTunes
  1. From the library, scroll down and choose the songs(s) with the missing artwork, then go to Edit → Info. Click on Artwork.
  2. Now, select Add Artwork and choose your desired image file then click Open and drag the file to the artwork icon.

In case you want to let Apple add album arts to your entire iTunes library automatically, you should go to File → Library → Get Album Artwork

You can also add your own artwork to any playlist to make it more personal – a playlist featuring art that is unique to you.

Below are the steps to add or modify your album art for a playlist:

  1. Open the iTunes app on your Apple device. Go to Music located in the upper left side of the menu bar and then click on Library
  2. To change the playlist artwork, select a playlist in the left-hand sidebar of the Music window.

Now, you can do two things:

  1. Manually add the picture: Select a picture file by clicking on the Artwork area at the top left of the playlist.
  2. Drag and drop: Add a picture file to the artwork area by dragging it there.

Note: Make sure the artwork adheres to iTunes’ format and other standards, such as a minimum image size of 800 X 800 pixels. The preferred size is 2400 X 2400 pixels or bigger, with a resolution of roughly 72 dpi and a file type of JPG or PNG. 

How to Add Album Art to MP3 Files on Mac Without iTunes

You can also use a third-party application or popular media players like VLC to add album art to your MP3 files on a Mac device. For VLC, the procedure is the same as in Windows.

To add album art on VLC, follow the below steps:

  1. Open your MP3 file on VLC, then follow to Tools → Media Information
  2. Right-click on the album icon at the bottom right corner and choose one of the options. If you already have an artwork created or downloaded, just choose ‘Add cover art from file’, open and save, or else let VLC find it automatically by clicking on ‘Download cover art’ and finally save the changes.
If you already have an artwork created or downloaded, just choose 'Add cover art from file

How to Add Album Art to an MP3 File on an Android Device

Google’s Android OS does not come with a full-fledged native music app, like the Apple devices. So, you will need to download and rely on third-party apps available on the Google play store to fulfill your music player and basic tag editing requirements. 

Although the play store is full of several such apps, we will focus on two popular apps which allow you to add album art to your MP3 files. 

2. Using the Music Player App

Music Player app by InShot is another popular app on the play store which provides both the music player and tag editor functionalities. 

To add album art through the Music Player app, follow the below steps:

  1. Download the tag editor app from the play store, open it and give it your device storage permissions. 
Music player option in the Google Play Store
  1. Open the app and head to the Songs category. Scroll down to your MP3 file with the missing artwork and click on the three vertical dots right next to it.
  2. In the pop up menu, select Edit tags, it will open up a page with the tag information including the title, album, artist, and so on.
select Edit tags, it will open up a page with the tag information including the title, album, artist, etc.
  1. Tap on the icon above Change cover. It will take you to the gallery where you can choose your preferred artwork. Tap on it. Next, on the Edit Photo page, you can crop the photo as per your wish and tap on the tick mark at the top right corner.
on the Edit Photo page, you can crop the photo and confirm the change
  1. Finally, your chosen artwork will be displayed in place of your cover art icon.
Finally, your chosen artwork will be displayed in place of your cover art icon.

How to Add Album Art to an MP3 File on an iPhone 

You can sync your MP3 files to your iTunes library in order to make sure you retain any artwork-related or other changes made to your MP3 music files on multiple Apple devices.

Plugging in your iPhone with the USB connection and clicking on “Sync” will sync all your updates. Since the artwork can only be added through the desktop iTunes app, you can make changes through your Mac and then enable syncing to apply it on all your iOS devices. 

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To add album art through the iTunes app, follow the below steps:

  1. Open the iTunes app. Go to Music → Library
  2. From the library, tap on the album with the missing artwork and then go to Album Info → switch to the Artwork tab → tap on Add Artwork at the bottom left corner. Here, you can either drag and drop your artwork or select the artwork manually from your files.

To automatically add artwork in iTunes 11 and later, go to Library → Get Album Artwork. For the older versions, go to Advanced → Get Album Artwork to automatically download all the missing artwork for your music library. 

How to Embed Album Art to an MP3 File Using MP3Tag 

If your existing software does not allow you to directly insert or add photos to your MP3 files, any downloadable tag editing tools should come in handy. MP3Tag software is probably the most popular and well-known MP3 tag editor tool, particularly meant for Windows as freeware.

To add album art through the MP3Tag editor, follow the below steps:

  1. Download the MP3tag software from the link and complete the setup. Thanks for the small size, it takes only a few seconds for it to finish the download and installation process.
  2. Go to your music folder and choose the songs that are missing an artwork. You can choose multiple songs at once by holding down Ctrl+A.
  3. Now, right click and select MP3tag from the pop up menu.
choose the songs that are missing an artwork, right click and select MP3tag from the pop up menu.
  1. This will automatically add all your songs to the MP3tag database for you to begin the tag editing process. 
  2. Next, click on any one of the songs, then right click on the song artwork icon below Discnumber at the bottom left corner and choose Add cover.
right click on the song artwork icon below Discnumber at the bottom left corner and choose Add cover
  1. This will open up your file explorer app. Here, you can choose the desired album art (make sure it follows the proper format and size requirements) and click on Open.
  2. Your chosen image will show up at the bottom left corner. To save the changes, click on Save tag from the File menu (alternatively, hold down and press Ctrl + S to save the changes).
  3. This will begin writing the tag data and the ongoing process will be displayed in a pop up box.
This will begin writing the tag data and the ongoing process will be displayed in a pop up box.
  1. When the writing process is done, it will show up in another pop up box and prompt you to click OK to confirm the changes saved. 
it will show up  another pop up box and prompt you to click OK to confirm the changes saved.

How to Delete the Album Art Images Embedded in MP3 Files

Music lovers often want to know how to remove the embedded album art from MP3s so that they can listen to their album tracks without having the album cover art displayed on the screen.

This is especially useful for people who wish to save space on their phone or computer because the album art does not have to be stored on the same device as the music files.

Method 1: Using the View tab

To delete album art through the View tab on your computer, follow the below steps:

  1. Go to the music folder where you have the MP3 files with the embedded album art that you want to remove.
  2. From the menu bar at the top, tap on the View tab then click on Options on the top right side.
From the menu bar at the top, tap on the View tab then click on Options on the top right side.

Alternatively, you can press the Windows icon + R to start the Run command. Then type control folder in the box and hit OK. 

  1. Now, you will see a Folder Options dialog box pop up. Scroll down the Advanced settings option and click on the button with the option Show hidden files, folders, and drives to enable it.
click on the button with the option Show hidden files, folders, and drives to enable it.
  1. Next, uncheck the box right next to Hide protected operating system files (Recommended). This will trigger a pop up box with a warning ‘Are you that sure you want to display these files?’. Click on Yes to confirm the changes.
uncheck the box right next to Hide protected operating system files

Method 2: Using the MP3Tag editor 

To delete album art through the MP3Tag editor on your computer, follow the below steps:

  1. Go to your music folder and choose the songs that contain the embedded artwork. You can choose multiple songs at once by holding down Ctrl+A.
  2. Now, right-click and select MP3tag from the pop-up menu.
  3. This will automatically add all your songs to the MP3tag database for you to begin the tag editing process. 
  4. Next, click on any one of the songs, then right-click on the song artwork icon below Discnumber at the bottom left corner and choose Remove cover.
Right click on the song artwork icon below Discnumber at the bottom left corner and choose Remove cover
  1. To save the changes, click on Save tag from the File menu (alternatively, hold down and press Ctrl + S to save the changes).

Hope this guide clears up any lingering questions you may have had about adding album art to MP3 or other music files. Next time you want to add album art to your own music and share it with your friends, this will come in handy.

FAQs

Do MP3 files contain album art?

Downloaded mp3 files can contain album art that is customized. If the source is original, you might get the actual cover art for the music track.

How do I add a picture to a MP3 file?

Select the picture and click on the thumbnail that appears on the lower-left part of the media player window. Right-click on it and choose the option to add album art. Select the right album art and save it.