Front cover art for fatboxes

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This question arises from the discussion on this edit.

Front cover artwork of fatboxes is not square. This causes it to look funny in most music players, which assume a square format for cover art. So there is an advantage to having a different, square image similar to the front cover and labelled as ‘front’.

On the other hand, this is factually wrong and can be confusing when trying to identify an album on Musicbrainz,

The compromise we reached in this case was to have the real front cover scan in the first position, and a square scan (of the booklet cover, which is similar but not identical to the album front) in another position so that it could be selected if desired.

I wonder if there’s another way. Maybe some sort enhancement to Picard and/or artwork tagging that would avoid the need for this fudge.

Any ideas?


I’ve suggested a new image type to specifically identify tagging images (, but I have no idea when it might get to the front of the queue. I suspect that the style change to create the new type is relatively straightforward, but I am almost certain that the database ramifications and code changes within Picard to make use of it are not trivial, so I understand and appreciate the caution being taken before making the decision to implement such a change.

In the meantime, I suggest that you might want to have a look at the artwork available at as an alternative. The artwork is quite high quality and the album covers come in a standard 1000 x 1000 pixel JPG file, with no file larger than 1 MB. There is also a plugin for Picard and you can set it up up to check for cover art from first, before checking other sources such as CAA and local files.

That’s what I’m using as I (slowly) go through organizing my music collection. On those occasions when there isn’t a cover already available from fanart, I try to prepare and upload one from a scan of my copy of the CD. The first ones took quite a few tries because the quality standards are pretty high and the moderators do a good job of upholding them. Having said that, the community and the moderators there are pretty helpful and I have learned a lot about image processing in a fairly short time. I now have almost 100 images that have been accepted (which is still next to nothing compared to most of the contributors)

I’m not sure how well fanart is stocked for classical music images because I haven’t started work on my classical collection yet. Because of that, they may not be much help in the specific case of your edit, but could be of value on other releases.


File a bug report with the developers of your media player of choice?


Front is the outer front of a package.
In a fatbox, booklet is invisible so it’s not front, it’s just booklet and page 1.


There’s actually a pretty good existing solution for this.
If you want the nicest possible square image, and you don’t care about release-specific sizing etc, change your Picard tagging settings to tag with the ‘release group’ image.

Discogs has four versions of that release:

I would try and find the ncest square cover you can online, and add the appropriate release, and set that cover to be the release group cover. Then you (and others) can tag with that by default.
This should be an option for most cases in my experience. I couldn’t find a digital release for this one, they would usually have the cleanest cover (eg iTunes), but at least there’s a few options!

Is that a solution for you? Otherwise please comment on rdswifts ticket with your support or what would make it work for you.

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Well, personally I don’t really mind about the non-square format being used for tagging; but it would be nice if there were a clear ‘right thing to do’ for those who do. Your suggestion sounds quite workable, but I think something along the lines of rdswift’s suggestion of a ‘tagging’ art type could be the best solution all round.