How to replace cover art (folder.jpg) but NOT embed in files?

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I’m using Musicbrainz Picard v1.4.2.

Over recent months, I’ve been finding that the size of the album cover-art that Picard is offering has increased from 100s of KB to multiple MB.

I feel that this is great to have higher resolution cover art files acting as the stand-alone folder.jpg file in a folder for applications to display, but embedding a 3-5MB jpg into each MP3 file often increases the size of every file by anywhere from 50-100%.

Ultimately, I’d like to have the highest resolution version of the cover art as my folder.jpg, but a lower resolution version embedded. Or if I already have a lower res cover art embedded, have the option to ONLY download the cover art as folder.jpg without embedding.

Is this possible with the current version of Picard? If so, how?

If not, could this be considered as a feature request for a future version? Essentially just add an option where the existing “Replace / Append” coverart options exist with a 3rd “replace but not embed” (or similar)?


I notice you have had no reply. So I’ll tell you what I do. I’d just simply untick the “embed artwork” option in Picard. That way you get the updated folder.jpg image dropped into each album folder instead, taking up the space once per album.

That will leave the original small embedded images in place. Just manually insert embedded images in those few tracks that are missing them if you still want the embedded stuff.

Media players generally take the folder.jpg as the priority image to use.

Personally I have never been a fan of embedded artwork for this exact reason. I like hi res artwork, but hate seeing a 20 track album suddenly bloat out with huge images.

There are also many media players that plain can’t handle hi-def artwork. Especially those made in basic hardware like car stereos.

And if you read elsewhere on this forum you’ll realise the CAA library of cover images holds all kinds of unusable items as well. There are some people who will upload 20MB raw scans expecting the user to download and edit their own versions. It is an artwork archive and not seen as only a taggers resource.

Or you get the special edition 20 disk box sets where someone has not only uploaded a hi-res image of the cover, but also done all 20 CDs and the 100 page booklet… can be really comical when Picard hits one of those and takes an age to download it all.

There is a Picard v2.0 in development and I think there has been some talk of a more flexible artwork section.


Any tickets that you could link to?


I have some Concert Tickets on my desk for gigs I am going to?

Or some spare Train tickets? :smiley: hehe

If you mean something useful like Development type Stuff then you are on your own. I’m sorry, but I have no idea as there is too much of a confusion barrier for me. (Even if I am an ex-dev myself)

I’ve tried to get my head around the development side of Picard, Bug Tracking, Tickets or even the Beta testing but it is beyond me at the moment. Lack of time. Conversations get too long to read and I can’t find any of the introduction type docs as everything is deep in the forum somewhere and conversations elsewhere.

Even trying to make sense of how they are planning to handle the cover art is confusing me. I try and join in conversations I see - clearly devs are listening to us proles. It is also clear that the CAA is not what I thought it was. I initially thought it was aimed at Media Player use, now I am learning that it is far bigger than that. It is for all kinds of artwork associated with a release. Just wish someone would update the documentation now and then…


Thanks @IvanDobsky - I think I’ll configure Picard the same and take the same approach!


I like solutions where the human still has some control. With a single folder.jpg it is easy to swap things around.

In my case my music library sits on a server access by KODI for using in the house. That means I have artwork for not just the cover, but the back, spines, disks, booklets, the lot. All aimed at a 50".

When I transfer an album to my portable media players it is then easy to just drop everything that isn’t folder.jpg and the music tracks.

And in the car I don’t even really need folder.jpg.

I like solutions that can be flexible according to needs.


After doing this step (without having Picard on this compy to check so I’m guessing), you could run everything through Picard again with the folder.jpg option turned off, and the option to embed small images into artwork turned on, which should give you what you want?