New user Q - getting HQ covers / being offered worse / keeping existing ones

Another newbie Q as I get up to speed, this time on cover art.

My current art is not bad at all, so many years ago I did a decent job adding covers manually. Not every album will be that way of course, and a lot of the art is simply from an earlier era of compression and could perhaps be improved. I’m also keen as a new user to see what the Picard cover art searches will offer up to me.

I’m quickly getting stumped however, after trying different agents and in different orders. Too many times I’m offered a small file size to replace something larger and of decent quality (despite setting 1200px as my preference). This feels like a fundamental issue.

So I have to ask, is this a weak link in Picard? Am I missing something obvious? Anyone else crack the code here? Is another tool better for this part of the job? I’m on a Mac by the way.

As well, is there an option for me to simply keep the existing cover? It would be great if I were given a couple of options, including the existing one, so I could click what looks like the best cover and I could move on to the next album.

I’ll do some more searching, but I’ve already spent a couple of hours poking and prodding, and thought I’d reach out on this.


If I understand your needs correctly, this is not implemented yet. See the ticket below:

I’m currently working on Picard’s cover art system and eventually might be able to add the option to never replace bigger images.

Meanwhile, this is not exactly what you asked for, but it might interest you anyways:


Thanks @twodoorcoupe.

I did try to get that musichoarders integration working earlier, as that post came up in my research this morning and it seemed pretty easy to follow. I got hung up on one thing however and threw my hands up, since at that point I didn’t have someone to ask.

Let me review where I was at later today and I’ll probably get back to you here with a very specific Q. Probably just a newbie thing you’d be able to spot for me :slight_smile:

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OK, here we go. I followed the first steps easily:

Post Tagging downloaded to my (Arm) Mac and installed. Found that downloaded file and added the action (which drops it in the lower box (see pic below). Selected the recommended check boxes. All good to that point.

Where I got stuck was then “adding the following to the text box”:

--address --query-artist "%albumartist%" --query-album "%album%" --primary-output "%folderpath%/cover"

Add that to which text box? The lower box that I already added the action to? The upper box where I connected the file? Am I missing something? I already did a bit of work in both those areas… so I lose the plot on what seems like the final step before “making it so”.


Sorry for the confusing text.

With “add the following to the text box”, I meant to say to add before clicking on “Add action”.

So, your text box at the top should look like the following:

Then you can click “Add action”.

Thanks @twodoorcoupe, that clears it up… but I have two follow-ups.

First, yes I can add that line after the file path, but for me it looks a bit different than yours. I’ll include a pic here.

Note the apostrophes at the head and tail of my file path (which are not in your pic). Maybe that’s a Mac thing, I don’t know, but it’s different and I can keep or remove them.

I’ve included a single space between the file and the other text (which yours has).

I’ve tried running this a couple of different ways with and without those apostrophes and don’t see any real action being taken when I invoke the plugin. So I want to make sure the syntax is correct.

Thus, I should also ask, what’s the expected behaviour when this plugin is working? Do I get new options or more covers in the covers pane? Do I get bounced to a new window or browser? I should have asked this earlier, so I know when I get it correct. :slight_smile:

For the record, I’m on Picard 2.11 on an M1 Pro flavoured MacBook Pro.

You can paste images direct into the forum. No need for

Apostrophe’s are usually needed when you have spaces in a file path name.

Thanks Ivan I overlooked that.

And that makes sense for the apostrophes. Sounds like I’d need to keep them in my case.

I just moved the file back to my Downloads folder to skip the folder with spaces… and yeah it skips the apostrophes when adding it.

When you load an album in the right pane, and right click, you see the option “Plugins”, then hovering over it you should see “Run action for highlighted albums”

This should open a page on your browser allowing you to select a cover art to download.

Perhaps I need to uncheck the original cover art providers in order for this to take priority? No, that doesn’t do anything but default to my existing art.

Thanks @twodoorcoupe, but no, I can’t get it to return that behaviour. Odd since it seems installed correctly.

I have also installed the Search Engine Lookup plugin installed and it opens a browser search just fine, but as far as I know that’s the final goal of that plugin – to simply show you some art, not integrate any results back to the app.

Ah, I’m sorry I didn’t realize you have to make the covit integration tool executable on mac.

On the terminal type:

chmod +x '/Users/***/Downloads/covit'

Replace the path with the actual path of the covit tool. This allows you to actually run the tool, otherwise it just does nothing.

Other art options:

If not fussy about exact artwork, look a the TheAudioDB or Picard plugins.

Also this is a handy tool for searching many databases in one hit: Album Art Downloader download | It is not specific to Picard, but if you are just after big artwork you can set minimum image sizes

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OK will do. Thanks for keeping up with this, I appreciate it.

So this covit file has to remain on my Mac then? If so I’ll drop it in my Apps folder and leave it there, so it doesn’t accidentally get swept up or anything.

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And I assume I make this executable before I add it to the plugin in options?

Yes, you need the covit file on your mac.

You can make it executable whenever, it’s a one time thing and you just need to do it before running the context menu action.

OK chmod -x is done. I can see the file change to an executable in the Finder, so that’s good. I then removed and installed the file in the plugin again.

Running it on an album, it does open a browser tab now, which I can tell from the start of the link is the musichoarders site… but just as quickly the tab closes. I get nothing back in the Picard app, and no actions I can take. The browser pop is too fast for me to copy the link or screenshot it (other than being able to simply tell it is musichoarders).

Perhaps unrelated to this, I notice all my existing art is “other” rather than “front”. I assume that’s from many years ago when perhaps the various cover designations didn’t exist. Not sure if this is related to why the other cover art providers are trying to replace my art since it’s not “front”.

Unfortunately I’ve never had this problem. The page in the browser should stay open until you click on one of the cover art images.

On Picard, if you go to the “Help” tab, then “View Error/Debug Log”, check if there are any errors (should be marked in red text).

Regarding your existing art type, the providers will try to replace your art no matter what you already have, if I’m not mistaken.

Well that behaviour sounds great, I just wish I could experience the last bit of it :laughing:

I just ran the plugin on an album and went to the log and there’s nothing under error or warning or info, just this single line under debug:

D: 15:19:00,910 config.event:261: Config file update requested on thread 8668443200

I could try changing my default browser from Safari to Chrome. Worth a quick try I suppose. Any other wild ideas let me know.