What do you use all that artwork for? and how to do you use it?

I’m working on cleaning up my library of local files - rips from cds… I plan to go through each album and use picard to write all the metadata into the flac files so each has a rich and hopefully correct set of metadata… but what about the artwork?

The cover is easy, but what about the rest? - scans of the back and perhaps a booklet… take a look at the booklet scans for this release
James Taylor’s Greatest Hits

If I download the booklet scans how would I use them? They aren’t sequential pages and there’s work to be done to crop each page out of the images, number and then be able to ‘turn the page’… or maybe there is software to do it for me…

(I’m not going to complain about the person who made the scans and uploaded them. It’s work to do this! A monumental effort was made by the person who uploaded this set of scans of the booklet that came with this set of 4 cds Bruce Springsteen - Trails )

So, what do you use the scans for and how?



When I upload them, I do so to support identification of the release. The only image I really have any use for on my own system is the front cover.


As @Beckfield says, images are mainly about identification. I store a full set next to my FLAC rips and just click through the images. I have digitised my music, so digitising the paperwork as well makes sense to me

Reading the booklets can be very useful for lyrics and credits. Even double page scans like your example are usually high res enough to read comfortably.

Picard lets you be selective as to which art you download. Have a poke in the settings.

My longer term plan is a KODI skin that is able to read them fully. KODI is already making strides in that direction.

I also do a lot of scans like this myself and upload them. Mainly as I am being a bit lazy. My aim is to have all my CDs scanned and uploaded to CAA to work as a shared archive. Easier than pulling the CD from the shelf and opening the book.


I only use the front cover in my local files. If my player had a really nice way to display back covers, booklets etc in sure I would be interested (though if I’m coming up with a dream scenario it would just draw the pics from the mb database)

I upload images for data and archival purposes. Artwork/design is an important part of music history (which is part of personal, local, global and cultural history) and I want people to be able to reference it after my CDs have turned to dust.

If only everyone was this ‘lazy’ :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye::heart:


It is called “free backup”. Whack all my cover \ booklet \ matrix \ etc scans on the CAA and I just get Picard to pull them all back again when I need them. Free backup that has a bonus of helping the community. :partying_face:


Do you use Kodi already?

is there a config or plug-in that you can refer me to?
I saw one on LMS

What player do you use?

I agree, just want to be able to access the scans after I’ve downloaded… have you seen Roon?
Very nice, but I’m not up for paying the subscription!

Thanks. I understand… about the identification issue…

Yes, I use KODI now. Not really started to play with the artwork yet beyond covers in my setup. I mainly use it due to the integration of MBIDs for sorting my CDs.

No real plugins I can point you at. More that the general development is heading into improved artwork handling. In the last couple of versions changes have been done to how they handle artwork to allow the skins more flexibility. For example, a change has been done so boxsets know how to select different covers and CDs for the separate CDs as long as you get the naming right.

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Here’s what is available in LMS (Logitech Media Server)

MinimServer and BubbleUPnP have come up with a way to serve booklets in PDF form from the control point.
As long as the pages are numbered consecutively I just use ImageMagick, with:
magick "D:\Taylor, James\1987 - Greatest Hits\booklet_pg*.jpg" "D:\Taylor, James\1987 - Greatest Hits\booklet.pdf"

You have a lot more control over it than that but by default it creates a pdf with one picture per page.

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I had a good search and I’m surprised I couldn’t find a plugin for Foobar2000.

The closest I’ve found is the Georgia theme for it, which shows CD art (which you can have spinning if you want, oooh). I tried it a while back but went back to my basic library after a bit.

Nothing for booklets… If Roon just has a button linking to the booklets that doesn’t seem like that complex a feature though. You could probably use a year or two of Roons cost (120 annually?) to pay someone to add the feature to another player :grin:

I’m going to have a look at writing something

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Thanks for the link to minimserver…

unfortunately, some of the scans of the pages are not of consecutive pages, (first one is pages 1 and 8) so its not straightforward to combine those scans,

However, here’s an example of someone doing a great job and creating a booklet in just the way we are discussing
The Essential Bruce Springsteen - booklet

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It’s a great product and VERY configurable given it’s working within the constraints of UPnP

I don’t think I said anywhere that you just point it at the directory and it works out everything for you :wink:

I guess it depends what you mean by straightforward:

# split first image into 2, creating out-0.jpg, out-1.jpg
magick pg1.jpg -quality 80 -crop 50%x100% out.jpg

# rename files into correct order
del pg1.jpg && rename out-1.jpg pg1.jpg && rename out-0.jpg pg5.jpg;

# produce booklet
magick "*.jpg" "booklet.pdf"

If you’re producing these booklets from your own scans then you’ll probably be able to settle on a process that works across the board, but if from another source then you’re probably going to have to tailor it.

If you want to be really clever you can use it to pull the attributes of the images to determine what to do next (although you’ll still not know if the first page is the cover or the inside page):

# retrieve the width and height of the image
magick identify -format "%w %h" "pg1.jpg"`

Correct, you didn’t. I didn’t mean to indicate that you did.

Agreed, relatively straightforward and I’m not adverse to doing the work. As I have about 900 cds to deal with, I was keen to do avoid the work if someone else already has done it! or have a plan so I can do the work once. (I did my first mass rip back in 2008 and never really been happy with some of it). As the example of the pdf booklet for Bruce Springsteen shows, some people have done the work…

I’m in two minds if I like the idea of pdfs.

  • on one hand, there are already examples of booklets and pdf is supported by many tools as your example proves.
  • I’m thinking about a ‘low footprint’ music player like the slimserver / logitech music system that runs on a raspberry Pi (4). It may not handle pdfs very well or at all. ( I see that MinimServer 2 runs on a Pi) Perhaps html or some kind of javascript library with jpgs / pngs might be a better, non proprietary alternative…

Anyway, thanks for the link to minimserver… I will have a look.

Absolutely! If you can piggyback off the work of someone else then I’m all for that! I’ve got to admit, I didn’t look that thoroughly the last time I looked for booklets but I came up short and relied on images from Discogs mostly.

I only recently upgraded to a Pi 4 (mainly because I had another use for the old Pi) and have for many years been running off a Pi 3b serving approximately 1300 albums, and it’s quick to index and has a really low footprint, which is why I went for it in the first place over the behemoth that is Plex or something similar!

Once you’ve got the images in good shape the choice of HTML/PDF is down to you. MinimServer via BubbleUPnP can serve either, I have no idea about slimserver which I’ve got to admit I have absolutely no experience of, yet.

If you do intend to look at MinimServer, it’s not the most straight-forward product to configure, so take your time and ask questions on the forum as the community is outstanding.

Thanks. I’m going to experiment with LMS for now.