I've got an even better (worse) story about WMP album art that I can share and ask for hints. Be advised that I have gotten through to a Microsoft WMP "expert" and he took over my desktop while I took him through the steps to watch the insanity. Needless to say ... my ticket is still open and I need to get back to him as he didn't give me the promised followup call.
Background ... I have a music media library with ~100K sngs all sorted by artist/album within a single location on a local drive (did this for performance as I used to have a network drive and this - i think - caused additional issues. My library consists of 70% downloaded material (my bad
and 30% ripped from my CD library. After many years of labour and love I have created what can only be described as a very comprehensive library with "virtually" all the correct meta-data stored. As I got towards perfection I chose to shut down all automatic internet updates as these, I found, actually screwed up and put a lot of erroneous art and/or other information into the library.
A couple lessons first and then the ISSUE:
1 - Yes ... it appears that the album art is stored in the individual album directories with four hidden .jpg files
Note that the two long files usually have some obscure HEX code in them such as:
And also note the HEX code for small and large are the same.
Here is where it gets interesting ... it appears that when the proper art is located from the MSFT site fai.music.meteservices.microsoft.com and is used to store the info ... you will generally get the "coded" files. If you can't find the info and instead have to manually add the albun artwork by pasting it in ... the files stored in the directory have the first example with all numbers as zeros. I think this is a source of the issue ... though MSFT disagrees.
Here is where things go completely wrong ...
As previously stated, I had shut off all Internet updates so the "final" cleanup of my library involved a lot of semi-manual creation of the right directories (using the WMP edit function while inside the find album info dialogue box) and corrections/edits and even some made up "unknown album" in the case where I couldn't discern what disc the song came from. I would then find the appropriate album art on the web and paste into WMP. All GOOD!!! Except when I sometimes fire up WMP or sometimes after a reboot ... I find the album art missing ... or worse ... a completely different file (often one used recently to update some other album) showing up in multiple places associated with multiple songs and artists! What a freaking pain and caused me to call in the troops at MSFT. More strange ... and the tech saw it live and in technicolour! ... when you look in the directory of a album that you know is incorrect ... you see the four incorrect .jpg files. THEN if you do the simple, albeit time consuming and frustrating task of Find Album Information - Edit - (don't make any changes) - Save. BOOOOOOOOOM ... the art changes to what you had previously stored now displaying in WMP and magically changed within the file directory.
What this is telling me is that there are some strange links/references to some strange place ???? where the correct info is hidden. Black Magic perhaps but all I know is that it is frustrating as hell.
So please call MSFT if you have this issue and lets see if they can finally correct it in Windows 8
Or we all have to go to iTunes
Which has its own issues as you likely know.
I am so desparate to solve this that I will even leave my mobile # to anyone who believes they have the answer. Perhaps I should offer a reward.
I am having this very same issue.
I have turned off the automatic update in WMP11.
I have run AlbumArtTagger to remove album art not matching my storage.
I open mediamonkey and the art is gone.
I close MM and reopen it and lo and behold it's back.
I have searched (checked show hidden files and folders) my hard drives for folder.jpg and albumart and can't locate anything yet these images keep showing up.
I want my images stored in the tag without folder.jpg
Any suggestions for me?
I am running Vista Home Premium and MM3