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WMP and Folder.jpg being overwritten, possible solution?
koawmfot
post Oct 14 2009, 19:15
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There are many documented instances of WMP overwriting folder.jpg with a 200x200 version when adding mp3 files to the WMP library.

some examples:
http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index....=50810&st=0
http://www.neowin.net/forum/index.php?showtopic=648437
http://www.neowin.net/forum/index.php?showtopic=551685
http://www.neowin.net/forum/index.php?showtopic=767036
http://www.vistaheads.com/forums/microsoft...load-issue.html

you can google "wmp folder.jpg overwritten" for others...

anyway, there was a key posted in antother thread that after playing with i think i may have found the answer. i posted this in one of the above threads, but it was for Windows 7 beta so i don't know if it will be missed. anyway...

if you add the below values it appears that WMP will NOT generate or resize new folder.jpg OR AlbumArtSmall.jpg files. IF folder.jpg (or AlbumArtSmall) already exist(s), it does not resize it but mearly sets the HIDDEN and SYSTEM attributes. so if you have a folder.jpg and/or an albumartsmall.jpg file at 1500x1500, it will leave them alone (except for hiding them...).

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\MediaPlayer\Preferences]
"LargeAlbumArtSize"=dword:ffffffff
"SmallAlbumArtSize"=dword:ffffffff

can anyone out there verify this? i tired with a brand new database and a few albums. a quick outside verification would be great. thanks.

obviously all the automatic updating features are turned off in WMP and Media Center as well. i have not tested with them on.

This post has been edited by koawmfot: Oct 14 2009, 19:19
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FatBoyDrift
post Oct 17 2009, 03:44
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Hi there,

This issue has been bugging me for ages so I've done a few experiments. BTW my experiments were on Windows 7 RTM & WMP12, with MP3 files only and embedded album art in the files.

First I can confirm that these registry changes do indeed stop the Folder.jpg files from being overwritten. The registry changes seem to completely break WMP's ability/desire to create its own Folder.jpg or Album*.jpg files at all. As mentioned above, WMP will add hidden and system attributes to your Folder.jpg file however.

The thing is that this may not really matter, depending on how you use WMP. If you use another program for library management and that program actually does use the larger/higher quality Folder.jpg files then this hack is good news. However, if you use WMP as your library & player, then having a high quality Folder.jpg makes little difference, as WMP12 always presents the album art in a window that's about 235 pixels maximum in the Now Playing window. I have not seen a way to get this window any larger and take advantage of the larger pictures.

In my experiments, both the WMP-created 200 pixel artwork (blown up slightly to fit the Now Playing window) and 600 pixel user-created art (when displayed by WMP) both look about the same - i.e., not that great.

So I guess my advice for those who use WMP as their library is to keep a copy of the HQ artwork in the folder with a different name, and just let WMP do whatever it wants with Folder.jpg, Album*.jpg etc.

FBD

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koawmfot
post Oct 18 2009, 00:28
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thanks my friend. though the post was about how to stop wmp from overwriting your files, not about library managment options or how things are displayed. in my case the music is centralized to a nas and mutiple users and libraries are active at any time on different systems. i'd prefer one of those systems does not decide for everyone to modify things with no one's consent.

folder.jpg is also used to folder thumbnail display and WMP overwriting the folder.jpg compromises that as well.

thanks for the confirmation...

This post has been edited by greynol: Oct 18 2009, 18:03
Reason for edit: Removed unnecessary full quotation of the previous post. Let's cut down on redundant text, shall we?
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evlo
post Dec 25 2009, 20:06
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Not working, also sharing C:\music as \\pc\music with only read permisons and adding it to library on same computer is not working - when you add \\pc\music to library wmp secretly resolves it to local path C:\music and destroys all your folder.jpg
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evlo
post Dec 26 2009, 00:09
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I can't edit post, so i post new one ....

It can be achieved with maped network drive, so you share c:\music as \\pc\music and then map it to y:, then you add y: to wmp and it don't relove it to c:\music and don't screw up your files (as it screwed mine sad.gif allready).

Share name with $ also works.

This post has been edited by evlo: Dec 26 2009, 00:38
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evlo
post Dec 26 2009, 13:44
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You can also use symbolic links. I currently use symbolic link with security set only to read for everyone and not inherit, shared as music$, then maped it to drive S:. That seams to work. smile.gif
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Vig2000
post Dec 29 2009, 21:40
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Hello everyone, I have a couple of quick questions here:

First, once WMP "overwrites" the original folder.jpg, is it permanently deleted? Please tell me that there's a way to retrieve the original folder.jpg...Luckily, I've embedded all my original artwork into each one of my music files, so if worse comes worst, I can always extract the embedded art to create a new folder.jpg based on the original, embedded artwork.

Secondly, besides "overwriting" folder.jpg, does WMP alter music files in any other way? Specifically, does it overwrite any of the ID3 tag information? Not only do I use my own artwork, but I also custom tag my files, and I would hate to have WMP alter my tags in addition to getting rid of my custom artwork.

Man, this is such a huge pain. Shame on Microsoft!

Thank you for everyone's help!
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Robertina
post Dec 29 2009, 22:25
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A file which has been overwritten is permanently altered (because the original has been replaced with the new version), without the possibility to return to the original file unless you are able to restore it from a former backup.

If you are tagging your audio files with foobar2000 (with its default settings under Preferences, Advanced, Tagging -> Preferred tag writing scheme) and then modify a field with both WMP or Windows Explorer this could also result in undesired changes because foobar uses a newer tagging scheme than Windows/Windows Media Player.
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grommet
post Dec 29 2009, 23:17
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QUOTE (Vig2000 @ Dec 29 2009, 12:40) *
Man, this is such a huge pain. Shame on Microsoft!
As mentioned in other threads, "Folder.jpg" is considered a reserved file by Explorer for Folder images (and has been for a very, very long time)... so it's best to just assume it will be manipulated and avoid it for storage. See my old post here...
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Vig2000
post Dec 29 2009, 23:24
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QUOTE (grommet @ Dec 29 2009, 17:17) *
QUOTE (Vig2000 @ Dec 29 2009, 12:40) *
Man, this is such a huge pain. Shame on Microsoft!
As mentioned in other threads, "Folder.jpg" is considered a reserved file by Explorer for Folder images (and has been for a very, very long time)... so it's best to just assume it will be manipulated and avoid it for storage. See my old post here...


Thanks...I saw your old post...As far as you know, does WMP (version 12) attempt to alter the embedded artwork? For that matter, does WMP alter any part of the ID3 tags?
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grommet
post Dec 29 2009, 23:32
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QUOTE (Vig2000 @ Dec 29 2009, 14:24) *
Thanks...I saw your old post...As far as you know, does WMP (version 12) attempt to alter the embedded artwork? For that matter, does WMP alter any part of the ID3 tags?
No, WMP 12/11/10 does not alter embedded artwork (it fact, WMP 12 removed the buggy advaced tag editor that allowed manipulation of embedded art all... now you need to use external tools). It also won't change any tags, unless you tell it to change something. Just make sure you avoid ID3v2.4 for MP3 at all costs... use de facto standard ID3v2.3 tagging, and you will have excellent cross-application/device compatibility. (foobar2000 might be the only application to default to ID3v2.4, so if you do ever want to use it to edit tags... make sure you change the default.)

This post has been edited by grommet: Dec 29 2009, 23:35
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Vig2000
post Dec 30 2009, 01:10
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QUOTE (grommet @ Dec 29 2009, 17:32) *
It also won't change any tags, unless you tell it to change something.


Sorry, but another n00b question (I've never used WMP before): What about the "Automatic media information updates for files" in the Library options as shown below? I recently discovered that I have the same setup as shown below, in that "Retrieve additional information from the Internet" and "Only add missing information" were both checked off. Wouldn't this update the ID3 tags (only filling in missing information)? And what "missing information" would WMP add exactly? Thanks again.

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grommet
post Dec 30 2009, 02:35
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QUOTE (Vig2000 @ Dec 29 2009, 16:10) *
QUOTE (grommet @ Dec 29 2009, 17:32) *
It also won't change any tags, unless you tell it to change something.


Sorry, but another n00b question (I've never used WMP before): What about the "Automatic media information updates for files" in the Library options as shown below? I recently discovered that I have the same setup as shown below, in that "Retrieve additional information from the Internet" and "Only add missing information" were both checked off. Wouldn't this update the ID3 tags (only filling in missing information)? And what "missing information" would WMP add exactly? Thanks again.


I think the default is 'automatically update' + 'only add missing', and that won't be trouble for most... unless your MP3 files aren't tagged using ID3v2.3.

Missing information would anything standard that is missing... for example, if you don't have an Album Title entered, it will try to identify the track and enter that data for you. If you don't have a Song Title, it might be able to figure it out. It'll also try to point the album/track to appropriate album art if it's missing. It uses various methods including audio fingerprinting, or the source CD's TOC (assuming it was ripped using a program that embedded a compatible TOC).
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Vig2000
post Dec 30 2009, 03:15
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QUOTE (grommet @ Dec 29 2009, 20:35) *
I think the default is 'automatically update' + 'only add missing', and that won't be trouble for most... unless your MP3 files aren't tagged using ID3v2.3.

Missing information would anything standard that is missing... for example, if you don't have an Album Title entered, it will try to identify the track and enter that data for you. If you don't have a Song Title, it might be able to figure it out. It'll also try to point the album/track to appropriate album art if it's missing. It uses various methods including audio fingerprinting, or the source CD's TOC (assuming it was ripped using a program that embedded a compatible TOC).


Well, thank God that the default isn't "Overwrite all media information." Not only did WMP overwrite all my custom artwork, but it could've also potentially ruined my custom tagging. I am officially done with WMP. Now I have to go and extract my custom artwork from all my audio files, which at least is way easier than re-tagging all my audio files (had WMP overwritten the ID3 tags).

All this because I wanted to find an aesthetically nicer interface than Winamp. Yes, it is a nicer interface, but not worth the headache of losing your custom artwork and/or tagging.

Is iTunes like this as well?


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Robertina
post Dec 30 2009, 03:43
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Have you already tried foobar2000?
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grommet
post Dec 30 2009, 07:42
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QUOTE (Vig2000 @ Dec 29 2009, 18:15) *
Well, thank God that the default isn't "Overwrite all media information." Not only did WMP overwrite all my custom artwork, but it could've also potentially ruined my custom tagging. I am officially done with WMP. Now I have to go and extract my custom artwork from all my audio files, which at least is way easier than re-tagging all my audio files (had WMP overwritten the ID3 tags).

All this because I wanted to find an aesthetically nicer interface than Winamp. Yes, it is a nicer interface, but not worth the headache of losing your custom artwork and/or tagging.

Is iTunes like this as well?
Well, it won't and didn't ruin your custom tagging... so relax. laugh.gif As stated, it isn't just WMP... the hidden/system file Folder.jpg is part of the Explorer shell... so avoid depending on it if at all possible. If you've already embedded art in the actual song files, does it matter? Use a different filename if you want a file version of the art, too.

iTunes doesn't support reading art from Folder.jpg.

There are other media application you can look into, some far more graphic oritented: Media Monkey, Zune, J. River Media Center, etc... Windows Media Center as part of the OS, too.

I have my content added to all these applications and more, and have no trouble with interoperability. (Well, other that foobar2000's strategy of not supporting Album Artist in MP3 as used by virtually every other media product: TPE, aka BAND. Annoying.) Good luck.

This post has been edited by grommet: Dec 30 2009, 07:49
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Vig2000
post Dec 30 2009, 15:34
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QUOTE (grommet @ Dec 30 2009, 01:42) *
Well, it won't and didn't ruin your custom tagging... so relax. laugh.gif As stated, it isn't just WMP... the hidden/system file Folder.jpg is part of the Explorer shell... so avoid depending on it if at all possible. If you've already embedded art in the actual song files, does it matter? Use a different filename if you want a file version of the art, too.

iTunes doesn't support reading art from Folder.jpg.

There are other media application you can look into, some far more graphic oritented: Media Monkey, Zune, J. River Media Center, etc... Windows Media Center as part of the OS, too.

I have my content added to all these applications and more, and have no trouble with interoperability. (Well, other that foobar2000's strategy of not supporting Album Artist in MP3 as used by virtually every other media product: TPE, aka BAND. Annoying.) Good luck.


I just got a little paranoid for a second, thinking "well if WMP destroyed the file version of my album art, what other metadata did it destroy?" But I'm glad to hear you say that it did not and will not overwrite any custom tagging.

True, I suppose the existence of folder.jpg wouldn't matter provided that the audio file contains embedded art. I'm assuming that most media players, including iTunes, would display the embedded art rather than folder.jpg (please correct me if I am wrong).

I'm also assuming that Windows Media Center also overwrites folder.jpg like WMP does (again, please correct me if I'm wrong).
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evlo
post Jan 10 2010, 02:57
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Just to let you know:
nothing of what i wrote work:
\\pc\\music
\\pc\\music$
\\pc\\music$ mapped as S:
symlinks are not the way
also winmount does not work - wmp does not load files mount with it

so i think microsft making it for purpose.

Also i know they proclaimed desktop.ini, folder.jpg thumbs.db, and who know what shell files (is there a list?) when they will make "Beach sexyvamapires strike back.mkv" their shell file?
Hey, i can live with that, i still use windows, because there is nothing better for me yet sad.gif how sad, but true smile.gif


grommet,Vig2000: windows media center use WMP to manage libraries except movie library so it mess it same way smile.gif and it also use WMP for playing files so it will destroy your folder.jpg :/

This post has been edited by evlo: Jan 10 2010, 03:03
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GHammer
post Jan 10 2010, 05:27
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I simply set all folder.jpg to readonly. WMP can't bother the file then.
If you have 'Previous Versions' turned on for the drive, you can get the old files back that way.
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evlo
post Jan 10 2010, 13:32
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BTW do anyone have any idea WHY wmp12 adds local path to library when you add only readonly samba path created on local computer? Why?
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evlo
post Jan 11 2010, 02:47
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Now i have tried deleting c:\Users\Loli\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Libraries\Music.library-ms and will see what happens when i add readonly share to the library but i think this might be why it is acting wrong - not wmp, but windows itself ...
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evlo
post Jan 11 2010, 09:13
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I can't edit my post. So i think that Music.library-ms is the real cause, not the WMP12 (well it still overwrites or changes folder.jpg - i don't care how protected they think of folder.jpg smile.gif ). Maybe you can remove writing rights on library-ms so WMP can't add more directories to it.

Quote from msdn:
QUOTE
I must admit that I feel like an idiot with my attempts to keep using WMP12: the sad reality is that it can't rip properly, it can't tag properly, it can't maintain a library properly.... at this stage WMP12 is just a very convoluted playback tool and I should get rid of it full stop. Using WMP12 is like driving a 20 year old car and finding out every day that it's leaking oil, the brakes are gone, the battery is almost flat and so on... at one point it's just time to change to a new car.

Well i can't agree more, but i have some specific hardware that don't support alternatives so i want to stick with wmp until found some suitable solution.
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elmar3rd
post Jan 11 2010, 10:00
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After getting a new machine (Win 7 Pro 32 bit WMP12) I noticed that nearly all my folder.jpg were gone. I'm not sure, if I even used WMP at this moment, only browsing files with the windows explorer. A nearly fresh installation. Even on my usb-hd the files were gone. Maybe some kind of a hidden indexing?
Fortunately, I was able to rename folder.jpg to cover.jpg on my old machine an copied it to the new machine. This works with most players, e.g. Winamp.

But of course, i have no intention to investigate further or try to reproduce the problem.
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Chinch
post Jul 22 2010, 10:22
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I despise this bug. I consider it a bug or at least a poor assumption on the developers' part... for WMP to assume that I want my folder.jpg art resized to 200x200. Cost me... I can't even imagine how many hours of scanning/downloading art for my huge collection. All that hi-res art... gone in an instant. I don't even use WMP, i use foobar! But if you even PLAY a file with WMP, it will start scanning away, destroying your folder.jpg artwork and making them hidden+system files. The latter is easy enough to fix with the DOS command "attrib -h -s /s folder.jpg" at the root level of your music collection... but the album art... *sigh*

I have not tried the registry fix (I will add the entries, regardless, just in case)... thanks for that tip, which I had gotten to it sooner, but i can give one other piece of information to avoid WMP doing this -- If you are using Windows 7.

Make sure you remove (at minimum) your main Music folder from the "Music" section under "Libraries". This will prevent WMP from picking those folders up, as by default, it looks in your "Music Library" to populate its database of your music. At least in my experiment here on my PC it stopped it. Once I removed My Music, My Videos, My Pictures, etc from their default Libraries (right click on a Library, go to Properties and you can add/remove folders) they no longer showed up in WMP, and everything it had scanned for and automatically added to its database went away. On a side note, not sure if this prevented it either... I moved my media folders from the default location under "C:\Users\YourProfileName" to "D:\Music", "D:\Videos", etc.

Thanks for the registry hack, and damn you WMP, I knew I should've installed the "N" version!!!
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evlo
post Jul 22 2010, 12:10
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I made little utility that creates backups, reset hs attributes and make wmp dont resize images, i will post it here later today as im currently at lunch smile.gif
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