Album Art Files Are System Files?

ASRock P4i65G
February 18, 2008 at 16:35:43
Specs: XP Home SP2, 2.6 Gb/512Mb
When I rip a CD with Media Player 11, I get some Album Art files that look like this:


If I try to delete these files I get message that says that it is a system file and a warning that my computer or a program may no longer work if I delete it.

Anyone care to explain that?


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February 18, 2008 at 17:33:51
Simply put, those files are associated with the CDs in your library for referencing when browsing through your library (specifically artist, album, and song views). If you delete them, the information won't display correctly cause it won't be there.

Life's more painless for the brainless.

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February 18, 2008 at 19:07:09
Well, I would never use WMP for ripping as you will get much better results with other programs. However, I will venture a guess that WMP is setting the album art photo as the "picture" for that folder. You can check this by right-clicking on the folder and going to the "Customize" tab. Is the album art shown as the folder picture? If so, click the "Restore Default" button. You should now be able to delete the picture.

Also, as long as the album art picture is in the folder, "MOST" applications will use that image for the album art.
Michael J

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February 18, 2008 at 20:18:02
I agree with what both of you say, and was aware of both situations.

Perhaps I wasn't clear enough when I asked my question.

Do you feel it is proper to call these "system files" and to claim that my computer or a program may no longer work if I delete them?

After all, they are just jpg's, and the worst that will happen is that WMP will display a blank CD case instead of the album art. I guess I just don't consider these to be "system files".

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February 19, 2008 at 00:10:53
Once they are linked to the folders, then yes they are system files. There is a difference between a folder which shows a thumbnail on the folder icon when there is only 1 image in the folder and a folder which has had the image linked as the "official" image of that folder.

That image has been linked within the registry. Just allowing the image to be deleted (while linked) could cause problems, albeit minor ones IMHO.

Michael J

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February 19, 2008 at 04:34:49
Thanks Mr. J. Let me set the stage a little more for what brought all this up...

I just got a cell phone that is also an MP3 player, so I spent the weekend loading it up with tunes. As per the instructions for the phone, I'm using WMP to sync the music and this is my first extensive use of WMP to rip a bunch of CD's.

What I found interesting is that WMP put a folder for each CD with the mp3's and Album Art on my desktop. Each folder contains more than one album art file of the type described in my first post. I haven't yet moved those folders into another folder and chosen Thumbnails to see what the folders look like. Since there is more than one of these "system files" in each folder, I'm not sure which is the "official" image - if any. I'll play some more when I get home tonight.

Thanks again!

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February 19, 2008 at 10:18:12
Yes, WMP will create different images for different purposes. But, I am fairly certain that the different files are only used within windows.

Im my music collection I simply have an album art image in each album folder named 'folder.jpg', but these are not associated with the folder, per se. But Windows and many/most MP3 applications and players will use the folder.jpg (or folder.gif) as the album art by default if it exists.

Since I don't use WMP (or an MP3 phone) I can't say whether or not you can have the functionality you are after without using WMP. I would suggest doing some searches such as "sync music with [phonemodel]" on google to see if anyone has come up with different tools to use. I typically find the solftware or directions provided with these types of devices are not always the most useful.

Good luck.

Michael J

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