I don’t know about you, but I had a headache trying to change the album cover art that displays in VLC. If you recall, VLC automatically downloads cover art for your music. What you should also know is: when you save a playlist VLC CACHES THE ARTWORK! That’s really annoying when you have the WRONG album art. So in this post, I’m going to tell you how to change it. Hurray!
First: You can’t change the album art via VLC. I wish VLC wouldn’t automatically download album art, but at least now that have in the preferences the option to set to manual download. Why there is no “load from file” is beyond me.
Edit: There is another solution, other than using Audio Shell, which I speak about at the bottom of this article.
Basically what one guy says on the forums. He points out that image information is stored in the meta-data of the file. How do we get to that? He uses a certain free program called AudioShell. That’s fine and all, but I wanted to change it NOW… so I downloaded a related program, called Tag&Rename. It’s simple enough to use: Install and open it. In the lower left corner, there’s a window that shows your folders. Use it to navigate to the folder of your music. To the right of that window is another window that shows the files. Click on the file and the meta-data will appear above. Oh look! An album art box (on the right)! Change the album art and remember to both save the art and save the file.
Okay, so that’s part one. The next part involves VLC. To ensure a clean slate, I double-clicked on “Reset VLC media player preferences and cache files” in my start menu. You can find it here:
What this does is call VLC but send it a few command line arguments you don’t want to memorize. It didn’t delete my album art (stored in AppData\Roaming\vlc\art), but just to be on the safe side, you might want to save that somewhere.
Once you’ve done that, here’s the tedious part…(oh boy)
You need to go through all of your playlists that contain the songs with changed album art. You have to remove the songs from the list, add them again, and save the playlists. Tedious, no?
My only hope is that VLC won’t reset the meta-data of my music. GAH! It’s such a wacko program at times. Winamp has an advantage in this respect: it actually loads the album art from the same folder!
There you have it. Hopefully that helps you.
If you don’t mind editing plain text, there is another way to change the image. First, you should probably reset the cache (as I show how to do above for Windows users). Linux users can simply delete the .cache/vlc folder hidden in their user directory. Next, open your .xspf playlists and open them up with a text editor. You’ll find that it is actually an XML file. In each track tag (), there is a sub-tag called “image”. You’ll notice that it is simply a file path. Change this to whatever you want. Notably, the path will be based on the operating system you are using. (e.g. Linux users will see file:///home/my_username/ ). But ideally, changing this should change the image that appears for that playlist. You will need to change your other playlists as well.
Changing the art in the cache folder may work, but I don’t think so. I tried deleting album art on Windows, even in the Windows cache, but it seems the VLC for Windows has some secret about hiding copies of images because they always reappeared when playing the song, even when they didn’t exist in the cache.