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Embedding Artwork into Multiple Albums

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Author: Gary Young

Right now (2013-03-16) there's no direct way to achieve this. Further information is here {{#NewWindowLink:http://getmusicbee.com/forum/index.php?topic=8844.0}}

But you can set up several operations to be done while MusicBee synchronizes tracks to a removable device (such as an MP3-Player, a USB-Stick and so on). One of those operations is to embed the artwork (which is assigned to a track) into the music file itself.

You find that option under:

Edit> Preferences> Devices >artwork storage> embed artwork in the music file

But as you actually don't want to synchronize to a removable device, you'll have to do small "trick". You'll have to set up a "Virtual Device" in MusicBee, which means to tell MusicBee to treat a specific directory (folder) like it was a harddisk or a removable device. By doing that you just assign a drive-letter to a specific folder, like Windows assigns drive-letters to connected devices. And then in MusicBee you synchronize the designated tracks to that virtual device. What will happen is simply that MusicBee copies the files from the origin-folder to the virtual-device-folder, while embedding the artwork into the files.

To set up such a virtual device, use the DOS "SUBST" command:

{{#NewWindowLink:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SUBST}}

{{#NewWindowLink:http://www.microsoft.com/resources/documentation/windows/xp/all/proddocs/en-us/subst.mspx?mfr=true}}

You'll find several further instructions online if needed.

By doing that you just map a drive-letter to a folder. Make shure that the desired drive-letter is not already in use (otherwise the command will not work). And also note that the virtual device will be disappeared after a restart of Windows.

When you have set up the virtual device go to MusicBee's left panel and find your just created virtual-device-folder there in the Computer-Node, right-click it> "Manage Folders" and there you'll see an option like "Set D: as a Virtual Device" (when you e.g. assigned the drive-letter "D" to the virtual device). Click it and MusicBee will add it as a virtual device as well.

Then you'll see that virtual device appear in MusicBee's left panel under the Devices-Node. From now on it's just the same like you'd have there a connected removable device to which you can synchronize.

Now you go to "Edit> Preferences> Devices" and choose from the top-right dropdown menu the virtual device you have just set up. Here you can choose several operations to be done by MusicBee when it synchronizes tracks to that device. Important in our case is (like above mentioned) this option:

"artwork storage> embed artwork in the music file"

But make sure to set up all of the other options there to your concerns as well (e.g. the storage paths for music files and so on...)

That's it. Now you've got all set up to synchronize your desired files WITH EMBEDDED ARTWORK to the new location (the folder you set up as a virtual device). To really synchronize, you can use several methods - just follow the help file/documentation or search the forum (e.g. drag&drop multiple files to your new virtual-device-node or choose "File> Synchronise Device").

From that point you're free to decide for yourself which is the best way to replace your old files (without embedded artwork) with the new files from the virtual device (with embedded artwork). Most probably you'll backup the old files, remove them from the library and then rescan/import them from the new location (the virtual device).

So, to recapitulate:

  1. You set up a Virtual Device in Windows (SUBST command)
  2. You set up this device as a Virtual Device in MusicBee (Right-click> Manage Folders> Set as a Virtual Device)
  3. You set up the syncing-options for that device, especially that ARTWORK WILL BE EMBEDDED
  4. And then you sync to that device (means that MusicBee will copy the files to that virtual device (folder))

Thanks a lot to Steven who gave me the right hint to the "Manage Folders> Set as a Virtual Device" option, which I had overlooked in this context.

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