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How to Display Movie Backdrops for Soundtrack Music

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Author: redwing

A big fan of movies? Then do you know while you're listening to soundtrack music MusicBee can retrieve and show movie backdrops for you? This is a short guide to the feature.

How does it work?Edit

MB detects soundtrack files from the track's "genre" field, gets the movie title from "album" field, and searches in the user's specified local folder and then the web for pictures associated with the movie.

Where do the pictures show up?Edit

You can see movie backdrops in modern compact player, playing track panel, and some theater mode views that use gallery element and "MovieOrAlbum" field (instead of "Album" field).

What genre should a track be tagged with to be detected as a soundtrack file?Edit

The genre should contain any of "Soundtrack", "Musical", or "OST".

Many of my soundtrack albums have a different album name from the original movie title like "Top Gun - Motion Picture Soundtrack" instead of "Top Gun". Can MB find web pictures with that kind of album name?Edit

No, it can't. You have two choices. Rename the album to "Top Gun" (if this is not working, consult "compilation album" guide below) or tell MB the exact movie title of the album using Artwork Downloader tool (Tool> Download Artwork). Tick "movie backdrops for soundtracks" and tick the file, then you will be prompted to enter the movie name to associate with the file. Such mapping is saved to SavedSountrackMappings.dat file in AppData folder (the file is uneditable).

What happens if MB can't find any pictures with the movie from the user's folder and the web?Edit

Then it reverts to the usual artist picture slide show. So if you see artist pictures instead of movie pictures with soundtrack files, then it means either that the movie title was incorrectly mapped (you can fix this using Artwork Downloader tool as mentioned above) or that there's no picture available with that movie if the title is correct.

I have "The Godfather Part II" soundtrack album, but MB can't find any pictures for the legendary work. What's going on?Edit

MB retrieves movie pictures from The Movie Database site (www.themoviedb.org/movie), so the movie title you're using needs to be completely identical to theirs. Go to the site, search the title, then you will see they use "The Godfather: Part II" instead for the movie (note the colon between the words).

Tell me about the user's soundtrack picture folder. What's the use of it?Edit

Go to Edit> Preferences> Tags(1)> artwork storage and set up soundtrack picture folder location. There you can store your own movie pictures you want to see while you're listening to soundtrack music. The image files need to be named as or start with the movie title. MB will show them along with web pictures if retrievable.

Does MB save web pictures in the folder as well?Edit

No, they are only cached for future use (one picture per movie). So the folder will be always empty unless you store some yourself.

I have several soundtrack compilation albums. How would they work?Edit

Basically you need to make sure each track is correctly mapped to the right movie for such compilation albums, using Artwork Downloader tool. You will be prompted "album--title" template with the tool to save you entering entire movie title for each track. MB detects such a soundtrack compilation track by checking if its "artist" is different from "album artist" value. Note that, if no movie is mapped to such a track, MB is first looking for "album--title.jpg" (or .png) files and then "album.jpg" files in the user's folder. If no such image files are found, it will revert to artist picture slide show.

I'd like to see certain local pictures while listening to an album. But they are not soundtrack files. Is it possible?Edit

Yes, name those image files as starting with the album name and store in the user's soundtrack picture folder. Then MB will show those images while the album is playing instead of the usual artist pictures.

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