How to Change the Thumbnail Album Cover for Music Files


Music files, specifically MP3s, have the ability to embed certain information regarding the audio within themselves. This information, or meta data, can contain artist information, album information including the year, producer and genre, as well an image of the album cover. Modern operating systems include the ability to read some of this meta data without the need for a third-party application, and can display the album cover as the file's icon instead of a generic music note (or associated application icon). In order for the system to display the album art, you must ensure the information is properly embedded in the file.

  • Download and install the free Mp3tag application (see "Resources," below). This utility allows for the editing of embedded information within MP3s and other music files.

  • Open Mp3tag. Drag and drop specific music files into the main window, or load your entire music library via "File > Add Directory."

  • Highlight the music file or album files, then select "Tag Source" from the toolbar. Select "" to search for the correct album art and information. A list of related results will appear. Select the one that best fits the select music files. Choose "Next."

  • Edit the information if necessary in the "Adjust Tag Information" window. Select "OK" when done. This applies the new information to the music file. You can then exit the application or add artwork and information to another album by repeating the steps above.

Tips & Warnings

  • Windows XP and below does not have the ability to display album covers as the music file's icon.

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  • Photo Credit Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Getty Images
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