How to Edit Cover Art Picture using VLC Media Player

If you use VLC Media Player and if you want to display or add album art to any MP3 files, then just access media information options and either browse and put up an album art (also known as cover art) or try to download it automatically. The only thing that you have to do is bring up the media information screen and then the options will be accessible in the bottom-right after you right click on the art or VLC icon.

The cover art along with other metadata information are used by different audio or music players in different ways. The data is saved on the MP3 file itself. You will notice the file size changes if you add cover picture, especially if you add large pictures. When the same MP3 file is transferred to your smartphone as an example, your player will use the album picture and other metadata information to display on-screen while playing and also giving you the feature to sort out or browse by artist, genre etc.

Here are the steps with screenshots to edit your cover art picture using VLC media player:

  • Go to Tools > Information.

It brings up the Current Media Information screen.

  • On the bottom right, there will either be a picture or you will see the VLC icon. Right click on it.
    VLC Cover Art for MP3 Files
  • From the right click menu, use:
    • Download cover art: To get the album picture automatically from the internet.
    • Add cover art from file: Manually browse and choose a picture file.

The information will be saved automatically.

83 thoughts to “How to Edit Cover Art Picture using VLC Media Player”

  1. My problem with the cover art is I play an album and all the songs show the right art work. then I play a different one and sometimes it is the right art but sometimes it is changed to a previously listened to one. I’ve gotten so tired of trying to keep changing it I’ve just said to hell with it! It’s too frustrating trying to keep things as they should be and no one seems to know how to fix the problem!

  2. I realized I wasn’t saving the new album art because the Save Metadata button won’t appear unless you edit the text.

  3. I use Cinnamon MInt Linux, so none of these Windows-related solutions work. When I did use Win7/10, the art cover edit function did work at that time, but can’t find a fix.

    Will look for an Open Source alternative media player

    1. Change to ´tools´ ´preferences´ and unselect ´allow metadata network access´. VLC will now stop to display pictures you haven´t been integrated into the audiofile (testet with flac) and/or the folder, the files are contained in.

    2. Hey LOCO E, the instructions given are for how to do it in VLC and it works the same in Linux. I’ve done it before in VLC for Linux. Check out the app kid3 though as it makes it easier to manage your audio file metadata for large numbers of files. Editing cover art isn’t really an expected functionality for a media player IMHO.

  4. Does anyone know how to get the poster frame/cover art option to work on a Mac? I can bring up the Media Info screen but the right-click on the VLC icon does nothing.

  5. I haven’t been able to figure this out. I have a folder with 480 songs. Somehow the same cover art got assigned to all but about 6 of them. I have deleted everything in appdata/roaming/art and I have removed the cover art with mp3tag. VLC media player still shows the same cover art even though both of those things were done. Also, right-clicking and choosing download cover art does literally nothing. Fingerprint also does nothing. It always says that no fingerprint could be found.

    1. I stumbled upon my own solution. I changed the view in Windows Explorer to Large Icons and noticed that the same cover art was associated with the folder that the files were in. I wasn’t able to remove it so I created a new folder and moved the files to it, then deleted the old, empty folder. This solved the problem for me. It had nothing to do with VLC. the problem was that the image was associated with the folder in Windows.

  6. Expanding on what TwinStars said because I found a twist…the subfolder that gets created to put the picture into has to be a unique name. In case you decide to split a compilation into individual albums with their own cover art, you must use a MP3 tag editor and make sure the Album field is unique because in a compilation they could end up being the same. VLC uses that field to create the unique folder to put the picture into.

  7. I completely obliterated VLC with Revo Uninstaller and when I installed the new version I cleared preferences and cache. And I re-ripped all my CDs. Same issue. This flat out does not work. You CANNOT change cover art. VLC puts what it wants and you have ZERO CHOICE in the matter. Frustrating as hell.

    1. Hopefully my last comment. After being prompted for update to 3.0.14 as indicated above I was then prompted AGAIN to update to 3.0.16 (that was weird)…repeated the whole process again exactly as above. Now it finds the correct cover art every time. The *.jpgs with the correct cover art are in each folder which I ripped a single CD into.
      Who knows? This behavior is not predictable. I’ll take what I can get.

      1. Same problem different machine and this time using 3.0.16. VLC should put this at the top of their list to fix and it’s probably a 5-minute fix for them. They know this is buggy as hell. PLEASE FIX SO WE CAN SELECT COVER ART OR ELSE TAKE DOWN THIS STUPID HOW-TO!!! There.



    1. Delete the folders that are under: C:\Users\USERNAME\AppData\Roaming\vlc\art
      Do that after exiting VLC…then restart…you will see the correct art.
      Caveat going forward so you don’t have to do this again…
      See my most recent post about a twist that occurs when you have a compilation of different albums that are ripped. The ALBUM field in the MP3 tag editor must be unique to the album before you play in VLC because that’s what VLC uses to create and name the folder to stick the cached art into. If you leave that alone (all albums share same Album field name), you’ll be back to the same problem.

  8. I had exactly the same problem for one of my music tracks so I thought I would try using the mp3 tag app to change the art work but I got a message “file cannot be opened for writing” I figured something in the file was preventing changes. So I uploaded the mp3 to a file conversion site – set convert to mp3, downloaded back to my computer. Now I can change the artwork again!

    1. Doesn’t work unless Save Metedata comes up. And I don’t know how to make that happen. So IT DOESN’T WORK!!

      1. In my case, I am replacing the existing art. After choosing the new art, I typed something in the year box and the metadata button showed up for me to click save and close. To have the mp3 correctly showing the new art, you have to clear the cache. My VLC cache in Windows 7 is C:\Users\user name\appdata\RoamingVLC\art. Close VLC and delete everything within this folder. When you open up VLC again to play the file, the correct art will show up.

        1. THAT WORKED!!! Thank you TwinStars…earlier I was looking for the cache by googling but got pointed in the wrong direction.

      2. You have to change the text on the page. You can change it right back. But when modify any text on the page, the button to save the metadata appears

      3. Change any info in any of the info entry’s fields and meta save will come up on the bottom next to close button

  9. Successfully imbedded image (record label scan) to an mp3 file that I created in Audacity. However, some of the data that was previously in “properties” has been erased such as “album” and the length data and this information no longer shows up in Windows Explorer. Input to properties has been disabled (although read-only remains unchecked). Reinputing album data to tag via VLC does not alter properties nor does it show up in windows explorer. I would like to see album information in windows explorer since I use it to arrange my mp3s (made from vintage phonograph records) in order by label & record number to help chronologize my recordings. Thanks.

    1. The Album cover does not save on the file. You have to add the album cover every time the file (mp3 file or song) is played. Have tried more than a dozen times. Please help…

        1. I added the first image by right-clicking the disc/cone field on the Media Information page, selected “Add cover art from file” and pasted in the full path name of the image file (VLC went to some random folder, so that avoids having to drill down to the correct image). Then I re-did “Save Playlist to file…” and exited and reopened via the .xspf file to make sure it ‘took.’ Then for adding the image to each subsequent file, I right-click the disc/cone field on the Media Information page, select “Download cover art” and it automagically added the image (if you want same image) w/o having to enter path/search for the image (like the first time). I stopped after a adding a few images and re-did “Save Playlist to file…” and one last time again after adding the last image file. No problem close VLC and reopen via the .xspf file. I’d add a couple screen shots, but I guess it’s not allowed, so hopefully I wrote this so it was easy to follow. Also, if you press “Change playlistview’ button (next to search box), you can switch to a different display that shows the image at the beginning of each file, so is easy to see. And, in case it matters, I am on Win 7 and VLC 2.2.0 Weatherwax.

      1. i have a similar problem. i am able ti successfully attach album arts to tracks, but as soon as the track is played vlc player showes the selected cover art for about half a second and then changes the cover art by itself to some shitty version from the internet – or even a wrong album art, and won’t keep the one i’ve added

      2. With Windows 10 and the current version of VLC (3.0.8), the album art saves within the folder of the music album you are listening to. You will need to click on the ‘View’ tab inside the folder and then on the ‘Options’ drop down arrow on the right hand side. Click on ‘Change folder and search options’ and then on the ‘View’ tab of the Folder Options Dialog Box. Scroll down and click on ‘Hide protected operating system files (recommended) to unselect the arrow. Answer yes to the pop up warning and then on ‘Apply’ and ‘OK’ to close the box.

        All of the files to do with playing the music and displaying the art will now be seen within the folder. Look for an image file called ‘Folder.jpg’. This is the file you will need to replace in order to change what displays within VLC while your music is being played.

        I found the proper album art by simply going to Google, searching for the album by name and clicking on ‘Images’ when the search page comes up. This displays all of the images Google has on file for the particular album. When you find the proper album cover look for the size of 500 X 500 or 600 X 600 if available and click on it to display the full sized image on the right side of the screen. Right-click on the full sized image and click on ‘Save Picture As’ and save it to your music folder as ‘Folder.jpg’. When the Pop-up asks if you want to replace the image ‘Folder.jpg’ click on ‘Yes’. The proper Album Art will now display within VLC while your music is playing.

        Please remember that VLC is Open Source, free software so we need to be sensitive to the fact that every feature will not always be functioning exactly as everyone wants it to. So, sometimes it will be up to us to figure these things out, and then post the answer when we get a solution to the problem at hand. Hope this helps.

      3. Putting in a cover image may not by itself create a change of metadata. If you don’t see a “Save Metadata” button beside the “Close” button, you have to make some text change in the metadata. It will then appear. You then click the “Save Metadata” button” before closing the window. I never have to redo the cover photo with this method.

        1. Well, my message above worked for a couple of months. Now it doesn’t work except for mp3s. I have to resort now to running my videos through Handbrake, which adds a thumbnail automatically based on a preview thumbnail you choose. This VLC problem has gotten the best of me.

    2. How do we unembed the image? If i try to add new image, it disappears if i delete source image, which brings back the annoying fan made album cover. Basically i want to remove that and how to embed it so i can delete source file. THanks

  10. I am also having a problem with cover art changing. I play an album then the next one i play uses that first albums art work, or one i played previously. If I delete the vlc art cache every time it come up correct, but i shouldn’t have to do that. Any suggestions?

  11. I download music from myfreemp3. No idea if it is itune, apple, or billy bob’s home mix. Problem is I get a lot of “protected” songs that I cannot add or change the track number on, so they do not come up in the proper order. Can anyone tell me how to put a track number on a protected song?

    1. Maybe the file attribute is set to be “Read Only”? You could try by unchecking the read-only box from its properties.

  12. I have found Mp3tag to be very handy for embedding art into mp3 and flac files. It will even ask if you want to change the attributes on read only files when it encounters them. You can batch embed art of any dimension into individual tracks, but for most media players it’s enough to have one art file named “folder.jpg” or “cover.jpg” in the same folder as your songs. Also Album Art Downloader works quite well for finding album art. When organizing my music files I also use Bulk Rename Utility. With these 3 free apps things go smoothly and fairly quickly. I hope that helps some.

    1. Thank you KW: The VLC cover art problem was driving me crazy; Mp3tag works like a charm…. I hasten to add that VLC is awesome notwithstanding.

  13. Does anyone know if it’s possible to have the artwork displayed larger?

    I was hoping to have a screenshot of guitar chords display when I opened a song but there doesn’t seem to be a setting for this.

    1. While the song is playing, hold “Ctrl” and press “L”. This toggles the playlist, so artwork will be displayed and the size will be proportional to its resolution. Repeat to return to playlist. If there is no art associated with the song, you will see the vlc traffic cone.

    1. is this what it is? Mine does not upload either, whether it’s a jpeg or an icon. It does not even find the PNG.

    2. what are you doing using a mac man that’s garbage use linux instead, linux is love linux is LIFE

  14. thank you bro u saved me i have recorded a christian song and publish with audacity but when i play i notice the cover picture is devil picture i just googled and saw ur post and now i change it thanks again bro

  15. When a movie plays it plays the cover art for like a milisecond, is there a way you can have that play for a minute before the movie?

  16. You’re missing a critical step. After adding an image, you need to type something in one of the text boxes. This activates a box at the bottom called “save metadata”. Click that button and it saves the image to the mp3.

    1. That’s exactly true. If there is text already (Title, Artist) then just erasing/replacing one character will bring out the ‘Save metadata’ button. Good point!

    2. Hi ‘Here YA Go’! You are superb. I normally observe that these services that are done to help fellow beings go without acknowledgement. In fact we must we thank all those involved, the author, commentators and the internet for helping us. You are superb in that you had advised the missing element. I tried my best to delete the existing picture and there was no delete option. Then I inserted my choice of image but it went away when I closed the audio showing the same devil face. Luckily, your comment helped me to save my image. The author must incorporate the suggestion to complete his article whicdh as it is incomplete in that the “image is not automatically saved.”

    3. Thanks! Perfect fix. Is this a bug – changing text will trigger the save button but not changing the picture?

  17. Are there file type or file size requirements? I’ve tried this (Add cover art from file) with a few different jpg files now and nothing happens. Thanks for your response. Audio files are mp3.

      1. Mines’ is NOT read only, and it is doing the same exact thing. why doesn’t VLC just make it so we option to save artwork simultaneously as we are ripping music?

  18. When I do it and then try to play the song later, the picture is back to previous state again. Anyone having similar problem?

    1. yes, the art is not saved with me either. Very frustrating. Anyone know how to PERMANENTLY embed the art into the metadata?

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