Old 16th March 2013, 18:12   #1
thinktink
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Embeded Album Art {Implemented with a 3rd party plug-in by thinktink}

I got sick and tired of testing one of my other plugin's album art embedding with code kludges so I made a plugin to take Winamp's head and rape it's left ear out and force it to embed art instead of saving it to the directory. I then decided permanently raping Winamp might not be advantageous so I put in a function to give the user a choice whether to use Winamp's handler or mine. See attached screenshots to work out how to use the plugin.


Do this:



Viola!


Installer attached inside a 7z file. You'll need to restart Winamp for it to work.

Don't ask how I did it.

Updated version

_____________________________
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Old 16th March 2013, 23:04   #2
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wow, this will make a lot of people happy. (altho i won't need it myself)

does it work with all formats that support tags?

EDIT: also, does it affect the image in any way? what i mean is, that when you use "regular" winamp to add art via alt+3, it will do so, but it literally reduces the image quality in doing so. don't know how or why or what rules govern it doing that, i just know it does do it. so is that image quality reduction function part of your embed as well? or is it totally separate from what winamp does?

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Old 16th March 2013, 23:15   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrSinatra View Post
wow, this will make a lot of people happy. (altho i won't need it myself)

does it work with all formats that support tags?
If Winamp supported it before, it will support it, and that depends on a number of things that are completely external to the plugin. Thus far I've tested it with, in_bpopus, in_mp3, and in_wm all seem to work fine.
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Old 16th March 2013, 23:22   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrSinatra View Post
...EDIT: also, does it affect the image in any way? what i mean is, that when you use "regular" winamp to add art via alt+3, it will do so, but it literally reduces the image quality in doing so. don't know how or why or what rules govern it doing that, i just know it does do it. so is that image quality reduction function part of your embed as well? or is it totally separate from what winamp does?
I'm using what's already in Winamp for art reading/writing/handling/what-not so if there's any image quality reduction, it's in Winamp. At the moment I've hard-coded it to use the JPG format when Winamp sends it some kind of raw RGB format, which Winamp seems to do more often than not. I could've used PNG instead of JPG but JPG has more support with the various file formats.
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Old 16th March 2013, 23:32   #5
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just FYI in case anyone is wondering what i mean:

http://forums.winamp.com/showpost.ph...4&postcount=15

http://forums.winamp.com/showthread.php?t=348480 mainly post 13 and on

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Old 17th March 2013, 03:47   #6
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I just tested a build of the plugin for configuring Winamp's internal JPG handler to do 100(% I assume from out of a 0 to 100 range indicated in the comments section of the SDK) and saw that the retained image quality was much better, however, I'm reluctant to publish that test build because the size of the higher quality JPG was egregious. Maybe if I supplied a complementary plugin to interface with it so as to allow a user to configure it to their desires would I do it. However, that's a ways off and I don't think I want to unless enough people ask me to if the plugin becomes appropriately popular.
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Old 17th March 2013, 05:46   #7
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i post these questions just b/c i am interested in the nuts and bolts of this, but i'll admit i don't embed and i don't even use winamp to save art to a folder via its own UI. in addition, when i did my own tests, i did not see a reduction in resolution, nor visiible to the eye, (to me), in quality, just filesize, so its kind of academic in a sense anyway, but i do think people should know about it.

however, can u explain what winamp is actually doing? how does it achieve the reduction in filesize? does it do it "the same way" regardless of if its to folder or via your embed plugin? will it reduce a given filesize the same amount via either method?

and in your answer above, i'm a bit confused, does either way ever result in a filesize bigger than the source?

i understand why winamp does this kind of thing under the hood, but i watch my filesizes as is, i don't want them tampered with. i wish there was a way to defeat the tampering via ini option or something like that.

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Old 17th March 2013, 13:43   #8
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Thank you for your plugin! This was my biggest wish for Winamp at least 10 years. I remember the times I just use iTunes for this reason. Now I don't have to use any other programs for just embeding album art.
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Old 17th March 2013, 14:27   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thinktink View Post
I just tested a build of the plugin for configuring Winamp's internal JPG handler to do 100(% I assume from out of a 0 to 100 range indicated in the comments section of the SDK) and saw that the retained image quality was much better, however, I'm reluctant to publish that test build because the size of the higher quality JPG was egregious. Maybe if I supplied a complementary plugin to interface with it so as to allow a user to configure it to their desires would I do it. However, that's a ways off and I don't think I want to unless enough people ask me to if the plugin becomes appropriately popular.
Hi thinktink,

I'm very excited about your contribution! I only use embedded art. As you know, Winamp no longer downloads art. But I never liked the low res images it provided anyway and long ago found alternative sources. I've been mostly using MediaMonkey to do the embedding (and sometimes the art look-up as well), so being able to do embedding with Winamp is something I wanted for a long time. Thank you very much for coding this.

I ran your installer. I did not see a plug-in, but I did see that a w5s file was added to the Winamp System folder and the embed option added to the Winamp <Alt>+3 tag editor. I've not had time to play around with it yet, but will do so in a couple of days and post my results.

I am concerned about the reduction in image quality. I would like to be able to configure the quality range. Hopefully you will get enough requests so that you will release the add-on that allows this. Or maybe if I use a source image with a large enough resolution, the current reduction in quality will be acceptable. I'll know soon. Thanks again.

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Old 17th March 2013, 14:56   #10
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If you want an example where using Load Artwork shows a very noticeable decrease in quality use it to load the cover of Rage Against the Machine's Renegades from here:

http://www.albumartexchange.com/cove...hine+renegades

This is actually the cover that made me first notice that Winamp changes the image. I've attached the 'after' image and if you compare it to the original in the link I provided there's a very noticeable difference.
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Old 17th March 2013, 17:31   #11
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Hi lostinsound,

Have you been able to tell exactly where the change is? Different compression ratio, different file format, or something else?

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Old 17th March 2013, 20:10   #12
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It's going to be in Winamp's default configuration for JPG compression. What Winamp outputs for the cover art directory is also what will get chucked into the file embed. Unless the input plugin reformats what Winamp hands over to it before doing the actual filespec specific embed it should be the same.

I wonder if the Winamp devs could say what configuration they set for the default cover art directory output.

And yes, it's a w5s (Winamp 5 System component) plugin and not a standard dll plugin like a gen, in, out, ml, or dsp with a .dll extension. It has to be done that way for it to work and since it's just a WASBI implementation it makes sense to do it that way anyway. And since there is no UI it stays (relatively) smaller than most of my other plugins.

Last edited by thinktink; 17th March 2013 at 21:46. Reason: grammar
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Old 17th March 2013, 20:46   #13
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From what I can tell it does look like it saves it with a lower compression ratio. It seems to be much more noticeable if the image has very sharp edges, like the sharp transition from red to blue in the Renegades image.

For a few different albums I opened up the covers in paint.NET, and when I selected 'Save As...' I set the jpeg quality to around 80 and it gave me approximately the same size image as the image Winamp puts in the folder with 'Load Artwork'. I also did an image subtraction comparison with this lower quality image from paint.NET and the Winamp generated image, and they were essentially the same image.

I should also note that even with saving the image in paint.NET with a quality of 100 I still noticed a decrease in the sharpness of the edges, although not as much.

Edit: I should clarify when I say "same size image", I mean the file size. The dimensions don't change.
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Old 17th March 2013, 21:30   #14
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the original link is for a 600x600 image, the attached one is a 100x100 image. bit-depth (24) and format (jpeg) are the same otherwise.

re-saving jpeg files will lead to a decrease in quality as jpeg is a lossy image format, so the more you alter the file, the more image data that will be lost.

and from what i've tried, i still get a 600x600 image via the 'load artwork' option, but the difference is the original is 126x126dpi and the saved copy in the folder is 96x96dpi (which would explain the main drop in the image quality and the fact that it's re-encoding the image).

this re-encoding is because there was no GetAlbumArtData(..) method when the feature was added so it has to read the file. decode it, save the decoded data and with jpeg files (as mentioned above) that leads to a loss in quality. will look into getting it to use the raw un-decoded data.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thinktink View Post
it some kind of raw RGB format
is an ARGB value - is like a COLORREF value but with the added means to store the alpha channel. it's what the read image data is expanded to unless when using GetAlbumArtData(..) which gets the raw image data before it is read and decoded into an ARGB32 ** buffer.
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Old 17th March 2013, 22:13   #15
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the original link is for a 600x600 image, the attached one is a 100x100 image. bit-depth (24) and format (jpeg) are the same otherwise.
Are you referring to the image I attached? When I click on the thumbnail, it opens up a new tab with a 600x600 image. That is the size of the image I attached, as Winamp doesn't change the dimensions when using 'Load Artwork'.
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Old 17th March 2013, 22:18   #16
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i was, though looks like i'd managed to get the wrong version downloaded. however now i have the correct file, it matches with my observation about dpi change and re-encoding impact with jpeg files.
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Old 17th March 2013, 22:23   #17
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when i drag and drop, or save an image from a browser to my local files, its an exact copy, even if i rename it during a "save as".

like i said earlier, i understand why winamp automatically reduces filesize under the hood, but it would be nice to have an option to defeat it.

i am still curious as to how winamp does things under the hood? does it just say "reduce filesize 20%" to everything, or what?

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Old 18th March 2013, 11:52   #18
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Quote:
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I wonder if the Winamp devs could say what configuration they set for the default cover art directory output.
would just be jpeg from the input image format once it's been read in and re-encoded to jepg (even if it was jpeg already - which is the main crux of the issue).

the next beta will have a partial fix for the issue where it'll attempt to preserve the original file data when setting a jpeg as the cover-art i.e. original and the created cover jpeg file should be the same.

there's a number of other changes which need to be made to make the options on the right of the dialog obey this behaviour as well especially with the 'copy' and 'save as' options instead of providing the decoded versions of the image data as it currently does (which i guess made some sort of sense when the feature was added).

alas i need to find more time to be able to look into and further resolve the remaining deficiencies with the current handling (which will just be fixing it to preserve original image data, nothing else involving functionality changes).
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Old 18th March 2013, 14:07   #19
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Quote:
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when i drag and drop, or save an image from a browser to my local files, its an exact copy, even if i rename it during a "save as".

like i said earlier, i understand why winamp automatically reduces filesize under the hood, but it would be nice to have an option to defeat it.

i am still curious as to how winamp does things under the hood? does it just say "reduce filesize 20%" to everything, or what?
Imagine an MP3 re-saved as an MP3 without checking on the settings. It is not going to be a "shrink by 20%" but a change in dpi of the image as noted by DrO.

I don't know how the devs do things, but you understand MP3 compression and the options. So may be worth a read on JPEG as you can see there are a lot of different factors that affect an image's file size. Then install something like IrfanView and play with the settings in the SaveAs dialog to see the changes for yourself.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/JPEG
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Old 18th March 2013, 15:52   #20
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yes, i follow, and i spoke sloppily. i suppose what i was asking is what settings exactly is winamp using to adjust filesize? do they depend on the source image? or are they static, meaning always reduce dpi 20% or somthing like that? i just find the behavior a bit odd and unexpected to begin with, altho i can see where someone might have deemed it wise at one time.

i have used infraview in the past, handy utility.

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Old 18th March 2013, 15:55   #21
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I'm pretty sure that changing the dpi doesn't change the file size. I think it just changes the size of the image if you were to print it out. I can take the same image and save it with two different dpi's and the file size is exactly the same.

Plus I gave Winamp a 72 dpi image and also the 126 dpi image, and in both cases Winamp changed the image to 96 dpi with a large reduction in file size. I think it just has to do with using a lower compression ratio.
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Old 18th March 2013, 16:04   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lostinsound View Post
I'm pretty sure that changing the dpi doesn't change the file size. I think it just changes the size of the image if you were to print it out. I can take the same image and save it with two different dpi's and the file size is exactly the same.

Plus I gave Winamp a 72 dpi image and also the 126 dpi image, and in both cases Winamp changed the image to 96 dpi with a large reduction in file size. I think it just has to do with using a lower compression ratio.
interesting. but wouldn't it be a higher compression ratio = smaller filesize or do i have it backwards?

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Old 18th March 2013, 16:21   #23
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interesting. but wouldn't it be a higher compression ratio = smaller filesize or do i have it backwards?
No you have it right, I switched it around. I meant to say higher compression ratio, i.e. lower quality and smaller file size.
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Old 18th March 2013, 16:40   #24
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yes, i follow, and i spoke sloppily. i suppose what i was asking is what settings exactly is winamp using to adjust filesize? do they depend on the source image? or are they static, meaning always reduce dpi 20% or somthing like that? i just find the behavior a bit odd and unexpected to begin with, altho i can see where someone might have deemed it wise at one time.
Notice that in IrfanView when you do a Save As / JPEG it always uses the same settings as last time. Ignoring the quality of the original source file.

My guess will be that the Winamp code when it was written had a developer taking a random choice of quality levels and picking that as a default. I remember my screen 15 years ago barely able to show a 1024x768 full screen - so it would have made sense at the time for highly compressed JPEGs.

If you think about it this makes sense as the dialog in Winamp to select artwork can handle other file types like Bitmaps, PNG, Gif, etc. Which would imply there was no reason to assume a link between the load and the save routines. Unlike your "drag and drop" example.
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Old 18th March 2013, 16:51   #25
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artwork support only got added in 2007 and tbh i've not bothered to look into what the jpeg image read/write code is doing (so there will not be an answer to the vague questions on what is or isn't going on) as it doesn't really matter when the issue is setting a new jpeg as the cover art is decoded and re-encoded instead of just saving the raw image data from the source.
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Old 18th March 2013, 17:01   #26
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Quote:
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artwork support only got added in 2007 and tbh i've not bothered to look into what the jpeg image read/write code is doing (so there will not be an answer to the vague questions on what is or isn't going on) as it doesn't really matter when the issue is setting a new jpeg as the cover art is decoded and re-encoded instead of just saving the raw image data from the source.
I personally don't expect it to get looked into as IMHO it works fine. Does the job perfect for my needs at the moment, and if I want better art then I copy art direct to the album folder. Winamp is flexible enough to handle all options.

I get a feeling you are a little busy with this new Beta Release. Thanks for that
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Old 18th March 2013, 17:13   #27
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its not really an issue for me, in the sense that i never used the winamp UI to do this b/c it did multiple things, re: this, i didn't like. however, its a bit of a stretch to complement winamp for being flexible for allowing me to save from browser to folder in the OS.

but my only objection, or perhaps concern is a better word, is that winamp reduces image quality and apparently changes other specs without giving the user any indication that this is so, unless they actually see the difference. i don't object to the function, it could be useful esp if the controls/settings were exposed to the user via ini, but to do it as a mandatory and hidden thing, it strikes me as inappropriate.

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Old 18th March 2013, 17:29   #28
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however, its a bit of a stretch to complement winamp for being flexible for allowing me to save from browser to folder in the OS.
That is not what I said. I meant that if I want extra fancy artwork I use an external method. i.e. I find my own art and save it myself to the album folder. "winamp being flexible" meant that it will use any art it finds, based on a known a published order. Unlike a locked in iTunes that would insist on doing it The Apple Way or No Way.

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but my only objection, or perhaps concern is a better word, is that winamp reduces image quality and apparently changes other specs without giving the user any indication that this is so, unless they actually see the difference. i don't object to the function, it could be useful esp if the controls/settings were exposed to the user via ini, but to do it as a mandatory and hidden thing, it strikes me as inappropriate.
It is the way it has always been, and no one has been forced to use it. As you say yourself you use other tools to do this job.

IMHO - good enough is good enough. Winamp is about music, not art. The majority of people would not have a clue about JPEG compression settings. It is why JPEG options dialogs are nearly always hidden by default (see IrfanView for a good example)

If I want high quality artwork, then I pick up the original vinyl cover and look at that.
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Old 19th March 2013, 00:37   #29
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New version attached with even mo-betta-teh-mo-bettaness. The 7z includes not just the installer but also a WASABI header file for another developer to create a front-end if they wanted and an example config file that shows the default "quality" value for the JPEG image writing handler in Winamp (at least as of this post.)

[EDIT/]
Note: You will need to close all running instances of Winamp to install the new version.

Last edited by thinktink; 21st March 2013 at 03:40.
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Old 19th March 2013, 05:39   #30
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Quote:
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It is the way it has always been
then it has always been inappropriate.

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IMHO - good enough is good enough. Winamp is about music, not art. The majority of people would not have a clue about JPEG compression settings.
the majority of people don't know about lame compression settings either, but if winamp were silently re-encoding music files on import, esp to lesser settings, i think you would find that objectionable, no?

yes, its not exactly the same, since music is the point, but i think i have a point as well. i'm not crying foul over this, its not a huge deal, i'm just pointing it out. most people are unaware of this behavior.

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If I want high quality artwork, then I pick up the original vinyl cover and look at that.
we agree on that. i have several framed vinyl covers, look great on the wall imo.

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Old 19th March 2013, 10:21   #31
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Quote:
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If I want high quality artwork, then I pick up the original vinyl cover and look at that.
we agree on that. i have several framed vinyl covers, look great on the wall imo.
Then I will develop a plugin that brings that important feature to Winamp. It will interface with a robot to retrieve the correct vinyl sleeve from the shelf. At least two of us will use it. And if I develop the other arm to get a beer from the fridge - all round win.


@Thinktink: fine bit of work on your plugin there. I'm gonna hook myself a copy as I don't like it when the artwork gets too big. Or having inappropriate quality levels. Looks like your neat little plugin is an easy way to reduce that.
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Old 19th March 2013, 14:30   #32
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Originally Posted by DrO View Post
alas i need to find more time to be able to look into and further resolve the remaining deficiencies with the current handling (which will just be fixing it to preserve original image data, nothing else involving functionality changes).
Is the fix to preserve original image data in the 5.7 beta 2, build 3323 released yesterday?

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Old 19th March 2013, 14:35   #33
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when using 'load artwork' and the source is a jpeg file then yes. http://forums.winamp.com/showpost.ph...4&postcount=18 mentions what hasn't been 'fixed'.
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Old 19th March 2013, 16:26   #34
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Thank you!

Your timing was perfect. Today I just decided to start adding album art to my mp3 files that had none. What a pain in the ***. All those jpegs clogging up my nice neat folders. I then stupidly thought I could use my own file names to ID the jpeg files...NOT. By the time I realized good ol' Winamp had disregarded my new jpeg names and created duplicate files with names Winamp decided on, I had done one folder FULL of mp3s.

After downloading your plugin, I was dismayed to have the same things happen again. However, it was just a matter of procedure; I neglected to select "cover <embed>" BEFORE I loaded the jpeg.

It maybe just a simple tweek, but your simple tweek epitomizes what separates the "It works O.K." to "It's outstanding".

Thank you.
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Old 19th March 2013, 18:16   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quentin2791 View Post
Your timing was perfect. Today I just decided to start adding album art to my mp3 files that had none. What a pain in the ***. All those jpegs clogging up my nice neat folders. I then stupidly thought I could use my own file names to ID the jpeg files...NOT. By the time I realized good ol' Winamp had disregarded my new jpeg names and created duplicate files with names Winamp decided on, I had done one folder FULL of mp3s.

After downloading your plugin, I was dismayed to have the same things happen again. However, it was just a matter of procedure; I neglected to select "cover <embed>" BEFORE I loaded the jpeg.

It maybe just a simple tweek, but your simple tweek epitomizes what separates the "It works O.K." to "It's outstanding".

Thank you.
thats another reason i don't use the winamp UI. did u find it was [re]naming the files according to the value for the album name tag?

i'd like to be able to get winamp to use "Folder.jpg" and also set the art as "hidden" in file properties.

i realize this is getting beyond the scope of winamp's duty, but still, its another reason why i'm not using it for art.

(for embeds, the filename shouldn't matter though, right?)

one thing to consider, is it might help you to consider a traditional one album per folder file structure, as its a lot easier to deal with art [thats in folders] that way, and fix any issues, and its basically universal to all apps and devices. what is your current structure?

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Old 20th March 2013, 14:40   #36
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Hi thinktink,

I have good news and bad news. The good news is your w5s plug-in works perfectly for embedding art. The bad news it causes my Winamp to crash. After embedding some test images in copies of the same mp3 and switching between them to check image quality, while not playing the file, Winamp crashed within 2 to 5 minutes.

It does this with both versions of the plug-in. After it happened with v.1.0.2.6, I switched back to v.1.0. By the way, neither version lists it's number in the Windows file properties dialog. The only way to tell them apart is by their file sizes. Below is a part of the error log generated by the "gen_crasher.dll" plug-in while using v.1.0.

Winamp client version: 5.7 build 3323 Beta
winamp caused an Access Violation (0xc0000005)
in module bpembededart.w5s at 0023:02726821.

Exception handler called in Winamp.
Error occurred at 3/20/2013 09:09:40.
C:\Program Files (x86)\Winamp\winamp.exe, run by *.
Operating system: Windows 7 (6.1.7601).
4 processor(s), type 586.
39% memory in use.
4095 MBytes physical memory.
2487 MBytes physical memory free.
0 MBytes paging file.
0 MBytes paging file free.
2048 MBytes user address space.
1633 MBytes user address space free.
Write to location 0065007a caused an access violation.

Context:
EDI: 0x0297ff40 ESI: 0x0000dca8 EAX: 0x02b82340
EBX: 0x0000dcac ECX: 0x00650076 EDX: 0x02b82350
EIP: 0x02726821 EBP: 0x0297fdc4 SegCs: 0x00000023
EFlags: 0x00010202 ESP: 0x0297fdbc SegSs: 0x0000002b

Bytes at CS:EIP:
89 51 04 89 4a 08 8b 48 04 89 51 08 89 4a 04 89

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Last edited by Aminifu; 20th March 2013 at 16:50.
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Old 20th March 2013, 15:06   #37
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O.o!

That's interesting. Can you attach the mp3, current config file (%appdata%\Winamp\Plugins\BPEmbededArt.ini), and art you are trying to embed? Or you can PM me the link if you're worried about copyrighted material redistribution.
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Old 20th March 2013, 15:16   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aminifu View Post
...By the way, neither version lists it's number in the Windows file properties dialog. The only way to tell them apart is by their file sizes...
Actually, it shows up in my list. I don't know why it's not showing up for you.

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Old 20th March 2013, 15:46   #39
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Hi All,

Preliminary results using the BPEmbededArt plug-in, before the crashes reported in post #36 above.

I used copies of a single mp3 and 2 versions of the same JPG image:

Image A = 160x160 pixels, 96x96 dpi, 24 bit color, 85 compression quality, 5,532 bytes file size

Image B = 300x300 pixels, 96x96 dpi, 24 bit color, 85 compression quality, 14,465 bytes file size

Using MediaMonkey to embed increased the mp3 file size by 4,096 bytes with Image A (1,436 bytes < the source image) and 14,336 with Image B (129 bytes < the source image).

Using BPEmbededArt v.1.0 & v.1.0.2.6 to embed increased the mp3 file size by 4,224 bytes with Image A (1,308 bytes < the source image) and 14,464 with Image B (1 byte < the source image).

I did not notice the "BPEmbededArt.ini" file until after I had switched back to v.1.0. I assume both versions were using the same compression quality value.

So it seems that both methods further compress the source image somewhat. MediaMonkey does it a little more, especially with image B.

I want to use the smallest image size possible to suit my needs. The 160x160 image has acceptable quality at all the display sizes I normally use, but becomes pixelated at the maximum display size I sometimes use. The 300x300 image has acceptable quality at this maximum display size, so it also looks a little better than the 160x160 image at the smaller display sizes.

I don't know much about image formats and don't understand why Image B's file size is not larger than it is (since 160x160=25,600 & 300x300=90,000), for the same picture at the same dpi, color depth, and compression levels. Must be some JPG compression magic.

Would I get the same quality results with Image A if it's dpi was larger?

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Old 20th March 2013, 16:48   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thinktink View Post
That's interesting. Can you attach the mp3, current config file (%appdata%\Winamp\Plugins\BPEmbededArt.ini), and art you are trying to embed? Or you can PM me the link if you're worried about copyrighted material redistribution.
Take a look at my post #39 above. Do you want both images and the mp3 with or without the embeds. The version 1.0 .ini file just has the following 3 lines:

[Main]
EmbedOptionFirst=0
DefaultImgWriter=JPEG

But like I said, the actual embedding goes fine. The crash happens when Winamp is just sitting there (with no song playing) displaying an image. I've removed your plug-in and everything is back to normal, even when displaying the images embedded with your plug-in.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thinktink
Actually, it shows up in my list. I don't know why it's not showing up for you.
That is strange. Maybe because I'm using Windows 7. That looks like an XP dialog.

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