Author Topic: Album and Cover Art Vis Plugin - with auto download (xmp-coverart rev.7)  (Read 199394 times)

jwbodnar

  • Posts: 9
Hi Barna,

I've noticed some odd behavior with MP4/M4A cover art support today.

I downloaded some M4A files from the Reverbnation/Microsoft promotion this summer.  Microsoft includes an MJPEG in the MP4 container that servers as the cover art along as well as a sponsorship add.

On one of the files I kept, I decided to strip out the Microsoft ad/cover and replace it with the unmodified cover art downloaded from somewhere else.  I examined the file with YAMB and found that there was a lot of other stuff in it, so I decided to built a clean M4A by (1) extracting the AAC audio stream, (2) putting it in an empty M4A container, and (3) putting in the cover art and other tag data with Mp3Tag.

So, here's the strange part:  I have the file on my desktop along with various other JPEGs, but instead of accessing the cover tag in the MP4 container, the cover art plug-in loads one of the JPEGs on the desktop.  When I stick the M4A file in a folder with no image files, the covert art plug-in displays the JPEG embedded in the file.

Maybe I'm missing something, but doesn't the plug-in use the embedded cover art before it goes a file like folder.jpg or other image file?  I've put the M4A in question here if you need to look at it:

http://www.nodada.com/alex_boye.m4a

Also, one thing that I've noticed before but ran into again today is the use of the middle mouse button to access the covert art plug-in options.  I'm not sure about other laptops, but on my ThinkPad, the middle UltraNav button is configurable, and I have it configured to act like a mouse wheel for scrolling.  I can reconfigure this for other purposes, so I can always access the plug-in menu.  I think that other portables only have two buttons, so how can they access the plug-in options?

jwbodnar

  • Posts: 9
Hi Barna,

Thought I would pass along an interesting source for album cover art I found.

If you go to HMV and pull up the page for a particular album, let's use Loquat's "It's Yours to Keep" for this example:

http://hmv.com/hmvweb/digitalProductDetails.do?productId=3445593

The cover art shown has the following URL:

http://images.musicnet.com/albums/005/289/567/c.jpeg

It's a 130x130 pixel image.  Needless to say, with such an obvious URL, I wondered if other images might be present with different file name, like "a.jpeg", etc.  Well, they are.  I have not investigated a lot of cases, and not all cover art images on HMV have the same URL format, but for those that come from MediaNet (who are the source for the images at musicnet.com), you can generally find the following.

a.jpeg - 200x200
b.jpeg - 240x240
c.jpeg - 130x130
g.jpeg - 800x800
m.jpeg - 150x140
s.jpeg - 75x75

I thought you might find the useful as another image source for your plug-in.  I figure if you can actually pull images down from Amazon, then extracting them from HMV might be possible.

Thanks again for the excellent work.

Barna

  • Posts: 105
Microsoft really is using MP4 and not like.. their own proprietary Windows Media formats? o_O

Anyway... I fixed the internal mechanism which selects the image to be shown (first image if cover image cycling is enabled) for embedded images. It's probably the smallest revision update for this plugin, but I felt even less to silently update rev.5 once again.

So here you go:
Download: http://www.nukular.ch/xmp-coverart_rev.6.zip

As for adding another image source, I might do it just for the heck of it if I feel like spending a bit more time with the code. But for now I think I leave it for the current 4. Maybe you can give me a better reason than that Loquat album (which has higher res art on Amazon, Flickr and even through Google) :-)
Actually the Amazon image source is special. Amazon actually offers a webservice for exactly that kind of application. So I went through with an official amazon developer account and stuff to be all fancy. I doubt HMV does offer that.
Funny though, Google and Flickr (Yahoo) offer a webservice for accessing their data through a more proper way than just simulating a web browser, too - but I'm not using them. (-: ... I first looked at their services but all required separate formal developer accounts so I just did without it (by simulating being a normal HTTP web browser) for this kind of proof-of-concept.
Last.fm and Flickr offer some nice artist pics. Google as a source is interesting hit-or-miss, sometimes even funny. But I don't think HMV would add anything besides redundancy. Also for speed, Amazon is easily the fastest because of its dedicated service.

Yeah that middle mouse button thingy was mentioned before. It's actually a XMPlay thing and not specific to this plugin. Ian mentioned before that he might think into adding another way to send the 'click'-event to a visualizer plugin. But so far, middle mouse button still seems the remain as the only way. On my (fairly cheap) laptop with some standard Synaptics touchpad I can do a middle mouse button by touching the touch surface with two fingers (and a right click with three fingers). It requires no drivers and I really love that feature. It's really nothing fancy and its not like a touchpad that can do anything multi touch gesture kinda stuff. It's 4 years old and besides mouse wheel scrolling by sliding on the very right area of the touchpad it doesn't do anything else special. So yeah, pester Ian if you personally really need it :-)
I can only think of more ridiculous awkwardish solutions like having an AutoHotKey script that does the middle clicking somehow for you or having the vis plugin doing it's own hotkey recognition through the Windows API... Both not really good solutions.


Update:
Found something useful to do in this rev.6... I actually fixed the amazon lookup. In some territories (maybe all now) the Amazon webservices require signing of the requests. Properly HMAC-SHA256-signing them now and rev.6 should generate only valid Amazon requests.
« Last Edit: 22 Oct '09 - 08:40 by Barna »

jwbodnar

  • Posts: 9
Hi Barna,

Saw your update a few weeks back but only remembered to download it today as I had just created an m4a file with an audio clip stripped from a YouTube video for which I used a screen capture from the video as cover art (yeah, that was a mouthful).  I made the m4a with MP4Box and YAMB and tagged it with Mp3tag, and XMPlay didn't show the cover art.  I remembered you updated the plug-in to fix this, so I downloaded the revision, and, of course, it now works :-)  Thank you!

As for the middle mouse button thing, I have a ThinkPad, and I do not use the blasted TrackPad (hate it!) but use the TrackPoint (little pencil erase stick in the middle of the keyboard) instead as I've been using TrackPoints since the appeared on the original ThinkPads around 15 years ago :-)  If you use the TrackPoint on a ThinkPad with UltraNav (TrackPoint and TrackPad with 3 buttons) and use the middle mouse button to engage scrolling (substitute for a mouse scroll wheel), you lose the ability to use the middle mouse button for anything else, thus my predicament.

Unfortunately, for me, I'm probably one of the few people still using the TrackPoint in favor of the blasted TrackPad, so I may just be SOL :-(  Still, all current model ThinkPads still come with a TrackPoint, so maybe I'm not alone...

manwithcake

  • Posts: 1
Hi Barna,

Firstly, thanks a TON for my favorite xmplay plugin :D

However, using WinXP home and attempting to save covers, it doesn't save them.  I've set the download directory as C:/My documents/My music/Album art, but after an hour of listening to Martini in the Morning (huge recommendation here for jazz standards :D), I have nothing in that folder.

What am I doing wrong?

santiago

  • Guest
Hi, thanks for the plugin!

I noticed that it won't display embedded MP3 covers if the file is streaming from the network (works fine for local files, of course).
Here's an example:
http://www.archive.org/download/CCMixterUnwindVol1/CCMixterUnwind-ChillCompilation-Vol.1-DJMixedByS.C.Mixer.mp3


Regards!

lukeskyd

  • Posts: 1
Hi!! Very nice plugin Barna!

But i think miss an option very important..
Miss save with filename, title or album name.
Now save only "- cover.jpg" and it's a little troublesome..
Pls add save with filename, title or album name, pls

Winamp incorporate images into mp3 id2 file info.. maybe your plugin can do it too?

Thank You Very Much
for your useful plugin.

lostmylogin

  • Guest
re:  middle mouse click

The middle click thing is definitely an issue as plenty of people (including me) have "fancier" mice than just the basic 3 button configuration and can program each button as they want it.  I'm sure others wouldn't want to change their settings just to use XM's visuals features any more than I do. 

But, I guess it's moot.  I just temporarily switched the wheel button back to middle button function just to configure the plug-in and see if it works.  I just get "no album cover."  Funny, but I didn't think Yes, U2, Peter Gabriel or Cheap Trick were particularly obscure...

Jace

  • Posts: 825
From my experience the "fancier" mice usually come with "fancier" configurating programs which allow application-specific actions for each button too. Shouldn't be a need to change the middle button function for ALL programs. :)

Regarding the cover download issue, I don't seem to be able to download any either. (Running rev.4 though). Maybe Amazon changed something to make cover searching fail?

Dotpitch

  • Posts: 2871
Regarding the cover download issue, I don't seem to be able to download any either. (Running rev.4 though). Maybe Amazon changed something to make cover searching fail?
I think Amazon did change something, I'm not getting any covers from them either. Google and Last.fm still work, so you can use those in the mean time.

Rich Nagel

  • Posts: 297
Isn't the Cover Art plugin suppose to display images embedded within MP3 files? I added a few pics (JPGs) to a few MP3 files using the "Advanced Tag Editor" of Windows Media Player 9, but they are not displayed using the Cover Art plugin.

The only ones that seem to be displayed are ones where I have one or more pics located within the same directory as the MP3 files.

Dotpitch

  • Posts: 2871
Isn't the Cover Art plugin suppose to display images embedded within MP3 files? I added a few pics (JPGs) to a few MP3 files using the "Advanced Tag Editor" of Windows Media Player 9, but they are not displayed using the Cover Art plugin.
It's very well possible that WMP does not use the same methods as MP3Tag, so the plugin doesn't see these images. Could you upload an example, so Barna can have a look at it?

Rich Nagel

  • Posts: 297
It's very well possible that WMP does not use the same methods as MP3Tag, so the plugin doesn't see these images. Could you upload an example, so Barna can have a look at it?

Will do :) Should I upload it to the Un4Seen FTP?

Pike84

  • Posts: 1398
I doubt Barna has acces to that, so you should probably find some free file hosting service to link to, or discuss with Barna on how to send the files directly to him (via email, for example).

Dotpitch

  • Posts: 2871
Or create a small file, zip it and attach it to your post on this forum.

Rich Nagel

  • Posts: 297
I went ahead and uploaded it to one of my servers (right-click/save as, of course):

http://www.cmoo.com/snor/weeds/Weeds_Music/Way_Up_In_Glory_Land.mp3

(should be live in a few minutes... I'm on a miserable dialup connection)

The ID3 tag was added with an old DOS utility "MP3Tagger", and the pic was added with Windows Media Player 9 (tagged as "Picture type: During Performance", if that makes any difference).

Sam_Zen

  • Posts: 113
I also had the problem so far, that the plugin didn't show embedded pictures, only the one in the directory of the soundfile.
So I checked "Way Up In Glory Land"..
Confirmed. XMPlay doesn't show the image.

Then I opened the file with "MP3tag" and the gospel choir showed up.
I think I found a workaround, because after I saved the tag again with MP3tag, XMPlay shows it correctly.

Zarggg

  • Posts: 1242
That's most likely due to WMP embedding the picture in a non-standard way.

Rich Nagel

  • Posts: 297
That's most likely due to WMP embedding the picture in a non-standard way.


That's what I was thinking as well.

BTW, in a standard ID# tag, how is the image embedded in the MP3? Is it a standard JPG/PNG/GIF/BMP type of format, or is it encoded in some other proprietary (although widely used or recognized) format when the image is added to the MP3?

The reason that I ask; on the MP3s in question (i.e. all of the ones that I had added images/cover art to using WMP) I tried an experiment to see if I could extract them. I used the ancient DOS utility "Ripper v5.00", as well as the newer Windows 9x utility "MultiExtractor v2.8.0a", and neither of them found any extractable images in the MP3s where I had used WMP to add them.

I don't have any other utilities to add images to MP3s though, so I couldn't test the same on any other MP3s that I hadn't used WMP to add the images.

Dotpitch

  • Posts: 2871
BTW, in a standard ID3 tag, how is the image embedded in the MP3? Is it a standard JPG/PNG/GIF/BMP type of format, or is it encoded in some other proprietary (although widely used or recognized) format when the image is added to the MP3?
ID3v2.3.0 Specs - 4.15 Attached picture.

Rich Nagel

  • Posts: 297
Thanks for the link, Dotpitch :)

You know, my brain must be whacky. After again trying to extract the image using the MultiExtractor utility that I mentioned previously on the MP3 I uploaded, it indeed was able to extract the JPG. Also, I had a look at the MP3 in a hex editor, and sure enough, the JPG was in there (I saw the standard JPG headers and such).

So, in conclusion, the original unencrypted image is indeed being added to the MP3s by WMP, but apparently in some screwball sort of way that the plugin doesn't understand.

Bobjohnson

  • Guest
Hello,

I've copied the svp file in the folder but it does'nt appear in the plugin list (I see there only the MSN plugin and the minilyrics plugin) I tried to copy it one more time in a "plugin" folder and relaunched Xmplay times and times again but it nevers shows in the list. Could you please help me? (Is it related to Vista?) I have tried it with the 3.42 and the 3.51 version but it's the same.

Dotpitch

  • Posts: 2871
I've copied the svp file in the folder but it does'nt appear in the plugin list (I see there only the MSN plugin and the minilyrics plugin) ...
RTFM! :)
Quote from: xmp-coverart.txt (came with xmp-coverart.svp)
To run it, copy xmp-coverart.svp somewhere under the XMPlay directory and restart XMPlay. In XMPlay press F9 (or select the Visuals panel), right click the window and select the 'XMPlay Cover Art' plugin from the list.
xmp-coverart is not a plugin, it's a visual. So, you have to look for it in the Visual tab of the Info Window (Beginner's Guide - The Info Window). Can you find it now?

Bobjohnson

  • Guest
Thanks!

It works fine now, I really appreciate your plugin !

garson

  • Posts: 138
What about .ape and .wv? Are those formats gonna be supported in future?