Release - 20161213 - assess and transcode album cover image formats

Convert to JPG button

It's 2016 (just) and there are still some music players out there which only support certain image formats! Whether your album covers are saved embedded or as separate image files, some players simply refuse to display artwork that is stored in PNG, say, or GIF images.

An example is Bluesound, which does have some workarounds for using PNG, for example, but otherwise the devices do not natively support it. Older versions of the popular Twonky UPnP server, for example, also did not support PNG.

This has become more relevant recently because of Apple's decision to start shipping PNG files as the album covers in music downloaded from iTunes. The reason is to demonstrate the capabilities of their "Retina" devices; because PNG is a lossless image format, the images do not have the same visual artifacts as JPEGs, and so they look better on high resolution screens.

The trouble is, if you then try to play these files on a device that doesn't support PNG album covers, you won't see that pretty artwork!

Adding an album cover image format rule has been a long standing request and this release adds the ability to check cover art for a list of permitted formats, and offer a once click fix, per album, to convert the images into a target format.

How image format assessment works

The default is to allow all image formats. So, when viewing the cover art settings for the first time, you'll see these new entries:

JPEG, PNG, BMP and GIF image formats permitted

If you deselect a format, indicating that the deselected format is not permitted, you'll get an extra list box asking for a target format. For example, here I've stated I want only PNG and JPEG album artwork:

Only JPEG and PNG image formats permitted, transcode to JPEG

Now, Apply rules to set to work...

bliss assesses each album's image formats. If they are outside the permitted set, the album is non-compliant:

Non compliant album cover image format

The assessment shows that the album artwork is in BMP format (very 90s).

But there's a one click fix: Convert to jpg. Click it and all the album artwork is converted to JPEG.

As usual, the process can be semi-automated on the Inbox with Fix all visible.

There's more...

  • Fixed an albums and artists paging bug.
  • Made the saving of separate image files more efficient.
  • Allow new images to be stored replacing corrupt images.
  • Make sure problems when saving settings are shown on the Albums page.

Downloading and installing

You can download from the downloads page. After you click through, installation instructions are available on the page following download.

tags: release
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The Music Library Management blog

Dan Gravell

I'm Dan, the founder and programmer of bliss. I write bliss to solve my own problems with my digital music collection.