Tip: Display your Album art in thumbnails mode

*** UPDATE ***
If you find this post via a search you may want to look at this other post instead since it has a newer, better solution:

resource.dopus.com/viewtopic.php?t=1557

*** UPDATE ***

In thumbnails mode, both Opus and Explorer will look for a file called folder.jpg and, if found, use it as the image for a folder.

(Aside: In Opus if there is no folder.jpg then you'll get an image with up to four smaller thumbnails of the first files Opus finds.)

A good use of the folder.jpg feature is to display the cover art for all your CDs:

There are a number of tools to automatically get cover art from sites like Amazon.

(Hint: Amazon.com have lower-resolution images than other countries' sites, e.g. Amazon.co.uk, and you'll also notice that some CDs have different covers in different regions. Apparently the WalMart site has 500x500 pixel covers but I don't think any of the automated tools support it yet.)

This is the tool I used:
louhi.kempele.fi/~skyostil/projects/albumart/

I found it good because it was able to guess the artist and album title just from my folders. Most of the other tools rely on music file tags, which this one will also use, if it finds them, but don't work with the lossless FLAC file format, which is what I rip my CDs to. This tool also doesn't understand FLAC files but that didn't matter because it guessed from the directory names.

The tool above will also save directly to folder.jpg (provided you tick the menu option to create covers for Explorer) so you don't have to rename lots of images.

If your albums are not in FLAC then this is another good, similar tool that you may want to consider:
str8dog.com/archive/2004/06/23/1232.aspx

A quick Google for "album art downloader" will find you a bunch of others, all with their pros and cons.

While the automated tools will get most of your covers, they will, of course, probably miss a few. Google Image Search works really well to fill in the gaps, although I still had to scan a few of mine by hand.

Once you've got all your album art there are plugins for Winamp and Foobar2000 which show the art when you play your music. It's great to see the covers again, even though the physical CDs are all stored away in a cupboard. :slight_smile:

Extra hints...

You can use Folder Options in Opus to set your albums directory to automatically use thumbnails, without making all directories use thumbnails mode.

You can also create a layout that opens a large lister showing your albums directory in thumbnails mode. I find this best since my listers are quite small by default and I want a larger window for browsing my albums.