Prefer cover art from file tags

Hi @support,

I am experiencing similar issues with my Roon setup (using Macs as Core and Bridge).

For some albums Roon is ignoring the embedded cover art that I have chosen and is instead using one of the other album art files that I have stored within a folder called ‘Artwork’ within the same directory as the music. This is quite frustrating as I have gone to the trouble of embedding the desired artwork within each audio file and the ones that Roon is choosing to display are often not the front cover image. I have noticed that the key word ‘cover’ is always within the filename that is automatically selected. I would have thought that a file named ‘folder.jpg’ would be selected by default if no image is embedded within the audio files themselves but that doesn’t seem to be the case either.

You should be able to highlight all the albums, click Edit, go to middle Tab “Metadata Preferences”, go to ARTWORK and select Prefer File

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I have tried that on both individual albums and by selecting multiple albums and Roon still selects the same incorrect image file from the ‘Artwork’ folder and ignores the embedded image.

I managed to get Roon to use the embedded image only by removing the ‘Artwork’ folder for that album.

Hey @Chris_Ellison – we’re looking into some issues and requests in this area, but the current design is that Roon will use the largest front cover image available.

This will include any image embedded in your file tags, stored next to your files, or stored in a folder called artwork next to your files. This includes any images that include cover, front, or folder.

I’m trying to understand whether you’re looking for a change here, or if this is not working as expected. Can you let me know, or zip up the album and send us a Dropbox link or similar? Thanks!

Hi @mike - it seems that my system is handling cover images as you describe that it should.

I personally do not think that it should work like this. I would recommend that none Roon cover art is derived from image files in the following order of priority:

  1. Embedded image.
  2. Any image named ‘folder’ within the same directory as the audio files or ‘Artwork’ folder.
  3. The highest quality image with ‘cover’ or ‘front’ within its name.

It seems to me to be a recognised convention that the ‘folder’ file would contain the chosen image file if not embedded whereas files with ‘cover’ and ‘front’ within the name can represent all sorts of other images of the packaging and often do not show the actual album cover (as is the case with a large number of my albums).

If someone has gone to the trouble of choosing and embedding a particular image file then I would have thought that this should always be used first.


cover.jpg or folder.jpg within an album folder can be “standard” use in many setups. In my own, I always have my art named “cover.jpg” rather than “folder.jpg”. It has historically worked in all my applications (LMS, foobar2000, and roon). Note that one reason I used cover starting many years ago is that Windows Media Player can do nasty things to one’s artwork, even if one accidentally opens up files with WMP (and even if WMP options are set to not look for metadata, etc.). Somewhere along the way I learned that WMP could mess with folder.jpg but ignored “cover.jpg”. I’ve never been a WMP user, but there are occasions when it gets opened on my windows machines.

regarding order, my preference for artwork from files would be:

  1. image named folder.jpg or cover.jpg in directory
  2. embedded image

I say this as many people use lower-res images for embedding but their highest res image as a single image *.jpg within the directory.

As there are various different schools of thought on how cover art should be stored within peoples collections, how about providing a solution that covers all eventualities that I can think of:

Have a ‘Metadata Preference’ that allows the selection of the source of cover art with the following options:

  1. Prefer Roon
  2. Prefer embedded image
  3. Prefer image file containing configurable string (therefore could enter ‘folder’ or ‘cover’ etc. as required)

Thanks for the feedback here @Chris_Ellison. I think there’s a reasonable case to be made that using “best available” works in the vast majority of cases, although I can see why that’s problematic for your collection.

My personal feelings on preference are closer to garym, since a high res image stored once in a folder next to the files will take up less space on disk than storing the image over and over in each file, but we do support both methods – our editing model just doesn’t include the ability to set collection wide preferences for ignoring one even when the cover art is a higher resolution.

I’ve moved your posts over to the Feature Requests section so we can gauge feedback the next time we’re working on editing and collection preferences.


By the way, I’m also ok with the current “prefer best artwork” approach. But choices, if not difficult to program of course, are always nice.

Hi @mike - thank you for taking the time to look into this.

I see where you are coming from regarding higher quality images stored outside of the files themselves and if it were possible to guarantee that Roon was going to pick the correct file then great. Unfortunately I think that with the current approach you are spreading the net too wide and will catch multiple image files that are not in fact the front image of the album that people will want to represent the album. Since all files containing ‘front’, ‘cover’ and ‘folder’ will be considered with the file with the largest size being automatically selected, in many instances a ‘rear cover’ or ‘sleeve cover’ (in the case of Japanese albums with separate OBI strips over the main cover) or other undesirable file will be selected.

Wouldn’t it be better to have an order if priority that isn’t simply the size of the file? If you don’t want to use the embedded art (which I understand as will probably be lower quality) then how about always using files names exactly ‘folder’ or ‘cover’ next. This means the user could more easily control which file is selected. At the moment I am having to analyse all my ‘Artwork’ folder manually renaming the unwanted ‘…cover…’ and ‘…front…’ files to something else to stop them being selected in front on the desired ‘folder.jpg’ file that happens to be slightly smaller in size (but still higher quality than the embedded image).

I hope this makes sense.


Whoah ! :astonished:
Please be careful here…

I’ve carefully edited all my metadata over years…and embedded artwork / folder artwork shows exactly the correct images - not the images from the re-press version, not the images released in Belgium, or Italy, Japan or the USA - they show exactly the images that are on the covers of the CD’s / DVD’s / Boxed sets etc etc that I have in my collection.

The option must remain, with - IMHO - priority first to embedded, then folder.jpg / cover.jpg

If getting the correct metadata’s important to people, then please ‘respect’ that. :wink:
If it’s not important to others, then it doesn’t matter !

All just IMHO of course, but I feel that the correct artwork’s important. :slight_smile:


I’m having exactly the same issues as Chris, a ‘Prefer embedded artwork’ would be very welcome. I also spent years work in embedding exact square and correct artwork in al my tracks, that now are overridden by remaining images in my ‘Artwork’ subfolders.

3 posts were split to a new topic: Folder.jpg not being used consistently

I agree that there should be a “Prefer embedded artwork” option. My reason is that many times I can find a very good quality (good color/contrast, no blemishes or lines, etc) cover at say 400x400 and all the larger ones or my scans are poorer quality. Sometimes I still keep the larger poorer quality one because it is the exact cover for disc/version I have and reflects the correct label and numbers and I keep it for reference.

Oftentimes in Roon the covers are displayed as smaller thumbs anyhow so the samller size doesn’t hurt at all, but the enhanced quality is noticeable.

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Yes agreed. It must be possible to improve on the rather crude way that roon decides “best”. Largest is actually rarely the best. I often have smaller images which are much better. There are many reasons:

  1. Aspect ratio. I will usually prefer a smaller ‘square’ image over a higher resolution rectangular image unless correcting the aspect ration creates too much distortion. A mish mash of high resolution images with different aspect ratios creates a right dog’s dinner on many roon screen’s which is hardly “better”.

  2. Contrast. Smaller images with better contrast can be better than high resolution images.

  3. Brightness. Smaller brighter images are usually better than larger illegable darker images.

  4. Color balance. This is often important where you have multiple versions and want an easy visual clue to distinguish.

I like several posters here have gone to a lot of trouble over many years and would prefer a more flexible definition of ‘better’.

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I’ve just started a Roon trial today again after trying one 6 months ago.
Like many people here I have spent a lot of trouble getting my artwork exactly as I want it.
All my artwork is embedded, and for some albums (like greatest hits) I have individual artwork for individual tracks.
Maybe I’m remembering wrong, but I’m pretty sure on my previous trial Roon was displaying the track artwork for the track playing.
Now it seems to select a random (probably highest resolution image) and displays that for all the tracks in the album.

I second that there should be a prefer embedded artwork option, but it should work for individual tracks.

I’m currently using Minimserver to stream my music and that works this way … as does iTunes.

You can set it to prefer your artwork … there’s nothing random about the choices it makes. I don’t think it supports individual artwork for tracks, artwork is an album / single / EP thing, I’ve ever seen an album released with unique artwork for tracks.

Hi @Steve_Catterall

It doesn’t quite address your issue but my work around is this:

You can always break up greatest hits compilations using “Fix Track Grouping” so that in effect roon treats each track as an individual album. Then you get individual artwork for each “track”. The next step is to assign a common tag to each track. E.g. “Steve’s Party Mix”. Then when you click the tag you bring up a screenful of tracks each with their individual artwork. You can then pretty much treat the tag as an album.

A bit extreme I know. But works for me and I had to do something similar with my box sets to retain the visual clues of the individual album covers.

I know this is controversial and these boards will probably always splinter between the groomers and the non-groomers but there is another category in the middle ground of “relapsed groomers” who just don’t want to groom any more. For them, non of the existing prefer roon, prefer file or prefer best really works. What they really need is a cleverer “prefer best” option.

For example, as a general rule I certainly do not want to’ prefer file’. I have done a lot of tagging in the past but it is just a hopeless task and I want to rely now as much as possible on roon automation features. But without a cleverer ‘best’ option I have a catch-22. I have made a lot of investment in artwork in the past which I want to retain, but on the other hand I do not want to do that going forward. For us relapsed groomers the only thing that would really work is a cleverer ‘best’ option so that we get the best of both worlds.

How should that option decide on what is best in your opinion? I think this could only based on some technical attributes of the artwork.