Manually Adding Music Album Covers in WMP 12

Here's how to get WMP to automatically update the correct album art

You probably already know that Windows Media Player 12 can be used to automatically find the correct cover art for your music albums. It does this via the Internet and is usually the best method to tag your music.

So, why would you want to do it manually?

Sometimes however hard you try, Microsoft's media player won't be able to locate the right artwork for some of your music albums. Maybe you've got a rare (or older) album that can't be matched to an image. Perhaps it's a local band that hasn't released their album through a professional record label. If it isn't available in the online resources that WMP 12 uses, then it will likely come up with the best match or even empty-handed. And, on some occasions, there can be so many irrelevant results that you end up giving up altogether.

When this happens the best thing to do is manually update them using a downloaded image file. You can find a lot more images online and will probably find the correct one rather than using WMP 12.

But where do you get these images from?

There are Websites on the Internet that specialize in music album cover art. For a look at some of the best to use, check out our guide on downloading free album art.

All you need to make sure of is that the image is in one of the following formats:

  • JPEG
  • BMP
  • PNG
  • GIF
  • TIFF

Once you've downloaded the missing album art images for your music library, follow these steps below:

  1. If you aren't already viewing the albums in your WMP 12 library, then switch to this view mode. The easiest way to do this is to use the left menu pane. If the Music sub-menu isn't already expanded, then click on the + next to it, followed by the Albums option.

  2. Now that you can see all your albums (and the missing cover art), you'll need to go to the place on your computer's hard drive where you've downloaded the image files. As previously mentioned, WMP 12 needs the right image format (see above) for it to update the artwork correctly, just like it does with audio formats.

  3. To import an image file, you first need to copy it to the Windows clipboard. If you're not sure how to do this, then simply right-click the image file and then click Copy from the pop-up menu. Alternatively, to do the same thing via the keyboard, click the file once and hold down the CTRL key and press C.

  4. Now go back to Windows Media Player 12.

  5. Right-click on the album that needs updating and then click the Paste Album Art option in the pop-up menu that appears.

  6. You won't see any change in the artwork straight away. You'll need to refresh the album view. The quickest way to do this is to click on another view in the left pane, such as Artist or Genre and then click Albums again. You should now see that the album's artwork is now updated with the file you pasted from the Windows clipboard.

  7. To update more albums that have missing cover art, repeat steps 3 to 6.

Was this page helpful?