If on the other hand you add an 80k B album image to every single track in your MP3 collection, let’s say of 1,000 songs, then you’ll need any additional 80MB of storage, which could otherwise hold a further 20 songs or so (another 2 albums).
Windows Media Player embeds as 200 x 200 pixel images.
The picture to the right is sized at 200 x 200 pixels by way of example and is 35k B in file size.
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However, before you start filling up all of your MP3 files with works of art, there are a few things that you should stop to consider first.
While MP3 files were not originally intended to store additional metadata within them, the release of the ID3 tag protocol in 1996 suddenly made this a possibility.
However, it wasn’t until version 2 of the protocol became available that MP3 files could actually contain embedded album art.
So, before you start cutting and pasting huge graphics and adding them into your collection of MP3 tracks, what do you need to consider to avert potential disaster?
A standard MP3 file only contains audio data, with no additional information about the artist or type of audio contained within it.
To include such extra information in an MP3 track, tag data is usually added to the beginning or end of the audio file in ID3 format.
ID3 tags allow you to store additional information within your MP3 files such as the track title, artist name and even album art.
If you’re not familiar with ID3 tags, you may find my previous article on What are ID3 tags in MP3 files? While the ID3v2 tag standard allows any type of image to be embedded in an MP3 file, it does advise that either standard in this respect.
The ID3 standard is very flexible with regards to the type and number of images that can be embedded in a MP3 single file.
The full list of different images that can be embedded are: Quite an exhaustive list, and while a single MP3 file could embed all of the above images, in practice only one image is ever usually embedded.
Unfortunately, any additional information that you add to an MP3 file will increase its file size and this is of particular importance when adding images due to their potential size, even with compressed images such as JPEGs. For example, adding an 80k B JPEG image to a single 8MB podcast won’t have a significant effect; it’s only a 1% increase in file size.