Automatically download album art with foobar2000

Foobar in all its album artwork glory!

If you’ve ever tried looking for a plugin that automatically fetches album art from the internet for foobar2000, you know how impossible hard it is to find a good one. But fret not, it exists, and it’s called, foo_uie_biography! (Go down to “Biography View” and click the version number to download.)

This plugin allows you to use the vast image library at Last.fm to download album artwork for all your tracks aut0matically upon playback, and send them to the standard artwork display area. Just make sure to enable the checkbox in the settings entitled “Provide artwork to other artwork viewers”. If you’re on windows and enable artwork caching, make sure to select a folder that doesn’t require administrative permissions for writing. (C:\Program Files\ will not work because foobar doesn’t run with administrative privileges.)

The magic checkbox.

Sources: Site

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48 Comments on “Automatically download album art with foobar2000”

  1. jw Says:

    wow thatis amazing!! thank you very much, this is exactly what i’ve been looking for!

  2. asd Says:

    very nice thank you!

  3. ombladin Says:

    thanks a lot!!

  4. Z Says:

    Thanks for the tip, this is perfect for what I need.

  5. kacsababa Says:

    This is a good thing. Although it would be best if it automaticly saves the images to the actual folder and not a cache folder. Futureproof. :)

  6. Thom Says:

    This doen’t work for me with Coloumn UI

    • khromov Says:

      Works fine for me.

      Make sure the following settings are correct:
      “Built-in foobar 2000 artwork reader mode” set to “Embedded and external artwork”

      For the actual UI element, right-click it and then set “Artwork Type” to “Front cover”. (Also enable “Lock artwork type”).

      Foobar v1.1.10. Columns UI v0.3.8.6. Biography view 0.4.2.4

  7. Nathan Says:

    Hi, thanks for this…looks great. The thing is, it doesn’t seem to be automatically saving the image in my music folder. I have to manually click save in “same folder as track.” I’m a bit thick with computers, my music file is F:\Music, can anyone tell me exactly what I should enter to get it to auto save, and can you tell me if I enter it in save image path configuration under the UI element or under the biography server tab under Foobar preferences. Thanks!

    • khromov Says:

      Hi Nathan!

      Did you try Maiks suggestions a couple of comments up from yours? It should save in the same folder as the music file. Enter this in the “Image cache path” for Albums.

      I save to a standard folder called foobar2000_cache, my settings look like this:

      • chris Says:

        Great, thanks very much for this detailed info and screenshot, was a lot of help

  8. K P S Says:

    Did You saw this component: http://mode.ugu.pl/covdow.php (download link is on top)? It uses Google for finding images and is very powerful (I’ve found images for almost everything, even some obscure underground collections). Automatic download is not very reliable (saving first founded image from Google), but manual searching is great. Saving images to ‘default’ folder and additional, if can’t save in default. Can search different – user created – class of images.
    Google sometime changing html in response, but new versions appears immediately.

  9. Chad Smith Says:

    Thanks man I really appreciate this. It’s saving the images in the music folders as well after I followed your directions in the other comments. Awesome work!!

  10. Jason Inc Says:

    Thanks for this tutorial. Works like a charm!

  11. Browny Says:

    Works great so far, my question is:
    is it possible to save the downloaded albumcovers automatically into the metadata of the mp3-file?

  12. goldencut Says:

    IMO, as even the example image clearly shows, the variable does not work, as it tries to save the artwork into foobar install folder, not into the folder where the music is playing from. Or did I misunderstand the point of adding these variables “$directory_path(%path%)\%album%”?

    • khromov Says:

      Are you referring to the eg. label in this picture?

      That is only a static suggestion and not the actual resolved path.

      This is the config I have been running for the past couple of months, it saves the cover art in the album folder as image.jpg (or .png).

      Conf line: $directory_path(%path%)\folder

      Hope that clears things up!

  13. mnemic Says:

    Is it possible to have this running and downloading album art in the background even without having to play the song? I have a couple of thousand albums that are missing album art, and currently I need to go through and queue a track from each album and have it start playing for Biography to start downloading album art and downloading it.

    Is there a way to make it auto-download anything that’s missing, or simply EVERYTHING in the playlist?

    • khromov Says:

      There is no functionality to batch download album art in a playlist.

      You could use AutoIt or another macro program to just press the down arrow key every 5 seconds to move through the playlist, which would download the album art. For 1000 songs that’d take ~80 minutes. :)

  14. Encoder6 Says:

    This is a very nice and useful plugin. Thank you very much for this plugin. :)

  15. Justin Says:

    the music is downloading from last.fm properly for me, but it’s not being attached in the tag of the mp3 files. am i doing something wrong? sorry, i’ve never been good at understanding computers in general – here’s some screenshots:

    please let me know if there’s anything else i should include

    • Justin Says:

      sorry, i meant the *album art

    • khromov Says:

      Hey Justin,

      The track will not be embedded in the MP3 files themselves.
      Rather, the artwork is saved as a file in the album folder. Foobar should pick this up and show the artwork.

      You might want to try the following line instead (in Image: field):
      $directory_path(%path%)\folder

      This will save the album art as “folder.jpg” rather than the “album name.jpg”. That should make Foobar pick it up regardless of your other settings. Try it!

  16. Sam Says:

    Hey guys!

    Another question concerning the topic:
    Is it possible for foobar2k to display album art from any folder on the pc?
    I saved all artist-pictures via the biography component into one folder in user/pictures/music/artists. The files are named after the according artist (e.g. Muse.png)
    Shouldn’t it be possible for foobar to recognise the picture and link it to all Tracks with artist=Muse?

    thx a lot!

  17. Nathan Says:

    Hello Khromov. This is pretty awesome but Foobar hangs whenever I start playing a new song. It doesn’t matter if there is a picture or not already downloaded. It takes 5-10 seconds after every song starts before Foobar becomes responsive again. Any idea what’s going on? I only have Last.FM activated as a source. Please let me know. Thanks!

    • khromov Says:

      Hey Nathan,

      It sounds very odd. It works fine for me with Foobar 1.2.6 and foo_uie_biography 0.4.2.4

      Does unchecking Enable Cache on the
      Tools -> Biography Server -> Last.fm -> Album tab

      …help?

  18. J K Says:

    It hangs for me too !
    using 1.2.9

  19. Lee SangHyun Says:

    I’m using this component with command “$directory_path(%path%)\artist”. but I want to save the image to one step upper directory.
    what I have to do?? thank you..(is my English make sense?)

    • khromov Says:

      Hi Lee,

      You may try the following, that should go up a directory:
      “$directory_path(%path%)\artist\..\”

      I have not tested it. Let me know if it works for you!

  20. pokouc Says:

    is it possible to separate artist picture and artist biography by up/down rather than left/right?

    • pokouc Says:

      i was a bit too fast – it can be done by exiting layout editing mode and then right click -> panel preference

      amazing plugin!

  21. Rostock0 Says:

    Lads, just to say that I found this thread to be very friendly, polite and informative. i followed the instructions and it just worked. Thanks very much for all your work.

  22. gdl Says:

    Yes! Thanks so much. Have just switched to Foobar and was wondering how I was going manage album art…everything here worked as advertised – beautiful!

  23. Elfie Says:

    Hi, I was wondering if it is possible that the downloaded artwork is automaticly named exactly like the album name which it belongs to?

    • khromov Says:

      Hi Elfie,

      You should be able to do this if you configure your album Image path according to this image:

  24. Anabel Says:

    I just want to thank you for this nifty plugin and the helpful info, khromov. Thanks a lot! Merry Christmas.

  25. Sindre Says:

    Hi. I find this to be a plugin with great potential, but every time I select a song, and play it, foobar starts playing the song, then stops responding for a solid minute. Any way around this?

    • Sindre Says:

      It actually freezes every time a new song plays, not matter what.

      • khromov Says:

        Even without the plugin? This seems odd. Do you have issues with your internet connection? I have noticed a second or two of freezing during song change, while it fetches the album art.

  26. Sindre Says:

    I disabled the plugin, and foobar doesnt freeze. No issues with internet connection at all.

  27. Herbert Feuersemmel Says:

    Hey, thanks for this.
    I fiddled a little bit, but then get it working with you help and the help of the other comments/users.
    Great thing, with foobar2000 v1.3.1 and Biography View 0.4.2.4.


  28. […] serve un plugin apposito. Uno credo sia questo (si appoggia a Last.fm) ma non l'ho mai testato: Automatically download album art with foobar2000 | Living with technology Io lo faccio manualmente ossia metto nella cartella dell'album un'immagine nominata appositamente […]


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