Ubuntu – How do Nautilus album art thumbnails work


There's something for which I've been searching an answer for a while now, but to no avail, and it's strange to me, as it seems like a thing that people would talk about: one of those nice little nonsense that enhance the computing experience a little bit.

Anyway. I have a fair music collection. I save all the songs as ogg files. All is fine, and I can listen to the files, but there's something weird with the files in Nautilus: some have icons displaying their album art, while others don't, and I just can't understand WHY.

I read on this site today that it's a matter of embedding the album art to the file, but that's not true, as I embedded the album art to the files I wanted several times, to no avail. Furthermore, removing an embedded album art from a file didn't have any effect on those that ARE displaying the icons.

So my question is: How does it work? Where does Nautilus (or Ubuntu, I don't know) get the picture from? How do I edit it?

Best Answer

I believe it does in fact use the tags embedded in the file, which are usually called id3 tags, at least for MP3. I think ogg files read id3 tags, but may not read id3v2 tags (version 2). Some software writes one or the other, or sometimes both.

I've noticed that it takes a while for Nautilus to display the album art once the folder is first opened, but then it remembers them. I'm pretty sure it stores the images in ~/.thumbhnails/normal, but this directory can be very big, and opening it is a chore.

I've heard of a program called "cover thumbnailer" that makes nautilus work better; I haven't really tried it out myself, though.

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