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How-To: Get MP3 Album Art on Your Nokia N95 (or S60 phone)

November 12, 2007 in Nokia Phone Tips and Tricks

I’ve been wrangling with the N95 Music Player application for the better part of a night, trying to get album art, or those little JPEG files that you can embed into an MP3 file’s ID3 tags, working with a foolproof method. Whether you’re copying MP3 files to your device for the first time, or just making some sense out of the Music Player’s screwy-ness when updating, this mini-tutorial should clear up any problems.

The definitive guide to bringing the album art to your N95 or S60 or Nseries device.

MAIE: Most Annoying Icon Ever

An Introduction

Yes, you can change the Album Art on demand with the N95 and any other S60 phone. This is a very bad idea because the application does NOT embed the image in the tags correctly, so you won’t see the album art in Windows Media Player, your PSP, or wherever your songs end up.

What You Need: Mp3Tag, Album Art in JPEG format

The first thing you’ll need is a good MP3 tagging application. The best one I’ve used (and the one this tutorial is based on), is Mp3Tag. It’s free, easy to use, and it works. Good enough for me.

Embedding Album Art Into the MP3 Files

Skip this part if you’re happy with the art already embedded into your music files.

This assumes that the songs are stored on your hard drive, and that you’ll be copying them to the phone later. If this is not the case (the files are on the phone, and you’re directly editing those with Mp3Tag – MAKE SURE YOU READ THE SECTION “Some Things to Check For BEFORE Running Music Player” AFTERWARDS!

Once Mp3Tag is downloaded and installed, give it a whirl. You’ll see a panel on the left with some ID3 tag information, as well as the white main box that lists the MP3s that you want to update.

Open up the folder that has the MP3 files you want to tag with Album Art. Select the files, and drag them into Mp3Tag’s main box. Mp3Tag should display some default information (filename, song title, album) which you can change to your liking. Select all of the songs (Ctrl-A or just click and drag), and right click on one of them – then choose the Extended Tags option:

Get MP3 Album Art on Your Phone - Dialog

This should bring you into the Tag Editor, which lists the available meta tags for the album as well as the current cover art. If you’d like to add some extra tags (like Genre, Composer, Studio) you can do it here.

At this point you can drag and drop the JPEG image into the box with the record icon in it, like so:

If there’s already an image in the box that you’re happy with, check to make sure the text underneath says “image/jpeg”. NOT “image/png”, since the Music Player seems to have problems with PNG files.

[* Looking for cover art? The best place is Google - just do a search for the album in question, and click the Images tab on the top of the page to hit up Google Images. Pick one of the images that has a minimum 120x120 pixel resolution - just remember, the bigger the image, the slower the album art will take to load. Personally I wouldn't go above 500x500. The actual image does take some space in the MP3 file, but it's generally pretty small, around 15-40k.]

Hit OK and wait for Mp3Tag to save the music files. Then upload them to the N95.

Some Things to Check For BEFORE Running Music Player

First, if you are modifying existing files that are already on your phone (either updating them by copying from your hard drive, or using “Mass Storage Mode” via USB and editing the MP3 tags directly, you’ll need to make some minor changes. These changes involve renaming either the MP3 file name OR the name of the folder that it resides in. This way, you can fool the brilliant Music Player into thinking it’s a completely new file. Otherwise, Mr. Music Player will not recognize your changes and will keep displaying the old MP3 tags!

The best way to do this is just to put all the album songs into a folder with the group’s name and the album after it. (ie “Green Day – Dookie”) Renaming each file individually isn’t a fun prospect.

If you’re copying music files to your N95 for the first time, then you don’t have to worry about this.

The Final Test: Music Player

Okay, you got this far. Fire up the Music Player software on the N95, and it should give you an ambiguous “Opening” box for a couple of seconds. Hit the Options button (left softkey) and choose Refresh Music Library.

Now browse to your new album, and check to make sure that the album art loads. If everything worked out perfectly, congratulations! (otherwise head down to the troubleshooting section)


  • Duplicate songs in your Music Player: go back to the root/main menu and do another Options -> Refresh Music Library. This happens sometimes after renaming files and the Music Player doesn’t refresh the first time around.
  • Still no album art: Add the album art again but use a different picture this time around. Make sure the picture is a genuine JPEG, not a PNG or GIF or anything else. (AND you must rename the folder or files afterwards)
  • Do not use the N95′s built-in Change Album Art option! It does not add the correct tags to the music files!



6:27 am

yes! it works. thank youuu

1:05 pm

Add your Itunes Album Artwork to Your Nokia phone http://bit.ly/6cjXwn

this works for mac users…

11:03 am

In cases where the album art doesn’t show on the phone:
*As stated before make sure it’s a jpg.
*Set it to “front cover” with mp3tag or just update your phone’s software – I updated my 5310 and now I don’t have to edit the tags at all :)
*You might wanna ensure the artwork is square… I had a few tracks where the artwork wouldn’t show up regardless of the cover type, possibly for this reason.

9:01 pm

thanx.this is very good software ,which helps me to put album cover for songs in my nokia 5800 music player

Nokia 5530
2:47 pm

Hi, does antbody knows why we can’t visualize covert art at a nokia 5530??? i’ve found that many people (includes me) have this problem….

7:29 pm

great job! works like charm

7:18 am

Mac users: http://code.google.com/p/coverseverywhere/

Works perfectly! No copying, no difficult things, just point it at your whole itunes lib and GO!

3:08 am

OMG. Thank you so effffing much! I’ve been working on my fave artist 2NE1′s album art and it took me 4 months to find this post. Your guide took me just 5 mins of my time. I’m so grateful! Prolly changing the resolution of the album art image helped the rest of the process.

I’ll fix the rest of the songs in my PC. Thanks again! :)

9:13 pm

Covers Everywhere is an open source program for Mac that converts the covers from you mp3s so they show up in Nokia devices, as well as itunes, wmp, etc. The program doesn’t download all the covers again, it simply change them so they can appear in a nokia phone by changing the “Picture Type”, so its really fast. I updated my 150 Gb collection (20000 songs) in about 15 minutes.
I code the application for exactly the reasons you mention in the post. I hope others can find it useful.
The app is in http://code.google.com/p/coverseverywhere/

6:34 am

i have a 5800 XM and it correctly displays the (mp3 embedded) album art — how can i prevent the images from showing up in my gallery (images & videos)? i really only want them in my music player…

4:21 pm

works with nokia 5310 :) thats so much

8:18 am

I have add in the album art by using itune. Then I edited the tag details by Tag Rename. The album art works fine in ipod & windows(pc) but failed in Nokia (S40 & S60). Wondering why?

William Doust
1:34 pm

Thanks, been looking for something like this – will give it a go ;o)

12:00 pm

Adding the album art isn’t the problem – it’s that the Music Player will not show album art from updated files unless the file name is different. So whether you use WMP or iTunes to edit the files directly, you’ll still need to change the directory name or file name.

10:34 pm

“”I’ve got a quicker way to edit those files already on the phone. this is if there is already art added to the files (shows up on iTunes/WMP but not on the n95 player).

Just select the all the files with the same cover art. Then right click on the art at the lower left part of the window, select Cover type>Front cover. Then click the save icon.
A dialog box saying writing tag data will appear…wait for it to run it’s course and you’re set.
No need to muck about renaming /transferring files :) ”"

i dont understand this, is this being done on itunes? i hate itunes and have all my music as WMP, and theres nothing about saving album art, i have the 5800, and all i want is some awesome album covers while i listen to my music, and not a shabby square with ‘xpress music’ writen on it!

6:13 am

Martin:I have exactly the same experience. Anybody have a clue?

10:37 am

I’ve a problem with those album art, but i’m on a brand new 5800 XM, anyway should be the same thing. The problem is that the album art showed is smaller than it should be, about half size of the ones showed in by those demo mp3s included in the memorycard. The jpeg resolution is the same 300×300 (also 96dpi i don’t know if it is important). I’ve fount that if ill open with mp3tag one of these demo files and extract and then re-embedding the same image, then it goes smaller too.
So the problem must be with mp3tag and not with the images.
I’ve also noticed that demo mp3s included by nokia are created by itunes7.7 and are using id3v1 and id3v2.3 (same format that i use for my mp3 library).
One more thing, if i scale those pictures to 200×200, the show full size… any clues?
Thanks and sorry for my english

1:28 am

The same process should work for any Nokia S60 phones, and in general pretty much any music player that recognizes standard ID3-embedded album art. The files I updated with Mp3Tag display fine on my E66, so it should work on the E71.

Make sure that you rename the file (if the file was already in your music library and you just added album art to it). Also don’t forget to refresh the library.

4:18 pm

Do you know if the same process works for the nokia e71. I have all my song with the album art embedded in the tag, but the music player doesn’t show it. I don’t know what to do. I don’t know if I have the latest version of the music player, would updating it help? how can I know the version of the music player?
Is there any other way to check if it’s working?

6:07 am


I’ve got a quicker way to edit those files already on the phone. this is if there is already art added to the files (shows up on iTunes/WMP but not on the n95 player).

Just select the all the files with the same cover art. Then right click on the art at the lower left part of the window, select Cover type>Front cover. Then click the save icon.
A dialog box saying writing tag data will appear…wait for it to run it’s course and you’re set.
No need to muck about renaming /transferring files :)

9:43 am


i used to do this with the previous firmware without any issues, but tried it recently and failed miserably… is it a change in the new firmware N95v20….16?… have you tried it lately?

thx in advance

JE =)

3:12 pm

Thanks a whole lot!
That was bugging the heck outta me!

Reply to hemostick

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