EmbedArt Plugin

Typically, beets stores album art in a “file on the side”: along with each album, there is a file (named “cover.jpg” by default) that stores the album art. You might want to embed the album art directly into each file’s metadata. While this will take more space than the external-file approach, it is necessary for displaying album art in some media players (iPods, for example).

This plugin was added in beets 1.0b8.

Embedding Art Automatically

To automatically embed discovered album art into imported files, just enable the plugin (see Plugins). You’ll also want to enable the FetchArt Plugin to obtain the images to be embedded. Art will be embedded after each album is added to the library.

This behavior can be disabled with the auto config option (see below).

Manually Embedding and Extracting Art

The embedart plugin provides a couple of commands for manually managing embedded album art:

  • beet embedart [-f IMAGE] QUERY: embed images into the every track on the albums matching the query. If the -f (--file) option is given, then use a specific image file from the filesystem; otherwise, each album embeds its own currently associated album art.
  • beet extractart [-o FILE] QUERY: extracts the image from an item matching the query and stores it in a file. You can specify the destination file using the -o option, but leave off the extension: it will be chosen automatically. The destination filename defaults to cover if it’s not specified.
  • beet clearart QUERY: removes all embedded images from all items matching the query. (Use with caution!)


The auto option lets you disable automatic album art embedding. To do so, add this to your config.yaml:

    auto: no

A maximum image width can be configured as maxwidth to downscale images before embedding them (the original image file is not altered). The resize operation reduces image width to maxwidth pixels. The height is recomputed so that the aspect ratio is preserved. PIL or ImageMagick is required to use the maxwidth config option. See also Image Resizing for further caveats about image resizing.