Farewell, IE7

Posted by Phil Weber on December 10, 2006

I upgraded my home and office PCs to IE7 in late October. It’s a fine browser; I intend to keep it on my office PC. At about the same time, my wife and I bought a Dream’eo Enza Portable Media Center for our anniversary. My desktop at home runs Windows Media Center Edition, which communicates with a Linksys Media Center Extender in our living room. Unfortunately, that particular combination of devices does not play well with IE7.

You see, Windows Media Player won’t sync album art to the portable device unless the images are embedded in the individual files (or possibly if you let Windows Media Player automatically update all the album info, but I don’t trust it enough to try that). So I dutifully went through my music collection and embedded album art in all the tracks (using MediaMonkey, which I recommend highly). The portable device now displays the album art beautifully.

But now Windows MCE displays a black square where the currently-playing album’s cover should appear! This is apparently a well-known issue: MCE + IE7 displays album art just fine, unless it’s embedded in the music file.

So my choices were:

  • Keep IE7 and embed the album art, so that it appears on the portable device but not in MCE;
  • Keep IE7 and delete the embedded art, so that it appears in MCE but not on the portable device; or,
  • Uninstall IE7, so that album art works correctly everywhere.

Sorry, IE7, you’re not that good. Farewell from my home PC until you work correctly with MCE and embedded album art.

UPDATE: Windows Media Player’s refusal to sync non-embedded album art to the Dream’eo Enza may be a problem with the device. If so, I apologize for impugning WMP. Nevertheless, my options remain the same.

Also, this comment claims that one can get IE7 to play well with Windows Media Player simply by allowing WMP as an add-on on IE7’s Manage Add-ons menu. Anyone with IE7 and MCE 2005 care to try this and let us know?


Posted by CJ on April 4, 2007:

I am having the same “embedded album art” problem that you mentioned in this post. It’s very frustrating, since my Gigabeat has a nice big screen on it to display pretty pictures. :-)

I got MediaMonkey, but am still learning the ropes. Do you think you could explain how you embed the art? Simply re-saving the advanced tag info doesn’t seem to work.

Posted by timmy2 on January 14, 2008:

Here are the results of a brief test in Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005:

  • an MP3 in the My Music folder, with no embedded art, will display the generic blue headphones icon.

  • an MP3 in the My Music folder, with embedded art, will display a black box.

  • an MP3 in the My Music folder within an artist album folder structure, with embedded art plus several jpeg files in the album folder: AlbumArtSmall.jpg, Folder.jpg and a couple of AlbumArt_{2DE1A9blahblah}, shows as a black box.
  • an MP3 in the My Music folder within an artist album folder structure, with no embedded art but with folder.jpg and AlbumArtSmall.jpg will display album art. My test indicates that folder.jpg is used by MCE.

I looked in IE7’s add-ons and WMP is listed as an enabled add-on. Is there a fix to get MCE 2005 to display album art when the file has it embedded?

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