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Cover Art Support

cardinot edited this page Aug 4, 2014 · 18 revisions

Cover Art Support


Currently Mixxx does not give any cover art support and this may be considered a disadvantage for some users due to the fact that it greatly facilitates the searches of albums and tracks, moreover most of the other softwares already offer this feature.

I realize that generally people tend to associate this project to something purely decorative, where the focus is on just think about a good place to put the cover on the interface, but this is wrong because have a good interface where covers can not be loaded correctly and quickly is worse than does not support covers. So the main idea is to focus on this part, doing tests to be sure that it is working as expected.


  • Supporting loading cover art (from metadata tags, from cover images in album directories, etc.)
  • Deciding where and how to display the cover art in the GUI.
  • Downloading cover art from metadata sources on the Internet if it is not available locally.

Links to Launchpad bugs:

General Design Overview

Cover Scan

Doing cover art scan during the library scan would be a good solution for new users, however, it could be a pain for existing users, mainly if the user has a big library, because it would be a very slow process and most of these users would not be able to see the covers.

Thus, the idea is doing it "on-demand". It means that we would be searching for covers that the user want to see and it will make our project works for any kind of user in a way where they would not need to do new inputs (setting something or doing a new library scan) to start to see the covers. Everything would start to appear automatically.

User Interface

The most important point is that the users must be able to choose easily if they want (or not) to see the covers (on/off), just because if an user does not have covers or does not care about it, they would likely turn it off.

The best ways to show covers are:

Cover Flow


- It is fashionable - many users like it - it has a modern visual


- It could take up much space

Where and how

- Horizontal or vertical position - LibQxt and pictureflow


- VirtualDJ []

Grid View


- It's clean - It's easier to find a cover, because the user can see everything in a good size.


- It may be awful depending on monitor size and amount of tracks.

How and where

- We need change the current layout of our table view - User could change the cover size


- Serato []

- Banshee []

List View + Cover below directories list


- It's clean - It's good because it doesn't bring any sudden change in the current layout of our table view.


- It may be awful when you want mainly look at covers, because the list will show just about 30% of the image. - Use the tree view space to show covers would be a pain for smaller screens (as in netbooks), but it's not a big problem because we could have a simple enable/disable button.

Where and how

- Show about 30% always (as Traktor) - Show about 30% and increase to 45% when hover - Show about 30% and open a pop-up when hover (as MixViber)


-Tracktor []

-MixViber []

Work Breakdown

General Overview

  1. Implement cover scan - storing/loading covers;
  2. Minimal/basic UI - displaying full cover art below directories list;
  3. Improvements in dlgtrackInfo to add/edit a new cover art;
  4. Implementation of search engine (using some API to download covers);
  5. Improving GUI - more options of layout.

This year the idea is have a fast integration of GSOC contribuitions. It means that we will split the project in smaller tasks, grouping them to be able to do fast pull requests on Github.

First Pull Request

  • implement database scheme
  • search for embedded cover
  • search for cover in track directory
  • minimal ui (display covers in lower left corner)
  • handle existing users
  • LRU cache
  • unit tests
  • md5 hash (avoids duplication)
  • avoids showing cover widget for not supported features:
  • banshee
  • browse
  • itunes
  • recordings
  • rhythmbox
  • traktor

Second Pull Request

  • redesign dlgtrackinfo to show covers
  • load cover in dlgtrackinfo
  • change cover location in dlgtrackinfo
  • unset cover (load default)
  • reload cover art
  • warning box issue
  • icon for each cover_art action
  • copy cover from external dir to track dir (if the user changes the cover)

Third Pull Request

  • add cover_art column in Library feature
  • add cover_art column in AutoDJ feature
  • add cover_art column in Analyze feature
  • add cover_art column in Playlists feature
  • add cover_art column in Crates feature
  • adjust cover art size
  • delay cover loading when the user is scrolling fast
  • batch updates (avoiding doing many writes in a short time)

Fourth Pull Request

  • basic UI to download and show covers (dlgcoverartfetcher)
  • download covers from


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