Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Raleigh, NC, USA
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Absolutely correct - and just to add to that for clarity and to anticipate follow-on questions for Jokerman, just in case:
1) The tracks downloaded from HDTracks came with an album art sidecar file, yes. But the tracks also had album art embedded in them. It is a redundant scheme.
2) Album art via a sidecar jpg file is a real kludge. Yes, it is a nice backup to have when a format does not support art tags, but most commonly-used music formats (flac, alac, ape, mp3, m4a) do. Some formats don't support embedded album art - or do so poorly, and in that case using the sidecar is a work-around - but it is a lousy work-around. Implementations of the sidecar strategy are notoriously finicky - since they all seem to use a different naming convention for the file (cover.jpg? foldername.jpg?, trackfilename.jpg?, deadpuppies.jpg?) and the odds that you will receive music from someone with a sidecar whose name is "compliant" with the assumptions made in your player/server implementation is next to diddlysquat. Viewed in this light, Oppo did just the right thing in their implementation by making use of embedded art.
So here's a piece of advice from a guy with a little over 15,000 tracks of self-ripped audio on his system, and who uses numerous devices and methods for playback of those tracks. Add a step to your normal workflow for purchased downloads or self-ripped music. Get a tagging app (or player with good tagging capabilities, like iTunes or JRiver Media Center or others - there are lots), and check the tags yourself. If the files are not properly tagged with cover art, artist, album, genre (this one can be your genre then, and not someone else's), and perhaps composer for some albums, then fix it there if something is wrong or missing. Fix it right then so you don't accumulate over time a huge number of tracks that are not properly tagged. Then the new files will work properly (be displayed in the right place and with the proper art work) in all competently-implemented browsers and players (including the Oppo) - all the time - from then onward.
This is not a lot of work. It usually involves opening the tagging app, multiselecting all the files for an album, and setting all 4 of the aforementioned tags in one step. You don't have to go through this once for every track unless there is something track-specific that you want to do. When you get good at this, it takes about 1 minute, including the time it takes to locate and download album art (image search on bing, yahoo, or google works great) and embed it. It takes far longer to rip the files in the first place.
Display: Panasonic P60UT50 (Plasma)
Speakers: (4) Monitor Audio Silver 9i (Front and Surround), (1) Monitor Audio Silver 12i (Center), (4) Monitor Audio Silver 4i (Rear and Wide), (2) Aperion Audio Bravus II 8d (Subwoofers)
Receiver: Pioneer Elite SC-87 AVR (9.2)
Sources: Oppo BDP-103, Roku 3, Cable...