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Get this now: refreshed MPATool fixes your broken album art on Windows Phone 8

Missing Art

Update: This app has been removed from the Store. We're unsure if it is due to a bug or another issue, though we'll try to find out.

Xbox Music on Windows Phone isn’t perfect yet. Sure, GDR2 brought some improvements to the app, like fixing duplicate songs and improving sync with the cloud collection. But it’s still not perfect, it’s still now where it should be on Windows Phone. We’ve covered an app called MPAtool in the past, it helps you manage missing artwork in the Xbox Music app. It just received an update fixing some limitations. Let’s check it out.

You might be new to Windows Phone or missed out on MPAtool the last time we covered it. The app addresses some shortcomings of the native music app on Windows Phone. You’ll notice missing album and artist art quite often if you add music from an outside source that isn’t Xbox Music. MPAtool allows you to add both artist and album art to your collection. Here’s what’s new in v4.0.7.16 of the app:

  • New image sources
  • Delete dummy files
  • Design improvements
  • Dropbox support
  • Tutorial video
  • Stability improvements
  • Bug fixes

I didn’t have any album art missing on my device, but Daniel has had success with the app in the past and calls it a very useful app. Hard to disagree there. Here’s a video of the app in action from the developer:

MPAtool is a must have app for music lovers who are tired of not seeing beautiful images with their music. The tool is beyond useful. For example, the Auto download feature will go through all your artists and download the latest images.

There are some limitations of the app, mostly imposed by the Windows Phone SDK. For example, editing the information of albums. You can’t do that with the current version of the OS, but MPAtool gives you an edit mode to fix misspellings and improve search results for an artist or album. It won’t fix it in the Xbox Music app, but it’ll at least let you get the actual art related to your artist/album.

The best part of MPAtool? It’s completely free, so if you’re having issues with album art it doesn’t hurt to download the app and play around with it. It’s available in a variety of languages too. Don’t see yours? You can help the developer translate to your local language by following the instructions in the app.

MPAtool is a free app for Windows Phone 8 devices. You can grab it in the Windows Phone Store, use the QR code below, or swipe to the right in our app.

Source: Windows Phone Central Forums

Thanks for the tip how1ard!

QR: MPAtool

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Reader comments

Get this now: refreshed MPATool fixes your broken album art on Windows Phone 8

81 Comments

I have this app it is a great combination with audiotica 4 so I can download songs for free add them to library, and add an artist picture so I can see something on lock screen and tile.

Some of my music sounds like poo on this phone (920). Plays perfect on the Zune, but on the phone there are skips and jitters. This happens with the wma encoded files, but not the mp3. Ironic.

Article came right after I installed this. Here's the problem though, I did everything but still can't see any background pictures. Album art works fine.

Did you read the FAQ in the app? It mentions a potential  issue with Xbox Music and adding new images to an artist/album that already has some. 

I've had it for a while, but must admit that I never used it. Never really understood how to use it...
After the update, I still don't understand how to use this app...

It depends on what you want to do with it. The album art thing is fully automated, but the artist art is a bit more cumbersome (well, slow, if you have a lot of artists in your collection). You can either do the manual attachment, which involves doing each artist separately (which is slower), or you can do the auto-attach method. I've done both, and the auto option is the better way.
 
You tell it to do that, and it will grab the art from last.fm's artist database. You'll get an image attachment for each artist (there are rare cases where they are not there, but I think I only had that occur with one artist). You can then select the image for each artist (if you don't like the chosen one) and get a differetn one. After you pick all of the ones you want, there's a "download" button to attach them. You go into the lockscreen settings, and you choose the option to show the artist art while music is playing. Then, whenever you play music, your lockscreen and Xbox Music icon will change to the now-playing artist image that you chose.

I used to use this and it worked for a while then it started failing hard!  I'll give it another try with this update.

This app comes in handy now and then.

Still don't understand why the phone screws up some songs and albums that are properly tagged. Never used to happen with the Zune software.

It's trying to be too clever. It goes off and checks internet services for the 'correct' tags. Unfortunately those internet services are all too often inaccurate - and it undoes some hard work by the user fixing the incorrect information in the first place.
 
The music+videos app has a setting "Connect with Xbox Music", described as "Makes your music and video experience great by updating song information, downloading artist and album images, turning on Smart DJ, and more". It would be great if you could turn ON Smart DJ but turn OFF all the song information, artist and album image mangling.
 
It would be far better if it could detect where the user had edited the data and used that to fix the info in Xbox Music, rather than relying on some pretty inaccurate data. I have numerous albums where a few songs are missing because the capitalization is different - for example Foo Fighters' There Is Nothing Left To Lose has a few tracks listed under a different album "There Is Nothing Left to Lose". One capital letter T missing, that's all it takes - and I've checked the source tags in my collection, and they are correct (ripped it myself to WMA from the CDs)

microsoft database screwed artist names, for example, if you have a song by joan baez, it won't be locate the artist image for you, if you change it (in the meta data of your mp3) to baez joan, you got it.

I use it all the time never had a problem...it pretty much does everything auto even for all my odd metal music
 

When you download the album covers and backgrounds does it take up a lot of space on your phone? Even after you delete the dummy files? Cuz I have a lot of songs from I tunes and downloaded ones and most of mine don't have any backgrounds? And with only 16GB device I would like to save as much space!

All the billions on MSFT coffers, all the experience with Zune and they can't nail these embarrasing things. Better get an iPod Touch or just using NOKIA MUSIC because XBOX Musics blows big time !!!

Question is...why should I have to use this? Why haven't THEY. fixed this issue yet? It worked fine with Zune.... Who the hell broke it and have they been fired?

Although this app looks handy, I still do not have faith in applications that "Do it for you" and here's why:
1. Unless you listen to mainstream music or purchase directly from a store (Be it Xbox Music, Beatport, Itunes, etc.) the tags are missing, for example if you listen to Electronic music or some form of music that's still classified as underground (Free EP's from Soundcloud from super down-low artists) the meta-tags just still aren't there.
2. If an underground artist has the same name as a say 'popular one' even though 'Example song" isn't even on the popular artists discography of their entire life, the meta-tag still displays their artwork, background information and even album artwork.
3. We all know how lame "Unknown Album" is with all of your songs going into one folder you have to browse manually to find one certain song. (Again, underground music).
 
I still do not believe these applications have the ability to provide the correct tag information, unless you do one manually like MP3tag.
 

Awesome !
One of my all time favorite apps & it was the second App I installed on my 8X about seven months ago... The first was WPCentral of course.

Anyone used this that has a large music collection (ie, thousands of songs)?
I don't want to screw up my collection or bog my phone down for hours. (I have 10,000 songs on my SD card)

This app is awesome. I side loaded it to my Samsung Focus back in 2011 when Microsoft sold those limited amount of dev tickets.

Same message here, although I already have the app, was just trying to update it. (920)
 
Must be a GDR2/Amber update?

Nope, I have the GDR2/Amber on my 920 but I also cannot update it.
Though I have a German non-carrier phone. But my store is set to Brazil, so I don't know exactly which of these factores woudl be the issue...

Can't get it on my US 1020 either. Says I need to update my software. GDR3 is a ways away and the phone has att firmware soooo.... Maybe this time next year?

Been using this right after I got my 920. Great app, save me hours tagging covers. One thing though, a lot of artist picts are in landscape and it doesnt turn out well when cropped into portraits.

Same here. I even tried searching for it in the marketplace but it didn't show up. I thinking that it has been removed for what ever reason...

Very strange.
I also downloaded it earlier, but it's no longer available.
My head swarmed with reasons for it's removal, in a "panic" I deleted it from my phone.
...
Really though, I figure it was removed because of all the bugs. It crashed at least 10 times on me over about 15 minutes of use... or maybe MS made him take it down for who knows what reason.

"not compatible with my device" Lumia Amber 820 (Italy)
On Windows Phone Store app is listed as "This app is no longer published"

Well, I've had this app for a couple of years, and I was pretty happy about a new version. I updated it and gave it a go. I had a couple of problems (nothing new for this app) and I thought a clean reinstall would be wise. I removed it and went to install it again. Wouldn't let me. A check of the Windows Phone site says it's no longer published. So, either it slipped past the radar with prior releases, and now Microsoft have found out and killed it, or there was a serious issue with it, so it's been withdrawn temporarily. I'm hoping for the latter, as it's a great app, especially with some of the new features I tried before going for a reinstall. I will be seriously annoyed if it's gone for good.

Why it isn't availabe for my device? I have chsnge my region but still doesn't work. I use a L620, just updated to Amber yesterday and I do a hard reset. So, I re download my apps, including this One.

Developer here.
Due to some heavy bugs I removed the app from the store. I submitted an updated version but it's still in certification process.
If you want to help me you can test the beta. To download the beta please send me an email to mpa@app-solute.de with your Microsoft ID.

hppDev
 
I'm happy to wait until you get it sorted out and re-publish.  It's a brilliant app and the only one of it's kind.  I was extremely disappointed when I saw it was no longer published.  Keep up the good work.
 
Downloading the beta is no good to me as I can't install apps on the Lumia 920 unless it comes from the store.  I can still use the older version that I have installed.
 
Cheers

The beta is distributed by the store. Just send me an email containing your Microsoft ID and I will grant you permission to download.

This has just screwed up my entire music library.  The first time I'd had it working properly with no dupes too after GDR2.

I just used this for the first time I while I initially thought Great - album art, then it filled the folders with a dummy MPATool mp3 that kept repeating and eventually screwed up all the music.

 

Arseparts.

Then that's your fault for not understanding the app. There is a remove dummy file option in the latest version. Should have used it.

The app is back, but says it's not compatible with 8.1..I guess not compatible with the still bloody broken Xbox music app! GGGrrrrr MS, please, fix this bloddy app, it's still totally BROKEN! Yes,no duplicate, but album arts appear if they want when they want, no reason, no logic....stupid!