Jul 02

How to add album cover art to .m4a files on Ubuntu Linux

Category: Linux,multimedia   — Published by goeszen on July 2, 2016 at 2:08 pm

m4a containers for audio files have become quite common. Adding metadata via ffmpeg's -metadata mechanism works well with them, except for album art. The current solution is to use AtomicParsley:

On Ubuntu (14.04 at least), the atomicparsley package has problems. So we need to install it manually from its homepage:

Go to https://sourceforge.net/projects/atomicparsley/
Download and unzip it, for example to /tmp
Then move it to /opt, $ sudo mv /tmp/AtomicParsley-debian-0.9.0 /opt/

So far so good. Now, look up a jpeg image of a cover you want to add. And do:

$ /opt/AtomicParsley-debian-0.9.0/AtomicParsley song.m4a --artwork cover.jpg

This will write to a temporary file unless you use the undocumented --overWrite switch. Note that atomicparsley will not preserve the date-time-stamp! So make sure you stat your file first, and then correct the date with touch -d <date+time> song.m4a later on.

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