I have a bunch of MP3 files that have their album art included within the file itself. I am now looking for a way to extract them to store them separably, at best from command line.

Is there a way to achieve this?


You can use eyed3 which is a great utility for handling id3 tags. To extract all images from an mp3 file you can use:

eyeD3 --write-images=DIR mp3_file

This will write all embedded images from the mp3 file to the specified directory.

  • On Ubuntu, the version currently provided (0.6.18) makes corrupt image files. – scruss Jun 2 '15 at 10:42

I just found out that ffmpeg will do the trick!

ffmpeg -i file.mp3 file.jpg
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    This failed using ffmpeg 2.0.2 on my Synology NAS (file.jpg: Invalid argument), but works using 2.3 on OS X Mavericks. Thanks! – Richard Barnett Feb 15 '15 at 7:48
  • It worked on Windows too. Using stackoverflow.com/questions/8397674/… you can process files batch style. – Gruber Sep 9 '16 at 18:00
  • This method is great because ffmpeg works on basically any music file you throw at it. However, it seems quite slow, even on a new machine with a i7 processor. Any way to speed extraction up? – rien333 Sep 29 '18 at 15:21

If you use the Windows version of VLC media player, you can find the album art for all files you played in


by default. One folder per artist, one subfolder for each album.

  • See my answer below for Linux path – Pawel Debski Apr 14 '18 at 15:59

If you use Linux version of VLC media player, by default you can find the album art for all files you played in a directory similar to this one:

$HOME/.cache/vlc/art/artistalbum/Sergei Rachmaninoff/Paganini Rhapsody _ Piano Concerto no. 2

(one folder per artist, one subfolder for each album)


With mp3tag you can do it perfectly. Extract the cover image from one mp3 and put it into another, so it will belong to the same album and that will reflect when you upload them go Google Music for example.

  • 3
    It might be helpful to point out a simple example of how one might go about completing the task. E.g., include a few sample commands or choice quotes from the man page to point the OP (and other readers) in the right direction. – HalosGhost Aug 5 '16 at 18:49

If you use Mac, it is in:


  • And how does it get there? (Surely you need to run some program that creates the file(s).) – Scott Jan 9 at 1:56

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