XMBC Missing Music Artwork with the Universal Scraper

Posted by {"display_name"=>"greg", "login"=>"greg", "email"=>"greg@udon.org", "url"=>""} on December 03, 2013 · 4 mins read

After scanning music into your XBMC music library, you'll normally have missing artwork for artists and albums. This post reviews how to address these issues based on the Universal Artist and Album Scrapers.
The main discussion forum for the Universal Artist Scraper can be found here.

There are two main reasons you may be missing artwork: (1) Incorrect mp3 tags cause your music to not match with the MiscBrainz database; or (2) artwork was not found for an artist or album.

Enable Logging

As I mentioned in an earlier post, you'll need to enable logging if you want a list from the scan of missing art from the Universal Scrapers. To enable this logging on Linux, edit the file ~/.xbmc/userdata/advancedsettings.xml and insert the following line after the first line of the file (the one with <advancedsettings>):


When you've done this, you'll need to restart XBMC. The results of the artwork search will be written to the logfile ~/.xbmc/temp/xbmc.log.

Reviewing Log for Missing Art

After scraping with debugging on, you can review the list of missing art in the xbmc.log file. For Artist info, you'll be interested in lines with the text:

GetArtistSearchResults... (if null, then artist wasn't found)
GetArtistDetails... (this line is missing if artist wasn't found)

For Album info, these are the lines:


The discussion forum for the Universal Artist Scraper can be found here.

Missing Art

After scraping, many artist thumbnail and background photos were missing. By default, the Universal Artist Scraper searches fanart.tv for art. One advantage of cdART Manager and the Artwork Downloader is that they search additional sources for artwork.


I prefer TheAudioDb for adding artwork myself but I've used (and had art rejected by) Fanart.tv. Artwork rules for theaudiodb.com can be found here. Here's a summary:

Artist Thumbs/Image - 700x700, jpg
Artist Logos - 400x185, transparent png
Artist Fanart - 1920x1080 or 1280x720, jpg
Album Covers - 700x700, jpg

I've had images also rejected by fanart.tv because they did not contain every member of a group.


Another reason you may not see the artwork for an artist or album could be that there isn't any. You can contribute to fanart.tv or another of the art repositories. Detailed image guidelines can be found here. Here are the guidelines on images:

Artist Thumb - 1000x1000, jpg, <1Mb
Artist Background - 1920x1080, jpg, <1Mb in size

I've had images also rejected by fanart.tv because they did not contain every member of a group.


After my initial scans, I wasn't receiving the Extrafanart used for artist backgrounds. This feature should create a directory called extrafanart in each artist directory. There are references to a scan for additional info setting and that you can alternatively choose the scan for option under music artists or albums. To enable this feature go to System > Music > Library > Download additional information during updates.

I was never successful in getting the Universal Scraper to download the extrafanart as described in this post. For this reason, I moved on to the cdART Manager add-on.

Re-scrape Entire Library

There are two ways to re-scrape the library. One is to select Music > Library > Artist and from the context menu choose Update Library. You can also do a rescrape by changing the music scraping option that forces a re-scrape when XBMC loads in the settings and re-start XBMC.