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  1. #1
    4 Star Lounger Lou Sander's Avatar
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    Hidden Files in Music Folders

    I want to burn some mp3 files to CD to use in my car. I do NOT want to include anything but the music -- no album art or other non-music stuff.

    My mp3 files are all in music folders on my Windows 7 machine. I don't seem to be able to view (and then delete) the album art and other hidden files that many of these folders contain. This seems to be a problem only in music folders.

    How can I view the hidden files in these folders?
    Lou Sander
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  3. #2
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    Why bother deleting the files? If your car CD player reads MP3 files it won't care about the other files. If it only reads "real" CDs you convert the MP3 files to WAV and ignore all others.

    cheers, Paul

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    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    Have you looked at folder options in control panel? There are a couple of options under the View tab to Hide certain files and hide certain extensions.
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  6. #4
    4 Star Lounger Lou Sander's Avatar
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    PaulT: The files take up space on my CD. Since I can't see them, I don't know how much space they take up. Also, it's not such a good thing when Windows misbehaves by failing to show hidden files.

    Super Moderator: I have looked at those options, and set them so that hidden files are displayed. When I posed my question, I thought the problem was that hidden files just aren't displayed in music folders. In response to your answer, I copied a known hidden file into one of the music folder, expecting that it wouldn't show up there. I was wrong -- it DID show up. Apparently there is stuff in or associated with music files and/or folders that doesn't always show up in Windows explorer. I know I've seen this stuff under certain conditions, but I can't duplicate those conditions right now. (Nuts!) The "stuff" in question consists of album art and other things that I couldn't identify or don't remember.

    Maybe my question is thornier than I first thought. It's not hugely important in the overall scheme of things, but it WOULD be nice to know more about this stuff.
    Lou Sander
    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
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  7. #5
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    The only thing I know of that is hidden in addition to the Album art files and possibly a folder.jpg file, is the Thumbs.db (protected operating system) file that Windows will make if the album art or folder.jpg file is added by any media player that tries to be too darn helpful by checking the Internet for associated album art!

    Good news is you can delete all that stuff with the only consequence being that you won't get the little album art picture in your media player when you play an MP3.
    Last edited by F.U.N. downtown; 2013-06-02 at 10:09.

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  9. #6
    4 Star Lounger Lou Sander's Avatar
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    Sounds reasonable and accurate, and I'd like to delete them before burning my CD.

    My problem is that they don't show up in Windows Explorer. How can I make them visible?
    Lou Sander
    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
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    Corey Lee Dorsey (2014-04-23)

  11. #7
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    Lou Sander (2013-06-02)

  13. #8
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    From the Start menu, run the Command Prompt. Use the CD command to go to the folder that contains all the album folders (for example, C:\Users\<your name>\Music). Enter the following command and press Enter:

    attrib -S -H *.jpg /S

    That removes the System and Hidden attributes of every JPG file in all of the subfolders below the current location. After that, they'll appear in Explorer as ordinary files.

    If you just want to delete them all without bothering to look at them in Explorer, you can use this command (instead of the attrib command) in the Command Prompt, starting at the same top-level folder:

    del /A:SH /S *.jpg

    although it might be a good idea to include the /P switch in there to ask for confirmation before deleting each file.

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    Lou Sander (2013-06-02)

  15. #9
    4 Star Lounger Lou Sander's Avatar
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    Very interesting. I now know things I didn't know before. Thanks to all.

    Two other things:

    1) I just noticed this, and am passing it on. When displaying music files (and maybe others) in the Details format, you can get a menu by right clicking the gray bar right above the file list. It has items you can check (or clear) to display them (or not) in the list of details. There's a default list of 15 or so items, plus a selection for "More...". Clicking the latter brings up a Choose Details dialogue box that has literally hundreds of selections. Some are obviously for music files, some are obviously for digital camera pictures, and some are hard to imagine what they're for.

    2) In Details view, the icons my music files are look like little sheets of paper with the upper right corner folded down, and with some musical notes in the center. Many of them also have little gold locks in the lower left corner. They seem to indicate "Share with nobody". What's THAT all about?
    Lou Sander
    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
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  16. #10
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    I think you are imagining a problem that doesn't exist. If you can't see the files, they aren't there.
    All the details about music files are contained in the MP3 files themselves.

    cheers, Paul

  17. #11
    4 Star Lounger Lou Sander's Avatar
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    You may be right. I don't think I'm hallucinating, though. I could swear I saw some additional entries in song folders, but I'm unable to reproduce the situation. Maybe I'm a victim of an overactive imagination, or maybe Windows 7 is smarter than I am, playing a joke on me, etc. ;-)
    Lou Sander
    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
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  18. #12
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    It's both sort of. There is some extra info packed into some MP3s as post 8 reveals. Otherwise how could I know what band or musician was singing or playing if a cover pic didn't pop up on my player? Secondly it is not a problem, how much extra space could that be taking up? 20 kilobytes per if they all have them? So 50 songs take up an extra MB, no big deal.

  19. #13
    4 Star Lounger Lou Sander's Avatar
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    Yes, to "how much space...", but since this stuff is/was hidden from plain view, for all I know/knew, the cover art could take up more space than the music.

    But basically I just like to see everything that's going on with my files, and this stuff bothered me a bit when I first saw it.
    Lou Sander
    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
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  20. #14
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    Thank you for posting this great question

    I was looking forward to a solution to delete the album art in my music folder. When I listened to a song on my computer VLC player would post a picture of album art that was in the folder. From reading the responses here, I found that if I displayed protected operating system files in folder options it would show me the hidden album art. Thank you for posting this question and thank you to everyone that responded to this inquiry. I learned something from it.

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