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I want to add artwork to my MP4 file. How do I do this successfully / without errors? I've tried these methods with numerous MP4 files, none worked. If you would like to replicate the errors / bugs, here are the sample files I've used for this question.

I've tried the following:


  1. ffmpeg -i sample.mp4 -i sample.png -map 0 -map 1 -c copy -disposition:v:0 attached_pic sample_w_artwork.mp4 as stated by Lukas

with this error:

[mp4 @ 0000019ee4852280] Could not find tag for codec h264 in stream #0, codec not currently supported in container
Could not write header for output file #0 (incorrect codec parameters ?): Invalid argument

ffmpeg 4.2.2 (Windows build by Zeranoe)

  1. atomicparsley sample.mp4 --artwork sample.png --overWrite

with no success; AtomicParsley

I get this message when executing the first time:

Started writing to temp file.
 Progress: =============================================>100%|
 Finished writing to temp file.

Executing the next (nth) time gives this:

Updating metadata...   completed.
  1. Adding artwork through the GUI Tag Editor using both available versions: i686-w64 & x86_64-w64

with no success; it creates a sample.mp4.bak file, even though the software says that the operation was successful

can't insert any more links, because I got too little rep apparently

  1. Mp3tag (mp3tag.de/en)

with no success; I can successfully add the image as a cover, but it's not visible in the File Explorer. After saving it says Saved tag in 1 of 1 files. The picture can been seen in Mp3tag though as if it's applied.

  1. Tag&Rename (softpointer.com)

with no success; same story as with Mp3tag, I can apply and it's visible in the app, but not in File Explorer.

  1. mp4v2 (https:// code.google.com/archive/p/mp4v2/downloads)

mp4tags.exe -picture sample.png sample.mp4

with no success; it executes with no (error)message

I found it on this thread

(https:// forum.videohelp.com/threads/388025-How-to-set-the-thumbnail-of-a-video-clip).

Have used the updated version which is the Windows build

(https:// forum.doom9.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=14314&d=1407985798).

  1. iTunes

iTunes 12.10.6.2 (Microsoft Store version)

iTunes doesn't load the file into the library. I can run it fine though in QuickTime Player.

I didn't notice the 'Home Videos' tab. Now I can see it in there. I tried to apply the image, and it applied it only inside iTunes... So it's still not working for me.

I tried to convert the MP4 to M4A and then adding it to iTunes. I was finally successfully able to change the cover and it was visible in File Explorer. But that's not what I want.

I know for a fact that it's possible, because I've seen pictures on the Internet and YT and different threads where an answer is upvoted.

  1. tag

https:// github.com/b4winckler/tag

The description is: Simple command line audio tag editor... After having to install millions of libraries and a package manager I was stuck with the compilation of the software, followed all the steps, didn't work.

I've also tried using MP4art as suggested by a comment on another issue about this. He didn't include a link to it so I went looking and found another issue about this. One comment recommended MP4art as well, with a link that's dead.


I believe I've used some other methods as well but can't think of them right now. Will update if I recall.

Any help is greatly appreciated.

  • On the mac I use subler, subler.org, which works perfect. Looks like you're using Windows, but if you've got access to a mac, give that a try. I initially went looking for a tool to do this on Windows as well, came across subler, and there was no going back to anything Windows for this task after that. – Peter Barton Apr 23 at 4:33
  • I'm pretty discouraged to install a whole MacOS VM... after all the things I've tried. I also think it'd be crippling to launch the VM every time I want to update / add a cover... you know what I mean. Thanks for the comment though. – symonxd Apr 23 at 16:52
  • If you don't have a mac I wouldn't necessarily go to that much trouble, I just happened to have both, and subler is the best tool I've found for this job by far. Usually you can find something on either platform, I'm not sure why there don't appear to be good Windows tools for the same task. – Peter Barton Apr 24 at 8:51
  • Well, the popular FFmpeg should do it just fine, but it doesn't, at least not for me. – symonxd Apr 24 at 11:32
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In the Codec Tweak Tool under Miscellaneous > Thumbnails the checkbox for .mp4 was unchecked. After checking it and saving the settings it finally showed the thumbnail.

The Tweak Tool is installed with K-Lite Codec Pack. There are different editions available, I use the Standard edition so I can't talk for the other ones.

Credits for finding the solution: Furty from the same (copied) thread on Super User as a comment

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