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Broken Album Art Is a Thing on CarPlay, Still Not Clear Who to Blame

CarPlay is generally referred to as the more reliable and stable alternative to Android Auto, though as many users learn the hard way, this isn’t always the case.
Apple CarPlay home screen 7 photos
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And a problem affecting the album art missing from CarPlay is just the living proof in this regard.

More specifically, users of Plexamp, the dedicated Plex music player also offering CarPlay support, have discovered that the album art doesn’t update when the song changes.

In other words, it sticks with the previous song art no matter what, and the refresh only happens at random times, very often with a delay of a few minutes.

At first glance, this seems to indicate there’s a problem with the music app itself, but it doesn’t appear to be the case this time. At least, that’s what Elan Feingold, founder and CTO of Plex, explains.

We have limited control over CarPlay, you basically just tell the system ‘hey, use this artwork and artist/album titles,’ and CarPlay itself renders the screen. More frustratingly, it’s the same data which is used by iOS lock screen, which doesn’t suffer from the issue, which makes me think it’s a CarPlay bug,” he explained a few weeks ago when the problem was first discovered.

Is there anything you can do to fix the missing album art? Not really, as it all comes down to the app you’re using and CarPlay itself. And given Apple has remained completely tight-lipped on the whole thing, there’s almost no chance to see any improvements on this front.

Feingold, however, says they’re already working on further refining how Plexamp displays artwork when playing music on CarPlay.

We’ve been able to reproduce the artwork lagging for 1:30, so we’ll try some tweaks/hacks to see if we can improve how CarPlay responds,” he said.

As for the other apps that struggle with the missing artwork, very little information on this front is available, so it’s still not clear who’s to blame and who’s going to fix this whole mess.


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