Can an mp3 contain an image?

I have a collection of audio files that I downloaded as WAV files rather than buy the physical CD. I converted the files to mp3 and put them on my mp3 player. When I play the files a photo of the artist shows on the player screen. There are no image files on the player, in fact there are no files of any type except the mp3 files. Even if I put just one of the mp3 files on the player, when I play that file the photo appears.
How do they do that and, just as important, can I get rid of the photo?

That’s an MP3 tag. It allows you to edit ID3 tags, including album artwork for one or more files at a time.

A media file, like a .wav file or a .mp3 one, in addition to containing the desired audio recording, can also contain other data that may be relevant to the recording. These “other data” (often called “metadata,” or simply “tags”) are usually associated verbal identifiers. For example, the song’s title might be included as a tag, the singer’s name might be another tag, and the album might be a third tag. That way, if you play the sound file using a player that knows about tags, it may display the title, artist, and album names.

Like I said, tags are usually verbal information, but they don’t have to be. It is possible to attach binary data as a tag, and probably the most commonly used type of binary tags is a relevant thumbnail picture. Again, it might be the album cover, or a photo of the artist or band, but it was purposefully attached at the time the sound file was created, usually using an initial .jpg (or similar image) file of the desired image to incorporate.

There are plenty of programs out there that allow you to view, add, edit, or delete tags from audio or audiovisual files. One that’s relatively easy to use is Mp3tag by Florian Heidenreich: It is absolutely free, pretty simple to use, and capable of extracting, or perhaps deleting, the image file. See the following article: “How to Remove Album Art Images Embedded In MP3 Files?”

Hope this helps.

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Okay, thanks very much guys. Glad to hear I can get rid of it.