Art Attack – embedding iTunes album art

I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that I’d had a bit of a tricky time with getting my new Android phone to display album art properly in its media player, and I also mentioned that I’d discovered why. Here’s an attempt at an explanation…

iTunes – which you’re probably familiar with – has a very useful feature that automatically fetches album art for any CDs that you import into its library. It’s a simple case of right-clicking and selecting “Get album artwork”, and hey presto, you have a beautiful album cover to look at instead of that sad, generic placeholder.

This is not without its problems though. I discovered that if you use this feature of iTunes, the program doesn’t embed the artwork into the music files themselves. Instead it creates a separate folder inside your iTunes library called “Album Artwork” and stores everything in there. The music file in iTunes has a link to the requisite album art in this folder, and displays it when required. This has the advantage of making the files themselves a bit smaller – however the converse of this is that outside of iTunes, the files don’t have any artwork of their own.

So how to fix this? Well, I purchased the Macheist bundle a couple of months ago, and part of that bundle was an absolutely FANTASTIC program called CoverScout. This went right through all 600 albums in my library, located the artwork in the iTunes album artwork folder and copied and embedded it into every file. Superb! Took a while, but it needed absolutely no input from me – all completely automatic.

However, if you don’t have CoverScout (and you’re too cheap to pay for it) there’s an alternative in the form of Doug’s “Embed Artwork 2.0” Applescript which will do the same thing (only without the pretty interface and all the additional useful features!).

Once your artwork is embedded in the files themselves, wherever you take your music files, the artwork goes too. Now, my Android music player looks much prettier and my computer-related OCD is satisfied – at least until I discover the next problem!

Needless to say, these solutions are Mac-specific. If you’re a PC, then I have no idea what you should do (apart from get a Mac, obviously).

This entry was posted in album art, Android, Apple, applescript, Audio Visual, Computing, coverscout, iTunes. Bookmark the permalink.

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