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iTunes Artwork in ID3

I like iTunes ability to download artwork. I wish I could select a bunch of tracks and say "copy artwork to ID3 tag" or "embed artwork." I don't like having a folder full of small, unusually named files that contain album artwork (~/Music/iTunes/Album Artwork/Download/A22946F3CF4847ED/13/10/14, anyone?).

I want to embed the album covers I've downloaded inside my song files and get rid of the entire "Album Artwork" folder. And no, I don't want to go through ten steps per album to do it, particularly since I have no way of easily telling what artwork is already embedded and what is not. Sorry.

Any suggestions?

40 Responses to "iTunes Artwork in ID3"

  1. I whipped up this little Applescript which will iterate through the selected tracks and get and set the artwork data for each track whose album artwork is marked as having been downloaded from iTunes. This effectively embeds the artwork in the music file.

    tell application "iTunes"

    repeat with aTrack in selection

    repeat with anArtwork in artworks of aTrack

    if downloaded of anArtwork is true then

    set theData to data of anArtwork

    set data of anArtwork to theData

    end if

    end repeat

    end repeat

    end tell

  2. or just use GimmeSomeTune (http://www.eternalstorms.at) It's a great extension to iTunes and downloads all sorts of coverart VERY accurately. Great piece of software.

  3. I played with GST for awhile and never could figure out how to get it to add artwork to the songs. That's all I wanted it to do, yet it kept trying to do other annoying things. I'll try it again. I have an AppleScript that creates a playlist for all songs without artwork, so I could run it on that. It's 764 songs long, currently.

  4. Perhaps you should give this one a try. It's the best cover-find-and-apply solution for itunes I have seen so far. But it costs some 20 $ or so.
    It's also quite funny that the equinux homepage claims that their tool is better than itunes in cover finding, since itunes doesn't have covers for Beatles albums (well, the other apple company definitly has them)

  5. I spent most of the weekend dealing with exactly this. And what's worse is that if you want Windows Media Center to see the album art, it looks for "AlbumArtSmall.jpg" in the directory... what a pain in the ass.

    Consequently, I used an external media tagger. That let me see what files had pictures and what didn't. And sync the ID3v1 and ID3v2 information. I also used FixTunes to download images for tracks that didn't have any pictures - Windows application tho, and it's really not worth the $25, since it doesn't always write out the tag info correctly.

    Anyway, I found no magic bullet for it. On the Windows side of things, though, I did find that I could drag the album art right out of the Info screen in iTunes and drop it on the deskttop... it would make a copy of it there. And then used another tool to embed the image into the MP3 files.

    It's a nightmare. Honestly.

  6. As for the bit about 'unusually named files .. /Album Artwork/Download/A22946F3CF4847ED/13/10/14'

    I've always liked iTunes better than iPhoto because the file structure it makes on disk *makes sense* - so if iTunes goes kaput or something, I can still make heads or tails of what my MP3s are.. This description of the Artwork directory smacks of how the iPhoto Library is 'organized' - into cryptically numbered folders with many many subdirectories (reminds me a bit of the Windows System and System32 directories :))

    So why can't Apple have the Artwork directory follow the same conventions as the normal iTunes Music directory hierarchy - sorting them by Artist and then by Album, or at the very least by either of these schemes.. If keeping track of all those different directory names is too tough for iTunes to do - shouldn't it just be able to keep track of direct file pointers [inodes?] and forget about the directory structure?

    Compilations might be difficult, but then, in the Music folder, they have their own subdirectory.

  7. Use TAG&RENAME

    http://www.softpoiner.com

    Best program for Addin album artwork ever.

  8. In response to Jim Witte: Am I right in thinking that iPhoto uses a year/month/day folder structure? iTunes does something similar if you ask it to store hi-res copies of photos on the iPod. I maintain my own folders for photos and iTunes is happy to use these folders to store the photos for on-screen viewing so why it won't use the same folder names for the hi-res photos I do not know.

    The upshot of this means that if you want to give someone a hi-res copy of a photo then you have no real idea where it is on your iPod unless you happen to remember when it was last modified. Useful, eh?

  9. Using the script posted yesterday in the comments along with Marc Friedenberg's "Find Songs Without Artwork" script have let me finish my album art quest. Yes, I am done. In fact, I have only a few files left without album...

  10. TAG&RENAME is acutually at:

    http://www.softpointer.com

    Does anyone know if there's a similar app for Macs?

  11. I think the Technorati ranks are quite skewed with regards to blogs the recently moved to science blogs. And from my own experience with Technorati, "recently" in their terms can be weeks... They're not always up to date, and have a very hard time handling moved sites or merged domains (two urls both leading to the same site). I tried that once and suddenly I had 0 incoming links, said the mighty Technorati website. Then I had to wait about a month for support, so you can see why I don't believe in Technorati's numbers very much.

  12. It's freakingly easy, using iTunes, to embed cover art in all of your media files.

    Let say we have an album with 10 tracks. Then you must SELECT these ten songs at once (click on the first one, and click the last one pressing Shift). Then, drag and drop some image to the small square in the bottom left. iTunes will automatically add the images to all the files.

    By the way, this square doesn't show up by default, so maybe you'll had to click in an small arrow to make it appear.

    Don't know about the Windows version (for windows I use winamp), but in MacOS it works right.

  13. stygyan said on December 11, 2006:

    It's freakingly easy, using iTunes, to embed cover art in all of your media files.

    You've completely missed the point, dude. We're talking about automatically embedding the artwork that iTunes downloads and stores in separate files.

  14. I think I may have found a way, it works for me anyways. As i understand the problem: The music art should appear on your library's music files (automatically downloaded by ITunes), but when the music is uploaded to an IPod the artwork does not transfer over.

    Manual Solution: open the info on one song in your library, right click the image and copy. Highlight all of the songs for that album and go to the multiple info screen. Paste the image in the artwork box and hit ok. Reimport the songs into your ipod.

    Like I said, this worked for me, but im not sure if it will work for everyone. Plus its pretty annoying having to do this for a large collection of albums. Hope that helps.

  15. Does anyone have an easy solution that works in windows?
    -Thanks

  16. Dont know if anyone is reading this, but I think my situation and solution may help some people...

    I spent a whole lot of time getting my collection perfect in Itunes 7 on the mac. Now I want it on my media center PC, with all my hard earned artwork and song info.

    First problem, noticed Itunes stores its info in its own library file, instead of directly in the id3 tags. Solution: select all songs, advanced, Convert ID3 tags, select the destination format (I used 2.4) and let it crunch... All the album info will be embedded in id3 tags.

    Second, i wanted the album artwork in the files themselves. I used the applescript above, and i think it worked (though winamp and media player on the pc arent displaying it itunes does immediately with no downloading... but it could be fooling me.)

    Then I realized media center seems to require a file called folder.jpg in each folder to display the artwork properly. well i found this beautiful little applescript at http://www.dougscripts.com/itunes/ called Save Album Art to Album Folder v1.3 which does exactly that. I had to make one modification, there is a section in the code where you can replace the filename variable with a static value in this case "Folder".

    Its looping now, after this I will copy my 60 gb collection over to the media center and see what happens

  17. There is no easy solution to all this. I gave up on all the various find-artwork software, including itunes itself. Embedding artwork works great via the GetInfo box, but getting good-size, correct artwork from the Net is the problem. I spent so much time ripping and tagging all my CDs, I've decided its worth it to go and scan all my own covers too. Each file gets named according to artist and album, after being scanned at 150dpi and reduced to 600x600. Once they're all embedded, I'll copy the entire itunes music folder to another directory, delete all the mp3 files so only the directory structure remains, then copy each jpg to its corresponding folder. Then copy the whole artwork directory and batch rename them as folder.jpg and copy all that back into the original itunes directory. And I could do it again and batch rename them so that windows media player can read them too. The only people I can think of who really need artwork download schemes are those who don't own the artwork in the first place, and thus probably don't legitimately own the music either. Otherwise, if you needed a good excuse to own a scanner, now you've got one.

  18. Axeman said on January 8, 2007:

    There is no easy solution to all this. I gave up on all the various find-artwork software, including itunes itself. Embedding artwork works great via the GetInfo box, but getting good-size, correct artwork from the Net is the problem. I spent so much time ripping and tagging all my CDs, I've decided its worth it to go and scan all my own covers too. Each file gets named according to artist and album, after being scanned at 150dpi and reduced to 600x600. Once they're all embedded, I'll copy the entire itunes music folder to another directory, delete all the mp3 files so only the directory structure remains, then copy each jpg to its corresponding folder. Then copy the whole artwork directory and batch rename them as folder.jpg and copy all that back into the original itunes directory. And I could do it again and batch rename them so that windows media player can read them too. The only people I can think of who really need artwork download schemes are those who don't own the artwork in the first place, and thus probably don't legitimately own the music either. Otherwise, if you needed a good excuse to own a scanner, now you've got one.

    OR We simply don't want to go around scanning and playing these games to get our music to display artwork correctly. No need to ride the high horse here. I own all my music thank you very much.

  19. Just for the matter of embedding artwork into the mp3's - one of Doug's famous apple scripts should do the trick; it's called 'embed artwork' and does deliver that.

    Hope that helps.

    1. This script is perfect. Made my day. Answers this question like a charm.

  20. I also struggled with having all my cover images working nicely in iTunes, but only a subset showing up in WMC or more importantly XBMC.

    A manual, but one step, process that I utilized is arranging both Windows Media Center and iTunes each on half the screen, sorting both music libraries by albums (showing icons), and simply dragging the iTunes cover art to the WMC folder icon that is not recognizing or missing the art (albums showing up in WMC as generic CD case image with 'paste art here'). WMC creates the necessary art.jpgs etc and XBMC also works smoothly.

    Not as elegant as some of the above complex & automated suggestions, but fairly simple for most users. You still have to go through all your albums, but since they're graphically visible on screen and it's simple click and drags... it goes fairly quickly.

  21. Easy way to do it in iTunes is:

    1) Click on your playlist in iTunes, all of the music for that playlist will appear on the right
    2) Go to edit and select All, so that all songs for the playlist on the right are highlighted
    3) Right click on the right and select info. Make your edits such as equalizer and etc there. Most importantly you can copy and paste any cover art/image into the small window for artwork displayed on the menu.
    4)Click yes/ok once you're done and it will reanalyze that playlist to apply each edit, including cover art that you pasted in, to be connected to each song in that playlist.

    Hope this helps.

  22. This is what the original poster was looking for:

    http://home.comcast.net/~teridon73/itunesscripts/index.html#itunes_insert_artwork

    Keyword: AUTOMATIC

  23. Hi,

    I just downloaded album image from amazon, then highlighted all the relevant tunes in ituned, right clicked, get info, double click the artwork box. choose picture.

    Hope this helps

    James

  24. Steve said on September 5, 2007:

    This is what the original poster was looking for:

    http://home.comcast.net/~teridon73/itunesscripts/index.html#itunes_insert_artwork

    Keyword: AUTOMATIC

    haha, you totally win, a lot of people missed the point, you however, have saved me hours of work 🙂

  25. Steve, that script is amazing! Just what I was looking for as well 😀

  26. Steve - you are the man....
    Way too many people really did not get the point of the original request.

    You have saved me tons of time.

    Thanks !!!

  27. K all of this is great, but apple sends artwork in bmp format which is about 1 MB per file. Say you have a 10 track album. Embed the bmp files and you get about 7 mb of wasted on your ipod (10 tracks X 1 Mb bmp artwork = 10MBs instead of 10 tracks X 0,3MB jpg artwork = 3MBs).
    I know that the new ipod is 160GB but there's got to be a better way to use that extra space.There should be some way to embed the same files in jpg format.
    The way i do it is donload apple's cover , drag it on the desktop , open it with windows quick view thing , save it as a jpg, clear the downloaded artwork and drag the jpg file to the little box on the left. I do it because i only have a small number of uncovered albums but it's not what you'd call automatic.

  28. Alex said on December 23, 2007:

    K all of this is great, but apple sends artwork in bmp format which is about 1 MB per file. Say you have a 10 track album. Embed the bmp files and you get about 7 mb of wasted on your ipod (10 tracks X 1 Mb bmp artwork = 10MBs instead of 10 tracks X 0,3MB jpg artwork = 3MBs).
    I know that the new ipod is 160GB but there's got to be a better way to use that extra space.There should be some way to embed the same files in jpg format.
    The way i do it is donload apple's cover , drag it on the desktop , open it with windows quick view thing , save it as a jpg, clear the downloaded artwork and drag the jpg file to the little box on the left. I do it because i only have a small number of uncovered albums but it's not what you'd call automatic.

    All of that sounds plausible, but have you tried the script yet? The size of my library did not increase significantly (>1%), and the fact that i can move my music from computer to computer without losing my artwork is a godsend.

  29. Oh, and Merry Christmas :mrgreen:

  30. Wright , as it turns out i was wrong.

    Apple sends itunes jpg versions of the cover , but should you decide to drag it from the left corner to the desktop it saves it as a bmp (why?).

    On the good side of the news the script works miracles.

    I had only one album with downloaded artwork from apple that i hadn't manualy embeded into the tracks (as a test) and the script did it for me.

    It also found some of the albums had duplicate covers (some of you might have front and back covers on the mp3,i didn't, i just had the same pic twice) and it gave an error while it was running. I copied the text from the command window to a txt file and manualy cleared the duplicate files.

    So i then selected all the rest of my uncovered albums and right clicked "Get album artwork".iTunes downloads,Teridon's script embeds and i'm off to watch a movie. A very happy user indeed.
    Once again this is the link to the script: http://home.comcast.net/~teridon73/itunesscripts/teridons_itunes_scripts.zip

    A great thanx to Teridon and to you guys for pointing it out to me...

  31. andrew said on November 2, 2007:

    Steve said on September 5, 2007:

    This is what the original poster was looking for:

    http://home.comcast.net/~teridon73/itunesscripts/index.html#itunes_insert_artwork

    Keyword: AUTOMATIC

    haha, you totally win, a lot of people missed the point, you however, have saved me hours of work 🙂

    i agree i bought tunesleeve and found that i had some wrong artwork...it pulled some artwork from movies?????..this is perfect! i have for 70 gigs of music that want to be able to see in my vista media center using MCEtunes..it works great but ti will not pull album cover thats has been dl using itunes

  32. It also seems that the only free-of-charge command in CoverScout is the one to do this. So - two good solutions for Mac-users. Thanks!

  33. I think I may have found a good script to do this on windows:
    https://sonos.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/sonos.cfg/php/enduser/std_adp.php?p_faqid=688

    Cheers!

    1. Link for windows doesn't work anymore 🙁
      Goddamn program, after 7!!! years people still can't deal with it.

  34. The Sonos script comes darned close - it processes the entire library, but fails for some reason past the first 2 or 3 tracks in a particular album or folder.

  35. Thanks Jamie, that worked perfectly here.


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