Clean up album artwork in iTunes
Ask iLounge offers readers the opportunity to get answers to their iPod-, iPhone-, iPad-, iTunes-, or Apple TV-related questions from a member of the iLounge editorial team. We'll answer several questions here each week, and of course, you can always get help with more immediate concerns from the iLounge Discussion Forums. Submit your questions for consideration using our Ask iLounge Submit Form. We reserve the right to edit questions for grammar, spelling, and length.
Q: Hi there. I just read some great advice from your site about moving files other than just the music to an external hard drive. Of course, before I read it, I tried on my own to move just the album art to my hard drive. When that didn’t work and I lost a bunch of my artwork, I asked for it to download again. Now that all of my iTunes data is neatly on my external hard drive, the album art folder has doubled in size.
Is there a way to get rid of the duplicate downloaded artwork without losing the artwork that I have copied and pasted from various other sources? I have spent many hours filling in missing artwork with my own images and/or correcting the downloaded artwork.
A: Actually, clearing out the downloaded artwork is relatively straightforward: simply exit iTunes and delete the “Album Artwork” folder from within your iTunes folder entirely and this will take care of clearing out your automatically downloaded album artwork as well as any cached copies of any artwork you’ve added manually yourself.
The key here is that when you add artwork to a track directly via copy-and-paste or through the track info dialog box, the artwork is actually stored within the tags for the MP3 or AAC file itself, and only a copy is cached in the iTunes “Album Artwork” folder for faster access. On the other hand, artwork downloaded automatically through iTunes is not embedded into the tracks themselves, but only stored in the iTunes “Album Artwork” folder structure.
In fact, if you look inside the “Album Artwork” folder, you’ll see two sub-folders: Download and Cache, representing these two types of album artwork. Although you could just delete the “Download” folder to remove downloaded artwork, it is possible that the content of your Cache artwork folder has been duplicated as well, taking up additional disk space unnecessarily.
The Album Artwork folder will be recreated the next time you restart iTunes, and any artwork contained in your tracks will be re-cached by iTunes and stored in the “Cache” folder. You can then manually re-download any missing artwork from the iTunes Store as you normally would.
- Will removing a credit card from Safari also remove it from Apple Pay?
- Can I mute Handoff calls coming into my Mac from my iPhone?
- How do I keep my iPhone calls from ringing on my Mac?
- Why doesn’t Traffic show up on my Today Notifications Screen?
- Why doesn’t my iPhone reconnect to Wi-Fi after I turn it on?
- Why can’t I see the iPad-style landscape view on my iPhone 6 Plus?
- Report confirms legitimacy of at least some of the stolen iCloud credentials being held for ransom
- New (PRODUCT)RED iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone SE, and 9.7” iPad now available to order
- Apple Store down again ahead of new iPad, Product(RED) iPhone launch
- Apple acquires automation app Workflow
- Nintendo updates Super Mario Run, makes more courses available for free play
- Apple confirms iCloud and Apple ID systems have not been breached in response to hacker threat
- Hackers claim to have access to millions of iCloud accounts, demand ransom from Apple
- Apple’s Siri in the running to voice control room functions at Marriott’s Aloft hotels
- Apple releases iTunes 12.6 with new cross-device movie rental feature
- Apple introduces Clips video app
- ExoLens PRO with Optics by ZEISS Wide-Angle Lens Kit
- Blue Sadie Headphones
- Circle with Disney Parental Control and Internet Filtering System
- Pioneer Rayz Plus Lightning Connector Earphones
- BEEM United BeMe D200 Lightning Connector Earphones
- Jam Audio JAM Xterior Max Rugged Wireless Bluetooth Speaker
- HiFiMAN Edition S Headphones
- Divoom Timebox Mini Bluetooth Speaker
- iClever BoostSound BTS-09 Bluetooth Speaker
- Soundcast VG1 Bluetooth Speaker
- Top Five: The Best Products for Building a Smart Home with HomeKit
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of watchOS 3
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of tvOS 10
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iOS 10
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Photos gets Advanced Computer Vision
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Music app delivers ‘clarity and simplicity’
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Maps gets a major redesign
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 shakes up the user experience
- Inside the betas: watchOS 3 promises a real speed boost
- Inside the betas: A sneak peek at what’s new in tvOS 10