Getting Album Artwork automatically | iLounge Article

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Getting Album Artwork automatically

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By Jesse Hollington

Social Media & Software Editor, iLounge
Published: Friday, June 27, 2008
Articles Categories: Ask iLounge, iTunes, Music

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.

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Q: When I go onto iTunes and click Get Album Artwork for a new album, it constantly says the artwork can’t be found. When I first added my files the artwork feature was fine and the old artwork is still there, but anything new that I’ve added to my library won’t appear.

- Simon

A: Firstly, you will need an iTunes Store account to get album artwork, and you may need to ensure that you are signed in to the iTunes Store when you do this. You can sign in to the iTunes Store by selecting Store, Sign In from the iTunes menu and entering your userid and password when prompted.

Keep in mind as well that since iTunes gets its album artwork from the iTunes Store, only those tracks that are normally sold on the iTunes Store will have artwork available for them. Therefore, if you rip a Beatles CD into your iTunes library, you’re not going to find any artwork for that, since iTunes doesn’t carry Beatles albums. In this case, you will simply have to find and add the artwork manually.

Further, iTunes looks for album artwork based on the artist and album information in your existing tracks, which must therefore match the corresponding album on the iTunes Store. Even subtle differences, such as a suffix on the album name (ie, “Greatest Hits (Remastered)” ) can be enough to prevent iTunes from finding the matching artwork.

The bottom line is that you’re best to try looking for the album directly on the iTunes Store. If the album cannot be found at all, then iTunes doesn’t carry it in their catalog and cannot provide artwork for it—you’ll have to find your own artwork and add it manually (Amazon.com and Walmart.com are good places to look for artwork). If the album is found on the iTunes Store, make sure that the spelling of the artist and album name for the iTunes Store version matches the tracks in your library, otherwise iTunes may not be able to match them up when searching for album artwork. In this case, simply editing the properties of your existing tracks so that they match what is listed on the iTunes Store will often be enough for iTunes to find the album artwork during the next search.

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Comments

1

I have had iTunes not find artwork on several occasions, even though the title is spelled exactly the same way it is in the iTunes Store.
Alternatively, you can find high quality artwork at http://www.albumartworkexchange.com/  They currently offer 10,000 covers at 600 x 600 or better.

Posted by Galley in Greenville, SC on June 30, 2008 at 6:26 AM (PDT)

2

Doh!  The correct URL is http://www.albumartexchange.com/

Posted by Galley in Greenville, SC on June 30, 2008 at 6:27 AM (PDT)

3

I have a better way of multi-handling audiobooks. I set up a dumb playlist called “Bookbag” and put my current book in there.  Then I set up a smart playlist called **Unread Chapters as described above, drawing from the dumb playlist.  So all I need to do to start a new book is to clear Bookbag and put the new book in there.

Posted by otaku on June 30, 2008 at 12:18 PM (PDT)

4

How does reformatting XP affect your FairPlay authorizations?

I replaced my computer’s hard drive about a year ago and after installing iTunes and setting up my account with the previous username/password, my number of FairPlay authorizations dropped by one. In my case, I didn’t back up/restore the old iTunes database file.

I was just curious as to whether losing one of my authorizations was caused by creating a whole new iTunes installation or was it due to replacing a physical piece of hardware?

Posted by Paul on July 1, 2008 at 5:53 PM (PDT)

5

If you don’t have all your music organized on iTunes, you can also copy the music and put it back in the exact folders you had them (i.e., c:\documents and settings\username\my documents\my music, you only need to copy the 3 files inside the iTunes folder too.

I’d recommend making a backup of these 3 files from time to time, since they store all the information of the library (ratings, times heard, times skipped, gapless info), and should your iTunes crash and ask you to re-import EVERYTHING one again, insted of selecting the Lybrary file (don’t do this! your podcasts will be combined with your music), just repair it and restart it, making shure these 3 files are in the iTunes folder.

Posted by Arturo Lugo Gonzalez on July 2, 2008 at 6:01 AM (PDT)

6

About the FairPlay authorizations, simply deauthorize your computer before you format, then reauthorize after.  Otherwise, iTunes will see your pre-format computer and after-format computer as two separate computers, not the same one.

Also, that info after authorizations are not stored in the iTunes database file, Apple has a secret system for that.

Hope this helps
Cameron

Posted by Cameron in Reno, NV on July 17, 2008 at 6:41 PM (PDT)

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