Downloading Album Artwork

Q: How do I get the correct album artwork for my music in iTunes? I have used the Get Album Artwork feature and it can’t find most of them. Some of the albums have artwork that have nothing to do with the CD. I was told by someone at the Apple store if I loaded the music from a CD that it would load the artwork automatically, but that hasn’t always been the case either. Is there a way for me to import, copy and paste or draw the artwork for the albums or songs?

– Phillip

A: iTunes provides artwork for your own tracks based on what is available on the iTunes Store, so if you’re importing a CD that the iTunes Store doesn’t sell, it will not be able to retrieve the artwork for you.

It is also important when letting iTunes search for artwork that information such as artist and album matches as precisely as possible with the corresponding tracks on the iTunes Store. Common album names like “Greatest Hits” and “Singles” can often confuse the process and result in incorrect artwork being downloaded. Note that iTunes doesn’t perform any kind of song file analysis when fetching artwork—it simply looks at the album and artist names.

Of course, you can always add your own album artwork manually by searching it out on the Internet and pasting it in.

This can be cumbersome if you have a large number of tracks missing artwork, however. Fortunately, there are several alternative solutions available for fetching art automatically, although these come at a price. For Windows users, iArt by iPodSoft ($10) allows you to fetch not only artwork but also lyrics, and includes a free demo version that can fetch artwork for about 50 albums so you can try it out. Mac users can check out Tagalicous by The Little App Factory which not only fetches artwork and lyrics but can help correct your actual song tags by analyzing the files.