Fixing odd album art behavior


Q: About half of my songs have album art associated with them. However, I’ve recently found that often when I play a track which has album art associated with it, 4th-generation color-screened iPod displays completely the wrong photo. If I push the center button to display the full screen picture, it may be the correct one, the same (wrong) one as the thumbail, or the photo belonging to a completely different album. The artwork is correct in iTunes, for sure. How can I stop the iPod from doing this?

– Richard

A: It should be no surprise to you that we suspect your iPod’s album art database has somehow become corrupted. Thankfully, it’s fairly easy to recreate without having to totally restore your entire iPod.

Connect your iPod and allow any syncing to finish. Then, open the iPod panel in iTunes’ Preferences, and choose the “Music” tab. Unselect the “Display album artwork on your iPod” checkbox and click “Ok.”  You will then see iTunes quickly update the iPod, displaying the message “Deleting Album Art from iPod.” Allow this to finish.

Next, return to the same menu item and re-enable the same checkbox. Click “Ok” again. iTunes will now take time to “optimize” the album art for display on the iPod’s screen, and will procede to recreate thumbnail database on the iPod. This will take significantly longer, but when it’s done, you should have properly functioning album art display on your iPod!

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Jerrod H.

Jerrod was a contributing editor at iLounge. He mostly wrote articles about iTunes and iPod accessories. He was known for his in-depth knowledge of both topics and was often able to provide readers with unique insights into the world of Apple products.