Q: iTunes 8 had a check box you could deselect when syncing your iPod that would prevent album artwork from being loaded onto your iPod, taking up space I prefer to use for music. In iTunes 9 it appears to be gone and the artwork has been forced onto my iPod. Any idea if this feature is totally removed, or just hidden somewhere?
A: Sadly, this feature seems to be another one of those things that has disappeared in iTunes 9. We went digging through iTunes in the hopes that it may have been left as a hidden preference, but this does not appear to be the case, particularly as it was previously a per-iPod setting rather than a global setting. It’s also worth nothing that the iPhone and iPod touch never offered this option either—it was limited to the traditional click-wheel iPod models.
Short of removing all of your artwork from your iTunes library itself, the only workaround for this right now would be to manage the content on your iPod manually and remove the artwork directly. In this case, artwork would still be transferred to your iPod with any new tracks, but you could then open up those tracks on the iPod itself and delete the artwork in the same way as you would in iTunes.
To remove artwork from multiple tracks, either in your iTunes library or on your iPod, simply select those tracks, choose File, Get Info to bring up the multiple item information dialog box, and then simply check the “Artwork” box without actually pasting anything into the artwork field.
Click OK to save these changes. iTunes may prompt you to confirm that you want to remove or modify the album artwork for multiple items, in which case just accept the confirmation and the artwork will be removed.
Note that returning to automatic synchronization after this will put the artwork back onto your tracks if the artwork is still present in the iTunes library itself.