Saturday, January 15, 2011

Getting iTunes to Recognize Embedded Album Art

iTunes is persnickety when it comes to album art. It’ll find artwork for some albums when you ask it to but not others, even when programs like WinAmp have no probs. It’ll recognize some art or image tags in mp3 files but not others. I’ve put up with this for years; today I found a solution. It’s a bit step-intensive, but once you get in the groove, it goes quickly.

Since WinAmp found cover art for all my albums, I use that to get the artwork. The solution to the iTunes problem though lies in a program called “Mp3tag.”

  1. Open WinAmp, iTunes, and Mp3tag
  2. In iTunes, begin at the top of the list and scroll down to the first album without cover art.
  3. Find the artist and select the renegade albbum in WinAmp.
  4. In the pane listing the tracks, select all the tracks.
  5. Right-click and click on View file info…
  6. Select the Artwork tab, and click Save as… (I gave it the title of Artist Name Album Name, eg, The Beatles Abbey Road)
  7. Save it in the same folder as where the tracks are listed
  8. Click OK. You will have to click OK, or hit the Enter key, until all the tracks are changed.

Now to add the cover art to a tag that iTunes recognizes.

  1. Go to Mp3tag
  2. The first time, click File/Add directory… For the following albums, click File/Change directory…
  3. Select the folder corresponding to the album
  4. Select all the MP3 files that make up the album
  5. Right-click the mouse on the album artwork square, and click 'Add Cover'
  6. Choose the jpg file that you saved in WinAmp (sometimes you’ll find another jpg files of the same album art, I’m not sure why it’s there yet not recognized)
  7. Click the little 'Save' button in the toolbar at the top to save the changes.

The Final Step: to get iTunes to recognize the album art. I do it this way because I don’t know how to get iTunes to rescan the library.

  1. In iTunes, select all the tracks in the album that you want to change, and press the Del key.
  2. Click File/Add Folder to Library
  3. Select the folder corresponding to the album
  4. The tracks will reappear in iTunes, this time with the album artwork showing.

Repeat for each album missing cover art in iTunes.

Thanks to flangemonger in iLounge for pointing the way!

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