iTunes Album Artwork, manually

January 23, 2011

If you have tried the get album art feature discussed in the last post, and you are still left with a few songs that still do not have album artwork, this post will explain how you can add the missing artwork to these songs.

Before I go into the details however, please note that this is a manual method and can be very tedious if you have still have a lot of songs left that do not have album artwork.  A more appropriate solution in that case would be to use an automated software solution like Rinse which is discussed in a previous post.  Rinse will successfully add iTunes album artwork to your songs regardless of whether the songs have the correct artist/track names or not.  In fact, Rinse will even update your songs with the correct artist, track and album names if you don’t have them or if what you have happens to be incorrect.  It does this by anaylsing the music itself rather than just looking at the file names.  By doing so, it knows which song is which even if the song has a name like Track 01 in your iTunes library.

Ok, so if after running iTunes’ Get Album Art feature, you only have a few songs that still don’t have album artwork or have the incorrect artwork, what follows is for you.

You will need:

  • access to amazon.com
  • a basic image editor that will allow you to crop images (something like MS Paint on Windows or Preview.app on Mac OS)
  • lots of patience

Ok, so first, identify the song that’s missing album artwork or that has the wrong album artwork in iTunes.  As an example, let’s say you have Bob Dylan’s Beyond the Horizon in your iTunes library but it’s missing the album artwork.

Step 1

Search for Beyond the Horizon Bob Dylan on amazon.com.

Step 2

In the search results, simply pick the one that’s closest to the album or song you have in your iTunes Library, click on it, then, click on See larger image.

This will bring up a higher resolution copy of the album artwork:

Step 3

Right click on the larger image and click Save image as or simply click on it and drag it to your desktop. Hurrah! You now have a copy of the image on your computer.  Now, let’s tidy it up a little bit and get it into iTunes as album artwork.

Step 4

You’ll notice that a lot (if not all!) of the album artwork that’s on amazon have a white border on their sides.  To keep it clean and tidy, we’ll remove the borders by using a basic image editor.

If you’re on Windows, the easiest way to do this is with Ms Paint.  If you’re unsure how to crop out the white spaces in the album artwork you downloaded, check out this how-to page.

If you’re on a Mac, you can use the Preview application to do the crop, how-to page here.

Step 5

Ok, now that you’ve got rid of the white space/border, find the song in iTunes, right click on it and click on Get Info.

Select the Artwork tab in the window that pops up.

Step 6

Simply drag and drop the image file you downloaded and cropped into the space for the album artwork and click ok.

Yay! You now have album artwork for the song.

Step 7

Simply repeat the above steps for each song that’s missing album artwork or that has the wrong album artwork.

Notes:

  • If you’re struggling to get all the album artwork you need due to the tedious nature of this process, remember, there’s an automated software solution that will do this for you much more quickly and without all the effort on your part.
  • If you have some songs that you cannot find the album artwork for on amazon.com, try a search on google images or on any online music store instead.

Rinse

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