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One feature of digital music files that's not essential but that most people almost demand is the ability to associate an album's artwork with the music file. When digital music players like iTunes and portable players like the iPod were first becoming popular, many people bemoaned the loss of the ability to sit and look at the album's cover while listening to the music. So it only makes sense that Apple added the feature in a previous version of iTunes to add album artwork to your music files. Now if you purchase your music from the iTunes Store, you don't have to worry about this, since album artwork is always included in those files you purchase.
But if you're importing your music from your own CDs or if you've downloaded your music from elsewhere in the Internet, the album artwork might not have been included. Now if you are importing your own CDs, you could scan the cover and turn it into an image to add to your files, but if it's a major label or popular album, chances are that iTunes can find that artwork for you and automatically add it to your files, and even if they can't, you might be able to find the artwork on another website and manually add it to your tracks. We'll look at both options in this movie. First of all, iTunes 10 has the ability to examine your music library and automatically add artwork for any tracks that currently don't have artwork.
Now I've imported some more music into my iTunes library for this example. I can't offer any of this music as Exercise Files, so you just have to use your own music if you want to follow along or just watch what I am doing. I am going to switch over to the Grid view and here you can see that some of my albums have artwork. In fact most of them do, but some others don't. Now there are a couple of ways I can have iTunes search for album artwork. I can do it on an album by album basis, in which case all I've to do is right-click on one of the albums that's missing artwork, and you can do this in Song List, Album List and Cover Flow views as well, but I find that the Grid view we are looking at right now makes it easier to see which albums are missing artwork.
So from this menu I would choose Get Album Artwork, but watch what happened in this case. So in order for iTunes to get the artwork itself, you need to have an iTunes Store account. iTunes only searches the iTunes Store for album artwork, which does introduce other issues, but I'll be getting them in a moment, and later on we'll take an in-depth look at using iTunes Store and creating an account. For now I am just going to click OK and I am going to select the iTunes Store and sign in. I am just going to use an existing account I already have. Now that I am signed in, I'll go back to my Music library, and I'll right-click on that album once more and choose Get Album Artwork.
Now you will see this dialog box asking if you're sure you want to get album artwork, and that information about songs with missing artwork will be sent to Apple. This is just Apple keeping track of which songs people probably are not buying on the iTunes Library. But if you want to get the artwork this way, you have to click Get Album Artwork, so I'll go ahead and click that, and just like that there is the album cover. Now if I double-click the album here in Grid View I can see the artwork image has been added to each track in this album. So each one I select has that artwork appearing there. I am going to go back to All Albums.
So this is super easy to do if you have an iTunes account and the album you are adding the artwork to is available on the iTunes Store. If you want iTunes to try to add artwork for all the other albums with missing artwork, just press Command+ A on the Mac or Ctrl+A on Windows to select all of your albums and then right-click on any one of them and choose Get Album Artwork. Again I'll say Get Album Artwork and then iTunes will go through your entire library and attempt to add artwork to each album that's missing artwork. Now if you do have tracks that already have artwork, iTunes will not overwrite those tracks.
So I can see that it couldn't get the artwork for some albums, I can see which one it couldn't find. So I'll go ahead and click on OK. So again, this is a cool and fast way to get album artwork but the limitation is that iTunes can only find artwork for albums that are sold on the iTunes Music Store. And as we just saw there for example, my two Beatles album still don't have artwork. So if I want to have artwork with these albums, I am going to have to add them manually. Again, if you have a scanner, you could go through the trouble of scanning your CD covers, but it's much easier to go out online and find the cover elsewhere.
Two great resources are amazon.com and allmusic.com. Between those two web sites you should be able to find nearly every album cover you are looking for. So I go over to amazon.com and in here, I am just going to do a search for my first Beatles album that I have here which is called Abbey Road and the version I have is the 1990 release of the CD, so I'll click that. You could see the album cover right there. All right, so what I am going to here, just make my iTunes window a little bit smaller.
With Abbey Road selected here in my iTunes window, I am going to open up the Info pane by clicking this button right here in lower left-hand corner of the iTunes window and you can see it says Selected Item, Drag Artwork Here. That's exactly what I am going to do. So I can click on see larger image in most cases here in Amazon, you get the largest version of the CD cover that's available, and just drag that right into iTunes and there it is. You could see that the cover art has now been added to this album. I'll do the same thing with Revolver. Again with it selected, I see Drag Artwork Here. So I come back into my browser, do a search for revolver, let's do it in music so we aren't actually finding actual revolvers, and again find the UK version here.
There is the cover and again,I'll just drag that into iTunes and there it is. So you can see my two Beatles albums now have their proper covers associated with them, and you're not limited to just adding a single album cover or piece of artwork onto your files. For instance, I just noticed here on the Amazon page, someone has submitted the back cover of the Revolver album. So I click on that and maybe I want to have this back cover associated with my files here.
So with Revolver still selected here in iTunes, I am just going to drag the back cover into that same area and you can see that it's now been added, and notice I can now use these arrows to page through the artwork for this album. In fact if I double-click to open up Revolver, I am going to select the first file here, right-click on it, choose Get Info. Here in the Artwork tab, you can see I have two pieces of artwork for this file. If I click Next, you can see that both pieces of artwork have in fact been added to each file. Pretty cool.
So you can drag in as many images into a song file as you like, but do bear in mind that this does add to the overall file size of each file, and that devices like the iPod can only display the main image. So if you are copying your music over to your iPod you are basically wasting space by storing images that you'll never see in the files, unless you do want to just look at them in iTunes. But in any case that's how you add artwork to your music files in iTunes, both automatically and manually.
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