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Topic: "Get Album Artwork" keeps artwork separate from song files

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Old 09-13-2006, 02:13 PM
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Thumbs up "Get Album Artwork" keeps artwork separate from song files

It should be noted that the "Get Album Artwork" stores the artwork differently than the old way. Previously, adding artwork to a song physically copied the image into the tag of each song. The same rule applies now if you insert artwork by going to "Get Info".

By using "Get Album Artwork", iTunes places the image in a separate section (My Music\iTunes\Album Artwork), storing it in a cryptic way that is similar to how the songs are stored on the ipod.

When on the ipod, the artwork is also placed in its own folder. This is much better in my opinion because now there is only one copy of the image for any number of songs (Hopefully- I haven't verified that iTunes doesn't create separate copies), and there is no modification of the original file.

Hopefully in the future Apple will provide advanced options for "Get Album Artwork" so that users can correct or add artwork w/o putting it into the song tag.
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Old 09-13-2006, 02:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcdblake
It should be noted that the "Get Album Artwork" stores the artwork differently than the old way. Previously, adding artwork to a song physically copied the image into the tag of each song. The same rule applies now if you insert artwork by going to "Get Info".

By using "Get Album Artwork", iTunes places the image in a separate section (My Music\iTunes\Album Artwork), storing it in a cryptic way that is similar to how the songs are stored on the ipod.

When on the ipod, the artwork is also placed in its own folder. This is much better in my opinion because now there is only one copy of the image for any number of songs (Hopefully- I haven't verified that iTunes doesn't create separate copies), and there is no modification of the original file.

Hopefully in the future Apple will provide advanced options for "Get Album Artwork" so that users can correct or add artwork w/o putting it into the song tag.
Well, I wondered about this immediately, and I hate that it works this way if true. I'd rather have the album art in the tag, which is the ID3 standard, just in case ...I don't know...I don't want to be BOUND to iTunes FOREVER!

Are you sure there is no Album art in the tag of the file??

JWj
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Old 09-13-2006, 02:27 PM
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I'm certain that you aren't modifying the file ("tag") when using the new get album artwork feature. You can STILL use the old method if you add it manually by going to "Get Info". That will place the image in the tag of the file.
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Old 09-13-2006, 02:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcdblake
I'm certain that you aren't modifying the file ("tag") when using the new get album artwork feature. You can STILL use the old method if you add it manually by going to "Get Info". That will place the image in the tag of the file.
Thanks, I understand that, but it sure would be nice to be able to use the iTunes Get Album Art, since image quality from the iTunes store is always great. Most new albums have decent enough quality from Amazon, Google, etc...but older albums are sometimes more difficult to find a good resolution cover.

In a perfect world, iTunes would write the art into the tag the way the standard is intended.

Let's say I bought a Sandisk Sansa as a compliment to my iPod. I would use windows Media 10 to sync the device. There would be no Album art located in the file. I actually have been thinking of doing just this by the way.

My point is that i don't think it's such a good thing for iTunes to separate the art like this. Obviously, I'll continue to use the old way.

Thanks!
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Old 09-13-2006, 03:26 PM
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hmm this sounds odd to me and confusing to me, as i would like for all my files have a standard, not have my artwork in different places.. also this bothers me with video formats too..it's good they are higher quality now. but it messes my library standard. oh well guess i have homework :P
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Old 09-13-2006, 03:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcdblake
When on the ipod, the artwork is also placed in its own folder. This is much better in my opinion because now there is only one copy of the image for any number of songs (Hopefully- I haven't verified that iTunes doesn't create separate copies), and there is no modification of the original file.
Actually, on the iPod itself the artwork has always been stored separately, in a database under \iPod_Control\Artwork. This is so that iTunes can do the heavy lifting of resizing the images into 16-bit uncompressed bitmaps for display on the iPod.

The album artwork within the tracks themselves was never used by the iPod. It was simply transferred with the file since it's part of the file (ie, iTunes didn't do anything special to strip it out of the MP3/AAC file -- it just copies it).

See the Photo Storage on the iPod thread for details.



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Old 09-13-2006, 05:27 PM
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is there any way we can change the storage location for artwork? right now you said it was going to "My Music\iTunes\Album Artwork" and i bought an external HD for use with my ipod so my main HD isn't cluttered with music, etc. the artwork folder is already 14megs, which isn't much, but i'd much rather everything relating to the ipod be on the external. anyone know if it's possible to change the location?



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Old 09-13-2006, 05:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jhollington
Actually, on the iPod itself the artwork has always been stored separately, in a database under \iPod_Control\Artwork. This is so that iTunes can do the heavy lifting of resizing the images into 16-bit uncompressed bitmaps for display on the iPod.

The album artwork within the tracks themselves was never used by the iPod. It was simply transferred with the file since it's part of the file (ie, iTunes didn't do anything special to strip it out of the MP3/AAC file -- it just copies it).

See the Photo Storage on the iPod thread for details.
Yes, absolutely. The iPod always used separate artwork but like you mention, it also tagged the file with the artwork, as required by other players. Now, it will be proprietary and I don't like that. (If you use get Album Art) I wonder if iTunes purchased music will be tagged correctly or not. I doubt it.

JWj
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Old 09-13-2006, 10:09 PM
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Everyone when iTunes 4 came out was complaining like hell how iTunes stored all the album art-work inside the song file making it bloated and how Windows Media player, WinAmp, and others put the art-work in a folder with the music. Now your all complaining when Apple listened to people complaining about album art-work being stored in the song file and puts it in the file system. Seems everyone is going to complain no matter what! Apple is dammed if they do and if they don't. Geez
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Old 09-13-2006, 10:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by packpackpack
Yes, absolutely. The iPod always used separate artwork but like you mention, it also tagged the file with the artwork, as required by other players. Now, it will be proprietary and I don't like that. (If you use get Album Art) I wonder if iTunes purchased music will be tagged correctly or not. I doubt it.
Well, since dragging the artwork in (as was the method in iTunes 6) still adds the artwork to the tag, I suspect that the likely reason for Apple's "Get Artwork" feature to use a different method may have been for efficiency/performance reasons, or for safety. It's probably a good thing that iTunes doesn't mess the tags in many hundreds (or thousands) of tracks.

Downloaded purchases still include the album artwork as well at this point, which only makes sense, since you're downloading the file from iTMS in the first place, and it's far more efficient that they embed the artwork in the file than download it as a separate stream.

In fact, I strongly suspect that the Album Artwork directory is actually merely a cache for CoverFlow support in iTunes itself. For those who remember, the original CoverFlow product (before Apple purchased it) had to cache all of the album covers prior for quick display, since it was more efficient than querying the track tags individually.

If you check the "Album Artwork" directory, you'll find there are two subdirectories -- local and download. The local directory is populated with album artwork that is already IN your tracks (on a per album/artist basis, however, rather than one per track). This directory will be created and populated the first time you use Coverflow, and added to as you scroll through the covers (which is why it takes so long initially for the artwork to show up on the covers when you first run CoverFlow).

The "Download" directory on the other hand gets created after you run iTunes' "Get Album Artwork", and is populated with the artwork that was downloaded from iTunes rather than extracted from within the tracks.

However, despite the album artwork being displayed in iTunes 7 itself, it would seem that artwork added through iTunes' "Get Artwork" feature is not added to the iPod (probably because it is not added to the tags). However, subsequently modifying any other tag information in the file seems to fix this, and the artwork will then be added to the tag and transferred.

At this point, I'm considering it a bug/oversight that they will probably address in some way in a future update.




Last edited by Jesse Hollington; 09-13-2006 at 10:25 PM.
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Old 09-13-2006, 10:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac Write
Everyone when iTunes 4 came out was complaining like hell how iTunes stored all the album art-work inside the song file making it bloated and how Windows Media player, WinAmp, and others put the art-work in a folder with the music. Now your all complaining when Apple listened to people complaining about album art-work being stored in the song file and puts it in the file system. Seems everyone is going to complain no matter what! Apple is dammed if they do and if they don't. Geez
My take is that those people complaining before were the sort who complain because they want to get 1001 songs on the nano instead of 999 they can with album art, i.e., they're idiots. This is actually valid since it's a violation of ID3 standard and it is not universally compatible with all ID3 based music players.
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Old 09-13-2006, 10:20 PM
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It's funny. Microsoft went the other way in Windows Media Player 11... using the new (for WMP) "drag album art to the empty icon" feature shoves the image in the MP3 or WMA files now. However, using the old "lookup metadata & album art" feature still stores the picture in a separate file... just like it did before and somewhat like iTunes 7 does now.
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Old 09-14-2006, 12:18 AM
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Why can't iTunes 7 download the artwork, store it in it's special folder, and embed it in the tag?
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Old 09-14-2006, 07:12 AM
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I'm sure it can, and based on the behaviour I observed (see my post above), I think that's the intention. I suspect there's a bug with it right now that will be fixed in a future update.

At this point, the extra folder is more likely just a cache for Coverflow to handle artwork.



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Old 09-14-2006, 07:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jhollington
However, despite the album artwork being displayed in iTunes 7 itself, it would seem that artwork added through iTunes' "Get Artwork" feature is not added to the iPod (probably because it is not added to the tags). However, subsequently modifying any other tag information in the file seems to fix this, and the artwork will then be added to the tag and transferred.

At this point, I'm considering it a bug/oversight that they will probably address in some way in a future update.
Very nice work checking this out and I agree completely. Seems like a bug. It just doesn't make sense that they would not include the tag in the file since it is an ID3 standard.

Thanks again-

JWj
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