Custom Genre Artwork

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Germansuplex

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I have a few genres that iTunes does not supply the neat little graphics for. Instead, it uses album art from the albums of that genre. It annoyed me, so I took it upon myself to find a solution. Now, I'm sure someone will come along here in a minute or two and tell me "Dude, just right-click on this and select that and you're done", but I can't figure out how to do that. Note that I was able to get the custom art by assigning it to a track in an album, but once I removed the art it removed it from the genre thumbnail too, so that didn't work. Anyways...

It was easier than I thought. This is a Windows solution.

1. Create your thumbnail art. I used the same as the iTunes graphics, located in C:\Program Files\iTunes\iTunes.Resources. The dimensions are 256x256 pixels jpeg for the square files for Albums, TV Shows and Audiobooks, and 171x256 pixels for the rectangular DVD genre art.

2. Save your art as "genre-*.jpg" without the quotes, and substitute the genre name for the star. If you are making the rectangular DVD art, then save the genre as "genre-*M.jpg", without the quotes and substitute the star with the genre.

3. Make sure you are closed out of iTunes.

4. Drag your .jpg art into the C:\Program Files\iTunes\iTunes.Resources folder.

5. Make a copy of the genres.plist file (located in C:\Program Files\iTunes\iTunes.Resources) on your desktop in case you mess it up and need to restore it. Right-click on it, select "copy", go to your desktop, right-click and select "paste".

6. Open up a blank notepad.

7. Drag the "genres.plist" file into the open notepad.

8. You will see what may be a bit daunting if you are a dunce like me. To make viewing a bit simple, maximize the notepad window and go to "Format" - "Wordwrap". This fits the text into the open window. However, what you need to pay attention to are lines like these two:

<key>matchString</key><string>comedy</string>
<key>resourceFile</key><string>genre-comedyM.jpg</string>
<key>kind</key><string>movie</string>
</dict>
<dict>


&

<key>matchString</key><string>instrumental</string>
<key>resourceFile</key><string>genre-instrumental.jpg</string>
</dict>
<dict>

Please note that there are little squares at the end of these that will not show up here in this post and I have no idea on how to get them to.

The first string is for movies, and the second is for Music, TV Shows and Audiobooks.

Basically, you will insert the genre name where "comedy" and "instrumental" appear in the lines above, and the name of the album art where "genre-comedyM.jpg" and "genre-instrumental.jpg" appear above. You will need to take care in placing your commands AFTER one string and BEFORE another. It's like a sandwich, and this is the meat. You want it in the middle of the bread, not overlapping.

*Note: Do NOT copy and paste the above lines to use in your notepad: get them from within the genres.plist file you open! As I mentioned, I am missing the little rectangles you will see in the notepad file.

9. Save the notepad as "genre.plist" in the same folder (you should just be able to go to "File-Save").

10. Fire up iTunes and test it out.


If it didn't work, delete the "genre.plist" file and replace it with the one from the desktop and try it again.

*Take note to make sure the genre you want isn't already listed in the genre.plist file. I had a crap of a time getting my "Dance Hall" genre to show the correct art, only to realize that it is already in the plist file: it just redirects the genre to the Reggae artwork. In this case, simply use the "Find" feature of notepad to seek out your genre and if it's already there, change the artwork path to your customized art.



It sounds like a lot, but after figuring out how to do it, I can do this in a matter of a minute or two after making the art. Good luck.



Share your creations in a flicker photo group:
http://www.flickr.com/groups/itunesgenres/
 
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william3000

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Cool. I haven't tried your solution yet -- but I'm glad to see someone's already come up with one.

Seeing itunes stock genre art was one of my few "hmmm, that's not as cool as it could have been" moments upon checking out 8.0 yesterday. For one, I'm actually not a fan of itunes "neat little graphic" choices, secondly, it's actually the majority of my genres are not provided for by default (may of mine are AMG based). So yeah, I'll probably be trying your fix at some point -- but first I have to come up with my own art choices.

This begs the question -- what were some of yours? Care to share, for inspiration sake and all? :)
 
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Nice work Germansuplex.

On a mac to get the genres.plist and the genre jpegs, you need to right click the iTunes application in your application and "show package contents" to get to to resource folder that contains these files.

The rest of the editing in theory should be similar to what germansuplex describes.

Perhaps nice people will post examples to alternative genres we can all use if we want :D

Come on, iTunes has a J-Pop genre jpeg but not one for easy listening? I guess the equivilant is vocal.

I suppose you could further edit the plist to have non connected jpegs already there match. For instance why can't my classic and soft rock go ahead and pick up the rock jpeg. Maybe that easy listening pick up the vocal one... Hmmm...
 
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Germansuplex

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william3000 said:
Cool. I haven't tried your solution yet -- but I'm glad to see someone's already come up with one.

Seeing itunes stock genre art was one of my few "hmmm, that's not as cool as it could have been" moments upon checking out 8.0 yesterday. For one, I'm actually not a fan of itunes "neat little graphic" choices, secondly, it's actually the majority of my genres are not provided for by default (may of mine are AMG based). So yeah, I'll probably be trying your fix at some point -- but first I have to come up with my own art choices.

This begs the question -- what were some of yours? Care to share, for inspiration sake and all? :)
Well, mine pretty much suck right now, but I'll try to better them. I've only done a couple thus far, but here they are:











Again, keep in mind these were just for test :p
 

william3000

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Cool! I'd say those are very well done! Thanks for sharing them -- yerah I thik we should all post in here with any we come up with. That could be fun.
 
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This is just as simple on mac, open the plist in your favorite text editor and do so.

I added the following:

<dict>
<key>matchString</key><string>easy listening</string>
<key>resourceFile</key><string>genre-vocal.jpg</string>
</dict>

To get the vocal jpeg to show up for my easy listening genre. Kind of cool
 

Germansuplex

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Here's a few more that I made:

Dance Hall - Used for stuff like Ini Kamoze and Sean Paul:



Acapella:



Rap (Rap by default directs to the Hip-Hop thumbnail. I keep Rap and Hip-Hop separate.)



Funk - I used George Clinton's hair as the basis for the backdrop :)

 

carterartist

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Posted a blog article yesterday on this

I posted about this at my blog on id8tion dotcom
 

Dan V Peterson

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A Flickr group for these would be awesome! I know there is one for Fluid app icons and this is very similar. Might make one myself if no one else has by the time I actually have time to design a few of these.
 

Dan V Peterson

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Awesome! Hopefully I'll have some spare time over the next week or two to design some of my own and add them. Got too many paying freelance design projects going on at the moment :p
 

Roadrunner3084

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im not that technical but would just changing the icons that appear in resorce folder say genre-newage can i just put in a new pic called genre-newage to replace it ???
 
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Roadrunner3084 said:
im not that technical but would just changing the icons that appear in resorce folder say genre-newage can i just put in a new pic called genre-newage to replace it ???
Yes you can. As long as you replace it with a image with the exact filename it will work.

You won't see the change until you restart. You may want to keep a copy of the old image.
 

RoRoCo

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Looks like the community is growing fast. Close to 250 genre art pics now.
 

Daniel D.

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Helper Application

I wrote a small app, that helps you to customize your whole genre art list.
It's for Windows and Mac OS X and needs a Java Runtime Environment 5 or later to run.

You find it at:

d-gfx.kognetwork.ch/genreman/

Somehow I can't post any links so just plain text here.

Enjoy :)
 
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