iTunes 12 can't retrieve many more album artwork files than iTunes 10


New member
I just imported all of my music from a really old Windows XP computer with iTunes 10 to a new Windows 10 computer with iTunes 12. I have the exact same number of songs in the new library as in the old as expected. I then told iTunes to update the missing cover artwork and was surprised when it told me that 280 items could not be updated. I did the same on the old computer and only 36 items failed to update.

Many of the songs that couldn't update on the new computer updated just fine on the old one. Songs and mp3 tags are exactly the same on both computers and many of the 280 items are definitely available on the iTunes store.

Why is the new version unable to retrieve so many items that the old version had no issues with?

Is there a BULK way (other than manually exporting/importing each cover) to copy the entire artwork DB from the old computer (I already tried moving the iTunes\Artwork folder)?


Staff member
The artwork retrieval depends on the Album, Artist, and Genre matching what Apple has in their database.

Some old music is no longer available, so you won't get art for that.
Any local alterations to the Album, Artist and Genre tags will prevent matches.

Generally when you migrate like this, you take the entire iTunes folder from the old computer to the new computer. Then the artwork comes with the library and it usually stays in sync. I am not aware of differences in artwork folder management that would cause the issues you are seeing.

There is not a migration tool that I am aware of either. I have embedded all of my artwork manually, so problems like this can't happen.