Embed Itunes metadata & artwork into files for use outside of Itunes environment

GO TO ADMIN PANEL > ADD-ONS AND INSTALL VERTIFORO SIDEBAR TO SEE FORUMS AND SIDEBAR

paddyb

New member
Joined
Apr 12, 2014
Messages
7
Points
0
Can someone recommend a good Windows app to embed artwork that iTunes has found into the actual music files? Also all other meta data if this is not automatically stored in the files?

I want to access my library outside of iTunes and I'm hoping to retain as much library structure as I can, as I have spent hours meticulously correcting errors in regard to compilation albums, incorrectly named tracks and manually adding album artwork where iTunes couldn't find any, or found the incorrect artwork.

Google throws up quite a few solutions, but a lot of them sound like they will try and replace artwork and tags with what the app thinks it should be, or are only available for apple devices. Also, most of the solutions I have read about only mention MP3, and most of my music is m4a.

Looking for a relatively automated solution as I have 19,000 songs!

Thanks in advance.
 

cjmnews

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Apr 26, 2006
Messages
9,424
Points
38
Location
Arizona
iTunes will do that for you. I am assuming you are using mp3 files.

Select all your songs, right click and choose Convert ID3 and that will write all the metadata into the music files.

As for the art, I would not use the automatically art (low quality) and I can't think of a way to embed those pictures into the files. Select an album, right click one then choose Get Info. Open a browser and find the art you like. Drag from the browser and drop into the Get Info window. Click OK and the art is embedded.
 

paddyb

New member
Joined
Apr 12, 2014
Messages
7
Points
0
iTunes will do that for you. I am assuming you are using mp3 files.

Select all your songs, right click and choose Convert ID3 and that will write all the metadata into the music files.

As for the art, I would not use the automatically art (low quality) and I can't think of a way to embed those pictures into the files. Select an album, right click one then choose Get Info. Open a browser and find the art you like. Drag from the browser and drop into the Get Info window. Click OK and the art is embedded.
Thanks for getting back to me.

Actually, most of my music is ALAC or Apple Lossless. I'm a little confused as to whether these using "Convert ID3 Tags " will work on these?

I've found a Windows app called iCoverArt by Maximized Software (can't post links yet) which sounds like it will do what I need with the cover art. But I would be interested in hearing from anybody who has used it or other alternatives before I unleash it on my library.
 

cjmnews

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Apr 26, 2006
Messages
9,424
Points
38
Location
Arizona
If it is Apple Lossless all the tags are already embedded into the files. Apple will keep the tags up to date in Apple files. MP3 files they try, but don't seem to do it quite right. You don't need the Convert ID3 tags.

If you add your artwork those will be embedded as well.

I don't know about the 3rd party software.
 

paddyb

New member
Joined
Apr 12, 2014
Messages
7
Points
0
If it is Apple Lossless all the tags are already embedded into the files. Apple will keep the tags up to date in Apple files. MP3 files they try, but don't seem to do it quite right. You don't need the Convert ID3 tags.

If you add your artwork those will be embedded as well.

I don't know about the 3rd party software.
Thanks for clarifying, I've checked a few files and I can see the album artwork appears in the preview pane for albums I've added artwork myself but is not there on tracks ripped using iTunes.

I'll do a few spot tests with the iCoverArt app, and if it looks like it works, I'll back everything up and try it on my whole library.

So Convert ID Tags will work on the MP3's I have but not harm the m4a's?
 

kornchild2002

New member
Joined
Feb 21, 2004
Messages
12,203
Points
0
Location
Cincinnati
Right, iTunes will skip the Apple lossless (and PCM WAV. AIFF, mpeg-4 AAC, or any other non-mp3 tracks) files in your iTunes library when converting the ID3 tags so you don't have to worry about those becoming corrupted. They don't even have ID3 tags to convert anyway.

You can use iTunes to manually embed album art if you don't want to go through an app. You can highlight all the songs in an album (despite file format, doesn't matter), right-click on one of them, and then left-click on Get Info. You'll see a small white box in the lower right of the window that comes up. You can either copy and paste album art into that small box or drag-and-drop it (though this seems to be finicky with Windows and whatever browser you're using). You'll see the album art show up in that white box, click OK. iTunes will then embed the album art for you. The only time it doesn't is when the album art is automatically obtained.

Just keep in mind that embedded album art may or may not show up in 3rd party programs, it depends on how compatible they are with Apple's mpeg-4 tagging standard. Unlike mp3, there is no tagging standard for mpeg-4 files (this includes mpeg-4 AAC, ALAC, HE-AAC, LD-AAC, etc.). Different companies tried to push their own tagging standard back in the day. Nero had theirs, FhG pushed theirs, and Apple developed their own. The popularity of iPods and the iTunes Store (especially once they started selling DRM-free music) pretty much made Apple's tags the tagging standard for everyone to follow. However, there are still some programs that aren't 100% compatible. They either don't see the tags at all or they only work with certain entries (like Artist, Album, Genre, and Year but not Track Number Of, the artwork, etc.). I know dBpowerAMP, one of the first Windows programs to encode and decode ALAC files along with following Apple's mpeg-4 tagging standard, still had issues a few years ago. I could not get it to read album art embedded in ALAC files. iTunes was reading them and so was Finder (OS X's equivalent to Windows's Explorer) but, whenever I was encoding those ALAC files to AAC, the resulting AAC files didn't have any embedded album art (and it wasn't showing up in the dBpowerAMP file properties).
 

OliverBB

New member
Joined
Apr 18, 2014
Messages
1
Points
0
So are we saying that there is no way to automatically embed the artwork that Itunes downloaded for you as opposed to having to go into each album and embeding it through "get info"process.

My problem is about half of my large library (and I'm not even sure which albums) has music that I embeded the artwork through "get info" and pasting and the other half i just used the Itunes right click and get "get info" prompt (which does not embed it).

Thanks if anyone can help-I'm new here :)
 

kornchild2002

New member
Joined
Feb 21, 2004
Messages
12,203
Points
0
Location
Cincinnati
There might be some OS X script floating around out there but there isn't an automated way, in iTunes, to have it embed artwork it automatically retrieves. By default, the artwork won't be embedded in the music files and there is no way to change this. When it comes to embedding, you can either manually do it or use a 3rd party program. You can embed the artwork that iTunes fetches but I don't recommend that as the album art takes up about 1-1.5MB on average. Copy 1000 songs over to a portable device and that's 1-1.5GB of extra space taken up. When embedding album art, you want to use compressed images, mainly 500X500 jpeg image files. They won't take up a lot of space (normally around 300kb) and that's important when it comes to syncing to a portable device.

Most, if not all, 3rd party album art embedding programs rely on various compressed sources for the album art. Google Image, Amazon (a big one), and various other sources are pooled together. They are all compressed jpeg images though as you don't want to be embedding uncompressed bitmap images or high resolution PNG images, those can increase lossy file sizes by 30% or more.
 

cjmnews

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Apr 26, 2006
Messages
9,424
Points
38
Location
Arizona
There is a thread here http://forums.ilounge.com/applescripts-itunes-mac/268907-embed-artwork-all-tracks-album.html (you probably also want to see: Sheer Boredom | Embed MP3 Album Artwork from iTunes for Windows)
that goes through the process of using scripts to embed iTunes artwork into your songs. Windows and Mac. Though it looks like the Windows script will need updating for the latest version of iTunes. Use the second link to get the script.



You can see which songs have embedded art by backing up your iTunes Library.itl file, then renaming/deleting the downloaded artwork folder.

Then create a smart playlist where the rule is Artwork is True (to see ones with embedded) is False to see which ones do not.

Undo the rename/restore the downloaded artwork folder and restore iTunes Library.itl should put everything back where it was so you can run the script.
 

timothyjones

New member
Joined
May 23, 2014
Messages
1
Points
0
I would like to embed album art into ALAC m4a lossless files also. I've had many issues before when migrating to new macbooks, having to do restores, etc. It seems like there is always an issue and I can see already album art is not embedded on much of my collection. It is there as I added a lot of it manually through get info. I just don't want to have to do that ever again.

I'm on a mac, not windows.
 

cjmnews

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Apr 26, 2006
Messages
9,424
Points
38
Location
Arizona
The same solution applies as the previous poster.

Find a script for Mac, make a backup, try the script. Determine if you tweak what the script could not complete or screwed up or restore the backup, tweak the script and try again.

The links are there. You are interested in the first link: Doug's AppleScripts for iTunes ♫ Embed Artwork v2.0
 
Top