"Get Album Artwork" keeps artwork separate from song files

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

mcdblake

New member
Joined
Feb 8, 2006
Messages
8
Points
0
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.
 

packpackpack

New member
Joined
Feb 28, 2005
Messages
115
Points
0
mcdblake said:
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
 

mcdblake

New member
Joined
Feb 8, 2006
Messages
8
Points
0
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.
 

packpackpack

New member
Joined
Feb 28, 2005
Messages
115
Points
0
mcdblake said:
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!
 

zerock

New member
Joined
May 10, 2003
Messages
445
Points
0
Age
40
Location
PR
Website
www.edgarrodriguez.com
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
 
Joined
Nov 15, 2004
Messages
13,238
Points
36
Age
48
Location
Toronto, Canada
Website
www.ilounge.com
mcdblake said:
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.
 

essential

New member
Joined
Nov 26, 2004
Messages
65
Points
0
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?
 

packpackpack

New member
Joined
Feb 28, 2005
Messages
115
Points
0
jhollington said:
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
 

Mac Write

New member
Joined
Mar 15, 2006
Messages
22
Points
0
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
 
Joined
Nov 15, 2004
Messages
13,238
Points
36
Age
48
Location
Toronto, Canada
Website
www.ilounge.com
packpackpack said:
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:

Code Monkey

New member
Joined
Jun 24, 2004
Messages
5,213
Points
0
Location
Midstate New York
Mac Write said:
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.
 

grommet

New member
Joined
Sep 30, 2005
Messages
39
Points
0
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.
 
Joined
Nov 15, 2004
Messages
13,238
Points
36
Age
48
Location
Toronto, Canada
Website
www.ilounge.com
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.
 

packpackpack

New member
Joined
Feb 28, 2005
Messages
115
Points
0
jhollington said:
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
 

packpackpack

New member
Joined
Feb 28, 2005
Messages
115
Points
0
Mac Write said:
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
I don't think that's a fair statement at all. Since I am the one complaining, let me explain. There is an industry accepted ID3 standard for tagging MP3s. That includes the album artwork in the tag of file. I can't imagine why iTunes would not want to follow that standard.

I think it should be considered a bug. Anyone complaining that the album art is included in their ID3 tag doesn't understand the implications if it is not. Plain and simple.

JWj
 

porieux

New member
Joined
Sep 12, 2003
Messages
444
Points
0
Location
Silliness Land
I think it's nice that it saves a lot of space...especially on things like box sets!!!

I've actually been deleting some of my custom artwork and letting iTunes Get Artwork to replace it, and saving a significant amount of space.
 

packpackpack

New member
Joined
Feb 28, 2005
Messages
115
Points
0
porieux said:
I think it's nice that it saves a lot of space...especially on things like box sets!!!

I've actually been deleting some of my custom artwork and letting iTunes Get Artwork to replace it, and saving a significant amount of space.
That's fine and I'm glad you are saving space. However, you'll never be able to see your artwork in any other program. So, you'll need to use iTunes FOREVER.

I, on the other hand realize that with 300 GB hard drives and 30, 60 and 80 gb iPods, the space used by artwork in a tag is miniscule.
 

mcdblake

New member
Joined
Feb 8, 2006
Messages
8
Points
0
jhollington said:
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.

This has been discussed in some of the other threads, but artwork added through "Get artwork" DOES get transferred to the iPod, but it is a flawed process. I found that only a few of the songs actually had the artwork transferred to the ipod. I had to do an unrelated restore to my ipod, and now everything is transferred. Here's my best guess: iTunes compares the actual files on the computer and the ipod. Since Get Artwork places the art in another folder, iTunes doesn't recognize that a change has been made. If you delete the song off the ipod, then add it back, you will have your artwork. So for me, the restore meant that all my songs now have the artwork from "get artwork". Pretty big bug though!
 
Joined
Nov 15, 2004
Messages
13,238
Points
36
Age
48
Location
Toronto, Canada
Website
www.ilounge.com
Exactly my thoughts as well. The issue is that iTunes isn't aware the artwork has been updated, and therefore doesn't transfer it to the iPod.

A subsequent update to the tags re-flags the file for transfer, which is why the artwork is then transferred at that point. It still doesn't seem to be consistently added to the tag of the file however (I think it may be an MP3/AAC difference, but I need to confirm that with some more testing).
 
Top