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Where does itunes store album artwork please?

spl23

Prominent Member
Inside the iTunes folder (inside My Music on a PC), in the subfolder Album Artwork. This contains two subfolders, Local and Download, each of which have a perverse tree of subfolders in it. The Download folder stores artwork downloaded from the ITMS; the Local folder stores cached artwork taken from embedded JPEGs in the music files.

All art is stored as .ITC format files - this is just a wrapper around a JPEG, and you can convert to JPEG by just stripping the first couple of hundred bytes from the file.
 

witters

Prominent Member
Thanks.

I've located the folder. As you say it's in no logical order with dodgy filenames!

Is there a program to extract the actual jpeg's or is it done another way please?
 

spl23

Prominent Member
I wrote my own program to extract JPEGs from ITC files, but it's trivial to do in a hex editor. A JPEG file starts with the 4 hex bytes FF D8 FF E0 - if you open an ITC file in a hex editor, you will find those same 4 bytes about 500 bytes into the file (I don't think it is always exactly 500 bytes, but it is in that range). Just delete everything before those bytes, and save the result with a JPG extension.
 

Palladio

Prominent Member
:hiya:
Apologies for hijacking the Thread but I have some problems with my PC and will probably have to reload Vista and obviously iTunes. I've backed up all my music but should I also be looking at backing up some of the iTunes files.
I've spent some considerable time locating and loading album art and don't want to loose it all.

Thanks for any advice.
 

Autopilot

Distinguished Member
...Thanks for any advice.

Simply dont use iTunes to manage stuff like album art, it's absolutely retarded. Use something like Album Art Aggregator to get it, or get it manually from Amazon. Then embed the artwork into actual files. This is the best and most widely accepted method outside of Apple and it will also work with iTunes anyway. Then you will never need to mess about with it again. Job done.
 

Palladio

Prominent Member
Use something like Album Art Aggregator to get it, or get it manually from Amazon. Then embed the artwork into actual files.

Thanks Autopilot. I'll check out art Aggregator later once i've sorted the PC. I've used amazon for a lot of the stuff and now have a list of other sites that I use for the more difficult album covers, older, rare or CD's that comes with Magazines etc. Just saves time rather scanning the stuff.

Just copied a music file from the PC (one which i know i had inserted the album art manually) and ran on a laptop with itunes and the album art was there so must be imbeded in the mp3 file and i don't have to worry about backing up iTune files. :clap:

Doesn't seem you are too keen on iTunes from your other posts. :( But we have one iPod at the moment and will probably get another soon and to be quite honest have not found it too bad so far. I'm still undecided whether to go the Sonos or Duet route so have stuck with iTunes. Is it going to make any difference which route I take as to the best music manager to use ? I don't want to limit my options. Media monkey seems very popular here.

:oops:.... gone off thread again....sorry
 

Autopilot

Distinguished Member
I have 2 iPod classics, love them. I use iTunes (although i think i might start using Winamp instead soon) to manage them and transfer music... but i never rip, tag or do album art with it. I dont 'hate' iTunes, but there are much better ways to do stuff and i prefer to be in control. I also have other MP3 players and streamers, so using iTunes is just a pain for anything else, as the OP has obviously found.

As for album art sources, book mark these sites if you have not found them already...

http://rateyourmusic.com/
http://www.discogs.com/
http://www.slothradio.com/covers/
 

spl23

Prominent Member
Simply dont use iTunes to manage stuff like album art, it's absolutely retarded. Use something like Album Art Aggregator to get it, or get it manually from Amazon. Then embed the artwork into actual files. This is the best and most widely accepted method outside of Apple and it will also work with iTunes anyway. Then you will never need to mess about with it again. Job done.

I partially agree with this - embedding artwork in files is the simplest solution. The trouble is that, on an iPod at least, it has a major disadvantage - it wastes a lot of space.

Assume you have, say, a 50k JPEG in each file in a 10,000 song library - that's half a gigabyte of space being used on your iPod just for artwork. But it's actually worse than that - the iPod doesn't actually use the artwork from the MP3 files; it uses a separate set of artwork that iTunes extracts and stores in a separate database. This is stored as bitmaps - i.e. it isn't even compressed. 1000 pieces of artwork takes up around 250MB, and that is in addition to the embedded art - so that is 3/4 of a gigabyte used in total if you use embedded artwork. Also, I'm not sure if iTunes checks to see if every track in an album has the same embedded JPEG and only caches it once - if not, the problem will be an order of magnitude bigger.

If you have enough spare space for this (to be fair, on the new iPod classics, it is unlikely to be a problem) than fair enough - but if you want to maximise the space on your iPod for music, you need to use iTunes to manage the artwork properly. Unfortunately, this isn't easy, as it isn't obvious how you import artwork into the iTunes database without using various nasty hacks. Hopefully at some point Apple will improve the artwork management in iTunes, but at present you have two choices - embed and waste a lot of space, or wrestle with iTunes...
 

spl23

Prominent Member
I wrote my own program to extract JPEGs from ITC files, but it's trivial to do in a hex editor. A JPEG file starts with the 4 hex bytes FF D8 FF E0 - if you open an ITC file in a hex editor, you will find those same 4 bytes about 500 bytes into the file (I don't think it is always exactly 500 bytes, but it is in that range). Just delete everything before those bytes, and save the result with a JPG extension.

Oh, and just to correct myself on this - I've just looked at the way my program works, and it is simpler than I have said above. The JPEG always starts exactly 500 bytes into the ITC file - just chop the first 500 bytes off the front of the ITC file and change the extension to JPG, and bob's your uncle.
 

spl23

Prominent Member
:hiya:
Apologies for hijacking the Thread but I have some problems with my PC and will probably have to reload Vista and obviously iTunes. I've backed up all my music but should I also be looking at backing up some of the iTunes files.
I've spent some considerable time locating and loading album art and don't want to loose it all.

Thanks for any advice.

BTW, the easy way to make sure you keep everything, including artwork, when you move to a new PC is just to copy the entire iTunes folder with all the subfolders - the artwork will then all still be there on the new machine.
 

Autopilot

Distinguished Member
I partially agree with this - embedding artwork in files is the simplest solution. The trouble is that, on an iPod at least, it has a major disadvantage - it wastes a lot of space.

Assume you have, say, a 50k JPEG in each file in a 10,000 song library - that's half a gigabyte of space being used on your iPod just for artwork. But it's actually worse than that - the iPod doesn't actually use the artwork from the MP3 files; it uses a separate set of artwork that iTunes extracts and stores in a separate database. This is stored as bitmaps - i.e. it isn't even compressed. 1000 pieces of artwork takes up around 250MB, and that is in addition to the embedded art - so that is 3/4 of a gigabyte used in total if you use embedded artwork. Also, I'm not sure if iTunes checks to see if every track in an album has the same embedded JPEG and only caches it once - if not, the problem will be an order of magnitude bigger.

If you have enough spare space for this (to be fair, on the new iPod classics, it is unlikely to be a problem) than fair enough - but if you want to maximise the space on your iPod for music, you need to use iTunes to manage the artwork properly. Unfortunately, this isn't easy, as it isn't obvious how you import artwork into the iTunes database without using various nasty hacks. Hopefully at some point Apple will improve the artwork management in iTunes, but at present you have two choices - embed and waste a lot of space, or wrestle with iTunes...

:smashin: Thats very usful info spl23, i did not no that iTunes did that with pre-embedded files, thanks. Very clunky IMO. I would still always recommend embedding the artwork though, especially in the context of 'Streamers & network music players'. But if you have a Nano or iPhone, it's something to think about.
 

witters

Prominent Member
I have all my art in each album folder titled cover.jpg. I have downloaded MP3tag v2.41 bgut can't seem to do them all in one batch.

Can anyone help please?
 

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