Album artwork -- 300+ scans

in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014
I've been making a project for myself to scan my CD artwork to produce high-quality scans (mostly 600x600) which are (IMHO) better than most of the stuff I can find online. In some cases, for stuff I've purchased on iTunes and elsewhere and for which I own no physical artwork, I've occasionally done some Photoshop work to clean up the digital artwork that came with the music, or that I found elsewhere online.

I've made the results of this ongoing project available here:

With only around 300 albums at this point, all based on my own quirky personal tastes in music, the chances are admittedly low that anyone else will find much of what they'd want to find in this collection. But if you do find some of the same music you own I think you'll be pleased with the artwork I have to go with that music.

One of these days I'm going to try adding an interface so that other people can submit artwork too, and see how that goes.


  • Reply 1 of 3
    Is it true that the album artwork has to be duplicated into each MP3/AAC file? If so, that's at least a reason to keep artwork lower quality.
  • Reply 2 of 3
    shetlineshetline Posts: 4,695member
    Originally Posted by Splinemodel

    Is it true that the album artwork has to be duplicated into each MP3/AAC file?

    The answer is a qualified yes. That's the way it works for artwork you add yourself, and for the artwork that you get when you buy music through iTunes. The new "Get Album Artwork" feature, however, which adds artwork retrieved from the iTunes Store to your own CD rips, apparently keeps the artwork separate, in the iTunes database, with presumably only one copy of the artwork for an entire album rather having multiple copies on a per-song basis.

    In my experience however, with most of my music being ripped at 192 kbps, adding good 600x600 artwork seldom adds more than 5% to the size of a song file. (A four minutes song at 192 kbps is about 5.5 MB. A 200K image is only about 3.5% of that.)

    Where space is at a premium, and there's no display -- like an iPod shuffle -- it would be smart if iTunes stripped out artwork before storing music, but I don't know if this happens or not.


    If so, that's at least a reason to keep artwork lower quality.

    Depends what you mean by "lower quality". Lower pixel dimensions and higher JPEG compression can lower storage requirements. But when "lower quality" means crooked scans, scuff marks, splotches of dust and dirt, bad color quality, overdone sharpness and contrast, etc., none of that helps you at all. In fact, it's quite likely that a bad scan will make an image file bigger than it has to be (or result in more JPEG compression if you're trying to stay below some file size limit) because noisy, blotchy images quite often don't compress as well as clean images with less extraneous noise.

    Besides, if you start out with big, low-compression images, you can always scale them down and/or compress them more as needed. If you start with crap, it's hard to make it much better.
  • Reply 3 of 3
    Sounds like you have thought this one out completely.

    I might go and start scanning too. It also irks me that not all of my albums seem to have artwork downloadable from iTunes. Some of the cheesy 70's shit I have actually come with very nice covers.
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