Cover Art and multi platform iTunes

I could really use some advice on how to best load and store Cover/Album Art for our Music. Please help and comment on any of the following conclusions. Thx.

Really new at this and jumping in the deep end. Family just got iPhones and Samsung Eternities.
iPhone of course is iTunes, and Samsung uses Microsoft to develop all its software.

We have XP, Vista and Mac.

I have discovered "iTunes Sync" and "iTunes Agent" which appear to take Windows Media Player out of the picture (thank god).

I've read alot of the topics here and other places and have come up with the following:

  • mp3tag, best tag editor.
  • winamp, best mass tag update from Graceland for newly imported files.
  • iTunes (necessary for the iPhones...and share libraries across several computers
  • "iTunes Sync" or "iTunes Agent" to update the Samsungs and other assorted media players laying around.
  • no need to use WMP.
Now, as a newb, I spent a lot of time updating the Art in iTunes, and after a few days got really tired of it and started this quest for a more rational system. I discovered this program (and the forum) and was very impressed, but as a newb I'm going to screw up. So the first thing I did was to update all the tags in the iTunes library to v2.3. That was fine but I lost a lot of Cover Art.

I then discovered that iTunes doesn't necessarily store the art in the file. Nor does Winamp. But mp3edit can. Now since this music needs to have multiplatform support, I would think it best to use mp3edit to store all the art in the mp3 files. I tested a few and both Winamp and iTunes see embedded art just fine. You just have to make sure to use jpg or png.

I tried using mp3tag with various web services for tags and art but had some problems with older less common songs. I'd get 15 links to who know what. Also, the Amazon cover art didn't really work because it ended up giving me .bmp files which don't work across the various platforms. That's why I went to Winamp. iTunes, as soon as you move the file, the art is gone, it breaks the reference. Even just copying it with iTunes to another location doesn't bring the art.

So, after this long shaggy dog story, my principal questions are:.... :rolleyes:

1. What is the best way to get lots of Art stored into the mp3's?
  1. Is there a batch way to get my remaining iTunes art imported to mp3tag and then stored in the files? 200x200 would probably be best.

  2. And finally, on an ongoing basis, whats the best way to get art for new music imported into the library and stored in the file.

  3. Also comments or suggestions on the system as a whole that I've put together so far would be appreciated. I'm so new I could change to any other system and not cry toooo much... (except for the iTunes part (iPhone rqd)). And I really don't feel like learning Winamp, although it should be better than WMP.

....as a side comment, I typically like to use the "Single" Cover Art on songs when it is available instead of having the whole album with the same art. This is especially useful for older music. I don't like how the "services" all point to the art of the latest 2003 re-re-re-release Album Art of a song released in 1962 (for example). I'd rather take the time to get the original release art. I wonder if there is a way to script the searches to force looking for the earliest release date (future project).

Looking forward to using mp3tag to manage the libraries into something sensible. It has already proven to be a great time-saver. It is very flexible and there is a lot of good information here on the forums. I know I've got a lot of work to do to learn how to use it well. But first, the album art....

I've got a lot of learning to do. :book:

Thanks for the help and thanks for this great program! :music:

Welcome Mistaknly, you wrote a good article!
Right from the taggers hell :wink:

DD.20090711.1242.CEST

For most flexibility with all players, including ITUNES/IPODS, I recommend embedding your album art in each track. ITUNES will read this, other players (squeezebox, sonos, foobar2000, WMP, winamp, etc. etc.). With mp3tag, you can have multiple artwork items with each track (album cover, single cover, back art, etc.). Some will argue that a "folder" approach to artwork is much better because you don't waste the space in each track for artwork, but I find that the artwork space is extremely minor relative to the music content and the flexibility is worth it. In my case, I use embedded artwork for each track and maintain a FLAC (for my squeezebox) and mp3 library of files (for my ipods).