OK, Cover Flow in iTunes is a bit addictive. It’s like browsing through CD and DVD album covers. It’s easy, intuitive, it works, it’s fun.
But I have one serious gripe. Apple provides album art for purchase made in the iTunes Store, and most of my music comes from CDs, and iTunes can’t find album art for much of my music.
Of course, that’s what I get for being old and having so many Greatest Hits CDs, but I have plenty of CDs stored in iTunes and finding album art was painful. Until Album Cover Finder and iTunes Store’s Get Album Artwork feature.
I assume that if you’re using iTunes you also have an iTunes account. Open iTunes, click on the Advanced menu, then select Get Album Artwork. iTunes then does a search of Apple’s own album artwork, and downloads what it has that matches what you need.
And that’s the problem. Apple doesn’t have all the artwork I need because about 70-percent of my music came from my CD collection, not from iTunes Store. Granted, Apple does manage to have some that match, but I’I was still missing CD album artwork for over 1,000 songs.
There’s nothing more deflating than flipping through iTunes’ Cover Flow for albums and having blanks. No album art for a song. Yuuuch.
Tidy and some anal retentive person that I am, I looked around for various and sundry utilities to help me track down the album artwork to install in the offending Cover Flow blanks. Album Cover Finder does just that. Mac or Windows PC.
ACF is pretty much a straightforward one trick pony, that actually does a few other tricks. The big trick is finding which songs and albums on your iTunes music collection which do not have CD album art.
Then, ACF heads to the internet and sucks down album art—not from one place, or two, but all over the place. In fact, you can aid the search by adding information about a particular song or album, such as artist, song title, album, year, etc. ACF drags down what it finds and lets you choose which album art you want to display for which song or album.
Did I say one trick pony with more than one trick? Yes, ACF does more than just bring art to iTunes’ Cover Flow. Why doesn’t iTunes Store have album reviews? Why not concert schedules? Why isn’t there album liner notes? Biographies? Hello? Apple?
These are the little touches that make Album Cover Finder Art a handy utility for anyone with a serious iTunes music or video collection.
Let me give you an example of how I put ACF to work. My iTunes collection is over 3,000 songs, almost 900 songs came from iTunes Store, and those songs have album artwork. With an iTunes album artwork scan, 241 albums came back without artwork.
By using ACF to find the rest, all I’m missing now are a few greatest hits CDs of obscure musicians. Why this kind of functionality isn’t embedded into iTunes, I don’t know, but it makes the music and video experience better.
Album Cover Finder works on both Mac and Windows XP. There’s a free version (this is Friday, and Mac360’s Alexis says we are required to talk about something that’s free every Friday), and the full version is $11.
Got a problem with Apple’s implementation of Cover Flow or album artwork in iTunes? Got a solution? Talk Back to Mac360’s readers in the Comments section below.