What’s music without album artwork? Whether it was the album covers in vinyl records, or album liners in CDs, or simply album artwork from music in the iTunes Music Store, iTunes needs album artwork.
How do you get album artwork for the music copied into iTunes from CDs? As Fox Mulder would say, “It’s out there.” The trick is know where to find it and which Mac app to use. Some are free, some are not.
Album Artwork Goes Where You Go
There are a number of tips and tricks that will get you the album art you crave. Why do you need album art in iTunes? Because it’s there. How would Cover Flow look with artwork? Sucky.
When a song is playing on your iPhone or iPod don’t you enjoy seeing the accompanying artwork?
So, where do you get the artwork that doesn’t come with the songs you buy online? Actually, the process artwork collecting is easy, but comes with mixed results unless you’re patient and diligent.
Here are a few of the best Mac apps for searching, finding, collecting, and using album artwork on your Mac.
This is my favorite Mac app for album artwork. Curator looks and works like iTunes, searches the internet for art, and makes it easy to copy artwork to specific songs in iTunes.
Curator scans iTunes to see your music library, then scans online to find available artwork to match.
Album Cover Finder
For Mac and PC users, there’s Album Cover Finder, which is less expensive than Curator (multiplatform) and syncs with iTunes to ensure the artwork you find goes with the songs you want.
This is not your father’s Album Cover Finder. Built in to the app you get Artist News, Amazon Page and MP3 links, specific details from the artwork, optional covers (when available), and the ability to copy artwork to the Mac’s clipboard, and add it to iTunes.
This Mac app does more than find album artwork. Artwork Gopher also finds artwork for e-books and can add either to iTunes album tracks or e-books. Click Search Artwork inside iTunes, and once found, click Add Artwork to move it to a specific song or album.
Artwork Gopher pulls artwork from Amazon stores so the selection may not be as good as other apps with price tag. Artwork Gopher is free, and Mac only.
The whole idea of Cover Flow in iTunes is to be able to flip back and forth in your iTunes playlists to see the album cover art to select songs. Granted, it’s an eye candy effort, but colorful and simple, nonetheless.
CoverScout is another way to find album artwork and plunk it into iTunes.
CoverScout visits different internet sites to search for album cover art, finds what it can that matches the music in iTunes, and makes it a simple process to add the art to your Library.
One feature that’s handy is the quality ratings provided by CoverScout.
If you can’t find specific album artwork to match your album’s CD, CoverScout has a feature which lets you scan the CD in iSight, adjust color levels, and save the original CD artwork to the album in iTunes.
It’s a bit slow and cumbersome to gather artwork this way, but perfect for those impossible-to-find album artwork covers. I can’t imagine not having album artwork in iTunes or on my iPhone or iPod. Ranging from free to almost $40, any of these four Mac apps will get your album artwork collection started.