How to Find, Download and Add Album Artwork for iTunes

iTunes album artwork is not really important, some people might argue. That may true given the fact that you do not buy a music album just because of the art on it. After all, what do you do with an envelope after taking out a letter from it? You probably throw it in the trash can. While album artwork may not be considered essential, it helps many of us to have better experience when listening to music.

You will probably agree that looking at different types of attractive album artwork while browsing through your music library can be somewhat exciting and fun. However, many songs in an iTunes music library often have missing album artwork. This piece aims at describing how you can find and add such missing artwork manually.

Why is album artwork missing?

It is likely you have wondered why some songs in your iTunes music library have album artwork while others do not. The reason is simple. When you buy songs directly from the iTunes Music Store, such songs are usually provided with album artwork. If you are not seeing the artwork in this case, you may need to click on the Show/Hide Artwork button on the bottom left corner of the iTunes window. The problem of missing album artwork is only likely to surface when songs are ripped from CDs, downloaded from other sources or the songs are produced by artistes whose music is not available for sale through iTunes.

Must album artwork always be added manually?

No. It is not a must that music album artwork should be added to songs in iTunes music library manually. This can be done automatically using iTunes itself and some other third-party programs. The main challenge to using iTunes for finding album artwork is that you may not be able to find cover art for some songs, especially when bands responsible for their making do not sell songs through the iTunes Music Store or if song information does not match that in iTunes’ database. Some third-party utilities may also have this problem or you may need to pay to use them. This is where manually finding and adding album artwork to songs in your iTunes music library may become useful.

Getting album artwork for iTunes songs

When you rip songs from CDs to iTunes music library, you may scan the CD cover art and save in an iTunes-compatible format such as JPEG, PNG and GIF on your computer.

Album artwork can also be scouted online from different sources. You can use image search engines such as Google Images, Yahoo Images and Bing Images to find relevant album art. Another good source for album artwork is the free online encyclopedia, Wikipedia, which has information on numerous music albums along with their cover art.

You may as well decide to use other sources such as Amazon music store, and Discogs, which have album cover art for virtually all types of songs you can think of. It should be noted that some sites may require you to pay before downloading an album artwork, though.

Once you have found the right cover art you are looking for, you simply right-click on it and click Copy, Copy Image or Save Image As to copy or save the album art to a location you can easily remember on your computer, depending on your browser type or the site you are using. It is important to ensure that you download the full-sized album cover art; otherwise, the image will appear blurry in your iTunes music library.

How to add album art to iTunes

We are going to describe how you can add a music album art to a single song or to multiple songs at once.

Adding cover art to individual songs

* Open iTunes and locate the song you wish to add an album art to. You may select to play the song. With the song in play, drag the image you downloaded previously into the box that reads, “Drag Album Artwork Here,” and the artwork is added to the song.

* Alternatively, you may right-click on the song you want to add album art to, select “Get Info” and then choose the Artwork tab for an empty window to be displayed.

You could also do this by using the combination Command + I on a Mac computer or Control + I on a Windows computer. If you copied the image to clipboard, simply right-click in the empty Artwork box and select paste (or use Control + V). You can drag the album art from its location into the box, if you saved the image rather than copy. Click OK to have the artwork added to the song.

Adding cover art to multiple songs

It is possible for iTunes to automatically associate album artwork added to an individual song to all other songs on the same album. But there may still be occasions when you will need to add the artwork to songs all over again, especially when you will also like to use these songs on other applications.

The process described earlier may prove to be too time-consuming to repeat if you happen to have several songs from the same album in your iTunes music library. It therefore becomes useful to know how you can do this in bulk. Follow the instructions below to add an album artwork to multiple songs at once. The process is only slightly different from the previous one.

* Highlight all the songs that are from the same album. If the songs are grouped together in an album, simply press Control + A on a Windows computer or Command + A on Mac to select all the songs. Otherwise, click on a song, hold down hold the Command key on a Mac computer or Control key on a PC and select other songs in the album while still holding down the Command or Control key.

* Click on the File menu in the iTunes window and select Get Info. Alternatively, you can use the Control + I combination on a PC or Command + I on a Mac.

* You may see a message asking if you really desire to edit information for multiple items. Click “Yes.”

* Select the checkbox for Artwork in the Multiple Item Information dialog box.

* Then paste the copied album art into the blank window or drag it there from where you had saved the cover art you downloaded earlier.

* Click on OK for all the selected songs to be updated with the same album art. Click “Yes” when prompted if you are sure you want to make changes to multiple items.

You should now see the album artwork that you have added to songs in your iTunes music library. Click on the Show/Hide Artwork button or use Control + G on a PC or Command + G on a Mac to view album artwork if is not displayed already.

You can now have a more exciting experience listening to music on iTunes with album artwork added to all songs. There is no longer any need for you to endure looking at a blank album art window or a generic artwork while listening to songs.

You also get to have that wow effect on your friends when they see you put the Cover Flow feature in your iTunes music library to awesome use with spectacular artwork playing around the screen.

What is more?

You can also carry the beautiful album artwork around on your devices such as iPhone and iPad, as all pieces of artwork in your iTunes music library are automatically added to these devices when they are synced with your computer.

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