How-To: Add custom album art to iTunes music

How-To: Add custom album art to iTunes music
Add custom album art to iTunes music
custom album art to iTunes music
iTunes music custom album art

If you’re like me, the above picture is driving you crazy.  You’ve done all of the basics to make your albums as organized as possible including cleaning up the titles, correcting genres, and pressing the “Get Album Artwork” button (Secondary click the track or select the whole album… right click, it’s near the bottom) but for one reason or another iTunes won’t apply any artwork to your favorite album.  Maybe it’s something obscure, maybe the artwork database just doesn’t recognize the album title or artist you chose… now what?  Here’s a quick pictorial guide to help you make your albums look beautiful just like their track names. (Yes, I know Monkey Business by the Black Eyed Peas would find the artwork just fine… it’s just an example)

First, make sure that you have done the simple things… Click the “Advanced” menu in iTunes and then make sure you’ve clicked the “Get Album Artwork” button there.  That button will actually search through your entire library and make sure you have artwork for every album.  It isn’t perfect, but it sure beats doing all of this manually like me.  That was 4 years ago before “Get Album Artwork” even existed. Make sure you’re clicking the illustrations if you need a larger example.

You’ll probably still have albums without album art due to variances in titles and tracks. If so, we continue on to the next step. Choose an album… I’ll be doing Black Eyed Peas’ Monkey Business as my example. Open your browser and navigate to Google. Google has a really handy Image search that will be helping us out tremendously. Click the Image button in the top left of the browser window: this will let Google know that we’re only looking for pictures. It should show you the “Google Images” logo now. Go ahead and click in the search field and then type the Artist and the Album, in my case “Black Eyed Peas Monkey Business.” It’ll probably try to guess what you’re searching for as shown in the picture below; it’s okay to go ahead and click one of those if you think it will match. Then click the “Search Images” button.

You should see a whole bunch of pictures for the album you’re trying to fix, but I have a few suggestions you should consider before choosing the first one. You always want to use proportional album art, like 400 x 400. That’s the pixel size of the image. If it’s proportional, it will probably show up just fine in iTunes… if not, you may have white space lining the artwork. So find a picture that’s proportional and click it. This will take you to the website that is sharing that picture. The picture can be difficult to find in the website itself, so I’d suggest clicking the “See full size image” link at the top.

Now you’re staring at the picture that you’d like to apply to your album in iTunes, right? To do that, secondary-click the picture and click “Copy Image.” The image is now stored in the magical clipboard. Go back to iTunes and select all the tracks in your album. You do that by clicking the first track in the album, hold down the shift key on your keyboard and then click the last track in the album. Now that the album is selected, secondary click one of the selected tracks. Choose the “Get Info” option.

At this point, it may ask you if you’re sure you want to edit the information for multiple items, it’s fine… you may even want to check the box that tells it not to bother you with that again. You’re looking at the “Multiple Item Information” window and should see the “Info” tab highlighted. Look to the bottom right of that window, you should find a square box labeled “Artwork.” Click in the box (make sure it has a blue highlight) and then press command+v on the keyboard to paste. This will paste the image we just copied onto your album. You should see a little preview of it in the “Artwork” field now. Click “Okay” and it will apply the image to your album.

If for some reason, you don’t like the image that it applies, just go back to Google, find another image, copy and paste it onto the album again. There’s no limit to how many times you can do that, so feel free to repeat the process until you find a picture that you’ll enjoy as the album artwork. Just repeat these procedures for each missing album cover; I’m sure your iTunes Library will look as great as mine in less time than you think.