Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Finding and embedding album art to your digital music

After reading Darla Mack's most recent post "Nokia N91 - Adding Album Art to Your Music" I finally took the few minutes to piece together my personal experiences about finding and embedding album art to the music tracks in my library. So, here we go - my top two tools and two alternatives for them:

The best all-in-one solution for my purposes has been a free app Album Cover Art Downloader. The creator of this is a engineer student from Finland (god knows if he works for Nokia). His app both finds the album cover art and embedds it in the files in a very smooth semi-automatic process. The search engine looks into a number of album art sources [Amazon (us/uk/de/jp), Buy.com, Walmart, and even Yahoo photo search]. A *very* impressive tool.

The second best solution and an important supplementary for me has been getting the album art from whereever, placing the album art in the album folder and embedding them into the files using MusicIP Mixer's (previously known as MusicMagic Mixer) Powertools. As the Embed Album Art is a power tool it requires getting a registeration key for some $20. This is a fantastic piece of software, too. One of the best $20 buy's I've ever made (even though it's still very much in development and has it's rough corners). Check it out at if you already haven't! It's available to a number of systems including Windows, Mac and Linux.

Cheaper alternative to embedd album art that you already have is the iCoverArt which works with iTunes. It has a registeration fee of $5. I haven't tried this since I use iTunes only occasionally and found MusicIP to do what this does (and a lot more).

Finally, an all-in-one alternative from MS. You can also use WMP to either automatically or semi automatically find and embed album art to your music. For me the downside was that WMP also changes the metadata of the music files to be whatever is on it's database. For me it meant a few hours work to tracks I had just tagged in a way I want them to be tagged.

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