Sorting out my album art

Now I've managed to import my mp3 library into iTunes I obviously want the album art sorted out properly so that CoverFlow can work in all it's glory. iTunes can fetch art, but if it's not in the iTunes Store you need to do something else. The other problem is that iTunes buries it in a secret format so that you can't use it for anything else.

So I needed to find a Mac program to import album art.

First stop was the Amazon Album Art widget, which, for a while, seemed to be the thing. But if you've got a lot of broken art, either searching manually, or playing all the broken tunes is a bit of a chore. My next attempt was GimmeSomeTune . It's quite a neat iTunes extension, but it's art handling still didn't seem to want to sort out my library properly.

At this point I realised I really wanted to get the art embedded in the mp3 as well as in the iTunes library, so that it would be available on other machines. Googling turned up all kinds of programs, but most of them were for Windows. I was almost about to give up when what I have found to be the most useful Mac blog announces a new program, Curator, from Kavasoft. It looks like a cut down version of iTunes Catalog, which I had looked at earlier and rejected as over-complicated and too expensive for my needs.

And Curator really does seem to do the job. It examines your entire library and shows the status of the art with some traffic lights. You can import art from iTunes or Amazon and then write it into the mp3s. What is really nice is that you can work through setting all the art up, and then leave it through the night doing the time-consuming writing. If you can't find the art in iTunes or Amazon, you can run a Google search and then drag'n'drop the art into the "art pane" in Curator. I imagine that you could also do the same with your own scanned art, although I haven't tried it yet. At just over a tenner, I registered it after 20 minutes of playing.

I can think of a few improvements though, the "custom search" could do with being able to show bigger thumbnails in order to judge the quality (the size is indicated) and it would be nice to be able to select the alternate Amazon sources like Amazon Art widget. But all in all it's the best solution I have found.

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This page contains a single entry by David published on March 3, 2007 11:09 PM.

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