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Author Topic: Album/Track Artwork
mixxiah
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Posts: 8
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Post Album/Track Artwork
on: April 14, 2013, 21:14
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I've noticed that some albums will show all artwork for each track when you 'get-info' withIN iTunes; however when you search the actual music's folder/file on the Hard-drive OUTSIDE of iTunes, some of the tracks have NO artwork - just the usual music symbol. See the first screenshot below.
This discrepancy shows up when you 'get-info' for individual music files (outside of iTunes). See the second screenshot.

The album I'm using as an example is an 80's compilation, and you can see the differences in the first three tracks. I'd imagine the obvious goal is to have the artwork show up on both the upper left corner next to the file name AND at the bottom in the preview box. Can you explain why this is happening and maybe how to fix it?

I've tried using Yate to fix this but to no avail. Yate sees the album and files the same as iTunes: All artwork intact and fine for each file. The problem persisted even after I tried altering something (designating the 'picture type') so as to allow Yate to re-embed the artwork.

All this started when I noticed missing artwork in iTunes-Match on my iPhone. I was frustrated because all the artwork was fine IN iTunes on my Computer but not on my mobile devices. Evidently, the same files with no artwork in the Get-Info preview box on the Computer also have no artwork in iTunes Match.

Thanks in Advance...
Image
Image

2MR1
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Posts: 17
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Post Re: Album/Track Artwork
on: April 14, 2013, 21:53
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Odd. I can't find any files which show artwork in the 'top left' area. However my sample test did show artwork in all the 'lower large' areas. iTunes is notorious for not properly embedding images in the files and maintaining them inside the iTunes db. However, this is not the case if Yate can see the images. Interesting though is that the Finder icons are placeholders.

Another possibility is that the artwork is tagged as having a ridiculously small image size. Yate has code to change an images's size to it's maximum representation (actual pixels) before displaying it. I did this because I found one image which was displaying as a couple of dots in the new Album Database viewer. It turned out that while the image was 500x500 its reported size was 10x10. Yate only fixes this for display purposes. It does not write out the adjusted size. The reason for this are that most software ignores the image size and uses the best representation. Another reason is that Yate attempts to preserve the initial raw image data as opposed to using the image representation which might be quite larger when reconverted to raw data.

Can you send me the first file above (leftmost). (send it to support@2manyrobots.com or email a link to the file if it's better for you). It is the most interesting as it shows an image on top but not on the bottom. I'll use my tools to look into the content of the file. If it turns out that the issue is the reported image size it will be easy to get around by recalculating the raw image data after changing the size and writing that out to the file.

mixxiah
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Posts: 8
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Post Re: Album/Track Artwork
on: April 15, 2013, 02:40
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Thanks for the quick response - I didn't think you'd get back to me so soon. Unfortunately, in my impatience I tried various other methods - one of which seemed to have worked. First I selected the small image in the top left and deleted it. I also noticed that the artwork was not exactly alike for every file - in the same album. I found the highest resolution album artwork I could find (Discogs), copied and pasted at the same place again and then suddenly it appeared at the bottom area. Out of curiosity, I selected the top image again and deleted it - and a nice surprise: the bottom image remained.

Using the same artwork, I updated the files in iTunes and Yates. It seems to have worked on all the files as far as on the computer. In iTunes-Match though the results are less consistent. It's updated on some but not all. Perhaps I need to give iTunes-Match a little more time to do its thing.

I'm still a little confused as to how all this works. Is there a way to access and manipulate the iTunes db?

Thanks again...

2MR2
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Posts: 1194
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Post Re: Album/Track Artwork
on: April 15, 2013, 08:23
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More than likely your methods eventually caused the rewrite of the file and the reallocation of free space. They probably have an edge case which disappeared during one of the rewrites. I know that they have artwork display issues with mp3 files when an image is the last element in the tag if no free space is present. I have not seen this in m4a files.

If a rewrite can fix the issue, the solution is somewhat complicated in m4a files. As opposed to a single chunk of free space as in mp3 files, the free space can be all over the place in m4a files.

My offer still stands. If you want to get me a file which has no 'bottom image' I'll look at it and see if there is something I can do to cause a 'fixing' rewrite.

I strongly suggest that you stay away from the iTunes db. It is not documented and is a moving target. My personal guess is that there is nothing in there which would help.

mixxiah
Newbie
Posts: 8
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Post Re: Album/Track Artwork
on: April 15, 2013, 21:43
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As I mentioned earlier, my reason for even bothering about this was my frustration with missing artwork on my mobile devices. I actually contacted Apple, but they weren't any help. As far as they're concerned, missing artwork is non-existent with iTunes-only purchases; the problem is with CD-ripped music and those from other sources such as Amazon, BeatPort, BandCamp, etc - i.e. the competition.

Well, after trying various methods I'm now getting some success. The key it seems is to make sure that every file has the artwork displayed in the bottom 'preview' area when you "get-info". This of course is outside of iTunes and Yate. Even if the artwork appears fine in iTunes or Yate, it won't necessarily be present when you go 'get-info'.

Strangely enough, the only way to have the artwork appear in the bottom preview area and thus on the mobile devices is to use both iTunes and Yate. I have yet to see the rhyme or reason to it, but it works.

I usually start with iTunes. Selecting ALL the tracks on each album and then 'get-info' will bring up the info window. Next make sure that artwork is checked then I copy & Paste the highest resolution artwork I can find in the little box. Click OK and let it do the embedding. If this doesn't fix it, I'll use Yate to do the same. If it's still not doing it, I go back to iTunes and repeat. In most cases, the problem is fixed after using Yate. Sometimes, I've had to use iTunes 3-4 times before it would take.

2MR2
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Posts: 1194
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Post Re: Album/Track Artwork
on: April 15, 2013, 22:23
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Interesting. There is definitely something going on 'outside the box'. In my testing, any time I drag something into the upper small box, the Finder permanently looses its icon (album artwork). I've verified the file before and after the drag and there is no difference. Further, the upper box never retains its icon. I wonder if enabling iTunes Match is changing something on the system. I'll continue to investigate.

2MR2
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Posts: 1194
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Post Re: Album/Track Artwork
on: April 16, 2013, 10:36
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I've made some headway but I'm not entirely positive it will help. I've found that dragging an image to the 'small icon' in GetInfo does not change the actual data contents of the file. It writes modified data in the resource fork of the file. There is a free app called FileUtility in the App store which will allow you to remove the resource fork.

As I've previously said, once I drag into the 'small icon' the Finder only displays a generic icon. I've managed to get around this by using xattr in a terminal window to remove the com.apple.FinderInfo extended attribute. Once the attribute is removed, the Finder displays the correct icon. (xattr -d com.apple.FinderInfo filename)

Try copying a file which is 'messed up' and playing with these two methods. If either or both of them fix the issue I can attempt to do something programatically.

mixxiah
Newbie
Posts: 8
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Post Re: Album/Track Artwork
on: April 16, 2013, 14:26
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Thank You. Appreciate the continued Support & Help. I also received your E-mail. I shall try out your suggested methods and report on them...

I don't know exactly how the icon got in the 'small icon' area in the Finder - perhaps I dragged artwork there by accident - but as I mentioned before, it was easily removed by selecting and deleting. Still, it seems that more important (as far as with iTunes-Match is concerned) is that the artwork appears in the preview area at the bottom.

mixxiah
Newbie
Posts: 8
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Post Re: Album/Track Artwork
on: May 25, 2013, 15:06
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On a related subject: Is there a way of having separate artwork for the album AND individual tracks? This is especially relevant to "Compilation" albums where their's an album cover for the entire album, but also different artwork for each individual track...

2MR2
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Posts: 1194
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Post Re: Album/Track Artwork
on: May 25, 2013, 18:12
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There is no separate concept in a tag of the 'album's artwork'. The artwork is essentially a simple list. Most players prioritize on the first artwork item and only display that item. However, Yate extends the ID3 concept of an artwork description field to all of its supported audio types. You can always use the description field to 'tag' your artwork however you wish. You could have one common artwork item labelled 'Album' and separate unique images in each track. There is no limit placed on the number of artwork items you can have in a file.

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