How to Get Album Artwork for iTunes on Your iPod

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How to Get Album Artwork for iTunes on Your iPod

If you’ve ripped songs off a CD and put it into your iTunes, they probably don’t have any album artwork on it. Retrieving any album artwork and adding it to the iTunes library is simple enough, just follow the ways given below.

iTunes comes with its own unique display of album artwork to add a little extra depth to your iPod playlists. Which is why it’s a little lame when some songs in between don’t have any images on them. This can happen if:

  • The song/album you downloaded off iTunes wasn’t complete.
  • You ripped the song from a CD.
  • You got it through illegal means.

Overlooking the third point (only for the sake of the article, I hate pirates), ripping the song from a CD will not get you any artwork with it. There is a method to recover the image, which I have described below.

Ways to Get Album Artwork for Songs on Your iPod

iTunes Artwork Recovery

First up, you need to activate the album artwork panel. There’s a button on the bottom right corner of the iTunes window, that says, “Show or hide item artwork and window viewer”. Click on it to see the artwork for any song.

  • You will then click on the “Advanced” panel on the top tool bar on iTunes. There is an option “Get Album Artwork” in the panel. Click on it. It’s preferred you’re not listening to music or using any application that consumes too much RAM. You should get “Processing Album Artwork” on the top middle status bar.
  • This takes time according to the number of non-artwork songs you have. A point here is to try to remove any and all duplicate songs from your iTunes. Having to download the same image for a song and its copy will only delay the process. Also, the songs must be tagged properly, with no spelling mistakes in the song name, album name or genre.
  • After the process is done, you’ll get a notification for all the songs for whom artwork couldn’t be retrieved. You can also use Coverflow to double-check if there are any more songs left.

Manually Adding Artwork

The songs that iTunes failed to get images for, are probably the ones you didn’t buy from iTunes. In this case, you’ll have to search for the images manually through the Internet. You’ll have to either get the songs from your iPod to your computer, add the image and send them back to the iPod afterwards to maintain the artwork on both your computer and the iPod.

  • The best places to get the images from are the record label site,, Wikipedia and You will most likely find the image on Wikipedia, and if you don’t, search the others. Download the image onto your computer when you have found the right one. Another way is to scan the CD front image and using that scanned image.
  • Click on the song for which you found the image. With the song selected, click on “File” on the top tool bar and click on “Get Info”. A window for the song details should pop up.
  • There will be an empty square on the bottom right side of the window for the album artwork. Copy the image and paste it onto the square, or drag and drop the image on the square. Click “Ok” and check the song file again. You should have the image on the bottom left corner of the iTunes window.
  • If there are multiple songs that need the same image, you can select all of them, using Shift-click for grouped multiple songs, or Ctrl-click on the PC and Apple key-click on a Mac. Then click on “Get Info” and add the image like described in the above step. Click “Ok” and then wait for a while for the images to add.
  • If in case a song already has an image on it which you want to replace, follow the same procedure and drag and drop (or copy and paste) the new image onto the older one.

If you don’t see the image on your iPod, delete the song and add it again. If all else fails, get the song again from iTunes. Take care when you are getting these images from the Internet. There will probably be copyright laws on the images and you’ll have to be careful when you get them from the sites.

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