Saturday, September 30, 2006

The joy of Cover Browser.

So, I have been playing with iTunes 7 and the new Cover Browser. It has changed the way I look at my music collection.

I guess by using so many digital forms of media, that I lost some of the joy that I experienced in purchasing vinyl. The feel of picking up an album sleeve and looking at the artwork was as much a part of the experience as listening.

Suddenly, obtaining the cover art for an MP3 has become as much a part of the process of encoding a song as getting the album name and track numbers right.

A couple places I have scoured for cover art

Google Images - wide variety of images available, not always the best quality

Amazon - Good selection and fairly consistent quality

AllMusic Guide - Usually have the cover art but it is very slow to search, I usually search with Google using a site: switch

Musicbrainz - They get their art from other sources, usually amazon but, this can be convenient when you are tagging your files, to grab the cover art as well. Musicbrainz Picard occasionally adds album art as a metadata set but this can be a little flaky.

Finally iTunes Get Album Art command - I have found this to be a reasonable way of filling in the majority of album artwork, but it is very dependent on the album name and not very forgiving for slight changes in name. Often I am filling in the gaps where iTunes has found nothing to match the file.