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Feature: Tools & Utilities

Album Cover Art Downloader makes iPod a touch nicer

By Tina Gasperson on February 01, 2008 (7:00:00 PM)

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When ripping CDs from my own collection or (shh) my friends', I didn't always bother to include the cover art. Personally, I never considered album art for my iPod all that important. That has changed now that we have an iPod touch in the family. If I'm missing a lot of album art, the experience of virtually flipping through my music collection, something Apple calls "cover flow," is diminished. iTunes doesn't always offer art for albums I didn't purchase from iTunes. Thankfully, a little GPL-licensed application called Album Cover Art Downloader (ACAD) solved my problem.

The iPod touch's cover flow is an irresistible option to "flip" through your virtual album collection by sweeping a fingertip across a landscape-oriented screen. If the art is missing, iPod replaces it with a dull, dark gray square with boring musical notes. That's no fun! So, I went looking for a solution to the missing album art problem, and found a GPL program that has become my favorite for keeping my album art straight. ACAD runs on Windows or Linux, and it makes the process of finding and downloading cover art quick, easy, and fun.

Downloading and installing ACAD is no problem; there is a self-extracting executable for Windows, an .rpm for Red Hat, and a .deb for Debian. The source code is available for everyone else. you can configure ACAD to search for album art from a variety of sources, including Yahoo!, Amazon, and Buy.com, then tell ACAD if you'd like to save the files to be compatible with KDE and GNOME, in a generic image file format like .png, embed them in ID3v2 tags, or set them for use in Windows Media files. Finally, tell ACAD how you'd like it to "guess" which album art to look for, either by looking at the ID3v2 tags or examining the pathname %(artist)%(album), and you're set.

Once the program is installed and configured, select File -> Open from the menu to show ACAD where your music files are. From there, you can select individual albums or songs for which you'd like ACAD to find cover art, or you can just select everything -- though if your music collection is very large, ACAD has a tendency to bog down and even crash. I found it best to choose no more than three or four albums at a time, just to be safe.

ACAD then begins a search for your album art and presents you with choices. Highlight the album on the left, or a single track, if for some reason you don't want to put album art on the entire album (or if you only have one or two tracks from the album), select the artwork you want, and click Set as Cover. Make sure you have the correct album highlighted before you set the cover, or ACAD will happily embed the wrong artwork in your music files. If that happens, delete the cover and try again.

Once I located album art for the majority of my music, it only took a few minutes to re-import the files onto my iPod touch, and just like that, my cover flow was flowing much better, thank you.

Tina Gasperson writes about business and technology from an open source perspective.

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on Album Cover Art Downloader makes iPod a touch nicer

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The iTunes on my XP box does

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 66.141.69.18] on February 01, 2008 07:29 PM
That is it goes out and finds the art. None of my songs are purchased from Apple.

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Re: The iTunes on my XP box does

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 67.169.154.218] on February 03, 2008 06:47 PM
you can go to amazon & get the art work in their music section drag & drop the file to i tunes

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bringtheheatwaycool

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 66.122.165.196] on February 01, 2008 09:21 PM
Id like to see a touch activated right side slider on the screen of the eeePC operated by the touch pad. When the top right corner is tapped the slider icon would appear allowing up down right left scrolling of the screen image. Also it looks like there are applications that use processing yet, only need occational or minimal keyboard interface. Therefor, if external mounting hardware or the noodling of embedded metal threads on the eeePC were used, it could be mounted atop a periferal with ram in or a projector, copy-fax-scaner-printer, cash register, and the piece de resistance - allow a strap to be mounted allowing a person to carry it over there sholder like they were the real mc coy. Now a bar code scanner could be use with the eeePC to provide invitory controle and a variety of other minimaly interfaced processing providing a platform for a library of industrial software applications. Providing a finner grain modularized compost can also be applied to PC's (mirror mirror be nice to your daughter cards they can become some mother boards) by making daughter cards with ram and a processor and or pci-e pins top and bottom to allow mother board sanwiching, upgrading hardware can be extended and using crossfire a low cost interface would allow I/O to run down the halls breaking thru the double pci-e ports and scream at the top of there lungs to the mother board above. chachachachachachachacha Waoo - so lets kick it and put some stank on it.

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AmaroK

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 67.101.120.140] on February 01, 2008 09:36 PM
Amarok does this as well... It works great on my 4GB silver nano from a gen or two ago...

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Album Cover Art Downloader makes iPod a touch nicer

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 150.140.229.173] on February 01, 2008 09:39 PM
Now how about a post with how to transfer songs to an ipod touch in linux??

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Re: Album Cover Art Downloader makes iPod a touch nicer

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 61.16.213.210] on February 02, 2008 09:04 AM
try floola....it works even with latest ipods. get it from gtdeb.net repos.

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Album Cover Art Downloader makes iPod a touch nicer

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 76.223.77.136] on February 02, 2008 08:05 AM
Awesome! Thanks for this.

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Album Cover Art Downloader makes iPod a touch nicer

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 192.168.1.44] on February 03, 2008 08:07 PM
Ipod nano 3G is for the best interest of the user equipped with cripled firmware and is a lousy usb drive at the best on open source software. Apple did a good job in making me very anti Apple by doing this. This Ipod is the last thing made by Apple I will tolerate in my house, Apple is far worse then Microsoft. What a bunch of wankers.

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Please buy your music.

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 140.254.80.154] on February 05, 2008 08:29 PM
If you actually like the artists you listen to, then you should buy the music. Doing anything else isn't cool, and you shouldn't treat it like it is.

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Album Cover Art Downloader makes iPod a touch nicer

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 71.2.175.131] on February 05, 2008 08:38 PM
FixTunes will add missing album art and correct song details. FixTunes will scan your music for misspelled albums and missing album art and correct the missing and incorrect song details for you. FixTunes will also separate duplicates and keep the larger song file with better quality. You can fix 50 songs for free to see if it's the right mp3 tagger for you. There is also a mac version now so it is compatible with the mac and pc.
http://www.fixtunes.com

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Album Cover Art Downloader makes iPod a touch nicer

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 68.255.19.94] on February 11, 2008 09:44 PM
Has anyone gotten the 1.6.1 version to run on Debian Lenny? I keep getting an error...

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Album Cover Art Downloader makes iPod a touch nicer

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 65.43.227.217] on February 17, 2008 03:38 AM
how do you get the album art back onto itunes?

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