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iPod Album Art

Hi experts.

I'm trying to set up album art on my ipod (5.5gen). I'd prefer not to use software like iTunes which is going to restrict me like hell. Currently I'm using Easytag to manage my music collection and MediaMonkey to sync to my ipod.

Here's the deal: my music collection is organized like this:

<Artist>\<Album>\<CD#>\<name>.mp3

In the <Album> folder (for every album) I have a file called front.jpg which is the cover art. Then I have a subfolder CD1 (even if there's only one cd), and then the mp3 tracks themselves.

Basically I want to the cover art for all my albums to display on my ipod. I want to say that for every track, the corresponding album art is at ../front.jpg

I do not want to go through and do each album individually, as this is an extremely large music collection. I'd prefer not to embed the album art in the mp3's if possible (i.e. leave it as a separate file).



I don't mind using iTunes (or other software) as long as it's not going to lock up my library in any way --  (for example, if I sync with iTunes once then I always have to use iTunes... and it's a goddamn memory hog.. lol)


Any suggestions???
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cc16
Asked:
cc16
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2 Solutions
 
xemaCommented:
I havent tried extensively but the following freeware may be what you're looking for
http://www.softartstudio.com/tagcontrol/extract_images.htm
However I think it will insert the image into the mp3 file.
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Eoin OSullivanConsultantCommented:
Inserting the image in the MP3 tag is the ONLY way for iPod to recognise the Album Art .. sorry
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cc16Author Commented:
>> Inserting the image in the MP3 tag is the ONLY way for iPod to recognise the Album Art .. sorry

Oh damn. Then again I suppose it's no problem as I can always remove the embedded images at a later date.

So essentially, if my ipod is set to display album art, and the album art is embedded in the mp3, then it display it with no additional work (i.e. no extra changes to iTunesDB)?

If so, that's good news...

xema I'll try out the program you recommended tmw.
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xemaCommented:
eoinosullivan;
I'm not that shure about "Inserting the image in the MP3 tag is the ONLY way for iPod to recognise the Album Art" On my IPod Video I only have MP3 & Videos, no photos, no games, no contacts but in ITunes it shows some use with "extras" and I know that some of my Art is bigger that the MP3 Tag standard,
Coould it be that a path is inserted on the MP3?
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cc16Author Commented:
I don't know for sure but that sounds likely xema. Also it seems possible that there would be a way to do it without changing any of the mp3 tags, using only the iTunesDB -- at least if I designed the ipod that's what I'd have.

Anyone know for sure? I'd rather not mess around with my mp3 files if I dont have to.


Also here's a slight update on my situation, if it makes a difference to anything:

I've had problems with MediaMonkey, and I'm now using iTunes for everything (except for library management).
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xemaCommented:
cc16
If you set the image on the MP3 youwon't be messing with them, there' some bytes on the tag to hold the art, and they're already there.
So in ITunes select the first song of the slbum, right click get info, image select the art right click on the art,copy OK----Select the rest of the songs, rigth click, get info, mark teh check box close to the image box, right click with the point inside the image box, paste, Ok     Do it for all of youre albums, sincronyze your IPod.
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cc16Author Commented:
Could do that, but with my music collection totaling around 100GB, it would take me all day.

Given that for *every* song in my collection, the correct art is located at ../front.jpg, surely there must be a way to make the process automated.
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Eoin OSullivanConsultantCommented:
Try a tool like Album Cover Finder .. http://www.ipodhacks.com/article.php?sid=1510
It should do all the hard work for you .. I just don't know if it will ONLY search online or also pickup the front.jpg you have stored also.
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cc16Author Commented:
Yes, most of the tools I've tried (eg FixTunes) will only search online.... and of the few that do pickup the saved ones (eg MediaMonkey) I've found they fail to work because the jpg is not in the same folder as the mp3s.

I'll try out album cover finder though.
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cc16Author Commented:
As far as I can tell, Album Cover Finder doesn't do what I need.

Argh, this is so frustrating. I'm tempted to give up on cover art.
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xemaCommented:
There's a program, "Abander Tag Control"  that may help you. I haven't tested fully but it may work, however I do put the art in the same folder with the music and windows media will pick it automatically.
In my humble opinion you should move the art to the mp3 folder, and try Abander.
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cc16Author Commented:
The reason I haven't done that is that currently some of my albums have more than just one CD.

So I'd have folders CD1 CD2 CD3 etc, and didn't want to duplicate the art in each folder.


I'm thinking that I may write a script to get rid of all the CD folders, and change the numbering of the tracks.

Not sure, but either way I'll figure something out.

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cc16Author Commented:
There wasn't a clear cut solution to my problem. I basically need to restructure my library.
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