How to Add Album Art in iTunes

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01
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Introduction to Adding iTunes Album Art

adding cover album art to itunes

If you've purchased anything from the iTunes Store, or other online music stores like AmazonMP3 or eMusic, the songs or albums you buy come with album art—the equivalent of an album cover or CD booklet cover for the digital age. But for songs gotten by other means or music ripped from CDs, album art may be missing. 

Album art may not be essential, but with iTunes and the iOS Music app becoming increasingly visual, your experience of your music will be much nicer if you've got art for as many albums as possible. 

While there are a number of means to get album art for your iTunes library including third-party programs, probably the easiest is iTunes' built-in album artwork grabber. (If you use iTunes Match or Apple Music, all art should be automatically added.) Here's how to employ this easy-to-use tool to get album art in iTunes.

The last couple of steps in this article provides other ways to get album art for situations where iTunes can't find the right artwork.

NOTE: You can only do this on the desktop version of iTunes. There is no feature built into the iOS to add cover art.

Use iTunes to Get CD Cover Art

The iTunes album art tool scans your music library and Apple's servers. When it finds art for songs that you have, even songs that you didn't buy at iTunes, it adds them to your music.

The way you do this depends on what version of iTunes you're running: 

  • In iTunes 11 and higher, click on File -> Library -> Get Album Artwork.
  • In older versions of iTunes, go to the Advanced menu. Then click on Get Album Artwork.

In some versions of iTunes, a window pops up letting you know that, to get album artwork, you have to send information about your library to Apple but that Apple doesn't store that information. There's no way around this; Apple needs to know what music you have to send you the art for it. If you still want to go ahead, click Get Album Artwork.

In some versions, the status window at the top of iTunes will start showing a progress bar as it scans your library for albums and downloads the correct art from iTunes. In others, click the Window menu and select Activity to follow the progress.

How long this takes depends on how much music needs to be scanned, but expect to spend a few minutes. The art is automatically downloaded, categorized, and added to the correct songs. You don't have to do anything other than wait for the process to complete.

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Review Missing Album Art

get itunes album art, step 2

When iTunes completes the scan for the album art you need and imports all the art, a window pops up. This window displays all the albums for which iTunes couldn't find or add any album artwork. You can use the tips in the next few steps that show how to get album art from other locations.

Before that, though, if you want to see the artwork you've now got:

  1. Click on or play songs or albums in iTunes and see if the album artwork shows up. In iTunes 11 and up, you'll see the album art in your Album view or when you start playing a song. In iTunes 10 and earlier, you can see the art in the album art window. To reveal the window, click the button that looks like a box with an arrow in it at the bottom left corner of the iTunes window.
  2. If you're running iTunes 10 or earlier, use Cover Flow to see what artwork you have. To view your iTunes library using Cover Flow, click the fourth button in the top right corner next to the search box. You'll then be able to navigate using the mouse or arrow keys through a presentation of your iTunes library by cover art. Some albums will have art, others won't. In iTunes 11 and higher, Cover Flow is not available.
  3. Choose the other view options, like Artists or Albums. Different options are available depending on what version of iTunes you're using. You'll find these options at the top or right of the iTunes window. You can also use the View menu to control the content you can see in the main iTunes window. Any of these options will display cover art where it is available. You'll need to get cover art by another means for any album that doesn't show art in these views.

Continue on to the next step for other means of adding album art to songs in iTunes.

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Adding CD Cover Art from the Web to iTunes

itunes album art, step 4
Adding Cover Art to Multiple Songs.

To add album cover art to albums that iTunes didn't download, you need to find the album cover image online somewhere. The best bets to find good images are the band's website, its record label's website, Google Images, or Amazon.com.

When you've found the image you want, download it to your computer (exactly how you do this will depend on what browser you're using, but in most cases, right-clicking on an image will allow you to download it).

RELATED: How To Categorize and Edit iTunes Song Info

Next, in iTunes, find the album you want to add artwork to.

Add Art to a Single Song

To add art to a single song:

  1. Find the song you want and right click on it 
  2. Select Get Info or click use Command + I on a Mac or Control + I on a PC 
  3. Click on the Artwork tab and then drag the art you downloaded to the window (in iTunes 12, you can also click the Add Artwork button and select the file on your hard drive). This will add the artwork to the album.
  4. Click OK and iTunes will add the new art to the song.

Add Art to a Multiple Songs

To add album art to more than one song at a time:

  1. First, browse through iTunes so just the album you want to add artwork to is displayed. Then select all the songs in that album. To do this on a Mac, use Command + A. On a PC, use Control + A. (You can also select non-contiguous songs by holding down the Command key on a Mac or the Control key on a PC and then clicking songs.)
  2. Choose Get Info either by right-clicking, by going to the File menu and clicking Get Info, or, via the keyboard using Apple + I on a Mac and Control + I on a PC.
  3. Drag the art you downloaded to the Artwork window.
  4. Click OK and iTunes will update all the selected songs with the new art.

Other Options

If you've got a lot of songs to add art to, you may not want to do it by hand. In that case, you may want to consider third-party tools like CoverScout that automate the process for you.

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Adding CD Covers to iPod

adding itunes album art to ipod
Adding Album Art to Some iPods.

NOTE: This step isn't necessary on recent iPods and versions of iTunes, but for some earlier iPod models, you need to use it if you want your iTunes album art to display on your iPod's screen. If you don't see it when you sync your device, don't worry; you probably don't need it.

To do this, begin by syncing your iPod and going to the Music tab. There you'll find a checkbox that says "display album artwork on your iPod." Select that and then when you play songs on your iPod, the album artwork will show up, too.

If you don't see this checkbox when you sync, don't worry. That means your album art will be automatically added.