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iTunes: how to add covers and illustrations to your music

The digitalization of music has inevitably led listeners to lose physical contact with musical media. Before the transition from vinyl to CD changed the relationship with the media, reducing the size of the disc, but also of the graphics. No bigger covers typical of the 33 laps that have now become a collective imagination, no more picture discs; all this has given way to the much smaller dimensions of the CD and the booklets inserted in the plastic houses.

The subsequent transition to digital music eliminated the physical relationship with the music media: no more packs to be discarded, no discs, no more booklets to browse.Only a stream of bytes that pour onto your computer and mp3 player. this lack of physicality makes the nose turn up, especially for those who were (and still) used to a more concrete relationship with audio supports. The combination of an artwork or a cover with a disc or a single still heard by many users.

iTunes in its most recent editions tries to give continuity to this correlation, albeit in a virtual way: from iTunes 7.0 there is a cover flow mode, in which it is easy to navigate between the discs through the album covers, as well as being able to choose a further representation such as grouped list, with relative cover and in previous editions it was however possible to transfer the cover also to the iPod display and see it represented in different ways.

With the Apple program, therefore, it is very simple to load the cover of tracks or discs into memory and display them during playback. From this point of view, digital also offers advantages: if the artwork of an album does not satisfy us, with iTunes we can easily choose to combine a disc with the graphics or images of an artist we prefer, of our choice.

Uploading covers with iTunes is very simple. For songs or discs purchased on the iTunes Store, everything is automatically loaded. From version 7.0 of iTunes there is also the possibility to set the program to automatically search online for the album cover or single already present in your library.

In the event that the automatic search does not give a positive result, then you will have to proceed to manual loading. First of all you will need to start playing a song and open the cover display window by clicking on the arrow button located at the bottom left. The space dedicated to the covers will appear

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If you have the scanned cover or an image saved on your computer, simply drag and drop it into the iTunes cover space

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If, on the other hand, you do not have the image uploaded to your computer, just search for a site containing the image you are looking for (such as Amazon), search for the album image and view it at the highest resolution available. At this point, simply click on the image and, with another simple drag & drop, always drag it to the Album Art area of ??iTunes

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Another method is to select the track in iTunes, open the context menu with the right mouse button, click on "information", open the "illustration" tab. At this point you can use the usual drag & drop or click on "add" and select an image that you have previously saved in memory

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The latter method also allows you to upload an image for multiple songs simultaneously. Instead of selecting a single track, you need to select all the tracks to which you would like to apply the image. Then open the contextual menu and click on "information". A window will open with information on the selected songs. At this point, just drag (again with drag & drop) the image into the rectangular window on the right and then press "ok". The image will be applied to all previously selected songs

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Another "multiple" system There is also another method to add covers to entire albums. Just select the disk to which you want to apply the cover in the iTunes browser on the "album" window and click on the top of the iTunes illustrations window, displaying the word "selected item".

At this point, always by drag & drop, drag an image inside the window and the cover will be applied to the selected element. Therefore, be careful to ensure that you have only and exclusively selected an album, without any song of that album being highlighted in gray; otherwise the cover will be applied only to the song and not to the entire disc.

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In case we want to delete a cover or upload more than one, then choose? The cancellation and the choice are controlled from the information window. It is accessed as always via the context menu, by clicking on "information", then on the "illustrations" label which, once displayed, will show the loaded covers.

From here, just move the cover you want to view in front of or, if a cancellation is necessary, click on the cover you want to get rid of and press "delete" (below we see the operation on iTunes for Windows.

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In addition to these tips, it would certainly be useful to take a look at some third-party programs that can more effectively extend the management of the covers and automate many of the processes described above. Among these we remember – Corripio – Album Art Widget – Sing that iTune! – CoverScout (commercial) – Album Cover Finder.

It also seems useful to mention the very recent Snipshot, of which we spoke recently, an online photo-retouching application that will offer complete support in case you want to make a quick change of the images you would like to use.

We know that digitized covers will not satisfy fans of paper and physical contact in the same way, but artwork remains an integral part of musical artistic expression, even if digitized. The simplicity of iTunes and multiple third-party applications make it really intuitive to interact with the images and apply them to songs and albums, to create a complete music library, not only in sounds but also in images.