Does Itunes embed album art?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by speekez, Apr 30, 2007.

  1. speekez macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2003
    #1
    Question about Itunes album art --

    Is there a difference between the way Itunes automatically adds album art from the itunes store VERSES me adding album art to songs?

    Do both ways embed the art into the aac/mp3 files (thereby adding to the size of the music file)? Or, is art that is added via the music store not embedded but added another way?

    Itunes was able to find art for about 50% of my music, and I am adding the rest. When I am done, I want to create a backup of all my songs and just want to make sure the art is backed up with it.

    thanks!
     
  2. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #2
    As you suspect, automatic iTS artwork goes into a database and not into your files. Embedded art is copied into separate part of the same database.

    You can embed the downloaded artwork simply by selecting an album copy the artwork and paste it back onto the album.

    B
     
  3. speekez thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2003
    #3

    thank you, quick follow-up

    1. you say "embedded art is copied into a separate part of the same database". are you saying this artwork is added to both the file and the database?

    2. do both types of art (from itunes store and what I add) increase music file size?

    3. is there any benefit to embedding the artwork?

    4. is there anyway to tell which art was downloaded from the Itunes store?

    thanks!
     
  4. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #4
    1. Yes, the artwork from the files is copied to the database and takes up space in both, although if all the files in an album have the same artwork, only one copy is put in the db.

    2. No, only embedded/local artwork adds to the file size

    3. Portability, the artwork goes with the file

    4. I haven't found an easy way myself.

    FWIW the databases are in ~/My Music/iTunes/Album Artwork on my PC here.

    One is "Local" for the embedded artwork, the other is "Download"

    B
     
  5. ntrigue macrumors 68040

    ntrigue

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2007
    #5
    I ran across a script that embeds album artwork in the music file

    Sorry to revive an old thread. I came across yet another brilliant Doug's AppleScript called Embed Artwork and was interested in a few things.

    -I've put many hours into correcting ID tags and downloading the artwork for my music. Isn't the logical step to embed my efforts.

    -How many kb impact would this embedding have? Is it compressed or exactly equal to the .jpg size?

    -Can I still remove the artwork at another time after it is embedded?

    -HD's are quite capable but would this not provide the smallest speed increase as the HD wouldn't have to read to two file locations?

    Thanks for the brainstorming!
     
  6. ab2650 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2007
    #6
    (I've numbered your Q's so I can respond numerically).

    1. I've spend hours tagging too. Adding album artwork has always been a pain, but IMHO, so worth it (especially if you have an iPod).

    2. Technically speaking, you're embedding a jpeg file into the mp3 file. The change in file size is comparative to the original image, less the file headers (small anyway). It probably doesn't make sense to embed 2 MB scans of albums, but rather 10k or so images.

    3. Yes. There are programs which will strip the artwork and 'unpad' the header to reduce file size. The Godfather is one on Windows that comes to mind.

    4. I don't think you'll notice any difference in speed, unless you're storing the database on some godawfully slow drive.
     
  7. ntrigue macrumors 68040

    ntrigue

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2007
    #7
    Could you elaborate on the header? Thanks
     
  8. ab2650 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2007
    #8
    Think of a mp3 file as containing two parts. Data and header. The data is quite simply the stream of bits that comprise the information for the audio. The header will contain sets of information such as the ID3 tag, and specifically on subject, an embedded image. When I say that it "expands" or "unpads" the header, it's because the header section is not a preset size; it can grow and shrink to fit the data you need to store there. So for instance:

    File A: [-------- Data ---------|-Header-]
    File B: [-------- Data ---------|------Header------]

    my ASCII graphic represents the same mp3 data with different sized headers, File B being able to store a larger graphic. Of course this makes the overall size of File B a bit larger. Realistically, the header is significantly small compared to the data.

    Certain programs will let you remove the image from the ID3 tag in the header, but they don't always 'shrink' the header space; they just "zero-fill" where the image went. So you have no image, and the same size file. Good taggers will let you minimize the space that isn't being used anymore by an image, saving you a bit of space.

    This is a long explanation of something that usually saves at best 1% of space in an MP3 file; Like I said before, embedded graphics for album artwork are usually very small anyway.
     

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