iTunes randomly loses Album Art...why?


macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 8, 2007
I have album art on EVERY single song of my iTunes (which contains about 4000 songs). but every once in a while ill notice that album art on some albums disappears and i have redownload the artwork for that album. it happens quite frequently.

sometimes like 5 albums in a row (when put alphabetically) have their artwork missing.

is this some sort of database error?

Ive had my MacBook for about 2 months now and its always done this. I had my iTunes transferred from my Dell by transferring the xml file and the music files.

Even on new albums ive added since ive changed to iTunes sometimes run through this problem.


macrumors 68000
Apr 10, 2007
If you're not manually inserting the artwork into the files, then the link to the album artwork might be broken. When you buy off iTunes, or do the 'find album artwork' command, the artwork is downloaded to a separate folder. If you move your library, access it from another user account, etc., then the artwork often won't transfer over.

Not sure if that's what's happening for you, though.


macrumors member
Jun 30, 2006
No that's not it either. Some of my album covers that I found manually have been disappearing too, plus I don't have multiple accounts.


macrumors newbie
May 20, 2007
I have also experienced this same problem, but I have a new twist to add to it.

Not only does artwork sometimes disappear from iTunes but sometimes when I sync my iPod the artwork that iTunes puts on the iPod will be from a different album in my library even when iTunes shows the correct artwork for that song.


macrumors 68000
Aug 28, 2007
SE Michigan
ok, I have my main iTunes library on my iMac C2D, that has all the album art.

I've had a copy of that on my MacBook and not updated it in 2-3 months.

Album art was working fine, until a few days ago, now 100% of album art is gone. I'm talking 350+ albums. I've done nothing, except run the apple software update a few days back, my MacBook is at 10.4.11 and iTunes is at 7.5(19) .

Honestly don't use iTunes so much on the MacBook, except the album art was my mosaic tile screen saver, and thats where I noticed it missing first.



macrumors newbie
Nov 6, 2007
Austin, Texas
Has anyone found any solution to this? I googled it and this thread came up :(

Ill go to the Apple Store or something and ask a Mac Genius during winter break.


macrumors regular
Apr 19, 2007
I use itunes on my macbook and I think I use to have this problem every now and then. I'm not sure if this is the solution but perhaps it is.

When iTunes 'downloads' artwork it just places it in the itunes folder named 'album artwork' (funnily enough). It is up to the iTunes library file to keep a track of which song has which artwork within this folder. If you browse the folder you'll notice it is arbitrarily ordered and numbered and doesn't make a lot of sense. It is possible for some reason the library file lost this information.


What you might need to do is 'embed' the artwork which actually writes the artwork into the music file tagging so that it never gets lost again. And will show up in any program that can read the artwork within the tagging. Its all quite easy.

To do this, get this script (note windows users this won't work for you):

Read the instructions about how to install the script. You need to drop the script in username/Library/iTunes/Scripts folder. If the folder doesn't exist, just create it. Remember to relaunch itunes after putting it there.

Then tell itunes to go and get that artwork for one last time. After it has retrieved the artwork, choose all of the songs and run the script and go get a coffee cos it might take a while.

Note, the size of the image is considerably small so if you're worried about filling up your ipod with huge music files, don't worry about it.

Aswell, to locate all of those occasional mysterious files in your library that don't have artwork, run this script:

Hope I helped


macrumors member
Nov 8, 2007
I know this answer

basically if you add your own art work and then try and use the apple store to locate artwork you will loose any artwork that you placed in manually so my advice is to update your album art yourself and not use itunes to do it.

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