New iTunes deletes and replaces album artwork with low-res versions

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by zen, Sep 19, 2016.

  1. zen macrumors 68000

    zen

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2003
    #1
    Not such if this is a bug or a "feature".

    Now we have huge album art in iTunes, I noticed that lots of my albums are showing low-res jagged images, like this:

    Screen Shot 2016-09-19 at 15.32.14.png
    To fix it, I selected all the tracks, got info, deleted the artwork, and manually added a high-res image:

    Screen Shot 2016-09-19 at 15.33.21.png

    A few minutes later, I switched back into my iTunes window, and saw that the album art was once again the original, low-res, jagged image. I repeated the above, but the same thing happened.

    To test it, I went in and deleted the artwork. The album updated to show:
    Screen Shot 2016-09-19 at 15.34.56.png
    I left it... and a few minutes later, switched back in, and saw that iTunes had auto-updated the artwork to the same crappy old low-res version.

    So, clearly it is auto-updating from Apple Music (I'm not a subscriber, but I do have iTunes Match), overwriting whatever you put into the artwork Info tab yourself.

    I can't find any setting which controls this, so I assume it's yet another bug? Looking through my library, I have tonnes of albums with crappy low-res album art.

    Anyone else replicate this?
     
  2. mic j macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2012
    #2
    When you say it is downloading this low-res cover art, do you mean that just what appears displayed in iTunes? Have you checked your file metadata and seen whether it is overwriting that? Or is it just an iTunes display issue?

    I think I have read that Apple Music (or Match in your case), just displays whatever cover art apples has in its cloud but does not actually overwrite any metadata with the different artwork.

    The reason I am very interested in this is that I just rebuilt all of my music files with complete metadata and correct hi-res cover art but I have had iCloud Music Library turned off while I did this. I was just about to turn it back on, but think I will wait until I am sure that it will not overwrite the files metadata. Although I would prefer that iTunes display my personal art over it's art, my understanding is that if you use iCloud Music Library, you get what you get and that there is no control over what art it uses. Waiting with baited breath!!!
     
  3. zen thread starter macrumors 68000

    zen

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2003
    #3
    How do I check the file metadata? Can I do this in iTunes (and believe what it tells me!), or do I need a file inspector of some kind?
     
  4. mic j, Sep 20, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2016

    mic j macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2012
    #4
    If you do "Get Info" using Finder, it will display the cover art written to the file. As far as I am aware, this is totally independent of the iTunes database.

    FWIW: I should also note that for some of my files I have used the album art directly from Apple and it appears lower resolution than if I go to a website that searches Apple iTunes for art work. So it's like there are 2 different sources of art, one lower resolution than the other. So it sort of makes sense that Apple Music might use the lower resolution art to save bandwidth and storage space on an iPhone, and they might also use the same art in iTunes, thinking few would notice.

    Another thing you can do, do a "Get Info" on the track in iTunes. Drag the art to the desktop. Do a "Get Info" on that file and it should tell you the resolution, e.g. 600x600. Usually, anything above 300 looks pretty good. You can have fuzzy 600x600 if the starting image was crap to begin with, so you have to keep that in mind.
     
  5. zen thread starter macrumors 68000

    zen

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2003
    #5
    Okay, I checked, and using Get Info, the artwork still shows as the high-res version I manually added. It's just the album art when I look at everything in album view that is low-res, and it is this low-res art that gets updated after a few seconds from Apple Music if you change it.

    Which sucks. They gave us giant un-re-sizable album art, and yet are happy to have manual artwork replacements overwritten in the album display list. As you say, it looks like the low-res art is probably designed for display in iOS, on smaller screens, yet they apparently forgot about how it would look in iTunes.

    Good job yet again, Apple!
     
  6. Old Muley macrumors 6502a

    Old Muley

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2009
    Location:
    Titletown USA
    #6
    I had been very particular about getting not only the correct images, but also high-resolution ones for all my albums in iTunes. Album Art Exchange was a great resource for finding images, and when they didn't have what I was looking for I would often scan my own. Once Apple and iTunes decided they knew better I tried to keep up by changing images back, but in defeat I just gave up.
     
  7. zen thread starter macrumors 68000

    zen

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2003
    #7
    So annoying!
     
  8. mic j macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2012
    #8
    I'm afraid to turn Apple Music on and see what my library looks like. At least you confirmed it does not actually overwrite the artwork metadata. That's comforting.

    I did read somewhere a suggestion to have 2 iTunes libraries that you can switch when iTunes is launched. One has iCloud Music Library turned off, which keeps AM/Match from messing with your local stuff. The other was iCloud Music Library turned on, which allows your library to be available for your other devices and be able to add AM tracks to your library (of course, this doesn't apply to you as you are not a subscriber).
     
  9. campyguy macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2014
    Location:
    Portland / Seattle
    #9
    Gah, the maddening randomness of this. I didn't want to click on this thread with fear but relented. To my chagrin, some of my uploaded artwork is replaced by pixelated mush and some of my uploaded artwork is still there - rats! There's no "it's all there..." or "none of it's there...". Frickin' frack! :mad:

    Some artists are complete with hi-res artwork, some have a few that are and some that aren't - for the ones that are no longer present in hi-res I'll see it across my ATV/iPhone/iPad/Mac (all on Match). And, I just checked my main library on my Mini Server - all of that artwork that is low-res on MM is also now low-res in my main library.

    For the guy at Apple who screwed this up, I have a size-15 boot with a steel toe waiting for your butt to show up.
     
  10. gnasher729 macrumors P6

    gnasher729

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2005
    #10
    Here's what I found happens in my iTunes: I click on Albums, enter the name of an artist in "Search", it takes ages, and then the same albums shows up dozens of times.Doesn't happen in "Artists".
     
  11. mic j macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2012
    #11
    You scared, me. Not turning iCloud Library on until I have completed my rebuild and if it gets screwed up, I can reload it. Even though that's a PITA too!!!
     
  12. campyguy macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2014
    Location:
    Portland / Seattle
    #12
    I'm still grumpy about this, but less so than earlier.

    I have my Mini Server next to me and an iPad Pro, so I took some time to go through my Matched library and found a few dozen albums - all ripped that had been borked. The sole common trait that I could find is that the borked album art was for albums I ripped AND are sold in the iTS. Albums that I ripped that are not in the iTS were not touched - across several genres. None of the music purchase on the iTS or imported from purchases elsewhere (Amazon, Xbox [now Groove], and Google Play) appear not-borked.

    The album art that was borked had previously shown up in my main and MM libraries (iOS and Mac) until I deleted them in the past and uploaded new art. I even went so far as to (on my MMed Mac) sign out of the iTS, delete the iTunes library in the Music Folder, and sign back in to the iTS - it didn't work, sooooo...

    I uploaded new album art AGAIN, using my MMed Mac, and it propagated AGAIN on my iOS devices and my Mini Server's library. That the low-res crap showed up on my Mini is what really bugs me. I just launched my ATV and found that most of the new changes "stuck".

    I'm seriously thinking that Apple owns a company of or has an agreement with a nationwide network of therapists or pubs... :evil grin:
     
  13. mic j macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2012
    #13
    That update is sort of encouraging to me as almost all of my library are ripped from my cd's or purchased elsewhere. Few are ITS purchases. So I'm going to sit for a while and see how this develops...and of course make sure I have a backup of my music library (with the artwork I've decided on). Thanks for the update.
     
  14. RedOrchestra Suspended

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2012
    #14
    I don't want any album art on my iPad YET Apple insists on pushing the damned carp to me and I have no way of removing it. P!ss off Apple.
     
  15. mic j macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2012
    #15
    Just a thought, is it possible to make all locally stored music files read only, so that new data (album art), can't be written to the file? Of course, this would have no impact on the low res art displayed through iTunes using iCloud Music Library.
     
  16. Alrescha macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2008
    #16
    I have never had iTunes write to one of my files without my involvement (i.e.: editing some metadata). I think that it has been designed this way on purpose.

    A.
     
  17. posguy99 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2004
    #17
    iTunes doesn't write to the media file. Metadata is stored separately. Not that you CAN'T... there are more than a few applescripts out there that will take album art from the metadata and actually modify the MP3/AAC/M4A file.
     
  18. mic j macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2012
    #18
    That's what I thought until I read Campyguy's post. So I lost my confidence in that assumption. The OP thought at first that his files had it's artwork overwritten but then said that when he looked at the files using Finder and Get Info, the art had not actually changed.

    So is it safe to go into the water?
     
  19. campyguy macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2014
    Location:
    Portland / Seattle
    #19
    Maybe, maybe not...

    Last night as I was wrapping up my day I switched over to iTunes (I'd been listening to music in the background) and noted that pretty much all of the hi-res artwork I'd re-re-uploaded was gone again - but this time there was no low-res artwork in its place, just the blank place-holder but none of my other artwork had changed.

    So, I tried one more time - it was a slow night - and this time the hi-res artwork has stuck, even been downloaded to the main library on my Mini Server "talking" to my iTS Match account, which I checked about 20 minutes ago. It's being taken offline for a move I'm making, but it's working fine right now.

    There must be something amiss on their end IMHO - my iOS devices show hundreds of proxy images for each artist in the Artist view on my iOS devices, but my Mini and rMBP only show a few dozen, and on my iPad and iPhone there's no matched set of artists with a proxy image - some show up on one device but not another. Time to call the plumber and get those pipes unclogged...
     

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