Submit Hint Search The Forums LinksStatsPollsHeadlinesRSS
14,000 hints and counting!

A bit more info on iTunes 7 artwork files Apps
The album covers downloaded by iTunes 7 are stored as .itc files, which are used to speed up the viewing of album covers. This is the original caching system that CoverFlow, which was purchased by Apple to create this new feature, used. These files can be found in folders in the user's Music -> iTunes -> Album Artwork folder. In there you'll see two folders, Download and Local. I suspect the Local folder is to cache locally-embedded artwork, to save iTunes reading each file every time for the CoverFlow view.

The important thing to note is that artwork downloaded using iTunes 7 is only stored here and is not embedded into the Music file. If you want to have the artwork embedded, then you have to paste it into the Artwork box in the song's Info window. One way to do this (idea partly from Scott's blog) is to use the download option for an album and then view a single song's Info window. Next, go to the Artwork tab and select and copy the artwork. Now go back and select all the songs and view the Info window for all of them at once. Paste the artwork into the Artwork box, and you're done. Note: You do not need to clear downloaded artwork to do this.

A second hint is if you want to look at the .itc files created by iTunes, you can open them with GraphicConverter.
    •    
  • Currently 3.00 / 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  (3 votes cast)
 
[38,667 views]  

A bit more info on iTunes 7 artwork files | 17 comments | Create New Account
Click here to return to the 'A bit more info on iTunes 7 artwork files' hint
The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
A bit more info on iTunes 7 artwork files
Authored by: DougAdams on Sep 19, '06 07:53:33AM
Mark: FWIW, you can use a simple AppleScript to embed selected tracks downloaded artwork back into the audio file. I have posted the script on this page (scroll towards the bottom of the page), which was submitted by a Correspondent.

---
Doug's AppleScripts for iTunes
http://www.dougscripts.com/itunes/

[ Reply to This | # ]

A bit more info on iTunes 7 artwork files
Authored by: dmmorse on Sep 19, '06 08:22:02AM

Ummm ... when I download artwork from ITMS it automatically shows up in the get info window for the track. I don't have to do anything else for it to show up everywhere in iTunes and on my iPod. Now, I am not claiming that the downloaded track is embedded into the music file, only that I don't have to go through any extra steps to have it displayed all over the place in Itunes.



[ Reply to This | # ]
A bit more info on iTunes 7 artwork files
Authored by: DougAdams on Sep 19, '06 09:45:17AM

iTunes coordinates the artwork by using a track's Library Persistent ID and Persistent ID from the XML file. That's what the first and second numbers are in the ".itc" filename, eg: FF83764465D7B232-8ACA10CCDFF3572A.itc. This is also (probably) how artwork is handled over multiple libraries.

---
Doug's AppleScripts for iTunes
http://www.dougscripts.com/itunes/



[ Reply to This | # ]
A bit more info on iTunes 7 artwork files
Authored by: cybernezumi on Sep 19, '06 08:37:55AM
I've written a small application that extracts the images from the .itc files and saves them as jpgs, AlbumArtXtractor.

[ Reply to This | # ]
A bit more info on iTunes 7 artwork files
Authored by: DougAdams on Sep 19, '06 08:43:54AM
Thanks for that info. BTW: You can still get album artwork from a track via the "traditional" AppleScript method: grab data and extract the info, as the routine in the script Save Album Art to Album Folder does.

---
Doug's AppleScripts for iTunes
http://www.dougscripts.com/itunes/

[ Reply to This | # ]

A bit more info on iTunes 7 artwork files
Authored by: mikeskates7 on Sep 19, '06 09:14:10AM

Ok, so does this mean, that since the artwork isn't embedded in those files, that when I sync my iPod, it's just getting the files from the Album Artwork folder? If this is the case, wouldn't it be better for the artwork to NOT be embedded? Embeding the artwork means making a copy of it for every track, if I tunes can just save one copy of it in the album artwork folder, it seems like it would save a bunch of space in my iTunes if I unembedded my artwork. It would make every one of my old tracks file sizes smaller. Does that make sense? yes or no :)



[ Reply to This | # ]
A bit more info on iTunes 7 artwork files
Authored by: flunkedflank on Sep 20, '06 09:41:30PM

Yeah, I don't think most people would specifically want to embed images, but there are a few situations where you might want to, so that's probably the main point of the hint. The main situation is that of having the artwork be recognized by other players besides iTunes.

Some people use iTunes to manage mp3 files (iTunes probably has the best ID3v2 tags implementation of any mp3 program available), but don't play their music exclusively in it.



[ Reply to This | # ]
A bit more info on iTunes 7 artwork files
Authored by: comboprime on Sep 19, '06 09:39:21AM

Since I have a 2G iPod, I have the exact opposite problem: I want a way to manually save cover images as .itc files in the 'Album Artwork' folder. Not only does adding an image to an album or song embed it in the file(s), but even after I deleted the artwork, the file was still ~200K bigger than it had been!

If you have a brilliant solution, please share.....



[ Reply to This | # ]
A bit more info on iTunes 7 artwork files
Authored by: aaronrp on Sep 19, '06 08:13:45PM

I don't know where it shows up, but there's a checkbox when I click on my iPod on the source bar at the left that says "copy art to iPod", or something like that (I'm not at home). I haven't thoroughly experimented to see if this strips artwork out from art files but it's worth a shot.



[ Reply to This | # ]
A bit more info on iTunes 7 artwork files
Authored by: ebernet on Sep 19, '06 11:09:34AM

How do you view the artwork with Graphic Converter? I have tried and it has not been able to recognize my ITC files.



[ Reply to This | # ]
A bit more info on iTunes 7 artwork files
Authored by: mark hunte on Sep 19, '06 11:40:28AM

Using v5.9.1 - comes up with an option to try and decode jpeg datastream, select to decode.

---
mh



[ Reply to This | # ]
A bit more info on iTunes 7 artwork files
Authored by: ebernet on Sep 19, '06 12:08:46PM

Well, the only way Ic an get the file to show up is by doing RAW or ALL, and in neither case does it give me that option. What picture format do you choose that allows you to select the file in the open dialog, or do you right click and send it to GC?



[ Reply to This | # ]
A bit more info on iTunes 7 artwork files
Authored by: ebernet on Sep 19, '06 12:11:14PM

Aha! Yes - that is the trick....
You need to send it to GC, then you get the option to decode.
I am sure 5.9.2 will add a direct open, but I know what to do until then. Thank you.



[ Reply to This | # ]
A bit more info on iTunes 7 artwork files
Authored by: hzc on Sep 19, '06 12:51:38PM

What do you mean by "use the download option" for the album?



[ Reply to This | # ]
A bit more info on iTunes 7 artwork files
Authored by: mark hunte on Sep 19, '06 01:12:31PM
By Download option I mean 'get Album Artwork' which is found under the 'Advanced' menu in itunes.
This will try and systematically download from apple all missing Artwork.

---
mh

[ Reply to This | # ]

A bit more info on iTunes 7 artwork files
Authored by: grossman on Sep 20, '06 01:46:34PM

So if this is true, is it more efficient than the previous (embedded) way I thought iTunes used to encode album art into tracks? Before, even adding a 200K graphic to a 10-track CD bloated the CD far more than the circa 2MB you would hope, at least in my informal tests of it. My library has something like 25000 tracks, so adding artwork to all those tracks has the potential to be disastrous.



[ Reply to This | # ]
A bit more info on iTunes 7 artwork files
Authored by: flunkedflank on Sep 20, '06 09:58:48PM
You should be able to get a very nice looking 500x500 jpeg for way less than 200k. (And even smaller for 300x300.) What resolution are your saving artwork at? Is it possible that you have fallen victim to the size bloating as described in this hint?

http://www.macosxhints.com/article.php?story=20040727202248395

[ Reply to This | # ]