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Adding artwork to a radio stream in iTunes Apps
As some of you might already know, it is impossible to add artwork to files of the 'Internet audio stream' variety using standard means available in iTunes. I have discovered (at discussions.apple.com) a way of tricking iTunes to make this possible.

I have several Internet radio streams and none of them have artwork. I thought that a nice picture would look better in Cover Flow, instead of the default gray square with a note on it.

How to do this: add matching album and artist tags to some random track in the library and also to the stream. Then add an image (the one to be used for the stream) to both files while 'editing info for multiple files.' The image is then added to both files.

Then return the random track to its old tags. The stream's artwork will disappear. Do one last step -- rename the stream to its original name, deleting its artist and album tags (since it is a radio station stream, these tags were empty initially). The artwork should reappear, in List, Grid, and Cover Flow views.

[crarko adds: I haven't tested this one.]
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Adding artwork to a radio stream in iTunes | 9 comments | Create New Account
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Adding artwork to a radio stream in iTunes
Authored by: chucky23 on Jun 25, '10 09:15:16AM

The more straightforward method is to simply add a dummy local file (a one second mp3 will suffice) with with the same tags as the stream so they are both part of the same "album", with the dummy file as "track 1" of the album, and the stream as "track 2" of the album.

Now when you add cover art to the dummy local file, it gets applied to all tracks of that "album", of which your stream is a part.



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Adding artwork to a radio stream in iTunes
Authored by: Frederico on Jun 25, '10 11:37:37AM

This method in comments seems a lot more stable; still, the posted hint is a nice point of curiosity as to behaviors allowed & disallowed by Apple for no apparent lack of capability.

SJ must not listen to streams, or at least not look at his host machine while doing so, or this would have been handled in iTunes 4.



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Adding artwork to a radio stream in iTunes
Authored by: chucky23 on Jun 25, '10 01:06:59PM

"SJ must not listen to streams, or at least not look at his host machine while doing so, or this would have been handled in iTunes 4."

A cynical person would think that the crucial item here is that the Apple Store doesn't sell streams or mpg files, and that's the reason Apple never bothered to come up with a simple way for users to add artwork to those files in iTunes. It's the same logic for why the (somewhat) new Home Sharing feature of iTunes only works with Apple Store files.

-----

Motivations aside, Apple's lack of interest in folks using iTunes as a visual backdrop is really sort of appalling. Especially given their lack of interest in developing Front Row.

It's not just the inability to simply add artwork to streams. Just check out the way the iOS Apple Remote app works with iTunes compared to the way it works with AppleTV. Apple just has no interest in folks who want to use iTunes as a visual backdrop.

But then again, sometimes all of OS X really feels like a discontinued OS...



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Adding artwork to a radio stream in iTunes
Authored by: Frederico on Jun 25, '10 02:08:07PM

"[The] new Home Sharing feature of iTunes only works with Apple Store files."

Can you clarify this? Because 95% of my collection is self-ripped or sourced from other vendors, and it all works just dandy on Home Sharing.



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Adding artwork to a radio stream in iTunes
Authored by: chucky23 on Jun 25, '10 03:49:08PM

My guess is that you are confusing "Home Sharing", which only works with Apple Store files, and "Shared Libraries", which works with all files no matter where you got them.

"Home Sharing" syncs libraries on your LAN by actually copying files. "Shared Libraries" streams files across your LAN.



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Adding artwork to a radio stream in iTunes
Authored by: Frederico on Jun 25, '10 04:01:10PM

Actually, I'm not confusing them at all.

I recently used Home Sharing to consolidate/merge/sync several libraries hosted on multiple machines, as well as three libraries on the same machine. Home Sharing was *INVALUABLE* in helping to merge all these libraries while eliminating (most*) duplicates at the same time.

(*Identical songs that were tagged differently, even a simple typo, on one machine would still transfer to another; it didn't take long to use a cleaner to go through over 110k items and whack a few errant duplicates)

The only key was that each iTunes Home Sharing account had to (temporarily) be set to one legitimate iTunes Store account username. This was only a minor inconvenience.

Once the operations were complete, it is true that non-free Apple iTunes Store-bought AAC files could not be played once the Home Sharing login was reset to the owner, however, it was merely a matter of authorizing those computers (up to five) to still play those songs.

You may wish to re-explore Home Sharing; if you use the identical itunes login/password, all items (AKAIK), be they AAC, MP3, Protected AAC, etc., will all be accessible from any machine.

If you use a VPN, you can also Home Share across the web, which is what I do from one of my homes to another. You can then also sync those songs to each local library in case online access or transfer rates are iffy.

HTH



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Adding artwork to a radio stream in iTunes
Authored by: chucky23 on Jun 25, '10 05:41:02PM

"You may wish to re-explore Home Sharing; if you use the identical itunes login/password, all items (AKAIK), be they AAC, MP3, Protected AAC, etc., will all be accessible from any machine."

iTunes will sync non-Apple Store media across machines if they are all logged into the same Apple Store account?

I thought that wasn't true, and so never even tried. If so, good on Apple. And I learn something new every day.



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Adding artwork to a radio stream in iTunes
Authored by: leamanc on Jun 28, '10 01:50:09AM

Yes, it is true. The initial internet furor over the issue was because each machine had to be authorized to the same iTunes account, and had the same limitation of authorized machines as iTunes purchases (5 machines). But make no mistake, as long as the machines are on the same iTunes account, it will sync everything you like between machines, with some very nice options (by artist, by album, etc.).

All this moaning about Apple not doing this or that with iTunes or OS X in general is BS. They come up with cool new stuff all the time in both of them. The pace of development is much faster than in the old classic OS days, and much, much faster than Windows. Linux may introduce neat stuff at a faster clip, but they've got thousands of people working on that around the globe.



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Adding artwork to a radio stream in iTunes
Authored by: chucky23 on Jun 28, '10 07:23:28AM

"All this moaning about Apple not doing this or that with iTunes or OS X in general is BS. They come up with cool new stuff all the time in both of them. The pace of development is much faster than in the old classic OS days, and much, much faster than Windows."

It's been 3 years since we've had any (non-bug fix) development on OS X.

It's been 5 years since we've had any development in the general topic of this thread - folks using a Mac as a lean-back HTPC system, or even as an desktop iTunes playback system with a visual backdrop component.

And it's not just a matter of engineers. Apple could solve the "add artwork to streams and mpgs" conundrum if they put two engineers on it for a week.. And considering the amount of work Apple has put into Back Row, it wouldn't take Apple much work at all to simply port some of that into Front Row.

But, as stated, it feels a lot like pretty much all of OS X is has been a discontinued OS at this point for 3 years now. We'll (hopefully) get one more maintenance release in 2011 or 2012, and then what?

I avoided learning Windows even during the dark days of the mid-to-late 90's. But now I've finally put a Windows 7 boot camp partition on my machine to start getting up to speed on the OS I guess I'll need to be using if I want a full-fledged computer 4 years from now.

Apple seems to have made a decision that this is 1984, and OS X is the Apple II.



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