Problem with Album Artwork

  • 16 October 2009
  • 31 replies
  • 5545 views

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Hello,
OK, I just got my system set up: a ZonBridge and a ZonePlayer 120. I already love it! Great sound, easy to use -- excellent!

One problem, though: I cannot get album artowork to display on my iPod Sonos App. I ran that script mentioned in the FAQ section, and the artwork is showing up in the Desktop Controller. But I am getting blank boxes in the app.

My collection was created in iTunes, but my music is all ripped from CDs in Apple Lossless format -- none of it is purchased from iTunes.

Can someone help?

Hey, maybe this would be a good time for me to start using a different music-management application besides iTunes! Any suggestions?

Thanks,
Matt

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31 replies

MatthewSchenker,

There is a 250K artwork file size limit for the iPhone/iTouch application. Also, there are some time limits. If your network is too slow, the artwork may arrive late, after the program has given up and displayed the default artwork.
Hello,
OK, I just got my system set up: a ZonBridge and a ZonePlayer 120. I already love it! Great sound, easy to use -- excellent!

One problem, though: I cannot get album artowork to display on my iPod Sonos App. I ran that script mentioned in the FAQ section, and the artwork is showing up in the Desktop Controller. But I am getting blank boxes in the app.

My collection was created in iTunes, but my music is all ripped from CDs in Apple Lossless format -- none of it is purchased from iTunes.

Can someone help?

Hey, maybe this would be a good time for me to start using a different music-management application besides iTunes! Any suggestions?

Thanks,
Matt


I use a combination of Media Monkey and Tag and Rename to manage my music collection, gave up on itunes along time ago.
Hey, maybe this would be a good time for me to start using a different music-management application besides iTunes! Any suggestions?
For artwork, Album Art Downloader has a mass of options including the ability to filter by pixel size. I set it to 600px max and all seems well.
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Good Morning,
OK, thanks Buzz...I'll check the file sizes to make sure none are over 250K. That seems to make sense, since some of the artwork was actually showing up on the iPod.

I guess I can't expect everything from a free app!

Regarding iTunes alternatives: since I use an iPod Touch for several things, I unfortunately need to remain tied to iTunes, as much as I dislike it.

ricardo99, on MediaMonkey: I tried it a while ago, and liked it, but it was no fun being surprised into finding out that I need to upgrade. But I'll take another look.

Funny thing, I looked at the "Tag and Rename" Web site, and by wacky coincidence, Nick Cave is shown in their screen shots. This morning, before I got on the computer I was thinking about Nick Cave. Weird...

ratty, I'm looking at "Album Art Downloader" this morning.

Thanks everyone! This community seems like a very friendly one. I'm sure I'll have other questions as we go along.

Matt
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Hello,
OK, one more question (I know I am asking a lot today).

I have 700+ albums in my iTunes collection. It seems that almost all of them have album art that is too large.

Is there a program out there, or a process, that will let me run my collection through a filter or something to convert all the artwork to a smaller size so the Sonos player will be able to pick it up?

I know this is a shot in the dark, but the thought of manually re-sizing 700 pieces of album artwork and then re-uploading them to iTunes is not my idea of fun!

Or maybe I just need to get a CR200!

Thanks,
Matthew
Is there a program out there, or a process, that will let me run my collection through a filter or something to convert all the artwork to a smaller size so the Sonos player will be able to pick it up?
I've not tried, but you should be able to do this with IrfanView. It has a mass of command line options, including settings for Resize and JPG quality. It wouldn't be hard to knock up a script to scan a tree for JPGs and run through them.
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ratty,
Thanks for the reply!

I should have explained that I have already converted all the album artwork files to a smaller version using Irfanview (I'm a big fan of Irfanview).

So I have the reduced files. The problem is, I now have to manually go into iTunes and one-by-one replace the original embedded album art with all the resized files.

With 700 albums, I'm hoping there is some process to do this faster.

Thanks,
Matthew
The problem is, I now have to manually go into iTunes and one-by-one replace the original embedded album art with all the resized files.
I'm not an iTunes aficionado so can't comment in detail, but I had the impression that iTunes held its artwork somewhere special and therefore a process was need to embed it as tags in the first place? If all you now need to do is update the tags with the contents of new folder.jpg files then something like Mp3tag ought to do the trick. Surely the artwork that iTunes keeps in its proprietary store doesn't need to be changed if only iTunes accesses it?
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Hello,
I'm probably missing something, as I'm no expert when it comes to album art.

But the way I understand it, the only way for me to get the new, reduced artwork files into my iTunes albums is to...
1. Go into iTunes and select all the songs from an album
2. Drag the new artwork into the "artwork" box.
3. Repeat for every album in iTunes.

I took a look at the Mp3tag site, and I can't figure out how that would do the trick for me. But like I said, it's likely I'm missing something!

Thanks,
Matthew
If you actually want to import art into iTunes proper, then you may well be correct. I'm no iTunes expert but others round here are.

I understood that what you needed was to update only the artwork which Sonos would access with the reduced-size versions. Sonos looks in the metadata and for a folder.jpg. Mp3tag has all kinds of configurable actions it can perform, one of which is importing art from file into metadata.
ratty,
Thanks for the reply!

I should have explained that I have already converted all the album artwork files to a smaller version using Irfanview (I'm a big fan of Irfanview).

So I have the reduced files. The problem is, I now have to manually go into iTunes and one-by-one replace the original embedded album art with all the resized files.

With 700 albums, I'm hoping there is some process to do this faster.

Thanks,
Matthew



You can do this on an album by album basis with Tag and Rename as long as the album art is in the folder with the music files and named 'folder.jpg'.

I've never tried it with more than one album, it maybe possible.
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Hello,
I thought that if I place a folder.jpg file in the album folder, I don't have to do anything else.

Doesn't the Sonos system automatically pick up the folder.jpg file?

Thanks,
Matthew
Doesn't the Sonos system automatically pick up the folder.jpg file?
I know it looks in the music file first, and I assume that if it finds artwork metadata there it will use it in preference to a folder.jpg file. If you want to have Sonos use the folder.jpg I think you'll have to remove the embedded artwork - simple to do with a tag editor.
Hello,
I thought that if I place a folder.jpg file in the album folder, I don't have to do anything else.

Doesn't the Sonos system automatically pick up the folder.jpg file?

Thanks,
Matthew


That is correct, Sonos will pick up the folder.jpg file in the album directory. Another method is to embed the art directly into the file, which means the art will be permanently attached to the file. There are scripts designed for this, which are discussed in these FAQs:

Automatically embed iTunes album art on a PC

Automatically embed iTunes album art on a Mac
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jgatie,
Yes, I ran that script. But then I learned about the folder.jpg method. So I restored my collection to the previous state (without the embed script), and inserted a couple of album artwork files, and called them folder.jpg.

But the Sonos system is still not picking up the artwork.

I'm confused...

Matt
jgatie,
Yes, I ran that script. But then I learned about the folder.jpg method. So I restored my collection to the previous state (without the embed script), and inserted a couple of album artwork files, and called them folder.jpg.

But the Sonos system is still not picking up the artwork.

I'm confused...

Matt


Your files may still contain embedded artwork. Also, Sonos caches the artwork and sometimes needs to have the cache cleared before it picks up the changes. Try searching for the album from the Music Menu. If the artwork is there, then the queue has an old cache. It will show up next time you load the queue. If it isn't there, then embed the folder.jpg file into the tracks and check again. If it turns up then, there was another file embedded that was taking precedence.
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Hello,
I'm sorry to be a pest, but really I am confused. I'm sure I'll figure this out eventually and look back at this with a laugh (and lots of appreciation for those who helped me).

I'm not changing anything in iTunes. I'm just adding the folder.jpg files to each album folder. So if there's embedded artwork in the iTunes collection, it will still be there. But I thought the Sonos system will use the folder.jpg file by default.

The reason I say this is because I thought I had to run a special script to have Sonos recognize the embedded artwork. If I don't run that script, my reasoning goes, then Sonos would not see the embedded artwork.

What are other people doing who use iTunes and have a large music collection they have to convert so Sonos recognizes their album artwork?

Again, I really appreciate people's patience as I try to figure this out!

Thanks,
Matthew
I'm almost positve that Sonos defaults to the embedded artwork. The problem with no artwork usually arises from the following:

iTunes purchased tracks do not contain embedded artwork.

iTunes itself uses a proprietary method of displaying artwork that is not compatible with Sonos.

If you purchase tracks from another vendor (eg. Amazon.com) they may or may not contain embedded artwork. As a note: Amazon does embed artwork and the size is compatible with all Sonos controllers (boy that was a shameless plug :o).

So in order to use the folder.jpg method, your files must not have any embedded artwork. I'm not familiar with any, but I'm sure there are scripts that will de-embed your files. Either that, or you can bite the bullet and embed them with properly scaled files. It's a tedious process, but it was the one that I used, and I did it manually through iTunes (stupid me didn't know about scripts). But at least I obly had to do it once. 😮
So in order to use the folder.jpg method, your files must not have any embedded artwork. I'm not familiar with any, but I'm sure there are scripts that will de-embed your files.
Mp3tag will do this for all selected files. Remove the PICTURE field name.
MatthewSchenker,

Just to make sure that you are clear on things.

SONOS first looks for artwork inside a music file. If none is present inside the file, SONOS looks in the folder where the music track is stored for a file named (literally) "folder.jpg" -- all of your artwork files will have the same name.

Assuming that the artwork files meet the requirements laid out in the FAQ, the iPhone/iTouch require that the artwork file size be limited to 250KB.
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Good Afternoon,
I appreciate the effort from everyone to help me understand this. But it seems that album artwork housed in iTunes and carted into Sonos systems is a bit sketchy at the moment!

I have had no luck at all using the folder.jpg method, even if I do nothing with the original music files (i.e., do not run the "embed" script mentioned in the FAQ).

The folder.jpg method seems to conflict with the existing embedded information.

The end result is, Sonos cannot use the iTunes embedded album artwork, and yet that embedded material stands in the way of displaying your artwork through another method. The worst of both worlds.

It looks like the only real method for getting all your album artwork into Sonos from iTunes is to go album-by-album inserting smaller album-art files within iTunes, then run the auto-embed script.

This is really frustrating, but I blame Apple, not Sonos. What really irks me is that my collection is from CDs that I own, not DRM stuff.

Anyway, I have a project now.

Matt
I'm not sure it this helps you but I understand that you only need to embed the album art into the first track for itunes to pick up the rest of the album. Another user has confirmed this as a way to save storage space, they then use the folder.jpg for sonos.

Sorry I cant direct you to the link,I'm posting this from my mobile phone.
Make sure that you aren't calling it folder.jpg.jpg by mistake.

The .jpg part is the extension. On windows youy can hide this (I think it might be the default). If you then name a jpeg file "folder.jpg" it will actually be called "folder.jpg.jpg" as the real extension is hidden.

Make sure you have the extensions shown in windows and that the name is correct.

Cheers,

Keith
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Hello,
I'm trying another experiment today that I hope will solve the mysterious iTunes album art problem.

I've listened to all the advice from everyone in three separate discussions, and it does seem like there is no clear answer.

But I will be trying out something offered by RHurley, which you can see here: http://forums.sonos.com/showpost.php?p=87831&postcount=17

I'll report back later!

If I can figure this out, I'll be happy, and maybe it will help other people in the same situation.

Thanks,
Matt
Hello,
I'm trying another experiment today that I hope will solve the mysterious iTunes album art problem.



I've just seen your forum topic.
Here's what I do with WinXp iTunes and Sonos :

Tracks are input into iTunes as Apple Lossless - this gives the tracks a .m4a format.
For all/any tracks in an album (each track can have a different piece of album art) I copy/paste a jpeg into the GetInfo-Artwork screen.
This doesn't work with .wav format.

This ends up embedding the jpeg into the music track. Sonos is fine with the end result.

If I've not helped then bear with me as I've not read the previous forum postings.