Digitising Cover Art
Such is the speed of technology that the once proud LP cover, 12 inches square, gatefold and legible has undergone miniturisation via illegibly tiny CD covers replicating cherished original artwork, to its current status as a 200 pixel square icon pressed into service as a usability aid in iPlayers, Squeezebox Duet, SqueezeCenter server and just about every mobile phone currently doing double duty as a music player.
Ok that’s a curmudgeonly take on what actually is a pretty decent usability aid and in this post I’m going to recommend some software that will retrieve the album art from the internet and insert it into your music files so that the player can pick it up and display it.
I played around with a number of different applications that would tackle the difficult job of searching the internet for the cover art, retrieve it and insert it into the ripped cd files. since I have well over a thousand CD’s converted to flac, I wanted a program that would give me these options;
- Configurable search – I don’t want the software to download hundreds of random pictures, I want to configure the primary sources and have the option to widen the search if the primary source doesn’t deliver.
- Choose Image – I want to be able to scroll through the images and choose which one to use
- Automate the inserting of the image into the flac (or mp3) file and insert a copy into the folder for the library
Of the standalone products I tried, several were iTunes focused (Tune Up, Widget Foundry Amazon Art) which is no good for me and a couple were modifications on the software used to rip cds – dbPoweramp being the best of the bunch.
Because I don’t use dbPoweramp, (preferring the freeware EAC) I needed a dedicated piece of software that would do just this job and do it well. I ended up with a Windows only application snappily entitled MuvUnder Cover. This delivers on every point, is childishly simple to use and best of all, if not free, cheap. at $14.