iTunes is nothing more than a database. It doesn’t store your digital media files; it only contains pointers to them. And, like a database, it can be pretty boring, unless you spice it up with album artwork.
There are a number of ways you can add artwork to files; and not just music files. You can add album artwork to almost any files in your iTunes library. (One notable exception is audiobooks purchased from Audible.com.) Here’s how you can do this.
The easiest way to add album artwork to your files (this only works for music files), is to check the iTunes Store for album artwork. Select one or more tracks, right-click, and then choose Get Album Artwork. If the artwork is available in the iTunes Store, iTunes will download the artwork.
Note that this only works for music you’ve bought from the iTunes Store (which should have artwork already), or CDs you’ve ripped using iTunes.
If you can’t find artwork on the iTunes Store, or if you want to add artwork to files other than music files, there are three ways you can do this. First, find the artwork you want to add. The easiest way is to do a Google search for the artist and album, or movie, or TV show. Find a good-sized graphic, but not too large; large graphics take up a lot of space. This isn’t a big worry on a computer, but it is when you sync media files to an iOS device.
Select one or more files and press Command-I (Control-I on Windows).
- Drag a graphic to the artwork well at the top-left of the window.
- Click the Artwork tab, and drag a graphic to the bottom of the window; or paste a graphic that you’ve copied with that pane visible.
- Click the Artwork tab, and then click Add Artwork at the bottom of the window. Navigate to a graphic, select it, and then click Open.
There is one other way you can add album artwork to a single track. You can only do this while a track is playing. As such, you won’t want to do this for full albums, but, perhaps, as you’re listening to music and spot that songs don’t have artwork, you can use this technique.
After you’ve found the artwork, you can simply drag it onto the iTunes LCD; that’s the part of the iTunes window that shows what track is playing.
With these techniques, and a bit of digital legwork, you can make your iTunes library a lot more attractive.