iOS Remote App Not Displaying Album Artwork on Some Devices

If you use the iOS Remote app to control your iTunes library, you may have noticed that it doesn’t display album art on some devices. On my iPhone 5s, I doesn’t display album art, but rather shows this a blank cover, with the name of the album and artist. If, however, I tap Up Next, it does display album art thumbnails.


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The same thing happens on my iPad Air 2. However, on my iPod touch, the Remote app does display album art.

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This is clearly a bug, but it’s odd that it only affects certain devices. What about you; which devices does it work on, and which don’t display album art?

58 thoughts on “iOS Remote App Not Displaying Album Artwork on Some Devices

  1. Is this a cache issue or something similar? No full-size images on my iPhone 6 at 8.1.1 and has full-size images on my iPad 3 at 8.1.1. I rebuilt the art once in iTunes to see if that would fix it, no change.

  2. Is this a cache issue or something similar? No full-size images on my iPhone 6 at 8.1.1 and has full-size images on my iPad 3 at 8.1.1. I rebuilt the art once in iTunes to see if that would fix it, no change.

  3. Sorry wasn’t 100% clear in my previous post. When I say ‘I have it’ I mean I have the issue, i.e. no album art in the song view.

  4. Sorry wasn’t 100% clear in my previous post. When I say ‘I have it’ I mean I have the issue, i.e. no album art in the song view.

  5. Same thing and I find it only displays artwork for my first 15-20 albums then stops for a long period of time then does a few more, etc etc. on my iPad air. Not sure why apple is not addressing this.

  6. Same thing and I find it only displays artwork for my first 15-20 albums then stops for a long period of time then does a few more, etc etc. on my iPad air. Not sure why apple is not addressing this.

  7. I stumbled upon a workaround for this bug by accident! In iTunes on your computer, go to Edit->Preferences. Then LEAVE the “General Preferences” open in iTunes. Now your album art will load properly on your iOS device. Definitely a weird bug!

      • Is your iTunes running on a Mac or a PC? Mine is Windows 7 64-bit. This workaround may only work for Windows users. Can anyone else confirm? To be more specific, I used the “window spy” feature in Autohotkey to look at the Window Class. If the window class is “iTunes” like it normally is, then the album art won’t load properly. But when you open the iTunes Preferences, the Window Class changes to “General Preferences.” If the Window Class is anything other than iTunes, then the artwork loads properly and smoothly. I am running the latest version of iTunes for Windows 7 64-bit (12.1). This fixed the problem for the latest remote app running on an iPad with iOS 8, as well as an older iPhone and an older iPod Touch running an older version of Remote.

        • I use Macs.

          The artwork is loading, because I see it in Up Next in the Remote app. It’s just not displaying for the current track, and that’s the way it’s been since this bug surfaced.

  8. I stumbled upon a workaround for this bug by accident! In iTunes on your computer, go to Edit->Preferences. Then LEAVE the “General Preferences” open in iTunes. Now your album art will load properly on your iOS device. Definitely a weird bug!

      • Is your iTunes running on a Mac or a PC? Mine is Windows 7 64-bit. This workaround may only work for Windows users. Can anyone else confirm? To be more specific, I used the “window spy” feature in Autohotkey to look at the Window Class. If the window class is “iTunes” like it normally is, then the album art won’t load properly. But when you open the iTunes Preferences, the Window Class changes to “General Preferences.” If the Window Class is anything other than iTunes, then the artwork loads properly and smoothly. I am running the latest version of iTunes for Windows 7 64-bit (12.1). This fixed the problem for the latest remote app running on an iPad with iOS 8, as well as an older iPhone and an older iPod Touch running an older version of Remote.

        • I use Macs.

          The artwork is loading, because I see it in Up Next in the Remote app. It’s just not displaying for the current track, and that’s the way it’s been since this bug surfaced.

  9. The problem with the artwork display in the Remote app when connecting to iTunes on a Windows box is similar, but not exactly as you describe it with Macs. I am not sure if these are separate bugs (one bug affecting windows, another affecting Macs), or if it is the same bug manifesting itself differently on Windows vs. Mac operating systems. Other than my workaround (which I do think should work for most if not all Windows users), I think we’ll all just have to keep waiting for Apple to fix the bug. Seems like Remote app is something Apple no longer cares about, so the bug may never be “fixed.”

    Curious – does moving around in iTunes on the Mac have any affect on the artwork loading for current track in Remote? For example, if you click around in iTunes on the Mac and look at various songs, artists – anything to generate activity in iTunes – does that cause the artwork to eventually load? In Windows, all artwork is just plain sluggish, but starts responding when you move around in iTunes on the PC. Leaving the preferences open in Windows causes everything to behave normally in Remote.

      • Has anyone confirmed if problem is related to the library location? In my setup my library is stored on a mybook drive on my network. I was consider a test library on my PC (where iTunes runs) to see if problem resolved.
        Didn’t know if already confirmed the library location doesn’t matter.

        • No, I see this with libraries on my Macs. This is a widespread problem; in fact, I don’t know if the album art displays correctly for anyone.

        • I have tried it on my PC running Windows 7 64-bit both ways with regards to the library location. I initially noticed the issue with the library on a local PC “C:” drive. Then I tested it with a “test” library on an external USB drive. The problem persisted. Therefore, even though I cannot rule out library location with 100% certainty, in my experience, it is not related to that.

          I think we may have 2 separate bugs here – one on iTunes for Mac, one for Windows. As for the Windows bug, I can confirm that it almost certainly has something to do with the name of the application class in windows. The artwork objects seemingly “timeout” when the class is “iTunes”, but by opening the iTunes preferences and leaving them open, then that changes the windows class to “preferences”, and then the artwork in the remote app behaves normally. Kirk’s comments above seem to confirm that this is NOT the case with iTunes for Mac.

          • I wonder, though, if its bugs with iTunes, or with the Remote app. It does display album art on my iPod touch, so that suggests that iTunes may not be the problem.

  10. The problem with the artwork display in the Remote app when connecting to iTunes on a Windows box is similar, but not exactly as you describe it with Macs. I am not sure if these are separate bugs (one bug affecting windows, another affecting Macs), or if it is the same bug manifesting itself differently on Windows vs. Mac operating systems. Other than my workaround (which I do think should work for most if not all Windows users), I think we’ll all just have to keep waiting for Apple to fix the bug. Seems like Remote app is something Apple no longer cares about, so the bug may never be “fixed.”

    Curious – does moving around in iTunes on the Mac have any affect on the artwork loading for current track in Remote? For example, if you click around in iTunes on the Mac and look at various songs, artists – anything to generate activity in iTunes – does that cause the artwork to eventually load? In Windows, all artwork is just plain sluggish, but starts responding when you move around in iTunes on the PC. Leaving the preferences open in Windows causes everything to behave normally in Remote.

      • Has anyone confirmed if problem is related to the library location? In my setup my library is stored on a mybook drive on my network. I was consider a test library on my PC (where iTunes runs) to see if problem resolved.
        Didn’t know if already confirmed the library location doesn’t matter.

        • No, I see this with libraries on my Macs. This is a widespread problem; in fact, I don’t know if the album art displays correctly for anyone.

        • I have tried it on my PC running Windows 7 64-bit both ways with regards to the library location. I initially noticed the issue with the library on a local PC “C:” drive. Then I tested it with a “test” library on an external USB drive. The problem persisted. Therefore, even though I cannot rule out library location with 100% certainty, in my experience, it is not related to that.

          I think we may have 2 separate bugs here – one on iTunes for Mac, one for Windows. As for the Windows bug, I can confirm that it almost certainly has something to do with the name of the application class in windows. The artwork objects seemingly “timeout” when the class is “iTunes”, but by opening the iTunes preferences and leaving them open, then that changes the windows class to “preferences”, and then the artwork in the remote app behaves normally. Kirk’s comments above seem to confirm that this is NOT the case with iTunes for Mac.

          • I wonder, though, if its bugs with iTunes, or with the Remote app. It does display album art on my iPod touch, so that suggests that iTunes may not be the problem.

  11. I have tested this on five iOS devices: 1) iPad mini (1st gen), 2) iPad with Retina, 3) iPad mini 2, 4) iPhone 5S (purchased last year), 5) iPhone 5S (purchased this month).

    They are all at the same iOS level (8.1.3), running the same Remote version 4.2.1, connecting to the same iTunes 12.1.0.50 library running on my iMac (27″ late 2013) running Yosemite 10.10.2, fully patched.

    Artwork for “Now Playing” shows up on the iPad with Retina and the iPad mini. Hitting “Now Playing” on these devices shows the gray screen with track name/artist momentarily, and after a delay of up to 2 seconds, displays the artwork.

    Artwork doesn’t appear with any of the other devices. The only thing that the two devices where this is working have in common: they were both wiped completely from their previous owners and restored from a backup of the iPad mini 2 (where the artwork does *NOT* appear).

    I tried a factory wipe for the iPad mini 2, fresh install of Remote with no other apps. This did not fix the problem.

    I tried a factory wipe and restore from backup for the iPad mini 2. This did not fix the problem.

  12. I have tested this on five iOS devices: 1) iPad mini (1st gen), 2) iPad with Retina, 3) iPad mini 2, 4) iPhone 5S (purchased last year), 5) iPhone 5S (purchased this month).

    They are all at the same iOS level (8.1.3), running the same Remote version 4.2.1, connecting to the same iTunes 12.1.0.50 library running on my iMac (27″ late 2013) running Yosemite 10.10.2, fully patched.

    Artwork for “Now Playing” shows up on the iPad with Retina and the iPad mini. Hitting “Now Playing” on these devices shows the gray screen with track name/artist momentarily, and after a delay of up to 2 seconds, displays the artwork.

    Artwork doesn’t appear with any of the other devices. The only thing that the two devices where this is working have in common: they were both wiped completely from their previous owners and restored from a backup of the iPad mini 2 (where the artwork does *NOT* appear).

    I tried a factory wipe for the iPad mini 2, fresh install of Remote with no other apps. This did not fix the problem.

    I tried a factory wipe and restore from backup for the iPad mini 2. This did not fix the problem.

  13. I also have this problem since upgrading to iphone 6 yesterday, none of my other iphone/ipod/ipads have this problem and as you say they are not retina displays so that could be the stumbling block, it would be nice if apple were to inform us of whether they intend to resolve this issue

  14. I also have this problem since upgrading to iphone 6 yesterday, none of my other iphone/ipod/ipads have this problem and as you say they are not retina displays so that could be the stumbling block, it would be nice if apple were to inform us of whether they intend to resolve this issue

  15. Apple just released Remote 4.2.2. I’m not at home so I can’t test whether this update fixes the art display issue. Can anyone confirm or deny?

  16. Apple just released Remote 4.2.2. I’m not at home so I can’t test whether this update fixes the art display issue. Can anyone confirm or deny?

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