Album Art Downloader XUI: batch-download missing album art

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Album Art Downloader XUI is a free program that can download and save album art into your music folders. It is designed to scan your albums for missing album art and perform simultaneous multiple searches in batch.

It also offers shell integration for quick album art lookups on the folder level.

While many freeware audio players and mp3-tag editors incorporate the ability to download album art (e.g MediaMonkey, Mp3Tag, BBoxV2, JRiver Media Jukebox, just to name a few that were previously featured on Freewaregenius) – very frequently the downloading of album art has to be done on a per-case basis, making it a somewhat involved operation to go through a music library that can consist of hundreds of albums and be several gigabytes in size.

This is where a program like Album Art Downloader can prove invaluable, in that it is designed to scan your music library’s folder structure and identify all albums with missing artwork, then allow you to perform all the searches in sequence until all missing artwork issues are resolved. More info on this program:

  • Assumptions: this program assumes that your library is (a) structured by folder corresponding to each album, and (b) that the artwork is stored inside the folder with an appropriate name such as “folder.jpg” or “cover.jpg”. It will not consider album artwork saved within audio file tags (such as used by Itunes, for example).
  • Album Art Downloader Screenshot - file browserHow to scan your entire library: go to file then file browser and point the program to the root folder of your music library; the program will scan for folders for “folder.jpg” files in your folders and, if not found, will flag these as missing album art (see screenshot to the right).
  • Searching for artwork: if this is done following a library scan the program will open a number of search dialogs and perform a number of searches simultaneously. The so-called “queue manager” dialog will appear, will list the search queue, and will give you the opportunity to set the number of simultaneous searches that the program should perform.
  • Album Art Downloader shell integrationShell integration: if you install this (it is an option in the installer), you will be able to right click on a folder and perform a quick lookup. Very cool (see screenshot to the right)
  • Ad-hoc searching: you can perform an ad-hoc search without specifying the album folder, and the program will save the artwork in “My Pictures’Album Art’artist name”.
  • Deciding on the artwork: each performed search will result in a great many results in various sizes. It is up to the user to decide on an appropriate album art image (and size) and click on the little “save” icon next to it to save it.
  • Artwork sources: to find the artwork the program searches a very impressive number of supported online resources, making for the very best odds I’ve ever seen that you will find the artwork for the album you are looking for even if it is obscure. (The list includes Amazon, Discogs, Google Images, and about 10 others, including local files on the hard drive). These can be enabled or disabled at will simply by checking/unchecking a checkbox next to the name.
  • Organizing results: you can choose to view results grouped by size of the found images or by source.

Wish list:

  • Storing artwork within the audio files’ tags: this program will not solve your problem if you need to store the artwork inside the audio file tags themselves (say, in order to be available inside your portable audio player such as the Ipod). It would be great if the author would incorporate this functionality in a future version. Note: if you have an Ipod and/or use ITunes you can look into IArtwork and ITunes Art Importer for mass album artwork downloading with ITunes.

The verdict: not only this program look fantastic, but the design by which the author made it possible to both perform a great number of searches, on the one hand, and allow the user to decide on the artwork to use, on the other hand, is very well implemented indeed and works really well. Artwork searches performed through right clicking a folder are also a great design feature. Overall an excellent, well designed program that works extremely well.

Version Tested: 0.19.0.0

Compatibility: Windows XP, Vista. Requires Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5.

Go to the program page download the latest version (approx 930K).