ITunes Art Importer is a plugin for Itunes that downloads album art from Amazon.com and saves it within the music files ID3 tag. It adds an additional layer of user control over the process of finding album art beyond that provided by ITunes.
While ITunes provides a fairly decent ability to mass-retrieve album artwork for a music library, it suffers from problems in that (a) ITunes will not retrieve album art for tracks that do not contain album info or are not tagged exactly the way it expects, and (b) ITunes requires the user to have an ITunes account and be logged in in order for the album art function to work (simple to set up but requires a valid credit card).
ITunes Art Importer can provide a very practical (and powerful) tool to get the album art for your music collection. It can be used to auto-import album art for an entire music collection (or part of one), but for those tracks for which auto importing will not succeed, ITunes Art Importer is versatile enough to be used effectively on a per-case basis to get album art imported for all of your tracks.
- Auto Importing: ITunes Art Importer can scan an entire library (or part of one) and automatically import the album art for tracks. When in doubt, it can be set to automatically use a ’best guess’, and can be instructed to either leave all tracks that already have images alone or re-process them. In my experience, auto-importing by best guess works brilliantly.
- User assisted album art downloading: for those tracks that auto importing doesn’t identify, you can manually override the automatic search by typing an alternative search string in the search box. This will typically generate a list of possible entries to visually browse through and work from, and is an extremely handy way to quickly take care of all those tracks in your library that don’t auto import their album art.
- The user interface (things I like): what’s worth mentioning here is that ITunes Art Importer is (a) very straightforward and easy to use, and (b) can quickly connect you to the Amazon web page of any of the musical selections simply by clicking on the displayed thumbnail, which is a very handy feature when, say, you want to go to the webpage to sure that your track is in that particular album.
- The user interface (things I didn’t like): the interface can be somewhat confusing when you are processing a lot of tracks simultaneously without auto-importing best guess, in that the user is asked to select the most appropriate artwork for a track, but once that happens the program strangely seems to save the artwork in all of the unidentified tracks indiscriminately. This has been my experience and I’m not sure if I might have been using the program incorrectly. (The solution for me was to simply set auto importing to best guess for processing the entire library, then go back to those it didn’t get on its own and fix them individually).
Wish list (or how this program can be even better):
- Requires ITunes: the option to run this app independently from Itunes would be nice.
- Album art sources: currently using Amazon.com, but it would be great if they included the option to retrieve info from the Amazons of other countries (France, UK, Germany, Japan, etc.)
- Bugs: the program is still not at version 1.0, and I’ve occasionally encountered errors. There’s one track in particular that would always crash the app whenever I tried to tag it.
- The .NET requirement: forced me to install Microsoft .NET framework 1.1 even when I already had 2.0 installed. It would be nice if 2.0 was sufficient.
The verdict: I’ve used a number of programs to download album art, including MP3Tag and Mediamonkey (and of course ITunes itself), and I find ITunes Art Importer to be one of the best solutions for quick and easy album art importing. The program is not perfect but I am certain that, going forward it will get better and the few bugs it has will be fixed. If you use ITunes I highly recommend this one.
Compatibility: WinAll. Requires Microsoft .NET Framework 1.1, and ITunes ver. 4.5 or higher.
Version tested: 0.9.2
Go to to the program page to get the latest version (approx. 317K).