How to Get Album Artwork for an iPod or iTunes

Two Methods:Automated MethodManual Method

Congratulations! You've got your iPod. Now you eagerly import all of your CDs to your iPod, and you play them, but whoa, what? There's no artwork! Not to worry, there's a simple, free way to get them on your iPod and/or iTunes.

Method 1
Automated Method

  1. Image titled Get Album Artwork for an iPod or iTunes Step 1
    Open iTunes. Make sure you have added some music to the library.
  2. Image titled Get Album Artwork for an iPod or iTunes Step 2
    Click on "Advanced" at the top of the screen.
  3. Image titled Get Album Artwork for an iPod or iTunes Step 3
    Select "Get Album Artwork" from the pull down menu. An alert message should come up, explaining that songs with missing album artwork will be sent to iTunes. Agree to the prompt and your artwork will start downloading. (If there are no prompts, it means you have disabled that alert message, but the artwork is still being added.)
    • To view the download process, click on the (>) on the left side of the iTunes play box until you can see a message like this:
    • To cancel the download, click on the "x" on the right side of the play box.
  4. Image titled Get Album Artwork for an iPod or iTunes Step 4
    Wait for the final notification. In all likelihood it will tell you iTunes could not find some of the artwork. Be sure to check some of the excellent tips at the end of this article to correct possible album title issues before proceeding to the next step
    • To check which albums artwork could not be found for, click on the plus sign in the notification box. You can either let these be or add the artwork manually. See the next section of this article to learn how.

Method 2
Manual Method

  1. Image titled Get Album Artwork for an iPod or iTunes Step 5
    Decide which songs you would like to add artwork to. Try searching for the album in iTunes. Click once on a song to make sure the album has no artwork.
  2. Image titled Get Album Artwork for an iPod or iTunes Step 6
    Locate the artwork. An excellent source is Wikipedia.[1] Wikipedia has an article on almost every album, and they include a picture of said albums. Click on the artwork for a larger image and drag the image to your desktop or right click and copy the image. (If you cannot find your the artwork on Wikipedia try doing an image search with a search engine such as Google Images.) Always use the full sized image, even if google says it's the same size. If you do not use the full sized image, the image will be blurry.[2])
  3. Image titled Get Album Artwork for an iPod or iTunes Step 7
    Highlight the song(s) in the album that are missing artwork by clicking on them. To highlight multiple songs click on the first song, hold down the shift key, and click on the last song in the album. To highlight multiple songs that are not grouped together click on a song and click on the other songs while holding down the ⌘/apple key on a Mac or ctrl on a PC. To highlight all songs in that window press ⌘/apple A (Mac) or ctrl A.
  4. Image titled Get Album Artwork for an iPod or iTunes Step 8
    Go to File and Get Info (or press ⌘/apple I on a Mac, ctrl I on a PC). A window should pop up labeled Multiple Item Information. Drag or paste the image into the box labeled Artwork. Under Album make sure all the songs have the same album name by typing the correct album and checking the box.
  5. Image titled Get Album Artwork for an iPod or iTunes Step 9
    Click OK and wait for the computer to finish adding the artwork.
  6. Image titled Get Album Artwork for an iPod or iTunes Step 10
    Delete the songs from your iPod and re-add them if necessary. Note-you might not need to delete the songs from your iPod...under the music tab on your iPod screen, deselect the album artwork button, click Apply, then reselect the button and click Apply.
  7. Image titled Get Album Artwork for an iPod or iTunes Step 11
    Kick back and enjoy the ability to scroll through your albums and identify them by artwork.


  • If you have a Windows-based PC and have previously ripped the albums to Windows Media Player, the album art is probably already on your system, but the files are "hidden." To get them, first configure Windows Explorer to show hidden files, folders and drives. Then use the Start button to search for "albumart" (all one word). Next, click "show more results." Windows explorer will display all the album art files. Select an icon view to see thumbnails.
  • Occasionally you will have to use an image search to find an album. Your album pictures don't have to be square, but they generally line up the best that way. Keep in mind that the image can be pretty small since you'll be seeing this on a very small iPod screen. However, still make sure the image is not blurry or pixelated.
  • If you download songs from iTunes they will already have artwork.
  • Another great source for album art is Discogs. [3] Discogs is a website you can search for (and purchase) albums in almost every format from many, many decades. They have just about any album that you can think of. They also have some alternative album cover art images. When you find the album you want, just right-click the album image and copy the image as mentioned above.
  • Now that you have album artwork you can change your visual settings on iTunes in order to see them. If you cannot see your album artwork when playing songs click on View and Show Artwork or press ⌘/apple G on a Mac and Ctrl G on a PC. You also play around with how the albums are displayed.
  • If you have extra spaces and punctuation in album titles or no album specified, the artwork might not be found in the automated method. This is also true if there is a difference in upper/lowercase. If you copy the album title as listed in your iTunes into Google, you will often find iTunes' very similar, but subtly different version of the same album. Copy and paste this album title from the source into your iTunes library for the matching album cover.
  • For a single song simply play the song and drag the image desired as the artwork into the box that says Drag Album Artwork Here. If you do not see this box go to View and Show Artwork or press ⌘/apple G on a Mac and Ctrl G on a PC. This method can also be used for editing multiple songs at the same time:
    • Click on the title bar above the artwork viewer to toggle between Now Playing and Selected Item (i.e. click on the words that are displayed to switch to the other mode).
    • With Selected Item showing above the empty artwork viewer (i.e. where it says Drag Album Artwork Here), select songs that belong to the same album and then drag the image to the artwork viewer. The new album artwork will be added to all songs that are currently selected (i.e. not necessarily the song that is playing).
  • If a song already has album artwork but you want to change it, go ahead and add the artwork normally. It won't show up because the first image is still defaulted. To change this go to File>Get Info. Once the window pops up go over to the Artwork tab and select the artwork you have added. You can also add or delete artwork from this window.


  • Some sites claim you have to buy their album artwork finder to get your artwork. Obviously, don't fall for that, as you can add it for free using this article.
  • The automated method will not work for everything. Chances are iTunes will not be able to recognize all your songs, especially if they are missing information or are not in the iTunes database. In addition, iTunes is not always accurate. It may give a song artwork from a random soundtrack, even if the correct album is specified.
  • Windows Media Player will also download album artwork automatically. Just play your mp3 song in Windows Media Player. It will download the artwork and put it in the folder you played it from. But do note that this "Artwork for the Cover of the Album" that you will receive from playing the tune you want the artwork for in the Windows Player of Media will contain many fewer pixels (hence thus be of an inferior quality of display) that those examples that you may be able to harvest using the Google Image engine search or Encyclopedia Wiki.
  • If you add album artwork to songs on iTunes it will not be on your iPod and vice versa. Try putting artwork on iTunes songs, deleting the songs from your iPod, and then adding them to your iPod again.
  • Adding artwork may slow down your computer. Stop playing/downloading any songs and exit out of other applications if it is a problem.
  • If you are not connected to the internet iTunes will not be able to access the iTunes store, and will not be able to add any artwork.
  • Also please take note of the fact that the artwork image that you intend to internet search for and move into your Apple digital music player could quite possibly be covered by articles of law that are designed to protect the rights of artists and others to commission for their work and by harvesting images as suggested here may be in contravention of said articles of law. Care must be held.

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