This morning I read this article over at the Mac Dev Center about how iTunes 7 handles album artwork. The Author, Scot Hacker, discovered a new folder inside the iTunes folder, called ‘Album Artwork’.
There has been some confusion on what this folder is for, and I’ve been participating in the discussion. Here’s what we’ve discovered… In iTunes 7, if you manually paste artwork into the info box for a song / album, iTunes embeds the artwork into the song files, just like it always has. However, if you use the new ‘get artwork’ feature in iTunes 7, the artwork is NOT embedded into the song file. Instead, it’s stored in this new folder as an .itc file. We’ve also theorized that the new artwork folder acts as a cache for coverflow, but that’s another story.
Unfortunately, this new ‘feature’ makes your music a whole lot less portable. If you move music, that has iTunes downloaded artwork, to another machine, the artwork won’t come with it.
Fortunately, there is a workaround:
1. Allow iTunes to download the artwork.
2. Open the get info box for the song and copy the artwork.
3. Delete the artwork for the song.
4. Re-paste the artwork back into the song.
iTunes will now embed the artwork just like it has in the past. It’s a bit of a hassle, but at least we can still use the new download artwork feature.
I’m really hoping that Apple considers this a bug, and will fix it in 7.0.1. But, it’s entirely possible that they are just moving to this kind of structure, and at some point none of the artwork will be embedded.
UPDATE: A similar item showed up over at MacOSXHints.com. Look throught the comments for various scripts and apps that people have made to do this automatically.