PowerTunes > Help > Copying Album Artwork

Copying Album Artwork

To understand how album artwork is handled by PowerTunes, you need to know that there are two different ways album artwork can be stored by iTunes: embedded or downloaded.

Embedded artwork for a track is stored inside a music file itself. This increases the size of the music file (usually by about 50-100 KB), but ensures that the artwork is always stored with the music file, even if you copy it outside of iTunes.

Downloaded artwork is downloaded by iTunes from the iTunes Store and is stored in separate files. (the files are actually stored in the "Album Artwork" folder located in the same folder as your iTunes library file).

Downloaded artwork has the advantage that, since all the tracks on a particular album will have the same artwork, iTunes only needs to store a single copy of the album artwork for that album, instead of storing a separate copy inside each music file on that album, which helps to save some disk space. The downside to downloaded artwork is that only iTunes knows which artwork file goes with which track(s), so if you copy a music file somewhere outside of iTunes, the artwork will be lost.

When you copy tracks using PowerTunes, it handles the two types of artwork slightly differently. Since embedded artwork is already stored in the music files being copied, PowerTunes doesn't need to do anything additional to ensure that the artwork is transferred along with the music - it just happens automatically. For downloaded artwork, iTunes does allow other programs to retrieve the artwork data, but the only way iTunes allows artwork to be assigned to a track is by embedding it. So, when you use PowerTunes to copy a track that has downloaded artwork to another library, PowerTunes will import the file into the destination library, retrieve the downloaded artwork from the original library, and then embed the artwork into the file in the destination library. If you do not want PowerTunes to copy artwork at all, you can uncheck the "Copy album artwork" checkbox in the Music Copying section of PowerTunes' preferences.

You can also embed artwork in existing tracks in an iTunes library, without having to copy them to another library. Select one or more tracks in PowerTunes that you want to embed the artwork for, then select "Embed Album Artwork" from the Library menu. PowerTunes will go through all the tracks and, for each track that has downloaded artwork, will embed that artwork into the music file itself. Additionally, instead of selecting individual tracks, you can select a playlist to embed artwork for all the tracks in that playlist, or select a library to embed artwork for all the tracks in the entire library.

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