July 30, 2007
Once your covers are free from iTunes, there are may possibilities for creating and displaying something that represents your music library. How about a poster? There are probably many programs that can do something similar, but I've got Photoshop and it's got Contact Sheet, which is just one solution.
In Photoshop go to File>Automate>Contact Sheet. Once Contact Sheet loads, point the source to the folder that Album Art Extractor created, then choose your document size, number of rows and colums, and whether you want any spacing between the covers. Click OK and watch it go. IMPORTANT: You'll want to use Album Art Extractor to create a folder without thumbnails before using Contact Sheet, or else the thumbs will be on your poster too. Also, leave "Flatten All Layers" unchecked in Contact Sheet and you'll be able to set a background color and tweak any covers that don't line up perfectly. Contact Sheet won't force the covers into a perfect square, so some tweaking may be necessary. As mentioned, there are probably other programs tailor-made for this kind of thing, but this is an easy technique for Photoshop users. Contact Sheet has been a part of Photoshop since way before there was a Creative Suite, so even old PS versions should have it.
The quality of the poster will be only as good as the original cover art images in your iTunes. You may find higher resolution covers of your favorites and more at albumart.org.
So free your cover art files from the grip of iTunes' format. Then mash 'em up, script something, print something. I'm off to make a desktop wallpaper and maybe a cover design for a mix cd.Posted by Eric Fritz | Permalink
July 17, 2007
Now that iTunes can automatically retrieve album cover art, it's easier than ever to get cover designs INTO iTunes, but what if you want to get them all OUT? Maybe to create a collage display for your personal website? Or make a poster? iTunes doesn't make it easy for you to retrieve all those covers. But it can be done.
On a Mac, the cover design files are by default in a folder named "Album Art" (home folder>Music>iTunes>Album Art). Inside there you'll find a ton of nested folders. Digging down through each eventually brings you to a file with a .itc file extension. However, those files won't open in graphic design programs like Photoshop. Hmmm... well, there's always the option of copying and pasting the covers one by one from iTunes into a photo editing program, then saving them... uh, maybe not.
July 11, 2007
High quality CD DVD cover art is a click away at albumart.org. Type in a title or artist, click search, then choose from the results. The site does its best to find large sized images. A quick search for the band "Weather Report" yielded 123 results, many of them 500x500 pixels. Domestic and international cover designs were included in the results. This is a good place to fill in the missing art from your digital music library, or enter an actor's name and see covers from their movies.
As iTunes continues to mature, resources like this may soon be on life support, but albumart.org often retrieves larger sized cover images that iTunes does.Posted by Eric Fritz | Permalink
July 06, 2007
For a while, the Smashing Pumpkins' cover art for Zeitgeist was to be "the 'holy trinity' of Linsday Lohan, Britney Spears and Paris Hilton. They later realized, as Billy Corgan said "they couldn't pull it off". Too bad... I think the cover they went with is a bit trendy and uninspired.
In a recent article at FMQB, Corgan discusses the album cover and the inspiration behind the song "Black Orchid".
Listen to the entire album Zeitgeist here.
Finally, for the uberfan, you can upload a video question for the Smashing Pumpkins at YouTube.Posted by Eric Fritz | Permalink