beaTunes News

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Import Cover Art Plugin

beaTunes2 logoAs promised yesterday, here's the follow-up post to the yesterday's release of beaTunes 3.5.8. While attending this year's ISMIR conference in Porto, I became aware of the joint MusicBrainz/InternetArchive effort to provide users with an open and public way to look up and download music cover art: The Cover Art Archive at

This is exciting, because other cover art providers' terms (e.g. Amazon's) typically prohibit you from embedding downloaded images into your files. This is not the case with The only caveat: Of course all images are copyrighted by their respective copyright owners.

In order to take advantage of the new service, two things had to happen:

  1. Better support for managing cover art in the beaTunes API
  2. A plugin that could take advantage of the API and also talk to
The first part was realized yesterday with the release of beaTunes 3.5.8. Its AudioSong interface now offers additional methods for dealing with cover art. Part two is what this post is about:

The new Import Cover Art plugin.

(for the curious, the sources are available as maven3 project)

How to install the plugin

To install the plugin, start beaTunes 3.5.8 and open the Plugin pane of the application's Preferences. Click on the Available plugins tab, select Import cover art from, and click on the +-button.

After restarting beaTunes, select some songs, and click on Analyze. This will open the Analysis Options dialog. Scroll down and you will see a new task called Import cover art. You can configure the task to either add or replace cover art. If you choose replace, an attempt is made to replace front covers with new front covers and back covers with new back covers. Depending on the audio format, the type specific replacement may not always work (but it always works for mp3/id3v2 files). If you are using iTunes as your main music manager, you might not care about the distinction anyway, as it is not capable of telling what's what.

Once you hit Analyze, beaTunes will attempt to look up MusicBrainz Release Ids for the selected tracks and use those to retrieve the image files. Notice that I write attempt. If beaTunes can't find the release id, it can't use The other problem that you will most likely encounter, is, that the artwork may not be stored in the archive yet. Therefore, please contribute!


Contributing to is simple. The fine people over at MusicBrainz wrote a neat little guide. Just follow the guide!


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Blogger Neal said...

Anything like this coming for beaTunes 4?

October 4, 2014 at 4:09:00 PM EST  
Blogger beaTunes said...

beaTunes 4 features "Artwork" in the built-in "Import Metadata" task.

October 5, 2014 at 7:17:00 AM EST  

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