Tapes have given way to CDs and now CDs have given way (some if not all) to MP3 files. Then there are a huge lot of MP3 songs we download from the web or rip from music CDs. The first rule of organization says that we should neatly put them in the right folders and then tag them. There are tools for the job and some good ones at that.
Going back to the job of making our music collection look neat, we come to the “˜face’ of our songs and music albums – the album cover or specifically, album cover art.
Just like film posters, album covers deck up a song or the album it belongs to. Album cover art also fancies up the visual interface of our digital music players. For instance, cycling through the album art in your iPod. So just compare the two windows – one with album covers and one with just data tags. Get the picture (pun intended)?
Tools such as MP3Tag (recommended as one of the better ones in the free download category) ping online databases like Amazon, , or freedb to gather all the metadata for a music file. That includes the album cover art. But what if you get a blank for a particular album or the one you get is not the choicest? You have to go and get the right cover art for yourself.
So, enter the album cover art engines.
If you put in a search for album art cover or CD cover, it’s very likely you will get this website in the search results. AllCDCovers seems to be the first stop for all album art. The website is about covers but it also has a lot of other activities to offer. It is community driven and offers contests for uploaders. Uploaders who submit high quality album art covers stand to win quite a number of cool prizes.
A 3 step wizard searches out covers for you in music, movies and games. One timesaver for the downloader is that the covers are also rated by quality. The download page also gives out artist and album info. You can choose to download any part of the cover (front, back or CD).
AllCDCovers now also provides a browser toolbar, though that might be a bit of overkill for album art covers.
If the earlier web service was busy, this seems almost bare bones. Put in your search query and select between CD and DVD. Albumart throws up its results sourced from Amazon. There is no download button and a click on the thumbnail takes you to the Amazon page. The interface with Amazon is unfortunately not perfect because I threw up zero results while with Amazon, I got it all.
Has a motley and quirky selection of artwork. But a visit to this site tells you that the guy behind it is passionate about his creation. The author of course doesn’t have the copyright but he has improved upon the original artworks. There are more than 70,000 images with an average resolution of 600×600. Visit this site just to see the beauty in the variety of album art covers.
Album Cover Art is another cover art site with an uncomplicated look. You get a lineup of the most popular and new releases on the homepage. If the album cover you are searching for isn’t there, browse for it in the Genres or query it in the search box. You get the album art and also information about the tracks in the album is listed along with the Amazon link.
SlothRadio is basically an online rock radio station with a cover finder. SlothRadio gives you covers for not only CD and DVDs but also games and books. The landing page is just a search box where you put in your query like the name of the artist or the album. You can also use the Advanced Search Option if you want a cover of a specific size or want to sort it in a specific order. The collection is quite extensive and is again sourced from Amazon.
Sleevage is a bit off the beaten track but it does define the word “˜art’ in album art. It features an assorted bunch of artwork and not all the stuff is for the regular bands. The search engine is slick and gives you six ways to search for your album art. This site is an eyeful just for the quality of the featured album art.
Check out covers for music albums and movies using the search box. You can also go through the archive by alphabet. The covers are all high quality and in the mid-resolution range.
Usually the search for album covers begins and ends with a Google Image Search or we leave it to the tagging feature in our mp3 software. If you are picky and finicky about your album art covers, then these websites give you seven more options. Searching for the right cover art can be a painstaking chore especially if it’s a manual job. But if you love your music collection, then these resources should definitely make it a more pleasurable search.
What about your album art? Have you paid attention to it lately? Let us know your favored method of collecting and organizing your mp3 collection (with the covers in place).
Image Credit : Leo Reynolds
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