Music streaming services automatically display album art, but you’re on your own with local music collections. Besides being cool to look at, having proper CD covers help you easily identify tracks and make your collection feel complete.
Below, we round up some of the best sites to download high-quality CD album cover art. You can use them to perfect your MP3 collection or just collect your favorite CD cover designs.
Album Art Exchange is a site wholly devoted to high-quality images of album covers, making it a great resource for anyone interested in album art.
On its About page, the founder mentions that he started the site because so much of the CD cover art online was of terrible quality. These images are often plagued with JPEG compression, poor contrast, scratches, and even scans where someone didn’t bother to take the CD insert out of the case.
As a result, you’ll find excellent album cover images here for over 500,000 albums. Just search for a specific album (or an artist) to find what you’re looking for. Each one displays the image size, dimensions, and user rating, so you can pick the best one for your needs.
Click the Advanced button on the search page to change sorting options. You can also use the Change Layout option at the top to display more albums per page.
If you’re not logged in, you’ll see a watermark on your downloads. Register for a free account using the button at the top-right first to get unmarked images.
Discogs is one of the go-to resources for music data online. It’s a huge database that collects information about artists, albums, record companies, and much more. It’s no surprise, then, that Discogs collects album art images as well.
Get started by searching for your chosen album or artist using the box at the top. After you select an album, you’ll see the chosen image for it at the top-left of the page. Select More images to see other pictures related to that album, such as the CD’s back cover, inserts, special editions, and regional variants.
Overall, the images on Discogs aren’t as high-quality as Album Art Exchange. However, the site has images for singles, compilations, and rarities as well. If you’re interested in those as well as images aside from the main album art, there’s something here for you.
Discogs has a lot of information, but MusicBrainz might surpass it. It’s like an IMDb for music, as it allows you to see every place that a song has appeared, track music by tags and categories, find a band’s internet presence, and much more. We listed it in our roundup of the best websites for audiophiles.
This information can be overwhelming at first, but finding album art with MusicBrainz is pretty straightforward. Search for an artist or album name using the bar at the top-right and you’ll see plenty of results for it. Select the album you’re looking for, and it will likely bring up several versions from different regions of the world.
You can select a regional release if you like, but this typically isn’t necessary. Instead, you can access a high-quality version of the cover art on the right side of the root album page.
The above sites should take care of CD cover art needs most of the time. But in case you’re looking for something more accessible or can’t find what you want on them, you do have other options.
One of the best is right under your nose. Amazon sells tons of music, and typically features high-quality artwork on each album page. Simply search for the album that you’re looking for and you can access its art easily. You’ll need to right-click and choose Open image in new tab for a copy of the image that’s available to save.
However, there’s a little trick to making sure that you get the highest-quality image when doing this.
Make sure to select the Streaming or MP3 formats from the list, as they provide the highest-quality images. When you open the album art in a new tab, you’ll get a URL like this:
The SS500 part of the link means that it displays the album artwork at 500×500 pixels, which is good but not great. If you change the value after SS, you can adjust the image resolution, in pixels. For example, replace SS500 with SS1400 to get this link, which displays a 1400×1400 image:
We tested a few albums and found that around 1425 is the highest you can go before adding a white box around the image. This may differ per album, so give it a try to find the highest-quality version possible.
Still can’t find the CD cover art you’re looking for? Try turning to the world’s largest image search platform. Chances are that you can find the art for pretty much anything, since Google Images searches the whole web.
You’ll have to be a bit particular when looking on Google Images, as you’re likely to find poor-quality images. You may want to set the Size option under Tools to Large to avoid tiny versions of the files.
Google Images may find the photos from the above sites, so it’s up to you which search interface you prefer.
6. Desktop Music Tools
If you only want to grab a few album covers, the above methods work well. But they’re too slow for downloading dozens or hundreds of CD covers for your collection. When you need to add art to a lot of tracks, you should use a desktop tool dedicated to the task.
It’s Easy to Find Quality CD Album Covers
This list of resources makes it easy to find CD cover art for any song in your collection. Whether you’re looking to add proper art for a rare release or just want to find high-quality versions of your favorite album art, these sites will deliver what you need.
For more like this, take a look at how to design artwork for your Spotify playlists.