10 Replies Latest reply: Mar 11, 2008 10:46 AM by Keith Parobek
mbking Level 1 (20 points)
I'm scanning in some of my album art for iTunes and have found that it looks fine in all cases except when displayed in Front Row while playing a track. Imported art does not have this problem. I've scanned in the images at 600 dpi and saved as a standard JPEG. The image displayed while playing a track is very grainy. I'm not sure if I need a higher resolution or should save in a different format. The TIFF format has the same problem. Any help would be appreciated.

iMac 24" 2.8 MHz 2G RAM, Mac OS X (10.5.2)
  • Diane Wordsmith Level 5 (6,000 points)
    They are 600 dpi and what size?
  • mbking Level 1 (20 points)

    They are scanned in using the CD album cover, so they're full size. I'd sure like to get this looking right. I must be doing something wrong because the art work from iTunes is OK in all the displays. Maybe they start with a larger image.

  • jere7my Level 4 (1,810 points)
    Your screen resolution isn't 600dpi (it's probably around 100 dpi), so your scans are probably overkill, and likely to a) slow down iTunes and b) increase the size of your library. A CD insert is about 4.75" square, so your scanned images are presumably about 3150x3150 pixels. In other words, the cover art would have to be over 30" wide on your screen before you began noticing pixelation.

    Most artwork you download from iTunes is 600x600 pixels, which displays very nicely. Scanning at 150dpi will get you art that's a little bigger than that. If you then compress the 150dpi images using a medium-to-high JPEG quality setting, they should appear much like Apple's downloaded artwork.

    How big are your image files, in MB? Perhaps the display problems you're seeing come from iTunes trying and failing to display or downsample huge files.
  • Diane Wordsmith Level 5 (6,000 points)
    I think Jeremy is right. At 600 dpi, the files are probably huge and are definitely much higher res than you need to view on a computer monitor. I work in the publishing industry, and we only use 266 dpi for magazine quality production. So, as Jeremy said, 600 is really overkill.
  • cypherism Level 1 (80 points)
    300dpi jpeg scans will be full screen, mine are
    I scan alot as artwork on itunes and internet is rubbish
    If they look fine everywhere but Front Row, its F Rows problem not the scans
  • mbking Level 1 (20 points)
    I found a solution. There may be other ways to do it, but this creates album art in a small file size that looks good in iTunes, Front Row, and Apple TV on a large HDTV.

    I scan the CD album art using a Canon all-in-one printer set at 600dpi. I save this file as a standard quality JPEG and believe me, it's large. I then open the saved JPEG using Preview and select Adjust Size (can't remember which menu item that's under). I change it to 600 pixels/inch allowing the other dimension to change proportionately. I then do a save as to another file and adjust the quality of the saved file to about 50-60K. The resulting image looks good in all the applications and is a small footprint.

    Thanks to everyone for your suggestions. I tried them all and this method gave me the results I was looking for. I hope this helps someone else.

  • Chris CA Level 9 (78,695 points)
    I change it to 600 pixels/inch

    It should be 600x600 total, not 600 per inch.
  • mbking Level 1 (20 points)
    Chris, you're right. I was writing this in a hurry and didn't think about what I was saying. I've continued using this method on several album covers and the results continue to be good.
  • Matko D Level 1 (95 points)

    generally, the 'standard' for album art in iTunes is 600 x 600 pixels. The reason your scanned artwork doesn't look as good as downloaded artwork (in front row), is that iTunes downsamples all manually added artwork to 400x400 pixel images for use in coverflow, no matter what the original size of the picture was. Downloaded artwork, however is left 'intact' at 600x600 pixel. Don't ask me why though...

  • Keith Parobek Level 4 (3,065 points)
    Instead of scanning album covers, I use the Amazon Album Art Widget to find my album art and auto load it into iTunes. Just select the track(s) in iTunes before starting the widget. If it finds multiple albums, you can select the one you want to display.

    I find the built-in iTunes command for finding album art doesn't always find the correct art (or none at all) because the album data in iTunes may not always be correct. This widget also allows you to search by keywords that you type in. The widget can be found here: