As of iTunes 11.0.2, or put differently, after nearly a year and a half since the launch of iTunes Match, the reverting of artwork still exists. I've been using the same technique as Starhawk, which seems to work, however another bug seems to have popped up, seemingly since iOS 6 (or perhaps in a release since).
If I turn on iTunes Match on my iPhone or iPad, all artwork will appear correctly. But once I download an iTunes purchased album, the artwork will revert to what was originally from the iTunes Store. For albums not purchased through iTunes, this problem doesn't exist. What's weird is that the correct artwork is in iCloud and it propegates to all my devices perfectly. Just as it did pre-iOS 6. And I don't have any of these problems on my Macs or Apple TV. All fine. But for some reason, with my iPhone/iPad, once I download the iTunes purchased album, the artwork flips back to the artwork I bought. Very strange.
I'd be curious to see if anyone else is having this problem and, if so, how long.
Dear fellow sufferers. If Apple has not yet fixed this bug means that they won't do!
Many friends have migrated to Google Play and they told me that works fine, really easy to use as it once was Apple.
Totally disappointed of iTunes Match service, the next year for sure I will no longer renew!
Such a shame!
Yes, I completely agree with Markino. If it hasn't been fixed by now, it's unlikely it will be fixed. I've moved over to Google Play already and it's easy to do. In addition, with Google Play you have almost all the function of iTunes Match and being able to play your music from Google's cloud, but yet it's $0.00 per year. Compare that to the $25 I am paying for iTunes Match and it was an easy decision. No renewal of Match this year for me, I'm sticking with Google Play. The one feature Play doesn't offer that Match has is the ability to upload your playlist, but as I had numerous playlists that never functioned correctly with Match, I'm really not losing functionality anyway. Google Play also functions across various device types as well so that makes it even better.
Nope, it won't.
So just to reassess my view on all this ****, over a year after I originally posted...
Basically, using iTunes is still an experience fraught with crashes of various kinds, and although the new interface is better, the seemingly simple task of choosing album art for an album is still a witless chore. If iTunes can find an exact string match of the artist/title of an album, the "get album artwork" option works. Otherwise it doesn't, and you have to go trawling the Internet for an image to drop into place. This alone is idiotic - why can't they offer a list of closest matches within iTunes, via the iTunes Store??
In my experience iTunes and iTunes Match will always keep the manually chosen artwork if you add it BEFORE its been added to your iTunes Match cloud. You just have to be quick. If you're too slow to sort out the artwork after adding new music, it may never accept your post-matching artwork mods. Until you delete and reimport the music.
Finally though, consider this - the music apps I use on my phone are never the apple one. I use Groove or Scrobbler, because they just smarter and more pleasant to use, and enable last.fm scrobbling.
What's more, they pretty much download artwork themselves from last.fm, ignoring what you have in iTunes Match. Thus making all the effort to get iTunes artwork working in the cloud, somewhat redundant.
Groove in particular is a pleasure. All my music ends up with the correct artwork.
Apple's default music player has lost out to competitors. Now if only the iTunes desktop app was also crushed by a smaller, nimbler opponent as well.
I can confirm that as of iOS 7 and iTunes 11.1, unsurprisingly, this issue still persists. Additionally, the bug introduced in iOS 6 where iTunes Store artwork appears after downloading iTunes purchased music on iOS devices also still exists.
I encourage everyone affected by this problem to send Apple feedback on this matter, as that's seemingly the only way they'll do something about this. Or better yet, for something more direct to Apple's engineering team, send a report through Apple's Bug Reporter, which only requires a free developer account. This bug has to be taken care of.
Others have posted solutions, and I thought I'd share what's worked for me, similar to solutions that have been posted in this thread. This method requires having iTunes Match on two separate computers. I might add that one of the maddening parts of this is that changes to metadata do seem to propogate through iTunes match, but not changes to the artwork.
The gist of this method is that you have to remove the album from iCloud, change the artwork, and then upload it back to iCloud to make the changes stick.
I have iTunes on three computers (shared through match): A main family Mac Pro at home, a Macbook Pro at home, and a work PC. I use the Mac Pro as the "main" computer for this purpose. Obviously, make sure Match is updated on the computers you are using. I generally do all this in Album View on iTunes.
1. On the "main" computer, delete the album you wish to change (I usually find the album in Album View, select all the songs on the album, and press delete). Check the box to delete the songs from iCloud as well, and send the files to the trash can.
2. On the other computer, select the album (which should have the little "x" symbol next to the songs indicating that they are no longer on the cloud - if they don't then you may not have deleted them in step 1 above). Select all the songs on the album, choose "Get Info", check the box next to the artwork on the metadata page (under the tab "Info"), click in the artwork box and press "Delete" on your keyboard (not sure if this last step is necessary), and then click "Okay." If you are in album view, the artwork for the album should disappear.
3. Go find your new album artwork. I use Google, and set it to look for 500x500 sized images, but obviously your preferences may vary. Once you find the artwork, simply right-click on it and "Copy" (or command-C). Make sure you're clicking on the actual image you won't, not a preview-sized image. There doesn't seem to be a need to save the image locally.
4. Go back to iTunes, and again select the songs on the album you're working on. Choose "Get Info" again, and click on the artwork box and Paste (command-V). Once it's done, you should see your artwork appear; click on another album and then back on the one you're working on if you need to double-check.
5. Finally, once again select all the songs on the album. Right-click on them and choose "Upload to iCloud." iTunes should then start updating Match.
6. Once it has finished updating, the album should be available in iCloud, and you can go to your main computer and redownload it.
One note for step 5, if you do multiple albums at one sitting, the update process doesn't seem to work right. When the iTunes Match update process ends, it will likely have only uploaded the first album you did. Once I finish a session, I'll stop the updating process (click the little "x" in the status box at the top right next to where it says "updating iTunes Match information" or somesuch). Then go to the "Store" menu, and choose "Update iTunes Match." Everything you've already flagged for uploading then should upload properly.
Hope this helps. It's a pain, but it actually goes pretty quickly, and I find it pretty easy to do on my Macbook while watching TV.
I really appreciate your long explanation but I'm wondering why I have to lose such a long time for a bul__it like this! I just cancelled my subscription and found another service to listen music.
I am a Apple supporter but iMatch is not a good idea at all. I just waste time and money using this horrible service.
Oh, I agree. It's ridiculous to require such a work-around to fix this, but as others have pointed out, if it hasn't been fixed yet, it's probably not going to be fixed.
However, this issue largely aside, I've been pretty happy with Match so far. I've had a couple of albums not survive the initial matching process intact, but that's out of > 1000 albums and > 13,000 songs, and those have been easily fixed. So far, though, it's worked pretty seamlessly among my various computers, iPhones and iPads. It's far from perfect (at times disappointingly so), but at $25/year, the benefits have generally greatly outweighed the bad parts.
This may not be what people want to hear, yet I finally solved my iTunes Match artwork issue - I stopped caring that my artwork looked like krap and now simply "live with it". I finally realized that Apple, as a company, doesn't care about certain things and, for those things they don't care about, they let them languish into oblivion.
I've spent years trying to get some of my Apple products to work correctly and, I realize now, it was an exercise in futility.
Ha! It seems they've finally added this in iOS 7.1!
After seeing a change in an album title (of a purchased item) being reflected on my iPhone I decided to try it once more. The new artwork was almost immediately visible when playing the song. And visible in the list view after I restarted the app.
I'm very, very happy with this! I can finally start replacing the crappy (badly scanned) artwork on some of my albums. It has been a while, but better late than never!
Thank you very much for this update. To confirm, has the updated artwork continued to stick across all your devices? With me, changing artwork has always immediately been reflected across my devices when initially done, but what would happen is that after 2-3 days or so, the artwork would eventually revert when iTunes Match updated, either manually or automatically.
Thank you. So it appears I would want to be more careful... it has been a while since I tested it and back then it wouldn't update the artwork at all. Therefore seeing it appear on my other devices was new to me. So far it hasn't reverted back though.
As a test I created a new user on my mac. I was glad to see that the new artwork was still visible when I turned on iTunes match. And on the phone it appeared to work fine as well - the artwork was still there after I turned it off and on again.
But it would be nice if others could confirm this also! In case artwork reverts back I'll post an update.