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How to add missing album art to iTunes

Ripping your own CDs to iTunes doesn't always land the right album art. Here's how you can easily add any image to serve as album art.

Screenshot by Lance Whitney/CNET

How many times have you ripped a CD in iTunes only to find no album art or the wrong art staring you in the face?

iTunes is adept at finding artwork for albums that you buy through the service. But it can falter at tracking down art for music not in its database. There are a few different ways to add the right artwork, but here's one option for manually adding any image you wish as cover art for an album.

  1. First, right-click on the album in iTunes and select Get Album Artwork from the popup menu.
  2. If that doesn't work, fire up your browser and open your favorite search engine. We'll use Google for this example, but Bing, Yahoo, or any other search engine should work as well.
  3. Position iTunes and your Web browser so they're both viewable on the screen. In iTunes, right-click on the album and select Get info from the popup menu. In the Info tab, you'll see a white square for Artwork. Position the iTunes Multiple Item Information window so it doesn't overlap your Web browser.
  4. Return to your browser. In the search field for Google, type the name of the album and artist. Click on the images category. Look for an image you want to use. Click on the image so that it opens in its own page. Drag the image from your browser and drop it onto the Artwork square in the iTunes information window.
  5. You should see the new image appear as a thumbnail in the artwork square. Click OK to apply that image to all of the tracks in the album.
  6. If dragging and dropping the image doesn't work, you can copy and paste instead. Right-click on the image in your Web browser and select Copy from the popup menu. Right-click in the Artwork square in the iTunes information window and select Paste from the popup menu. Again, click OK to apply the artwork.

Certain third-party utilities can also help organize and find artwork for your iTunes content. But if you simply need to find the right images for a few albums, searching for and grabbing them from the Web is one quick and handy option.