How To Restore Your Cover Flow View

One of the most eye-catching features of iTunes, iPod, and the music player for Apple’s iPhone is Cover Flow. For those who are ever so slightly at a loss, click View on your iTunes task pane, then select “as Cover Flow.” Presto, you have the most magnificent display of album artwork that can you can ever ask for from any music player in the market or downloaded from the web. The only thing that can ruin an otherwise mesmerizing Cover Flow display is when you get one of those iTunes album artwork problem. You know what I’m referring to: one second you’re scrolling through Cover Flow and the next moment, you’re staring at a big black square with an ugly-looking big note in the middle of it.

There are a few obvious reasons for this problem. The most likely culprits are that the album art may be missing or iTunes cannot automatically download and add the album artwork.

We’ll, fear not. Below are easy, simple, and quick steps that will help you fix that iTunes album artwork problem. You’ll be back to jamming your head in no time while you enjoy the soothing effects of album art flowing across your computer screen. I tell you, not many simple joys can be as soothing.

1. Check that iTunes has been configured to automatically download from album artwork from the iTunes store. If you’re using a Mac, choose iTunes, then click Preferences; on Windows, choose Edit, then Preferences. Go to the “Store” tab. Select the “automatically download missing album artwork” checkbox. Give your computer some time to retrieve all that it can from the iTunes store. Then for good measure, close iTunes and open it again to allow the updates to take effect.

Take note that iTunes isn’t as all-knowing as you would want it to be. It will only download album artwork for songs that it can find in the iTunes Store. iTunes will check and compare each song in your library and will attempt to find a suitable match with a song on the iTunes Store. If the data matches, iTunes will download the album artwork add it to the song in your iTunes library solving your iTunes album artwork problem in an instant. Note likewise that when iTunes does not find a particular song’s artwork in the iTunes Store, and it does happen more often than you think, iTunes will not give you any form of alert message. You’ll continue to see those big-bad-ugly notes on your Cover Flow screen. Consider it message enough that iTunes simply cannot download the artwork for that song.

As a last note on this subject, remember that iTunes requires you to have an active account on the iTunes store and that you are logged into that account on the computer you are currently using before it can download album artwork. You might want to check your log-in status if nothing happens after changing your preferences.

2. For whatever reason, when you still have blank artwork either from too eclectic, too rare or too random song choices (Who can blame you, vintage rocks, right?), do not fret. All is not lost. There’s still a way out although it can be a little time-consuming.

Right click on the song in your library without the downloaded album artwork, and then select “Get Info.” Go to the Artwork tab where you will find a big empty square. All that you have to do now is to search the internet for a picture of your missing album artwork, copy it, and paste it back on this big empty square. It’s a little unconventional but it works every time. Plus, it allows you to select your preferred artwork especially for records that have been updated, re-recorded and re-compiled over the years. Doing this assures you that you’ll only see what you want to see in Cover Flow mode. The downside is that it will take a lot of time to do it this way so better stick to the automatic download feature whenever you can and just fill in the missing pieces.

So now you should be able to fix your iTunes album artwork problem. I’m sure it’s going to be worth all that effort. After all, Cover Flow gives you a handy art gallery on your computer screen. It can’t get any more artistic than that.