How much effort do you put into album art for your digital files?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Pizza, Dec 29, 2016.

  1. Grant

    Grant A Musical Free-Spirit

    Location:
    Arizona
    When I wrote "unsharp", I didn't mean the name of the Photoshop tool, I meant to literally reduce the sharpness.

    I use a Windows PC, and have Photoshop set to the CMYK proof. My images, as I see them in Photoshop, look accurate and fabulous on my Samsung smartphone and in my car's media center.

    I use 1000 x 1000 and 600 x 600 across the board. I realize that larger .jpg images embedded into the files may not be ideal for some, but this plan works for me.

    I have a lot of soul and jazz music albums from the 60s, 70s, and 80s that do not have the proper artwork available online, if at all. It's not easy for me because the CD versions often have the wrong, or screwed up artwork, and I do not have the ability to scan a full-size cover without having to deal with stitching, which doesn't always work out for me.
     
    albertop likes this.
  2. albertop

    albertop Forum Resident

    I think the problem with colour profiles is only for people with an iPhone but with iTunes for PC. However, I would use RGB for monitors and phones, CMYK for printing.
     
    Pizza likes this.
  3. Grant

    Grant A Musical Free-Spirit

    Location:
    Arizona
    I do not use iTunes or an iPhone, as I am not a fan of Apple products.
     
  4. Pizza

    Pizza Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    USA
    That's exactly what I thought you meant. Lol!
     
    albertop likes this.
  5. Pizza

    Pizza Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    USA
    Exactly right.
    RGB is for monitors. CMYK is for professional printing. RGB has a wider color gamut than CMYK. Then there's different types of both.
     
    albertop likes this.
  6. One problem with some images that people get from the label or find on the web, is that the images are in CMYK for printing. Then people strip out the CMYK color profile without doing a proper conversion of CMYK to sRGB. Which makes for an image with colors that are not correct. Photoshop is good about doing proper CMYK to sRGB conversions when exporting images. Most other image editing tools are not good at that or don't even bother. This is one reason that some cover images found online have colors that are off.
     
    Guy E and Pizza like this.
  7. albertop

    albertop Forum Resident

    Sorry I didn't get unsharp right!

    So how do you deal with the covers of your jazz albums? Redo them from scratch? Create a new one?
     
  8. Grant

    Grant A Musical Free-Spirit

    Location:
    Arizona
    Well, both jazz and soul music albums. If I find one, it's usually a bad scan. I fix it up the best as I can in Photoshop and use that.
     
  9. Grant

    Grant A Musical Free-Spirit

    Location:
    Arizona
    Mine are on-target. I must have another setting I missed or ignored that is correct. I use Photoshop for all of my covers. When I match the ones I tweak with the actual cover in my hands, I get a very, very close match, if not dead-on, and that carries over to all of the devices that display the covers.
     
  10. You're doing it correctly. If you weren't then the colors would be off when you view the images on other devices or in image editors and media players that don't recognize or correct for color profiles.

    The problems I find are due to people finding a high quality image that happens to be in CMYK. Resizing and recompressing the image to what they want for their cover art but not properly converting the color profile from CMYK to RGB. Then posting that edited image with off colors online for others to find and use.
     
  11. Dublintown

    Dublintown Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Dublin, Ireland
    Currently ripping the rest of my CD collection and have decided not to bother about album art. I know it's nice to have but...it's more important to have the music.

    (If I really want to see the cover of an album on display while I'm enjoying listening to it - I can call it up in a matter of seconds on my 55" smart TV or tablet - or else play it on TIDAL)
     
    Holy Joe likes this.
  12. Solitaire1

    Solitaire1 Forum Resident

    I want the album art since I dislike having a blank space where it would be on my player. However, at one point I got so frustrated with trying to get album art to display consistently on my player (*) that I considered going with the following rather than specific album covers:
    • Genre Icons (Country, Pop, Classical) - Media Go (the music management program I use) displays these when you list your music by genres.
    • Solo Artist/Band Logos
    *I eventually found out that I needed to embed the album art into each song's ID3 tag and have it at a size of around 300 pixels x 300 pixels to display consistently.
     
    Dublintown likes this.
  13. Pizza

    Pizza Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    USA
    But I want it all: music and art. :)
    I use iTunes and it'd make me nuts to stare at a screen of nothing. My wife doesn't bother with art but is starting to regret it. The big difference between my wife and I is she's a song person and I'm an album person. She uses the song view while I use the album view and that makes a difference.
    I do the same thing but it'll be like a placeholder. I'll make temp art for albums when I can't quickly find something. I'll grab a picture of the artist or use generic art for a comp and then come back to it later and make or find something more permanent at my leisure.
     
    Dublintown likes this.
  14. dkmonroe

    dkmonroe A completely self-taught idiot

    Location:
    Atlanta
    Same here. Only problem I have with Album Art Exchange is that people tend to shop out details that I want, such as the name of the label or catalog number. I often have to go to Google for that. I really try to get LP images for LP's and CD's for CD's. I often have to scan my own covers for classical and early music CD's.
     
    mmars982 likes this.
  15. Dublintown

    Dublintown Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Dublin, Ireland
    Again, while I can really understand why many of us would want the album art - I mainly listen via a Squeezebox Classic - which has no screen. I either use the Squeezebox remote or the app on a tablet - whichever is closer to hand. So I'd only get to see the album art when I'm lining up the music on the tablet. (My FLAC files are stored on a desktop in a home office and streamed into the living room via the SB.)

    One of the reasons I'm not bothering about album art time this time around (apart from the time-saving aspect) is that when I ripped a chunk of my collection about eight years ago - some of the album art got corrupted in the process (after a re-scan, I think) and I ended up with the same cover art on multiple albums. I'd rather have no album art on an album than the wrong one!

    Anyway, I'm currently about to rip about twenty Van Morrison albums. I honestly don't feel the need to have any of those covers - in fact, I don't even remember what some of them look like. If someday, I find a program that can add them all in retrospect in one fell swoop, I'll go for it...
     
    Pizza likes this.
  16. stagnation

    stagnation Forum Resident

    Location:
    Bridlington UK
    Definitely. CMYK is more print than screen / device use.
     
  17. InStepWithTheStars

    InStepWithTheStars Forum Resident

    Follow-up: the deluxe edition of This Year's Model didn't have such an image, so I made my own using the back cover of the album and, once again, the original album cover's style. In the place of the first collection's new covers are just outtakes from the album cover sessions that I couldn't find online (and I don't own this set yet), so I just opted to use the back cover (especially since it's a much better image). I considered using the image of the hand holding the camera with the blue background, but I didn't know how to work the cover style into that (maybe dark blue text?).

    I'm aware that the font is much too thick, but I couldn't find a thinner font for free. It seems that the font I'm after is Helvetica Light (or Helvetica Light Italic, there may be a difference, I don't know enough about fonts to say for sure), but every place I've been to wants me to pay $35 for it - yeah, not happening. I saved the actual project file so I can edit it when I get a better font. I could have sworn that there was an Arial Narrow font, but I can't find it. Oh well. It also sucks that the font color is practically identical to the background, and I couldn't find a color that looked thematically accurate and didn't blend into the wall. And making the spacing between the letters match on the top and the bottom... that wasn't happening either so I made it two lines. Once I get that font I'll probably just say screw the spacing and make it fit on one line letter by letter.

    As a side note, if anyone is interested, has that font, and wants to take a stab at it, I have the original image with no text and I can send it to you. I'd really appreciate that. However, I doubt anybody but me cares about an imaginary cover to a live album included as a bonus CD to the sixth reissue of an album that everyone - including the artist himself - is tired of seeing reissued!
     
    Ham Sandwich likes this.
  18. Keith V

    Keith V Forum Resident

    Location:
    Jersey City, NJ
    Since I use iTunes, I've gotten used to the fact that Johnny Cash looks like Tito Puentie and my Beatles, Fly on the Wall disc is actually by AC|DC :)
     
    Sevoflurane and andrewskyDE like this.
  19. Terrapin Station

    Terrapin Station Forum Resident

    Location:
    NYC Man
    I wouldn't say I put much effort into it, but I have at least jpg of the cover for everything that I manually attach (because the cover art doesn't show up on my iPods, on my Amazon streaming uploads, etc. if I don't manually attach it in iTunes). I just use discogs, rateyourmusic or if neither has a decent quality, more or less accurate color image, I simply go to Google Images and find something. Occasionally, with pretty obscure stuff, it's more of a pain in the butt to find a usable image of the cover, but most of the time it takes less than a minute to find something acceptable to me.

    Sometimes, for albums I really love and/or where I also like the art a lot, I'll save tons of images--for different issues with different artwork, too, from discogs, but most of the time I don't bother with that. It would be nice if discogs had some sort of utility to automatically download all artwork affiliated with a title, though.
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2017
  20. imag&nos

    imag&nos Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Mt Ag
    More than I would care to admit when not properly intoxicated.
     
    Keith V likes this.
  21. PretzelLogic

    PretzelLogic Forum Resident

    Location:
    London, England
    The artwork thing is a bugbear in its current format on every player; I make full albums out of b-sides for bands I really like, but like to keep the artwork for the singles they're from. Thus, there might be seven or eight varieties of artwork per album. Same with something like In Through The Out Door, or True Colours (Split Enz) that have multiple cover variations.

    This was great when you just kept that in iTunes then ported it over to your iPod photo, but now you're at the mercy of the seemingly random choice (largest artwork file, perhaps?) made by my phone, or Google Play, which choose one artwork per album, and totally spoils the effect.
     
  22. Grant

    Grant A Musical Free-Spirit

    Location:
    Arizona
    This happens with my Gracenote powered media system in my car. But, I have read in several places, including here, that you can stop it's random (often very inaccurate) graphics by installing an update and then stopping it halfway through.
     
  23. Comet01

    Comet01 Forum Resident

    I've never encountered a scanner that was big enough to scan an Lp.
    Which brand/model do you have?
     
  24. andrewskyDE

    andrewskyDE Forum Gangsta

    Artwork for my digital music archive is VERY important. Not only high quality album covers are in the folders. The folders themselves(!) represent the albums I collect.
    Here's an example of my *.flac area. Some of the sleeves are self made results. There's still more audio to come, hence the incomplete stuff on the bottom.^^

    [​IMG]
     
    albertop, adriatikfan and ibanez_ax like this.
  25. andrewskyDE

    andrewskyDE Forum Gangsta

    I use this site as well. Generally this is a great place getting high quality album sleeves. If I won't find a good quality cover there I search Google so deeply until I find an acceptable picture.
     
    InStepWithTheStars likes this.

Share This Page