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What Resources Do You Use To Add Quality Album Artwork To Your Digital Library?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by mwheelerk, May 14, 2019.

  1. AirJordanFan93

    AirJordanFan93 Forum Resident

    I don't use his site to get album artwork. I just randomly went onto the site one day and could browse the site. I use Album Art Downloader and the Discogs plug-in to get artwork from there.
     
    Get2Me likes this.
  2. mwheelerk

    mwheelerk Aging Gracefully...Nope! Thread Starter

    Location:
    Gilbert Arizona
    This happened to me in 2019 and I was banned for almost a year. I tried to communicate to the website manager without luck. I did connect with them via their Facebook page. I thought nothing was being done but a couple of months later I suddenly realized I could log in and I've been good since. I wish I had a definite "what to do" answer but all I can do is wish you luck.

    Any chance you use Tidal? If so send me a PM. There is a way to get artwork and generally very good artwork from there.
     
    Get2Me likes this.
  3. Get2Me

    Get2Me Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Jersey, USA
    Well, I'm officially banned for good from AAE.

    I thought I could access the database from my office work computer because it's in a different town than my home computer with a different ISP and IP address. I successfully created a new username and password using my work computer while simultaneously messaging AAE on FB trying to get more information on my initial username ban. Surprisingly, whomever I spoke to in the AAE camp via FB Messenger was forthcoming with info and showed me a screen shot of their back-end analytics on my username. It showed 100% fraud risk for my IP address. But, when I went home and ran my actual IP address through a web site that detects the likelihood of IP address fraud, the results came back as 1% fraud risk, meaning I should technically be in the clear because I'm low risk. I shared this info with AAE via e-mail AND FB Messenger but heard nothing back from them. Today, I tried to log in to AAE from my office work computer using the new username and password I created on Friday and the site won't even load on my computer. It says my work IP address is PERMANENTLY banned from accessing even their basic web site (let alone trying to log in). Reason being, and I quote: "Reason given for ban: Seriously?!"

    So, I guess this means AAE is on to my trying to workaround their unfair practice of mass blockages. Honestly, I'm shocked I was able to use their database for so long without incident. I guess it's back to scanning and cleaning up album art myself from here on out. At the very least, this should curb some of my buying habits because ripping CDs to my computer just got infinitely more labor intensive.

    All told, though, I'm not happy about this ban. AAE is an indispensable resource that I will miss dearly. However, it's flat out not fair that they're making blanket decisions about which username is and isn't banned, seemingly based on factual data, and it's hurting the honest patrons who helped make their database so great in the first place! I guess it's time to move on.
     
  4. PhilBiker

    PhilBiker sh.tv member number 666

    Location:
    Northern VA, USA
    I thought album art exchange went away. I haven't been able to log in or access that site in a long time, and I actually donated and had a log in.
     
    Get2Me likes this.
  5. Get2Me

    Get2Me Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Jersey, USA
    That's interesting to hear. I'm glad to know that donating funds to their site didn't make a lick of difference. I briefly considered doing so just to get in AAE's good graces. It looks like that ship has sailed, though.
     
    PhilBiker likes this.
  6. rockin_since_58

    rockin_since_58 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Simi Valley, CA
    I am able to access it anytime I need to and that usually several times a week.
     
    PhilBiker and Get2Me like this.
  7. Get2Me

    Get2Me Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Jersey, USA
    Enjoy it while it lasts. I had a good multi-year run with Album Art Exchange. It will be missed.
     
    PhilBiker and rockin_since_58 like this.
  8. mattdm11

    mattdm11 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Cleveland, OH
    I need to log in and delete my contributions from there. Those admin are some of the biggest douches on the web.
     
    PhilBiker, pscreed and Get2Me like this.
  9. Ham Sandwich

    Ham Sandwich Forum Resident

    Location:
    Sherwood, OR, USA
    If you delete from Album Art Exchange, please make sure to upload those images to MusicBrainz and the CoverArtArchive.
     
    PhilBiker, Blue Gecko and Get2Me like this.
  10. Get2Me

    Get2Me Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Jersey, USA
    I second this post! So far, MusicBrainz is what I’ve decided to use as a replacement for AAE. It’s like Discogs but with better quality artwork, although it’s still not quite as good as AAE. I’m still learning my way around the site and am contemplating actually creating an account. I’ll have to look into CoverArtArchive. Hopefully between the two sites I can meet most of my album art needs.
     
    PhilBiker likes this.
  11. mattdm11

    mattdm11 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Cleveland, OH
    yikes....boy does that site look confusing.
     
    PhilBiker likes this.
  12. Ham Sandwich

    Ham Sandwich Forum Resident

    Location:
    Sherwood, OR, USA
    Yes it does.
    I'm still trying to figure out how to properly contribute to MusicBrainz and the Cover Art Archive.
     
    PhilBiker, Get2Me and mattdm11 like this.
  13. mattdm11

    mattdm11 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Cleveland, OH
    I used to enjoy uploading files there....it was part of my process of ripping an album I bought or downloading an album. Edit the tags the way I liked, replaygain it, upload the artwork to AAE. I probably haven't upload 500-1000 new covers since I decided to stop posting there. It's a shame. It's a great site and I still use it. It does seem like there are a lot less uploaders than there used to be...anything new that came out would be up even before I could get to it....lately, I have to search for the image as no one has uploaded it yet.
     
    Get2Me likes this.
  14. RockAddict

    RockAddict Forum Resident

    Location:
    UK
    As at two minutes ago, I was able to access Album Art Exchange without any bother at all and, so far as I can see, it is functioning normally and there doesn't appear to be any indication that it is going to close. Wonder from where / whom this info originated from? Vested interest(s) elsewhere?

    For me, it's the original art that comes with the online album (not so good for older releases); then AAE; then online searching for images relating to the album. One that I've never been able to source a good image of is Enigma's "MCMXC a.D. - The Limited Edition" with the holographic artwork in the centre of the image. Other than that, usually successful (eventually).

    Over time, I've been updating / improving the artwork I hold for tagging to music and had the most wonderful "fun" locating the artwork for 4 different versions of Pink Floyd's "The Final Cut" (original CD release; 1994 remaster; 2004 remaster; 2011 remaster). A casual first glance would suggest there's little difference but a closer inspection shows all are different. The original CD cover has larger font and the rest all have subtle differences in font and/or the medal ribbon. Thought I'd share that... :)

    PS: It's possible I could be taking this just a bit too seriously. Only just though.
     
    PhilBiker likes this.
  15. Coypu

    Coypu Forum Resident

    'Album Art Downloader', it's not let me down so far and iv'e been using it for about 3/4 years.
     
    PhilBiker likes this.
  16. Dillydipper

    Dillydipper Sultan Of Snark

    Location:
    Central PA
    I'm considering starting over and just limiting myself to the images of all the avatars on this board. Gonna need clearer scans, though...

    But won't that look cool when they come up on my OPPO! :D
     
    PhilBiker likes this.
  17. quicksrt

    quicksrt Senior Member

    Location:
    City of Angels
    I really don't find it that time consuming to scan art. I have a 11.5" x 17" scanner, so I can do a full-size scan with 4 or 5 CD front and backs, do a few big sheets and work on them later over the course of a few weeks. But even with a smaller scanner it's not a lot of cleaning up imo. Just some careful trimming. If one scans at 600dpi it will always look pretty darn great even blown up on the big screen tv.

    I like to take my time and do a ton of scanning, and later on, even weeks or a month I'll do some trimming work. I never want it to feel like work I gotta do. But rather a fun activity I'll do when I feel like not thinking about other things. It's a fun escape and diversion from stress. The moment it feels like work, I take a break and get back to other projects.

    If it is a rare Japanese CD, or long OOP title, I really like having the correct back to show off too.
     
  18. Solitaire1

    Solitaire1 Carpenters Fan

    I use my scanner with a setting to just scan the area of the cover, then convert it to 600 pixels by 600 pixels for loading as album art. I prefer to scan it so I get the actual album art from my CDs.
     
  19. PTgraphics

    PTgraphics Senior Member

    How many pixels is your final art? My cleaning up and scanning a single 45 sleeve or cd front insert can take me anywhere from 15 minutes to well over an hour for just one cover. I save it out as 1000 or 1200 pixels. My old scans were only at 300 or 400 dpi because storage space was at a premium for me but newer scans are at 600 dpi. All were saved at the same 1000 pixels or so. Can’t see a difference with what I do to them on output.
    I do need a new better scanner. My little Epson is not the greatest.
     
  20. Ham Sandwich

    Ham Sandwich Forum Resident

    Location:
    Sherwood, OR, USA
    It is time consuming to do it well. The simple task of scanning, cropping, and resizing down to 600x600 can be done quickly. But if I want to do it well that process takes much longer and is much more tedious. The additional effort to make sure the scan is clean and scanned along with a color guide next to it so I can do proper color balance and white balance. Then try out different descreening settings to see which one works best for that particular cover image. Then crop and color balance and white balance. Then clean up artifacts and dust and scuffs and other marks. Just that cleanup process can get quite tedious if the cover isn't in perfect condition.

    It takes time to do well. Especially for the quality of images that Album Art Exchange expects.
     
  21. Electric Warrior

    Electric Warrior Forum Resident

    Location:
    Germany
    Been there, done that. My contributions were restored under a different user account.
     
  22. quicksrt

    quicksrt Senior Member

    Location:
    City of Angels
    Who's talking about AAE contributions? I'm talking about a good sharp scan to be used on the music server FLAC files (Digital Library). I can't be bothered with color corrections and white balance. And I need not be, as my scanner is really good. I just scan and save the big sheet. Then go back in and cut them up, and save in the size I want them to be. The only thing I will sometimes do if is there is a blemish in the print or flaw in the condition of the CD cover / back. I will go in and airbrush out a hole punch or a price tag, or sticker stain, etc. If your scanner is working well one should not have to bother too much with color, whites, etc. If I am doing only one or two) scans and I think it needs it I might go and bump up the contrast, but generally not. And I don't think I'm lazy or that my stuff is shoddy. I could post scans here and it would be shown they are nice.

    I'm up to 12 TBs of music now, and I have spent a lot of time on ripping, tag corrections, and scanning art. I gotta keep moving forward and on. I will spend some time on these cover scans, but not hours and hours. I do often clean the glass bed of the scanner before I start.

    Oh I am also doing LP scans of covers and labels for the needle drops. This is more time consuming than the CD artwork efforts.

    I guess you could say "my scans are better than your scans" if you wanted to. But I think you are above that.
     
  23. quicksrt

    quicksrt Senior Member

    Location:
    City of Angels
    Restored by you, or someone else restored them?
     
  24. quicksrt

    quicksrt Senior Member

    Location:
    City of Angels
    I scan at 600dpi and work on them in that size. I used to reduce to 300dpi just before converting to jpegs. Lately, I am leaving them in 600 all the way to the end.

    I tend to not get crazy with higher resolutions because the CD cover prints are not that high (to begin with), and they are small, 600 is plenty. With LP jackets being 12x12" it's a bit larger and deserves a bigger / better file.

    I would think used scanners are out there and are cheap. I like HP scanners. My smaller letter size scanner was found at the thrift store for $14 in it's original box. Works like a dream once I started using a different power adaptor than what it came with. I doubt the drivers would work with Win 10. It's a Win XP, 7, and 8 machine only. I'm cheap and don't spend serious money on this stuff.
     
    PTgraphics likes this.
  25. PTgraphics

    PTgraphics Senior Member

    I leave my psd or layered tiff at the original size. I flatten and crop to 1200 pixels or whatever and I save for web. I just have to make sure I don’t save the file after I flatten the image.
    My covers are at artofthesingle.com and they were scanned with anything from an old Umax 1200 to my current nothing special Epson. Never used HP.

    One thing I learned after much trial and error - when scanning large covers on a small scanner do not turn the cover. Just slide it the same way back and forth on the scanner. I was turning them at one point and not all the covers were lining up when stitched back together. Everyone might already know that but I did not and I should have since I’m a graphic designer.
     

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