• iTunes 24 bit AIFF Album Art

    A few Computer Audiophile readers have frustratingly stumbled upon the iTunes 24 bit AIFF Album Art issue. Fortunately most of the readers don’t even know about the issue. All the details have yet to be fleshed out as there is no official written document from Apple mentioning the issue. Here is what I know at the time of this writing. Every version of iTunes subsequent to 7.62 will not support album art with new 24 bit AIFF files. iTunes version 7.62 fully supports album art with new 24 bit AIFF files. The issue is certainly not new but as more high resolution downloads become available the issue will become more prominent.
     


     


    Those of you who follow my frequent Twitter updates (hint: left side of this page) know that I've been researching the iTunes 24-bit AIFF album art issue. In fact I talked to Apple about it for an hour yesterday. The first 45 minutes were either spent on hold or explaining exactly what the problem was over and over again. After three trips to seek help the initial Apple representative passed me on to someone who at least understood the issue and reproduced it himself while I was on the phone. This Apple rep would neither confirm nor deny that Apple removed the functionality in iTunes versions newer than 7.62. The only official statement I could get out of him was this - Adding album art to new 24 bit AIFF files does not work in iTunes currently and it did work up until version 7.62. At least we Apple's confirmation that the "problem" exists. The only thing the Apple rep would do for me was notify an engineer that this feature is in demand by those of us who use 24 bit AIFF files. He also recommended that I complete the feedback form that goes directly to the Apple engineers (I seriously doubt that). So, I'll take this one step further and encourage all the Computer Audiophile readers to participate in this feedback opportunity. If you want this feature in iTunes please visit http://www.apple.com/feedback/itunesapp.html .

    work-arounds

    I am actively researching work-arounds to this annoying issue. If anyone wants to help out the fellow readers here please post a comment about what works and what does not work. I converted a 24/96 FLAC file fromHDTracks to 24/96 AIFF using Max and xACT . Neither file would accept album art once imported into iTunes. I do know if you already have a version of a specific album in your library with album art, the 24 bit AIFF files will pick up and display that art automatically.

    I hope we can convince Apple to bring this feature back to iTunes and in the meantime maybe we can develop a solid work-around.


     

    Another discussions of this issue: http://discussions.apple.com/thread....sageID=7795110
    Comments 39 Comments
    1. TimH's Avatar
      TimH -
      I concur with David on the duplicating via iTunes working for me. Select the songs, then under the Advanced menu, choose Create AIFF Version and it will make dupes which will accept artwork. You'll need to then delete the originals. I have only done this with 16/44 files converted via Max however, so I'll bet David's warning about it converting 24 to 16 is true. Chris, thanks for contacting Apple about this. I'll send in a complaint form as well. I've seen a few mainstream artists recently offering FLAC downloads and Max is the handiest tool to use for converting to AIFF, but this glitch is annoying.<br />
      <br />
      TheOtherTim<br />
      <br />
    1. dimsal's Avatar
      dimsal -
      Chris, have you tried to run <strong>coverArt</strong> script? <br />
      <br />
      It's a Python script which allows you to load album covers into iTunes, without attaching them to individual song files. Works with iTunes 8.0. Here's a link to a personal page of a guy who wrote the script: http://www.jacobweber.com/scripts/<br />
      <br />
      I use WAV files in my iTunes library and since iTunes doesn't support album art for WAV out of the box, coverArt script fixed my problem, supports all files 16 or 24 bit. and it works with AIFF as well, just did a quick test converted a 24 bit WAV file into 24 bit AIFF and added album art w/o any problems.<br />
      <br />
      I know it's more of a workaround but if you don't mind running a script once in a while to upload your album art it will fix your issues untill Apple fix iTunes... just a suggestion.<br />
      <br />
      <br />
    1. The Computer Audiophile's Avatar
      The Computer Audiophile -
      Hi Dimsal - thank you very much for the information and link. I checked out the script, but don't think it's a solution that I would use or many of the readers would use. <br />
      <br />
      I looks like you need to run a "proxy" or what really is a packet sniffer / interceptor in order for everything to work. It is much more than a script.<br />
      <br />
      Let me know if you think otherwise, I'd be very willing to use this one if it's something other than my research suggests.<br />
      <br />
      Thanks again for the post!
    1. dimsal's Avatar
      dimsal -
      Yes, basically it intercept iTunes' requests for cover art, and allow you to send your own images. They're sent back to iTunes in the same format that the iTMS sends them, so they work just as well. The script includes a basic browser-based interface for selecting images for each album. You can enter your own URLs, or search Amazon for covers.<br />
      <br />
      You'll need to have Python 2.4.3 installed, and not be afraid to edit your hosts file. If you want to search Amazon, you'll also need to sign up for a free Amazon Web Services account.<br />
      <br />
      I do realize it's a bit more work for a regular readers, that's why I suggested it to you personally, knowing you don't afraid to get your hands "dirty". In my own experience the only inconvenience is you have to edit your <strong>hosts</strong> file. And then when you're done you have to update it back to normal.<br />
      <br />
      At the end, I agree it's a temp workaround, not the perm solution for everyone. In my situation (I only use WAV files in iTunes) unfortunately this is the ONLY solution currently available. Perhaps it will help someone who was looking for something like this...
    1. Lars's Avatar
      Lars -
      iTunes applies cover art with 24 bit Apple Lossless. I believe I was having no problems with iTunes 7.7. When they went to 7.71, I lost the ability to apply cover art to 24 bit AIFF.
    1. The Computer Audiophile's Avatar
      The Computer Audiophile -
      Hi dimsal - I think the newest version doesn't require a hosts file edit. One step closer to being easy!<br />
      <br />
      Thanks for the detail on your followup post. I certainly did not mean to discredit your work-around. It was me who asked people for work-arounds :-)<br />
      <br />
      Thanks again!
    1. Wavelength's Avatar
      Wavelength -
      Chris,<br />
      <br />
      I talked to Apple and had them put it in Radar for someone too look at.<br />
      <br />
      Thanks<br />
      Gordon
    1. The Computer Audiophile's Avatar
      The Computer Audiophile -
      Very cool, thanks a lot Gordon!
    1. dodren's Avatar
      dodren -
      As a workaround for the 24-bit AIFF album artwork problem in iTunes, I purchased a copy of Media Rage ( http://www.chaoticsoftware.com/ ). Once I've converted FLAC or WAV to AIFF in Max, I then use Media Rage to add artwork and to modify other fields. Only then do I add the files to my iTunes library.
    1. The Computer Audiophile's Avatar
      The Computer Audiophile -
      Hi david - Thanks for the Media Rage link. The app looks pretty cool and a tone of features.
    1. watchnerd's Avatar
      watchnerd -
      I've reproduced the problem with AIFF, but for me, the solution is easy: the problem goes away once the file is converted to Apple Lossless.<br />
      <br />
      I just downloaded some albums from High Definition Tape Transfers and underwent a FLAC -> AIFF (via Max) conversion, then import to iTunes, then AIFF -> ALAC (via iTunes). The 24bit sample size and high sample rate were preserved during the entire process. And the files get a bit smaller.
    1. dodren's Avatar
      dodren -
      Thanks for the tip, watchnerd! When I tried this in iTunes 7.x when the problem first appeared, the conversion resulted in 16bit/44.1kHz ALAC. However, I just tried it now with iTunes 8, and it seemed to work just as you say, with the added benefit of also saving disk space.
    1. user34's Avatar
      user34 -
      I just did a get artwork for John Mellencamp's "Life Death Love and Fredom", and it works with 8.0.1.<br />
      <br />
      Peter
    1. The Computer Audiophile's Avatar
      The Computer Audiophile -
      Hi Peter - I just tested it and it's still not working.<br />
      <br />
      Is your AIFF 24 bit?<br />
      <br />
      Do you have another version of this album in your library that does have cover art?
    1. user34's Avatar
      user34 -
      Yes I do, Ok I see now, I'd forgotten that it worked if the album was already there. it is 24bit .aiff, imported from max.<br />
      <br />
      Peter
    1. The Computer Audiophile's Avatar
      The Computer Audiophile -
      Hey Peter - I just figured out I was doing all of my testing on the one remaining Mac I own that didn't have the 8.0.1 upgrade!!!<br />
      <br />
      So, I tested everything and it works!! Repeat, 24 bit AIFF files support album art once again!!!
    1. DavidJPettifor's Avatar
      DavidJPettifor -
      All good here as well! Great stuff. <br />
      <br />
      --<br />
      djp
    1. TimH's Avatar
      TimH -
      Good news, and just to verify, I went through the exercise of re-importing into iTunes an album of songs that I originally downloaded as FLAC (David Byrne and Brian Eno's recent album) and had converted to AIFF via Max, and which previously did not accept artwork. Re-did that with the new version of iTunes and it took the artwork when dragged into the Get Info screen. So, yay.<br />
      <br />
      TheOtherTim<br />
      <br />
    1. watchnerd's Avatar
      watchnerd -
      Wondeful that all the AIFF lovers had this fixed. I know it would bug the hell out of me if I was a big AIFF user.<br />
      <br />
      But can I ask an ignorant question: is there an advantage to AIFF compared to ALAC?<br />
      <br />
      Because from what I can tell, they're pretty much equivalent, except ALAC is smaller. Am I missing something?
    1. vortecjr's Avatar
      vortecjr -
      watchnerd, alac is lossless and compressed and aiff is just lossless. Some other things like alac is stored within an MP4 container and aiff is pcm. The source is wikipedia. <br />
      <br />
      Now, its generally understood that having the computer stream the raw pcm without additional uncompression at the same time just sounds better. Removing the DMR prior to playback better as well. Play the file from a hardrive vs cd/dvd optical drive and hard drive rules. But wait solid state drive is better than regular harddrive. Finally, usb with async is better than optical/spdif. PS My opinion...we need to thank Gordan Rankin for the ultimate usb-dacs and Benchmark for the runner up! Did I say finally, less we forget that no matter what computer or OS or software we use, that we need to set it correctly! PS we need to thank Benchmark for the setup options. I would give my opinion on the best setup, but I dont want to start a war...hehehe.<br />
      <br />
      vortecjr