Urgh. I was up until 4am yesterday (today, actually) transferring some of my CDs into iTunes, for future use on my future iPod Nano. It was kind of fun work, but it kept me up way past when I needed to sleep. I’m about a third the way through and I’ve used about 2.2 GB so far (picking only the best albums, of course). I decided to encode in AAC rather than mp3.
The cover art feature of iTunes 7 is cool. The album covers appear to be sitting on a glassy black surface (there’s even a reflection of the album underneath), so that you can flip through your “albums” as if they were physical objects (though you cannot flip them over to read the back…that’ll come in iTunes X, I suppose). I hear that on the small screen of the iPod itself the cover art simply appears like a postage stamp, it is not animated like it is when viewing on your computer. But it may still be nice. iTunes 7 tries to automatically download the cover art from some central database, but the problem that only a fraction of album covers are there, and many of the images are wrong (for instance, the covers for the remastered editions of an album might bring down the covers of earlier editions, even if the artwork for the new editions is new and different). I am kind of particular about such things so I want to put in the correct cover art. But I don’t have a scanner, so searching for the right cover on the web can be complex…I even resorted to ebay to find the random seller who used a scanner rather than a camera to photograph an item. But most of the images found on the web are in bad resolution.
I usually have a few CD-singles in addition to the proper album, and when importing these to iTunes you have a choice between having the single appear as a seperate album, complete with artwork — if you can find it! — or you can append it to the end of the related album. I’ve been doing some of each. If it’s just one or two songs I’m tacking them on to the end of the album. But if it is like an EP with five songs I may keep it as a separate album.
You can also create entirely new albums and give them custom art. For example, in my case, when I was younger I had an EP by Thomas Dolby called the “She Blinded Me With Science EP”. It was a five song vinyl 12″ EP with remixes. That EP was never released on CD, but those five songs eventually came out on other CDs, on different albums — one song appeared on a best-of, some others appeared on another CD, etc. So I took those five songs and put them back together, and found a scan of the cover art of the old 12″ EP on ebay, touched it up in Photoshop, and whammo (not a usual expression of mine, pardon me), I now have an iTunes recreation of a childhood memory.
Well I’m just beginning to learn this and I don’t know why the hell I’m telling you — the proverbial “you” — about it since this is all newbie information of little use to anyone but newbies. I should probably start working. But oh my God I want to sleep. Actually, the way my head feels, I want to maybe take a warm shower. Or ideally, take a warm shower while sleeping. While adding the rest of my collection to my iTunes. I wonder if I’ll run out of room.