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  #1  
Old 04-14-2010, 12:13 PM
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Default Sick and tired of low quality album art? Look no further: albumartexchange.com

If you're like me, you're very much OCD about everything concerning your digital audio collection. Unfortunately, it's very hard getting decent album art from almost anywhere. Google Images, Amazon, etc - they're all not particularly good. The scans you find on dedicated cover art sites are often awfully scanned with inferior hardware, no knowledge about editing, and are often overly compressed and artifact-ridden.

So... a month or two ago, I found albumartexchange.com, and I started to contribute to the good cause. You can see my album art edits here: http://www.albumartexchange.com/cove...&q=dfkt&page=1

For me it's a challenge and quite some fun, going from a source like this to a result like this. It would be great if more people with good image editing skills contributed, the world would be a less shabby place.

By the way, Albumartexchange is also searchable via tools like Album Art Downloader, which I can really recommend. EDIT: Albumartexchange was removed from Album Art Downloader - it generated too much bandwidth cost for the site. It's a shame, but directly searching the site isn't that much trouble.

I think I should simply quote the FAQ from Albumartexchange:

Quote:
This web site started with my personal collection of album artwork. The great majority of what I firsted posted here was been scanned from CD inserts from my own CD collection, with an occasional LP sleeve scan thrown in. Some of those images started with online sources like Amazon.com and the iTunes Store, which I subsequently edited to improve image quality.

I'm fussy about album artwork. It's easy to find a lot of the same artwork found here elsewhere online, but often the quality is terrible: Small low-resolution images, heavily compressed with lots of visible JPEG artifacts. Bad colors and poor contrast. Excessive cropping. Heavy-handed artificial sharpness. Dust specs, scratches, creases, and scuffs. Crooked, misaligned scans. Scans where it looks someone didn't even take the trouble to pull a CD insert out of its jewel case, or didn't even bother to remove shrink wrap from a CD, before slapping the artwork onto a scanner.

This collection, which has now grown well beyond my initial personal collection, aims to do better. Much better.

The artwork found here, once only a small and quirky collection based on my personal tastes in music, is now far more varied, but still, the collection is hardly comprehensive. Hopefully as time goes on, and more people join the web site and post their own images, the variety of what can be found here will improve.

This artwork is provided for others who, like me, enjoy not only listening to music, but seeing the artwork which goes along with that music at the same time. I'm providing these images to help legitimate owners of the associated music, not to help music pirates. If you like the music you're listening to, you should pay for it before worrying about dressing it up with pretty pictures.
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  #2  
Old 04-14-2010, 12:31 PM
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That's pretty cool, I thought this was just a place for high res aart, which is somewhat overkill. But having properly scanned and well contrasted art could be nice. In many cases, though the artist/their website/fansites will provide decent art, either high res, well-mastered, or both. like for dave matthews, there's dmbreleases.com.
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Old 04-15-2010, 05:02 AM
Dan Gravell Dan Gravell is offline
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Nice work! What software do you use for image editing?

It's a great site.
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  #4  
Old 04-15-2010, 06:35 AM
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I'm using Photoshop CS4. I've been using Photoshop since before it supported layers (version 3, I think), and it sure has come a long way.
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  #5  
Old 04-15-2010, 09:50 AM
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I've filled out a lot of missing/crappy album art with the site, very handy.
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Old 05-25-2010, 05:41 PM
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Thanks, this site is great, between Album Art Downloader and this website I can usually find a good quality image for my albums.
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Old 06-08-2010, 04:37 PM
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I too , like to have everything organized and tagged
so this is great !
Danke Sehr
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  #8  
Old 08-28-2010, 12:02 AM
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When I resize album art for tagging my flac files with MP3tag, what size should I make the images?

thx
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  #9  
Old 10-24-2010, 09:14 AM
Thib Thib is offline
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Hello !

I'm disappointed by the quality of the covers on internet and I do modifiy them too . Besides that, I never take below 500*500.
When I buy a CD I always make the covers myself (my scanner is old :P) : http://i5.fastpic.ru/big/2010/1024/8...55bc8b328d.jpg , http://i5.fastpic.ru/big/2010/1024/9...b06b3ae497.jpg

Apart from that Junodownload (my favorite online electronic music store) proposes Flac (with Tags now !) and 700*700 covers which are often pretty good (this one is really nice ) : http://cdn.images.juno.co.uk/full/CS1225882-02B-BIG.jpg
And there is this french site Qobuz.com which sells giant covers : http://i5.fastpic.ru/big/2010/1024/c...f30cbca9cc.jpg

I try to have the covers below 1Mo, I calculated that the covers make less than 700Mo for 35Go of music which is reasonnable to me.
I don't think your website will be of any use for me unfortunatly because I've already found good covers and when not it's often because it's too rare ...
It's becoming pretty big (+100k covers) it's sad AlbumArtDownloader doesn't accept it... Perhaps I could upload some Trancemasters covers :P.
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  #10  
Old 10-24-2010, 10:57 AM
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500x500 is plenty and most of mine are of that size and 100kb in size there's really no reason for them to be 1mb really that's just wasted space.
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  #11  
Old 10-24-2010, 12:22 PM
Thib Thib is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adub View Post
500x500 is plenty and most of mine are of that size and 100kb in size there's really no reason for them to be 1mb really that's just wasted space.
I know, I just figured that when I'll have a big screen I'll be happy to have those . 500*500 is the very limit on my 22" screen. Here is how it is displayed : http://i5.fastpic.ru/big/2010/1024/c...40feaeb1c7.png

Any comment on my foobar configuration is welcome .
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  #12  
Old 10-24-2010, 01:07 PM
Teun_2 Teun_2 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adub View Post
500x500 is plenty and most of mine are of that size and 100kb in size there's really no reason for them to be 1mb really that's just wasted space.
500x500 is plenty now. It won't be enough in 10 years when an 2" minidisplay will have a 1600*1200 resolution (or so). Neither will it be enough when your "intelligent wall" will show the album art 2 meters wide. You just can't tell what is enough. Nice website! When i've got some time i will contribute!
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Old 10-24-2010, 01:39 PM
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I don't know about you guys but i hit play and minimize my player, and if i use a dap with album art i hit play and put it in my pocket i rarely stare at my album art. On my 24" monitor 500x500 looks great, and no matter how high the resolution is a 3-5" screen you won't be able to tell the difference between a 500x500 or a 1600x1600.

To each their own!
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Last edited by Adub; 10-24-2010 at 01:45 PM.
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Old 10-24-2010, 02:02 PM
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Marvin the Martian Marvin the Martian is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adub View Post
I don't know about you guys but i hit play and minimize my player, and if i use a dap with album art i hit play and put it in my pocket i rarely stare at my album art.
This.^^
All my art is between 300x300 and 500x500, and it all looks the same on foobar or Mediamonkey before I minimize it....and even with my Fuze, the screen is off most of the time. Album art is nice and all, but I think some people are a little too obsessive about it....lol.
*cough*lestatar*cough*
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  #15  
Old 10-24-2010, 02:28 PM
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My album art looks like this, functionality and sound quality is my personal objective.
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Old 10-24-2010, 02:44 PM
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And mine.....(when it is not minimized)
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Old 10-25-2010, 08:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin the Martian View Post
This.^^
All my art is between 300x300 and 500x500, and it all looks the same on foobar or Mediamonkey before I minimize it....and even with my Fuze, the screen is off most of the time. Album art is nice and all, but I think some people are a little too obsessive about it....lol.
*cough*lestatar*cough*
lol....you jackal

FYI, Mr. Man, yes, I admit I don't really look at my album art when using my DAPs - not too much. But when I do notice the screen, its so nice to see pictures instead of standard filler image placeholders.

And yeah, as for 500x500 or higher JPGs? Well, I am future-proofing my collection - you will rue the day that 720p big screen DAPs with 90hour battery life will become commonplace and you don't have any art or have wimpy 300x300 art.

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  #18  
Old 10-25-2010, 10:29 AM
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Yeah, I like them okay... They're one of the first results when you google for album art.

Honestly the only reason I use album art on my S9 is because the placeholder image looks ugly lol... If there weren't an image and it were just a collection of data, I'd probably like it better.

PS: I know you can press it... but 4 lines of data and a big gray block isn't really much better.

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My album art looks like this, functionality and sound quality is my personal objective.
BAH! WinAMP... What is it, 2002?

Last edited by Chef; 10-25-2010 at 10:41 AM.
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Old 10-25-2010, 10:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chef View Post
...snipped...BAH! WinAMP... What is it, 2002?
lol! Hey! What's wrong with Winamp? Sure it might look a little dated, but its an extremely mature, stable product with a gargantuan selection of plugins in every category imaginable.

I quite like it still so
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  #20  
Old 10-25-2010, 11:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lestatar View Post
lol....you jackal

FYI, Mr. Man, yes, I admit I don't really look at my album art when using my DAPs - not too much. But when I do notice the screen, its so nice to see pictures instead of standard filler image placeholders.

And yeah, as for 500x500 or higher JPGs? Well, I am future-proofing my collection - you will rue the day that 720p big screen DAPs with 90hour battery life will become commonplace and you don't have any art or have wimpy 300x300 art.

Au contraire......I don't miss the album art at all when I am using one of my Clip+ players. So I doubt I will be terribly upset later on at having a 300x300 image.
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