How To Get iTunes Album Art Without Using iTunes

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A friend shared with me an interesting tip, which allows one to get iTunes album art without using iTunes, but instead from a web browser. Since I always want to add album art to my music when I rip CDs, and don’t always find it in iTunes (select the tracks, Control- or right-click and choose Get Album Artwork), this technique, which is brilliant yet simple, will save me a great deal of time.

Start by doing a Google search for the album whose art you’re seeking. Do the search like this: [artist] [album name] This restricts the search to Apple’s iTunes web site, where you can see information about items on the iTunes Store via a web browser.

You’ll get results such as the following:

Click on the link that corresponds to your album. You’ll see a web page. In most cases, the page will attempt to redirect you to iTunes. There are two ways to prevent this. The first is to press the Escape key as soon as the page loads, but before the redirect occurs. The second is to use, if you have Safari, the NoMoreiTunes extension. This blocks the redirect, but, as you can see below, provides a button you can click if you do want to switch to iTunes.

Next, Control- or right-click on the album art you see. Choose Open Image in New Tab, or Open Image in New Window.

Click in the URL in the address bar; you’ll find a section at the end of the URL like this:


Change the 170s to 600, so the URL ends like this:


Press Return. A larger image will now load:

Control- or right-click on the image and either copy it, by choosing Copy Image, or download it, by choosing Save Image to Downloads. You can now add this 600 pixel image as album art.

Note: in some cases, 600 pixel images are not available, but 700 pixel images are. If you don’t find a 600 pixel image, try using 700 in the modified URL above.

18 replies
    • kirk says:

      No, Doug’s solution is totally unrelated. Apple’s iTunes images don’t show up in Google image searches, and Doug’s script only searches Google Images. I do use Google images for many of my searches, but there’s a lot of art I don’t find that way, or not in large enough sizes.

  1. winc06 says:

    You can cut out a couple of steps. After you have done your initial Google search, click on images at the top of the page. It will throw up a page of images mostly for the album. Just roll over them with your cursor and they will expand with the size data underneath. Much easier to find the right one.

    • kirk says:

      I’m sorry, it’s not clear what you’re saying. Are you suggesting doing a Google images search? That doesn’t work, as it only finds the 170px images.

      • RK says:

        I don’t know what you mean by “it only finds the 170px images.” I search Google often for album art, and just as winc06 says, hovering over the image thumbnail reveals pixel dimensions and I find the largest ones I can find, often 600 or 700 px square–sometimes larger–and I copy those.

        • kirk says:

          If you search Google images and limit it to the iTunes web site, it only finds 170 px images. You’ll find plenty of different sized images if you don’t limit it like that, but it’s often a pain to find what you want in a decent size. Grabbing the iTunes images means they are at least 600px.

  2. janey says:

    i just do this with Or, use Songbird for the sole purpose of cleaning up music. It will grab album artwork and embed it in the idv3 tag where it belongs…. iTunes keeps it in its own little database (dumb)

    • kirk says:

      iTunes embeds artwork in files, if you add it manually (ie, if you don’t have iTunes get it on its own).

  3. H4RR7H says:

    As an avid exploiter of this technique, it has come to my attention that unfortunately since the publication of this article 4 days ago the method is now void.

    Apple must have caught on; for now entering 600×600 on a URL (I’ve tested even with previously acquired artworks) results in the message:

    “An error occurred while processing your request.
    Reference #50.5dba58db.1322633333.503b4daf”

    Not pointing any fingers, but can’t be coincidental. Same thing happened with that dude’s “album art grabber” a few years back…

    Really wish you hadn’t shared that around.


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