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Size of album art printed in iTunes?

#1 User is offline   ARM 

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Posted 24 December 2007 - 10:26 AM

Does anyone know the size of album art (in pixels) when it's printed from iTunes?
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#2 User is offline   albloom 

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Posted 24 December 2007 - 03:19 PM

Pixel size isn't the measurement of interest here. It's actual size. For a
solid fit, the picture needs to be 4.8in wide by 4.75in tall. That's about 346
pixels square at 72 dpi (480 at 100 dpi).

iTunes scales larger or smaller pictures to that (roughly) 4.8 inch square,
or 12 and a tad centimeters. Scaling up smaller pictures gets grainy. My
rule of thumb is to use nothing below 300 pixels square at 72 dpi.

I use Graphic Converter to pre-process images before pasting them into
the iTunes "artwork" spaces.
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#3 User is offline   ARM 

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Posted 24 December 2007 - 08:28 PM

Thanks for the reply. The reason I would like to know the pixel size is because I would like to print out some pictures of album art for jewel cases but at the same size that iTunes does. However, I don't want to have to add this album art to some songs in iTunes and print it through iTunes like that, I just want to change the image's dimensions myself and then print it so that it would print out at the same size that it would have if I had printed it in iTunes instead.
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#4 User is offline   albloom 

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Posted 25 December 2007 - 05:18 AM

What was unclear about my answer?

The answer is the same. Pixels don't matter per se. Get the image size
to 4.8" wide by 4.76" high and print it. That's the size of a jewel box
front opening -- standard or slimline.
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#5 User is offline   MacDCW 

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Posted 30 December 2007 - 06:28 AM

I'm new to these forums but one thing I have been wanting to know that does not appear to have been answered yet is: "What size is the album art in kilobytes when saved to iTunes?" (The reply about 346x346 pixels was very helpful though.)

The motivation for my question is thus:

I use Album Cover Finder (the Lite version at present) to retrieve covers and usually I have just dragged the cover from ACF into the relevant place in iTunes. Recently, I have been trying different ways of saving the cover by dragging it to a disc directory - this produces a file of 250k typically. However, saving the cover to disc from the menu option "Save artwork", despite the target file size, seems to produce a file of around 12k. The larger file is described in Finder as a picture clipping file whereas the smaller file is a JPEG file.

Being reasonably new to Macs, I assume the Picture Clipping File is a bitmap and thus uncompressed, if so how does iTunes store the imported image? Does it apply JPEG compression to the image? I would like to know so as I don't clutter up my disc/iPod memory with unnecessarily large images.

Thanks in advance for any help offered.
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#6 User is offline   albloom 

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Posted 30 December 2007 - 11:20 AM

Here is more than you want to know about iTunes artwork storage:

The iTunes "Album Artwork" files are all in .itc format, a PNG format with
some data added into the files' headers. I don't know how much the source
file size affects the size in iTunes' Album Artwork folder. If you've looked
inside that folder, you will find goofy names (as odd as the file names at
amazon.com). For example, my original artwork fo Mannheim Steamroller's
"Fresh Aire Christmas" is a jpeg, 5" square, 100dpi:

Fresh Aire Christmas.jpg 428kb Compression 1:4

The file in iTunes "Album Artwork" is

2E90AFE6FD910D4E-5372EC2A8AAF2310.itc 304kb Compression 1:2

Album Cover Finder had different (and unknownto me) source file
characteristics. Dragging ACF's art to the desktop yields a Clipping file
6.94" square, 72 dpi:

Fresh Aire Christmas.pictClipping 204kb Compression 1:4

Saving ACF's art to the desktop yields a jpeg file 4.1" square, 72 dpi:

Fresh Aire Christmas.jpg 28kb Compression 1:13

Dragging ACF's art into a new iTunes test playlist didn't tell me much. iTunes'
Album Artwork folder has an folder created this date, but nothing is in it. I
store my iTunes music in MP3 format, and the artwork is stored in the file.
I've read that iTunes 7 download art is stored as an ITC in the Album Artwork
folder, but art you add yourself is imbedded in the music file's ID3 tag. That
seems to be the case, even when stored in a different format. Converting
an iTunes MP3 track to AIFF has the art stored in the file, too.

Album art stored in the ID3 tag is the same size as the source file. Extracting
the art from the stored file yields a 5" square, 100dpi JPEG.

Using my source file of 428kb, 1:4 compression takes up about 0.2 mb in the
track. Using ACF's source file of 28kb, 1:13 compresssion uses half that. The
clipping dragged from ACF into the art window takes twice that (about 0.4mb)
and has been converted from pictClipping to PNG.

Bottom line? If you want to save space, don't drag art from ACF's window.
Save the file to disk as a JPEG.
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