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iTunes artwork for wav files

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I recently found this forum and might soon ask for some advice on setting up what would be my first computer-based music system.


I've seen one or two references here regarding not being able to use cover art in iTunes with wav files, so I thought I'd mention a simple workaround (I'm not suggesting wav is superior to any other format but if you, like me, want to listen to wav files for whatever reason - but like your iTunes album art as well, it can be done).


Use any media editor and create a short file of silence, then save the file as mp3. You only need to do this once. My file is 1ms, or 1/1000 of a second long encoded at 320kbps (the top quality for an mp3 file, for no real reason really considering you can't actually hear the quality of silence :) The file of silence is tiny -- about 8kb -- so I could even email a copy of mine to anyone who wants it but doesn't have a media editor.


So, when you come across an album that isn't in the iTunes store, all you do is copy this mp3 file of silence to the location where the album's wav files are, then in iTunes, select all the files in the album (the mp3 file together with the wav music files) and name the album title, artist etc as you would normally with a group of wav files. Then, select the mp3 file only and attach your cover art (that you've scanned or taken from Google image search or wherever). This works as iTunes only needs the cover art for one file per album - in this case the mp3 file. I normally name the file 00 Cover.mp3 so that for me it's the first track on any album but even if it turns up somewhere in the middle of the album you wouldn't notice a 1ms additional gap between music tracks unless it's a gapless album.


This isn't perfect (for example, if for some reason you like or need to keep an accurate record of the number of songs you have in total, you're adding a "song" of 1/1000s silence to some albums) but it's very quick to do once you've practiced it a couple of times and it does avoid the need to convert to another music file format when you'd prefer wav - just because of cover art. So I thought I'd mention it here.




hFX Classic fanless i7 SSD > Locus Nucleus / SW Diverter HR > RWA Isabella LFP-V Pro / New Sensor Genalex Gold Lion E88CC > ALO Sennheiser HD 800 balanced[br]

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Hi Olive - Welcome to Computer Audiophile. This is quite a coincidence as I recently discovered this myself. Over the weekend I was synchronizing a ReQuest music server with iTunes and all the files were wavs. The albums that I already had in iTunes I'm AIFF format with cover art also displayed that cover art for the wav version.


I certainly didn't discover your very slick method, so thanks a lot for sharing it with everyone. Pretty cool.


Founder of Audiophile Style | My Audio Systems

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  • 5 months later...
Guest AndrewH13

Hi Olive,


Just found this workaround, thanks. It works for itunes but unfortunately not on the ipod after the first 1000th second, as it shows each track individually and we obviously cant embed. However, I thought I would see if the cover art works on my Pioneer A500 plasma's built-in server but they are not showing. This is using WMP11 but although WMP can play the wav files, they dont seem to want to Import into WMP 's library either automatically (assigned folder from external drive - all mp3s in ok) or manually as a result of playing, therefor they are not being distributed. All MP3s are seen on server. Be Grateful for any ideas anyone?


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Guest AndrewH13

Answering my own question here! WMP had the files but as unknown artist etc because they had only been directly imported into itunes. Shame itunes cant act as a server as its awkward setting up every album both in WMP and itunes. Cover showing on server though, thanks.


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Hi Andrew, welcome to CA.


Maintaining two separate libraries that way will be wasting valuable drinking time. Which OS are you using? If windows-based you might want to consider switching to JRiver as I've found this handles wav files very well (in terms of support for bit-perfect playback, library management, cover art and syncing/converting to mp3 players with artwork - issues you seem to be faced with. It can't handle hi-res material though).


Interesting that you couldn't view the art that way on your iPod as I'd read that iPods, like iTunes, need only one piece of art attached per named-album (I don't own an iPod so can't check myself).




hFX Classic fanless i7 SSD > Locus Nucleus / SW Diverter HR > RWA Isabella LFP-V Pro / New Sensor Genalex Gold Lion E88CC > ALO Sennheiser HD 800 balanced[br]

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Guest AndrewH13

Thanks Olive.


Yes it is a pain, was very happy with iTunes until getting the server which by default links with WMP. Can confirm that every separate track needs embedded art with Ipod, I have had many cases where one is missing and I correct it with MP3Tag. It may be if you use Itunes for collecting art that it works differently, but these are held separately in an Itunes folder so are not in any way linked to tracks - I prefer the individual Mp3s having their own art so are program independant.


Using Vista 64, will investigate JRiver, do you need to lose the server link of an existing program before installing a new one?


I tried Aiff which this site is fond of, but you cannot add the tracks to the WMP Music library so they are not seen by my server. They are playable through WMP but are classed as 'Other' rather than music.


Regards, Andrew


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I don't know your exact setup but generally if you back up what you have now as a safety measure then you can be fairly comfortable experimenting to see what works. if you like the look of JRiver and it works with your setup I'll let you know how best to get it working with wav files.


hFX Classic fanless i7 SSD > Locus Nucleus / SW Diverter HR > RWA Isabella LFP-V Pro / New Sensor Genalex Gold Lion E88CC > ALO Sennheiser HD 800 balanced[br]

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  • 7 months later...

I was gonna post this trick too, having stumbled upon it by accident. A tiny MP3 of silence acts as a container for the artwork. I call my file "zzz_ALBUM_ART.mp3", though I may change that to "999_ALBUM_ART" to keep them at the end when sorting my song title. As a PC user who is adamant about using iTunes with WAV files, this is a great solution to the album art issue. I double up on the artwork by also pasting the JPG file into each album folder and renaming it to "Folder.jpg". Windows Explorer then shows the graphic when I use thumbnail view. Finally, I maintain an archive folder where all the artwork files are stored in "artist-album.jpg" format.


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  • 4 months later...

Thanks to Geoff (silverlight) I have discovered the most wonderfully complete cover art solution for those of us who use WAV files (because despite arguments to the contrary, WAV files cannot accept cover art dragged in via iTunes). It also works on all formats, so feel free to try it there too. it is a python app and MAC only.


Anyway, it's called Cover Art by Jacob Weber, can be found here



and requires you to do some setup that, at first seems kludgy, but is simple once accomplished. Just follow the readme instructions (which include getting or confirming you have the right version of python, and requires a sign up for Amazon web services). What this python app does is intercept iTunes "get artwork" calls and creates a web page where all your unadorned albums will be listed. Click on the album name and Amazon Web Services will present you with various sizes it has found. Pick them, then run iTunes "get artwork" again and all will be loaded! Very cool.


Of course we're talking iTunes and WAV, so this is a proprietary solution in that it all goes away if you export these WAv files somewhere else. This cover art is tied to an album file and stored in the iTunes library at the album level.



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  • 2 weeks later...


instead of opening a new thread thought is better to continue this one. First, being a serious audiophile but a computer caveman, have to say I tried the advice in the first post but didn't make it - the only song with artwork is the 00 cover that I added. Hmm, either I am doing something wrong or people with Apple developed a system that does not allow it anymore to import artwork as suggested here.

Other observation: imported about 20 albums in wav format in recent days and, pleasant surprise, several of them came WITH the artwork!! What's going on here, any ideas?


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The imports you've done successfully which came with Artwork would have been where a suitable title was found within the iTunes Store.


These have always supported Artwork it's just when you want to add your own artwork the problems occur.






...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

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  • 10 months later...

Just use j river Media Center to put Art to Wav. MC adding Art to WAV inside of AlbumArt folder inside iPod. But do not synchronize it with iTunes - will be deleted. Modern MC not often work since they use more iTunes. It is better to use MC 13.


Sadly, that tech war between Apple and Jriver ends for MC. And team just tired of develop support any changed Apple stuff. So iPod Touch not support. But they also have that folder inside – AlbumArt! It will be perfect that anyone make special prog to adding there Art for WAV. The problem is not for WAV or TAG info – the problem seems political. Just to put Cover inside THAT folder…



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a solution...anymore than a doctor telling you, in response to "doc, it hurts when I do this" a doc saying "well then, don't do that". Cover art for wav files within iTunes is an iTunes-specific issue, and is doable as we've pointed out...but is locked to an iTunes-only world. It is, in fact, though, the world I live in. The majority of my iTunes libraary is wav (cuz I like it better) and I simply use the above-mentioned itunify and coverartserver to deal with it.


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Dear Ted_b, why not? for iPod Classic 120,160 that is enough, easy and fun. Jriver 13 is perfect for that stuff. Now it is quite problem with new Jriver, since it work more with iTunes. It is easy to just customize what you like to do before it is going to put Audio and Art on your iPod Classic. You can do automatic resize, or even converting to WAV (if you prefer to keep losseless to save some place and TAG info). Everything is automatic.


The problem was iPod Touch 4, iPhone. The itunify is only for mac. But I found 2 days ago amazing prog - COPYTRANS - it is free and easily deal with ART for WAV. It does dirty work instead of blocked Art for WAV iTunes. It just write Art in a specific Art folder. Tested iPod Touch 4 - perfect and quick


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