I’m running iTunes on XP and I’ve got a problem with disappearing cover art. Songs I rip from CD’s and add cover art too mysteriously lose it. I’ll go to sync my iPod and notice track names flash by in the info box (i.e. syncing Boomtown) that I know have been in my library for months and I’ll know right away that it’s happening again.
It’s usually only a handful of songs and it only happens once a month or so, but it’s frustrating because I spend a fair amount of time copying cover art from Amazon or elsewhere and adding it to the tracks.
For a while I thought it was related to a particular version of iTunes and that the next rev I downloaded would clear it up, but it’s dogged me through every upgrade (I’m at 18.104.22.168 now). I haven’t been able to rule out the platform I’m running it on (XP Pro/Media Center 2005) but I think I’ve finally found a pattern and may have figured out what’s going on.
It seems to only happen to ripped songs that aren’t available through the iTunes store, never to ripped tunes that are part of the iTunes catalog and never to iTunes purchased songs.
I noticed that on the General tab of the Preferences box I had “Automatically download missing album artwork” checked. I think iTunes looks at the non purchased songs in my library and says “Hmm, I’ll get you some cover art for that.” then looks through its catalog and doesn’t find any. Somehow in the process it displaces what you’ve put there. I’ve unchecked the box, so we’ll see if I’m right within a couple of weeks.
In the meantime let me know if you’ve experienced anything similar, and if so, how you’ve gotten around it.
Check out the latest update to this post: An iTunes Mystery - Solved for more info.