Album artwork isn't visible

I recently uploaded 44gigs of music from iTunes on a PC to Wd cloud and am confused as to why no album artwork was transferred. Any help is appreciated.
thanks,
jay

LOTS of posts about this, by others and me, so begin searching forum for clues. Some of the issues depends upon how and why you uploaded iTunes to your NAS, iTunes itself, and how it handles artwork., and even what methods and apps you use to retrieve and play iTunes files. There is a lot of interplay going on with it all.

Thanks for the quick reply. I also have my music library saved under Windows media player. Does the My cloud NAS play nicer with windows? Another odd thing that happened is my songs are all out of numerical order when I log directly into the NAS from my computer however when I use the app on my phone they seem to be in numerical order. thanks

It’s not about not being ‘itunes friendly’, its about knowing the weird way that itunes handles artwork, and how to transfer an itunes library from one place to another. Simply copying files isn’t enough. There’s an apple technical note about it somewhere…

Lots of threads about file order, too, including one yesterday.

Time to go reading…

@jaylarson

If you, like me. are committed to cataloging your music in iTunes as I have done for over 10 years, then the above comment is not very useful or helpful to you. Some people like to dis iTunes because they don’t use it or like it, fine. They may even say a program like Media Monkey better, fine. They may be correct, but, I for one am sticking with iTunes, and I have my iTunes Media folder on many drives,(incl. My Cloud NAS) and it works for me. BTW, I tried Windows media player to catalog music, it had major problems with foreign characters, iTunes didn’t ,so I went with iTunes in the very beginning.

I have been involved in lots of posts about iTunes music here. Here is one I can give you that is recent and explains why I believe there are issues with iTunes and the NAS, etc. I have worked around a lot of problems, but some still evade me.

The reason you see songs in alpha order instead of track order is because you are looking at music files in media server (DLNA) order and not network shares order. More on that later. I am out of time to continue further, so I will come back when I have the time.

Other than using the word ‘weird’, I said almost exactly what you said in your first post…

My apologies if you think I was being unhelpful; I was trying to direct the OP to the Apple technical support website, where I have seen a very good note on moving iTunes libraries. Only I don’t have a URL I can quote.

No problems, and I was careful not to mention you in particular (I hope you noticed) you are helpful as I try to be, so it’s not my fault your “cover” was blown here. :wink:

By the way, I think that URL may be one I read LONG ago about moving one’s (entire) iTunes program and media files to another computer, and one darn well better be careful about that and carry over all folders required to run iTunes on a new PC. Otherwise, the iTunes program will barf all over itself and be a mess.

To USE only the media files elsewhere is fine, but as I have said before, there are some glitches in doing so. Latest one I found is that the WD My Cloud APP does a poor job of of showing art from files on the My Cloud DEVICE, whereas other apps do not have this problem. That indicates it is a WD issue, and not an Apple issue.

BTW, I am no big Apple fan, but they have done some things right that I applaud and reward them with a product purchase. like a phone and an iPad. (Both bought on sale at deep price cut, of course!) I NEVER buy my music from them; what a rip off that is. I buy same albums Apple has from other less-pricey legit services and make my own mp3 files from my large CD collection.

So I have done a little more research and correct me if I am wrong. I have downloaded the program media monkey, and directed it to my itunes llibrary. In doing so only some of the artwork has shown up, however if I highlight an album and choose the auto tag from web if finds the artwork pretty quickly. Is this a proper way of embedding the artwork into those files so that it will show up in mycloud? If I change a file in media monkey does it change the file in itunes? Does media monkey run on a mac equally as well on a PC? One of the first things media monkey asked me to do is link with a MAC address(my wife uses a macbook), does this mean that it wanted to link to that computer and share music files?
thanks,
Jay

I can answer some of those questions, but, frankly, it is porbably a good idea to take a few steps back, and ask some more fundamental questions.

  1. What are you actually trying to achieve here?
    Why, for instance, have you moved some iTunes media to your MyCloud?
    Do you want to move your entire iTunes library from your PC (or other computer) to your MyCloud, and make the MyCllud your media repository, leaving your computers clear of media?

  2. How, exactly, did you move/copy media from the original location to the MyCloud?

  3. Did you previously have artwork for all media when you had your library under iTunes?

  4. What devices do you wish to access your media from, assuming it is all moved to the MyCloud?
    Do you wish to share a media library with anyone else (your wife, for instance)?
    Do you wish to be able to stream your media to media playback devices (smart TV, Sonos, etc)?

Answer these questions, and we might be able to give better advice on how to proceed.

To answer the issue about artwork and iTunes.
Artwork can be either embedded in each media file, or held as a file in a folder. Some media tools store the artwork in the same folder that contains each media file, and some keep such artwork in a single ‘library’ folder. iTunes keeps artwork files in a single library folder, IIRC, called ‘Album Artwork’, somewhere in its library file system.

To confuse things further with iTunes, it insists on adding a little header to artwork files, taking a JPEG, PNG or TIF file, and making a ITC file, unique to iTunes (I suspect it stands for ‘iTunes Cover’). This extra header makes files unintelligible to normal graphics and media tools, and means they cannot simply be copied for use by other programs; generally, you can’t even see what the artwork is, becuase there are no programs that natively view ITC files. This seems to be another example of Apple’s policy obfuscation, to maintain their ‘only works with Apple walled garden’.

http://hints.macworld.com/article.php?story=20070313105356621

http://techland.time.com/2012/02/23/how-to-auto-embed-album-art-in-your-itunes-tracks/

So, if you simply copy media files to another location, without telling iTunes that you have done this, it will lose the association between its artwork folder image, and the new file location.

iTunes has the ability to automatically embed artwork in media files. This is probably the best way to resolve this issue, without an awful lot of work. But that assumes that you still have your original iTunes media library available, with the artwork file associations intact…

I recall that I used a simple utility I found to take the ITC files, and remove the Apple header, leaving the original file format intact, and available to all other programs. But I can’t find it now (this was done a few years ago, for a friend). There is “Doug’s ApplScripts fo iTunes”, which has a lot of useful utilities:

http://dougscripts.com/itunes/index.php

As for your experiments with MediaMonkey, I regret to tell you that it is only available for Windows, and cannot run on any other platform. Thus, if you wish to share your media library with your wife, you would be better off sticking to iTunes.

In all the years I have used MediaMonkey, I do not recall it ever asking for a MAC address; when, exactly, did it ask for this, and what feature were you trying to set up?

I’m not sure if you’re confused by MAC address; it is nothing to do with Macintosh computers; it is the unique hardware address for an Ethernet device (MAC stands for Media Access Control).

@jaylarson

Agree with above comments that you need to give us more info of your iTunes music, like where it originated from, (iTunes store downloads, downloads from other sources such as Amazon, your own CDs, from friends, etc.

You also need to know that iTunes does not embed artwork in music tracks; it shares one image of cover art in the Album Artwork folder of program. (this is all done to save disk space; remember the very first iPods had limited disk storage.) iTunes does give you a way to add artwork to CDs you import, by directing the program to add artwork. It then finds the art in iTunes store and adds it to its artwork folder., but again, art is not embedded in each file to save disk space. You can embed the artwork in any album or track if you need to. The iTunes program help tells how to do this.
Why would you do this? Mostly because you want to play your iTunes music on other devices, programs, apps etc. other than with iTunes program and Apple devices.

So here is another explanation of this issue:
Music downloaded from Apple includes the cover art image; it is not embedded in tracks, art is shared by all tracks in an album from the album art folser of iTunes program.

Music downloaded from other legit sources such as Amazon, eMusic, etc. all have the album art embedded in each track, because all sources other than Apple store assume nothing about what program or device or app will play that track, so the art is in each track.

Music you create yourself from CDs you import with iTunes are just like music you download from apple, so if you want the artwork embedded in the tracks you have to do this yourself even though the art may be showing up in the iTunes program, it won’t in others. iTunes instructions tell you how to do this.

Since I know about these issues I know what needs to be done or not done for my sources of music and act according. Anytime I import a new CD into iTunes, I embed the artwork into each track of album. When I download albums from eMusic, Amazon, etc. I know that art is embedded, and there is nothing I need to do further.

Now, all of this can be confusing to some folks, they don’t really get the concept, and is why some of their albums have art and others don’t. Not all my albums have artwork that can display anywhere; even in iTunes program, especially my earliest imported CDs. I fixed some favorite albums, but it is time consuming, so some others I just said to heck with it. For the most part I have at least 95% of the music with embedded art, and that is good enough for me. When I place a copy of the iTunes Media folder on my various devices (external drives, wireless drives, My Cloud) It is just like the music shows in iTunes program, mostly because I have a lot of embedded art in the tracks.

Just like it takes a lot of time embedding art into albums, it takes even more time than that to explain how it is done, so I will leave it to you to explore the iTunes help for those instructions. This is how I figured it out.

I may have found the ITC image extractor:

Or BitmapRip:

Both were saved in my downloaded s/w archive, under Software/Media/ITC2Artwork

Sounds like you could use some of those Dougscirpts, Mike; I’m sure I saw one for batch embedding artwork. Rather like the AlbumArtTagger extension scripts for MediaMonkey.

What is DougScript? Are they the programs you mention above?

For years, whenever I add a new CD to iTunes, I also fix (embed) the art, right then and there. It takes a few moments, so not a problem anymore for me.
I even have a “playlist” in iTunes where I long ago culled out albums with no artwork showing so I could fix them at any time. I hardly have done it, so that indicates the sense of urgency I have about this issue! :wink:

Not the ITC image extract programs, but a bunch of AppleScripts I linked to earlier, to do iTunes related things:

http://dougscripts.com/itunes/index.php

From your comment:

For the most part I have at least 95% of the music with embedded art,

I thought you might find a batch album embedder useful (5% of my music would be 3000 tracks, and I wouldn’t want to have to do that by hand if I could avoid it…). There are lots of other scripts for manipulating iTunes; as an iTunes user, I thought they might be useful to you. No worries if you’re not interested.

Ok so I am impressed how knowledgeable you people are and appreciate the help. This whole endeavor started when we had our first child 7 months ago and we needed a computer to use for pictures. My wife uses an iPhone and iPad so naturally I bought her a new macbook pro. I have always used a pc and android devices(only because they are cheaper). It hasn’t taken long with pictures and my wife is upgrading her storage on iCloud and paying monthly for it. Understand I am a cheap-ass and look at the long run in terms of expense( i.e. straight talk and older phone). I decided to purchase the wd cloud in hopes of backing up my music and photos from a pc(which has worked great except for the artwork issue from iTunes, which I just dragged and dropped the iTunes music folder to wd mycloud). I also wanted to get my wife to use the wd for storage and backup instead of Apple’s iCloud only because the iCloud will only go up in cost as we need more storage. I have found the wd mycloud and iCloud to make a mess of each other. I kind of thought that I would be able to back up and all my music and photos along with my wifes on her Mac and access them flawlessly on the go while all being super organized, fast, along with all artwork and thumbnails. Maybe I expect too much?
Maybe the best option is for me to stick to my pc world and accept the wd mycloud for a storage device only and not as a repository… The reason that I chose to move my music collection to iTunes is because I have an iPod. I don’t know if it works well enough to be a media server for a pc, android phone, iPad, iPod, iPhone and macbook? Just seems like there are too many hoops to jump through. cpt_paranoia you are correct about the MAC address (media access control). I know this thread is going many different directions but I feel like you guys can point me in the right direction.

Thanks for more info. Lots of comments to reply to. Give me some time to work on it, and I will be back within 24 hrs.

CPT, I will look into this later, Thanks

With iTunes one has to move the entire iTunes media folder to the My Cloud not just the actual folder containing the music files. Its a common problem with iTunes when its media library is moved to another location that things don’t always work right if one doesn’t copy over all the folders. There are numerous articles/posts one can find if they Google moving an iTunes media library to another location, here are two such articles.

http://arstechnica.com/apple/2012/12/how-to-offload-your-itunes-library-to-a-nas/

http://www.macworld.com/article/2996002/streaming-media/how-to-set-up-an-itunes-library-on-a-network-attached-server.html

Like others have posted above there are a variety of ways to handle the album artwork problem. Using the MediaMonkey or MP3Tag programs are one good way to add album artwork to media files. But for those with thousands of albums the process can take a very long time.

The My Cloud should work fine as a basic media server to the devices you listed. The issue with trying to access the My Cloud remotely is the need (in most cases) to use WD apps and software, or the MyCloud.com web portal, to access your My Cloud remotely. The WD apps and software have their own limitations when it comes to how it plays media (music in particular).

It is important to get the media content working correctly locally first before trying to troubleshoot remote access playback issues.

Okay, now we have a better idea of what you’re trying to do. If I can summarise:

  • provide a backup for your computers
  • replace iCloud storage
  • provide a media server

The good news is that the MyCloud can do all these things, with varying degrees of success, but you will need to decide how you want to operate.

Since the MyCloud is primarily a Network Attached Storage (NAS), backup and data storage is its basic function.

The ‘Cloud’ bit of MyCloud refers to its ability to support remote access to its NAS function. As Bennor points out, this remote access isn’t as simple to use as the commercial cloud services, and is generally limited to using WD apps to gain access, and their capabilities are somewhat restricted. But they do allow backup of pictures taken on mobile devices, and can give remote access to data stored on the MyCloud.

The media server function is provided by the built-in Twonky DLNA media server. There’s also an iTunes server, but I’m not sure how capable it really is; I don’t use iTunes, so have no experience of it; maybe others can comment.

So, on to how you want to operate…

Firstly, there’s also a bit of what appears to be confusion on the storage/backup issue. Do you want the MyCloud to be your primary data store, or a backup copy of your data (with primary store held elsewhere:on computers, etc)? Simply moving files to the MyCloud will not create a backup; your MyCloud will become your primary store, and you will have no backup: this would be bad, as you would be vulnerable to losing those precious photos of your child.

Essentially, you have two basic ways of operation:

  1. The MyCloud can be a backup, whilst providing a streaming media server, and remote (‘cloud’) access.

  2. The MyCloud can become your primary data store, media streamer and cloud storage. But this would need to be backed up as well.

For the first case, as backup, you simply need to create backup areas on the MyCloud for each of your devices, and implement a backup routine. To allow the MyCloud to be a media server and cloud server, you need a backup tool that performs a simple file structure replication, rather than one that creates a compressed, restructured or obfuscated backup repository. WD provide a backup tool, SmartWare, that will run on PC and Mac, but there are other free backup tools that may provide more reliable or versatile performance.

For normal operation on your computers, you will use the computer’s local hard disk for primary data storage, and only back up to the MyCloud. This means that your iTunes library will reside and be used from your computer’s hard disk, not from the MyCloud; the MyCloud will be idle unless backups (or media streaming or remote access) are being performed.

The remote access cloud function can be provided using the WD remote access apps and mycloud.com web portal. The WD apps can also be used to backup photos taken on your phones/tablets.

If your remote access devices create or modify media on the MyCloud, you may want to copy or synchronise this to the hard disks on your computers. You can do this by setting your backup tool to ‘synchronise’ mode, where it will ensure the two sides of the backup are the same; any additions or changes to either side will be reproduced. A good backup tool will allow you to decide which folders to synchronise, and which to simply mirror (one way backup from primary store to backup).

The Twonky DLNA media server can be enabled on the MyCloud, and pointed to the media directories in the backup folders of your computers. This will then serve the combined media from all your computers, and make it available to UPnP/DLNA media clients on tablets, phones, smart TV and streaming hi-fi players, local to your home. Such clients are also available for PC and Mac.

For the second case, with MyCloud as primary data store, you would move all your data from computers to the MyCloud, and always access the MyCloud when using or creating files on your computers. Your computers would only have programs stored on them. For remote operation of, say, the MacBook, this would mean you would be entirely reliant on the remote access function to your files. You would transfer your iTunes library to the MyCloud, and always access the MyCloud to play any media.

Having moved all your data off your computers, and on to the MyCloud, you would need to backup the MyCloud, as it has now become your primary data store. The MyCloud features a built-in backup tool, Safepoint, which will back up to a USB HDD connected to it, or to another NAS on your network. Judging by the number of comments about it on this forum, it doesn’t appear to be the most reliable utility, and there are other backup utilities you could use. The USB on the MyCloud is also slow, and it may be faster to backup the MyCloud to a USB HDD connected to a computer: your PC, for instance.

The remote access and streaming functions remain largely unaltered from the first case.

Or you can operate a hybrid system of these two approaches; this is what I do.

  • my primary media data store is on the MyCloud, and all media programs, on PC, Android and iOS devices access this. I have no media stored on my PC or tablets (because I have 1.5TB of media, and it would never fit…). I backup this media store to an external USB HDD on my PC, in mirror mode (when I have added media to the MyCloud). I use the Twonky DLNA media server to provide streaming access in my house.
  • I keep my PC as primary data store for non-media files, and backup to the MyCloud, using a synchronise mode, so that I can change or add files using other devices, and remotely, and have them be replicated on my PC primary store. I run a backup script when I shutdown my PC after using it. Since I back up the MyCloud, these files are actually stored on three devices, providing more backup security.
  • I use the WD apps to provide remote access to my files.
  • I use a backup tool (FreeFileSync) that creates one-for-one images of my various data stores, rather than a compressing backup. This means the backups can be used as standalone copies of my data. It offers mirror and synchronize modes, and manual, scheduled or real-tme backup, and version storage. I only use manual mirror and sync modes.

For remote media access, I have installed and run the BubbleUPnP Server on my MyCloud, and use the BubbleUPnP app on my Android tablets to access it. This is only partially successful due to the limited uplink rate of my Internet connection, and the fact that any reboot of my router causes it to be assigned a different IP address by my ISP, and Bubble relies on IP address to connect to its Server. I need to speak to my ISP to try to get a static global IP address, or sign up for a proxy DNS service.

I hope this gives you some ideas on how to proceed.

Ok thanks for the reply. Does the program media monkey actually move and save changes to files or does it modify them and save them in their original location(i.e. iTunes music folder)? I have taken a handful of albums and used media monkey’s auto tag from the web feature. I then deleted and redownloaded to wd cloud and still no album artwork in the app on my phone or on my computer when logging into cloud?