iTunes Tagging

itunes tagged

Keeping my iTunes music library properly tagged and with it’s corresponding album covers is not only necessary to me, it is borderline obsession. Of course, if I was to buy all my music from iTunes then I wouldn’t have this problem, since it all comes prepackaged with the track’s info and album cover. But I do have a huge collection of CDs, I’m not fond of DRM restrictions and there’s the occasional internet mp3 downloads that come bare bones. When ripping a CD, iTunes automatically gets all the album track info if connected online, but there are those rare occasions when I am ripping but am not connected online. For this, I have my iTunes tagging workflow that automatically gets my tags and images with the help of quicksilver, dashboard and applescript.

Step 1: Download and install the requirements:

Amazon Album Art Widget ( download ) – Widget by Widget Foundry
CDDB Safari Kit ( download ) – Applescript by Doug Adams
QuickSilver ( download ) – by Black Tree
Gracenote Quicksilver URL ( bookmark ) – just add to your bookmarks
Safari – comes with Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger ( buy )

required apps

Step 2: Create a Playlist From Album

itunes playlist before

This only works if you have ALL the tracks from the album. Create a new playlist and drag all the songs from the album to it. Make sure the list is sorted by it’s order column, the one on the far left, and the track list numbers match the playlist order. Track 01 should be the first one, Track 02 the second one etc.

Step 2: Find the album in the Gracenote database.

quicksilver gacenotequicksilver search

Do a search at gracenote.com and find the album you are looking for. For those of you who use QuickSilver, you can use this bookmark to search from the QuickSilver interface. Keep the Gracenote website with the album page open in Safari and proceed to the next step.

gracenote

Step 3: Grab data from Safari

From iTunes, select “CDDB Tracks to iTunes via Safari” from the Scripts menu. CDDB Safari Kit needs to be installed before doing this.

cddb select

The CDDB script will grab the track info from Safari and give you a confirmation screen with a list of the tracks. Click “Yes” if this is the album track data you are wanting to bring into iTunes.

cddb song confirm

Let the CDDB script do it’s thing. The script will tag all of your playlist tracks with the correct song names and track numbers. It will alert you when it’s finished.

cddb tagging done

Next, it will ask you to select what album info you would like to bring. Select any of the Artist, Album or Year rows then hit yes.

cddb select info

Step 4: Find Album Cover

We now have all the songs in our album tagged, and have our artist and album name as well but we have no album cover art. For that we’ll use an awesome widget called the Amazon Album Art Widget. From iTunes select all the songs in the playlist and click play. Once the music starts playing, go to your Dashboard by click the icon on the dock or by hitting F12. From dashboard, find the Amazon Album Art Widget and hit the iTunes icon. This tells the widget to grab the artist and album name from the current song paying. The widget will connect to Amazon and find it’s cover art. If by any chance, it is not the correct album art, click on the squares icon in the corner to choose from other possible covers. Once you have the right one, click on “Set as album art in iTunes”. The widget will now apply this album cover art to all the selected songs in iTunes.

amazon album art

Once completed, your album will have all the correct tags and have it’s album cover too.

itunes tagging complete

Conclusion

Today we learned that Quicksilver rocks, Applescript can be your long lost friend and widgets are useful after all.

12 thoughts on “iTunes Tagging

  1. atma

    itunes has this functionality already built in.

    Go to:

    Advanced >> Get CD Track Names

    Once you get the track info you can highlight the song list, right click on them, and go to get album artwork