Best Sources for Downloading CD Covers and Artwork

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You may think that software media players like iTunes, Windows Media Player, etc., can find and download all the album art you need for your digital music library. However, there are times when you'll need to look further afield in order to successfully populate your music collection with the right CD covers.
You may, for example, have a digital music collection that is mainly made up of a lot of old analog recordings that you have—digitized vinyl records and cassette tapes, for example. Then there's rare compilations, bootleg recordings, and promotional material—album art for these types of audio collections are almost impossible to find using common methods that automatically add metadata tags; MP3 tagging software and music management programs for instance that have built-in ID3 tools.
To help you with this task, take a look at the following list (in no particular order) which showcases some of the best resources on the Internet for finding cover art for your digital music library.

Discogs

Discogs logo
Discogs is one of the largest online databases for audio. This rich audio catalog resource can be particularly useful for non-mainstream recordings where software media players such as iTunes or Windows Media Player might not be able to find the correct artwork. If you've got hard-to-find commercial releases, bootlegs, white label (promo) material, etc., then you might be able to source the correct album art using Discogs.
The website is easy to use for finding album covers not only for digital music releases but for older mediums too like vinyl records, CDs, etc. For digital music, you can also fine-tune your search with a handy filtering option that can be used to only display certain audio formats like AAC, MP3, etc. More »

Musicbrainz

MusicBrainz logo
Musicbrainz is another online audio database that has a huge catalog of music information with included artwork. It was originally conceived as an alternative to CDDB (short for Compact Disc Database) but has now been developed into an online encyclopedia of music that sports a lot more information on artists and albums than simple CD metadata does. For instance, searching for your favorite artist will usually yield information such as all albums released by them (including compilations), audio formats, music labels, background information (relationships to others), and the all-important cover art! More »

AllCDCovers

AllCDCovers logo
The AllCDCovers website makes use of a neat flash-based wizard to guide you through the process of finding the correct artwork. In the music section, there are sub-categories you can choose to fine-tune your search; these are albums, singles, soundtracks, and collections. Once you have selected the title, you have the option to download different types of artwork covers—usually the front, back, and inside covers, plus the CD label.
To make using the website as flexible as possible, there's also a couple of extra ways that AllCDCovers have included to search their database. You can directly use a search box to find artwork on their site if you don't want to use the wizard tool. There's also a toolbar that can be downloaded from the site for popular Internet browsers such as Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, Apple Safari, and Google Chrome. We haven't tried this toolbar, but it could prove useful if you elect to use AllCDCovers for your artwork needs. And if that's not enough, AllCDCovers also has a large collection of movies and games artwork too—making it an invaluable one-stop resource if you need to locate images for all of your media libraries

Continue readingNov 29th 2017

Why 8-track failed?

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When 8-track tapes come out to the public access, it seemed like a bliss compared to huge and immobile vinyl records. Listening habits have instantly changed: we could listen to music in cars and with portable 8-track players AKA boomboxes. People even thought the ear of vinyl was over, but in reality, it was completely the other way round. Within a decade, 8-track tapes where history. What happened? Why so? Here are some reasons for that:

8-track was unreliable

The key reason 8-track vanished from the shelves of record stores was because it was unreliable in use. They were made to last just a little bit of time. New tapes used to be OK, they wouldn't melt under the sun or whatever. It's the internal parts that would fall into piece after some time. Provided the manufacturers had chosen high-quality construction, 8-track could've lasted longer.  
Pink Floyd – Animals. An 8-track tape

They wouldn't work properly in cars

Every car owner felt the happiness of buying an 8-track to listen while driving. They also felt pain from realizing the stereo could easily eat a tape. Again, the problem was in their construction. Imagine a tape wreck during your favorite part of some song. 

8-tracks fade out

8-track tapes consisted of 4 track, each in stereo which equals 8. That meant all tracks had to be of the same length, which usually wouldn't correspond to the original LP. That's why some tracks had to be split into equal parts, thus – terrible fade out and in. 
ABBA – The Album. An 8-track tape

You couldn't rewind

Not being able to rewind was a pain-in-the-ass as all 8-track tapes would eventually become an infinite loop of 8 track until it just cracks. That could easily drive anyone mad as listening to the same tracks, with the same fade out is just annoying. They had to be at least a pause, or whatever.  While some considered loop to be an advantage, my parents totally hated it. 

Cassettes were cheaper

Price is always a game-changing feature of any product. Enhanced by the ability to be rewound and portability that Sony Walkman would offer, cassettes doomed the chance of 8-track tapes to exist in the late 70's. Cassettes and 8-track looked similar, they both had tape, but people were too annoyed by the obvious flaws of 8-track, so they disappeared for good. 
The J. Geils Band – Bloodshot. An 8-track tape
Those were good times, but technology always changes and improves, so 8-track just got replaced by something more advanced. Just like CD surpassed cassettes, and then MP3 surpassed CDs. It's development, and it's great it happens. 
Continue readingNov 29th 2017

Problems of Audiophiles – What Makes Us Cry?


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Certains things people tend to do and situations in which we find ourselves can lead audiophiles AKA music lovers to anger, tears, sadness and other stuff. Here's our compilation of such things. The following situations are taken from our personal experience:  

1. When you're into your music too much and forget you're in public. 
2. When you ask somebody what music they're into, and they go 'All sorts of it'.
3. When you're on a date, trying to be serious, but you can't help singing to that tune in a bar.


4. When you play a song for somebody but they keep talking and don't listen.
5. When they say they love Radiohead but know only Creep.
6. When you've finished listening to a new album and realize you have to wait for another couple of years. 


7. When people ask you to pick one favorite album.
8. When they don't know it's just a cover.
9. When a new album you absolutely love gets crushed by critics. 


Continue readingNov 29th 2017

Two things we want to see in 2018

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Virtual Reality

Virtual Reality is shaping all entertainment areas, including music. This new audiovisual format isn't far-fetched as there are already dozens or 360º music videos (remember Saturnz Barz by Gorillaz). Adjusting such videos to VR sets seems quite possible in 2018. Let's just hope it's gonna be improved.
But it's not only Youtube video that can get a changed format. Music festivals can also get VR as not everybody can go to all fests they want. However, streaming to a VR from a live performance sounds like a great solution. It may offer a brand-new way to experience your favorite artist of DJ. Lollapalooza and Coachella have already expressed their interest in this idea, so the rest are likely to follow their example. 

Synthwave comeback

Love for the '80 culture is trendy again. Stranger Things, neon lights everywhere, mystical electronic sound – seems like it's time for Synthwave to hit the world again. The reborn of this particular genre was predicted by the fact that we always return to what was once cool. We're done with the 90's, so now it's time for the 80's.

We just want synthwave and retrowave back! 

Continue readingNov 28th 2017
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