iPhone’s iPod cover flow missing art (and how to fix it)

Earlier I said that I would start blogging about problems (and solutions) I found with the iPhone, or really cool things I found. My first blog is about a problem and a solution.

One of the absolute coolest things about the iPhone that it has “the best iPod ever” integrated right into it. Man, Jobs wasn’t kidding! It’s incredible. The cover flow feature is amazing. Here’s the problem, though. I synced 18 albums on my iPhone, and about 10 of those albums did not display cover artwork. Having half of my albums showing a black default cover is no way to show off and appreciate a feature as cool as this.

iTunes Cover Art Update

Here’s the solution, for those of you experiencing the same problem:

  1. Launch iTunes and select the album under your “PLAYLISTS”
  2. Highlight all of the songs. On a PC you can click one song and then click CTRL+A to “highlight all”. Or click the first song, and while pressing the down arrow, keep the SHIFT key pressed down.
  3. Right click any of the blue-highlighted songs and then select “Get Info”. A new window will appear titled “Multiple Item Information”
  4. Drag your artwork to the white “Artwork” box and then click the OK button.
  5. iTunes will then begin to apply your cover artwork to each song, one by one. This is necessary to solve the problem.
  6. When it’s finished, select your iPhone device, then click the Sync button.
  7. That’s it! There’s no need to reset your phone. It should work immediately after the songs are re-synced. The problem now is that iTunes must re-upload every song you’ve applied a new cover back to your iPhone. This takes a long time, but it’s worth it!

Have fun “surfing” your album covers! It’s definitely worth spending the time to do this, to make this feature look its best!

Thanks to “bigdipper” and “honebee1236” at the iLounge for their suggestions.

7 Replies to "iPhone's iPod cover flow missing art (and how to fix it)"

  • texafornia
    Aug 2, 2008 (2:56 am)

    Ok, I have a tough one for you. How do you get the iPhone to display the second or third cover art image for a song/podcast? I do a podcast and sometimes include several pictures in the cover art. There’s a little arrow in iTunes to scroll through the pictures, but I can’t see anything like that on the iPhone.

  • Mac Officianado
    Aug 24, 2008 (10:12 am)

    THIS IS NOT A FIX. This is a workaround. Consumers who have spent countless hours tracking down album art for their music shouldn’t have to redo it all. Apple needs to address this problem with Itunes and the Iphone.

  • Derek
    Apr 3, 2009 (11:29 am)

    This fix did not quite work for me, but I did fix it. For anyone who wants to know, here is what I did:

    I had a similar problem with my iphone not showing the artwork in coverflow. It happened even for albums that itunes located the covers for. I eventually fixed the problem by going to my device, then to the music tab, and then “sync music”. You get some warning, but just click ok. This will disable the “manually manage music and vidoes” box that is located on the device overview screen. After I did this, all album covers showed up with no issues. Not sure why, but it looks like it had something to do with manual syncing.

  • Thunder
    May 2, 2009 (3:41 am)

    Thank you so much. I am a organization freak, and you are a lifesaver!!!

  • morrissey02
    May 27, 2009 (5:28 am)

    DUDE!!! That was really helpfull!!! Thanks you so much!

  • morrissey02
    May 27, 2009 (5:40 am)

    I found even an easier way. (with your idea of course) you can just copy the cover from internet (so you dont have to download it to your comp) and just paste it into the white artwork box.

  • James Coleman
    Aug 19, 2009 (4:14 pm)

    Worked like a charm thanks

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