How I make an Album Art From a CD

Last night, I rammed through my CD collection to scan the cover of a Chinese CD in preparation for this web site. So I thought I would take a few screen shots on how I normally do it.

The software I used is HyperSnap (located at Hyperionics). You don’t have to use this as there are many good free source software on the market (I tried using GIMP once too). It is just that many years ago, I have paid for HyperSnap and have been using it so far. I do liked it a lot though.

Anyhow, the software is pretty well integrated with my HP Scanner so one click on the button in the software and my CD cover is scanned into HyperSnap, ready for my manipulation.

Obviously, depending on your setting, the size can be medium in size to really huge size. But for sure, it is definitely much more than 500×500.

Scanners (and also your own ability to place the CD cover on the scanning machine) seldom give a perfect shot. The edges usually are not sharp and even have bad dark parts. So we now need to trim the bad areas:

Bad Areas in an Album Art after a Scan

We can do that easily in HyperSnap by using the Crop functionality

Cropping an Image using HyperSnap

Now it is time to scale the picture to a 500×500 resolution. Again, I am biased but HyperSnap does it really easily for me. I tried other software before but perhaps i am just not used to them so I am sticking to HyperSnap…. 🙂

Now using SCALE in HyperSnap

Then a box will appear with the current resolution:
Scaling in HyperSnap_Before

Change the scaling to 500×500. You might need to un-check the ASPECT button.

Scaling in HyperSnap_After

Here’s the result:
A bit weird

But hang on, this one does not look really good as it looks weird 🙂

The reason is many (too many, in my opinion) music publishers decided to produce CD boxes or covers in those really long tall format or sometimes in all sort of weird shapes. They think it is a way to attract buyers and hence try to add all kinds of novel stuff into it (booklets, artist photographs etc). The result is the album art is a long one and when scaling, it looks not so nice. Nowadays, I set the size correctly but put borders around it to make it nicer..

How I make an Album Art from a CD

So sometimes, you have to decide to crop off a particular part FIRST (usually the bottom of part, unfortunately which is where the nice legs are). And then do the scaling. Here’s my album art after cropping off part of her body (Sorry
Sweetie).

This is better album art

So that’s it. Drag that picture into your iTunes and you can have it in your iPod ! Album Art Rocks !

In future articles, I will cover other stuff I do normally like tagging a MP3 file, adding lyrics (where’s a good Chinese Lyrics site ?) etc.

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Comments
  1. Bill

    thanks for going into the problem of cropping and looking up the cover arts for us..album art indeed ROCKS..looks good on my ipod touch..

  2. Anonymous

    thank you so much… :):)

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