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Even Chinesealbumart has to follow the times

I am a pretty stubborn Virgo.

Today, streaming music are all over the place and Spotify or Apple Music or KKbox will have all the songs you wanted. Even the Mandarin and Cantonese Pop, which was not the case years ago. Many people I know (even uncles of my age) are no longer listening to any MP3 files but uses 100% streaming music.

Not for me.

These music streaming services still do not replace my own FLAC collection which I continue to painstakingly collects whenever a new album comes out. Ripped. Clean. Update. With. Album. Art.

In addition, I am still regularly updating my iPhone with my MP3 (reduced from my original FLAC files) and using the “Music” app on my iPhone for my jogging or plane rides. I seldom listen to Spotify and Apple Music. Paid for them but very seldom uses them.

Especially they are still, sometimes, having the wrong album art or simply play a song with a “best of” compilation album art. Ridiculous.

I am a stubborn old man. Very stubborn.

However, very recently, I had to give up on one of my traditional album art demands 🙂

For those who know my style of collecting and preparing a MP3 file, I have written about those steps in a series of posts many years ago.

My important rule in the past

One of my stubborn rule was never ever to use a song if it does not belong to an popular and released album. I need to know which is the first album that the song has appeared in an artist’s life and then use the album art (and the associated MP3 tags such as album, year etc) for that song. I might have actually ripped the song from a “Best of …. “ album (commonly known as a compilation album) but when it goes into my MP3 library on my iPhone, it needs to be associated with the original album it was first on.

Never mind that I don’t own that first album.

The problem is in recent years (when streaming music are more and more common) is that artists no longer necessarily produces a full album anymore. They might release one song on the internet (Spotify or Apple Music or some Chinese streaming music) and that’s it. They might never ever release the song in an studio album anymore. When that happens, there is no album for me to associate that song to and no album art too !!

That also happens a lot for TVB theme songs. I might love a song but I have to wait till a whole album for TVB songs are out. An example of such albums are these.

Sometimes it is not so bad as the singers produces the songs in a later released full album. These are usually the case for artists like 菊梓乔 and 谭嘉仪. So no issues with songs from them. I just need to wait.

But it is not always a given.

And so over the years, I have liked a lot of songs but they are not in my MP3 collection on my iPhone. They don’t have an album. Hence they don’t have an album art. They might even be a “single” (but single does not always have a proper album art too). And hence they don’t qualify to be in my iPhone. If I want to listen to the song, I go to Spotify and listen to that one song.

But no… no full studio album, no talk.

Told you I am stubborn. Stubborn old man.

I have to change in 2020

But that has changed too. It is year 2020 too.

I will give you an example.

In the TVB show, 金宵大厦, there are two versions of the song, 今宵多珍重. One is Cantonese version sang by 谭嘉仪 and there is also a Chinese version sang by Vivian Koo 谷婭溦.

Ok. For the Cantonese version by Kayee, I can wait. I waited for quite a while and finally it appeared in her latest studio album, Can You Hear.

谭嘉仪 Can You Hear
谭嘉仪 Can You Hear

I waited quite a while and had to go to Hong Kong before I saw the album for sale. Bought it and ripped it and finally a song I liked so much is in my iPhone. All because it does not have the full studio album. Yet.

Ok. But what about Vivian Koo 谷婭溦 version. 谷婭溦 is an up and coming singer who is singing a lot of TVB songs. But I don’t see any albums yet. Not yet. Maybe one day. Who knows. Should I wait.

Finally i give up this year. I added the song to my MP3 collection and used the only proper album art cover I can find for it.

谷婭溦Vivian - 今宵多珍重
谷婭溦Vivian – 今宵多珍重

This is killing me. This is not a proper album. It is not even a single. The album art is not even a real album art !!!! It is just a song that is released on the streaming music or YouTube. That’s it.

But as more and more such songs appear in this way, I have no choice but to accept this.

If not, I will not be able to listen to her song on my iPhone. Or this song, 月亮代表我的心 from TVB show, 黄金有罪. Will TVB ever release an album. I don’t know.

谷婭溦 月亮代表我的心
谷婭溦 月亮代表我的心

Or this song, 你比我重要 by 吴岱融 in TVB show, 牛下女高音. At least for Vivian, there is a chance her album full of TVB songs might come out one day but I am pretty sure for this song by Mr 吴岱融, I am depending on TVB to do so. And recently TVB does not seemed to be releasing the TVB songs in album.

你比我重要 by 吴岱融
你比我重要 by 吴岱融

Similarly, for 吴若希 別再记起 in TVB show 夸世代. I give up. I just add the song to my iPhone and uses this album art cover. Hopefully one day 吴若希 will release this song in her studio albums as she is a professional singer with many albums.

吴若希 別再记起
吴若希 別再记起

I ended up watching this song often on YouTube as it featured my most favourite Ali Lee 李佳芯. What. A. Babe.

But yes, in the end, I added to my MP3 library with the above single album art cover. Give up.

Not a real album art. Uuurggghhhh.

Even Jay Chou !!

And you think it is restricted to TVB ? No… even Jay Chou… I am sure an album will be released in the future that contains these two songs.. but for now, what are my choices ? Not in my iPhone or just put them in with not the actual album arts and wait…

周杰伦-等你下课
周杰伦-等你下课
周杰伦-说好不哭(with 五月天阿信)
周杰伦-说好不哭(with 五月天阿信)

End of Story. Change is Good.

So end of the story. Because I give up on this one rule, I now have quite a few songs that I wanted to listen to (on my Music app with MP3 songs) that I would otherwise not get to if I have waited and waited. Till death.

Here’s an example of my iPhone play list with these songs. A year ago, they would never be there.

Change can also be good.

Virgo or stubbornness otherwise 🙂

Changing my MP3 practice
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Chinesealbumart is Ten Years Old

Ten years ago I started this web site. It was driven by my Virgo nature. Every music file in my music player (yes we have that 10 years ago) must have an album art. It must be clean (no watermark) and large and clear.
Ten years later, the popularity of streaming music has reduced the need for album art covers. We are at the mercy of Apple Music and/or Spotify to make their music comes with an album art.
And frequently it sucks. It is getting better but still not good enough.
Chinese Album Art is still here. Ten years on. What about another ten years ?
I am not sure. 10 years ago there was no Spotify or Apple Music.
What will next 10 years bring ?
Happy Birthday Chinese Album Art !!
Chinesealbumart Ten Years Old
The first post 10 years ago was
Ten years ago
The first post 10 years ago
Tarcy Su will always be my idol 🙂
The first post 10 years ago
Ten years or not. Ha.

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张栋梁 我真的以为

Not heard from Nicholas Teo 张栋梁 for a while and really remembered this great song by him…
张栋梁 我真的以为 was a song from his album, 张栋梁 首选.

张栋梁 首选
张栋梁 首选

And the song is so haunting beautiful. About a guy who has to settle for being the backup lover of a girl.
This line is so sad.. so so sad…
张栋梁 我真的以为 MTV
张栋梁 我真的以为 MTV

Enjoy this MTV from 张栋梁 我真的以为! 🙂
张栋梁 我真的以为

FOR MORE OF HIS ALBUMS on Apple Music Store:

张栋梁 我真的以为 Lyrics
你 在我身边不再怕黑 每个晚上睡得甜美
多暧昧 你却不是我的谁
我 在你面前变得谦卑
不敢要求你的一点回馈 担心这种完美瞬间枯萎
我真的以为 爱给双倍 过去就会倒退
但他制造的回忆也珍贵 你的房间里
残留他的气味 说遗忘却不干脆
我真的以为 爱给双倍 未来不管错对
但你说爱我却不够绝对 还会想见他
却还要我跟随 告诉我 爱怎能这样的分配
你 在我身边不再怕黑 每个晚上睡得甜美
多暧昧 你却不是我的谁
而我 在你面前变得谦卑
不敢要求你的一点回馈 担心这种完美瞬间枯萎
我真的以为 爱给双倍 过去就会倒退
但他制造的回忆也珍贵 你的房间里
残留他的气味 说遗忘却不干脆
我真的以为 爱给双倍 未来不管错对
但你说爱我却不够绝对 还会想见他
却还要我跟随 告诉我 爱怎能这样的分配
我真的以为 爱给双倍 过去就会倒退
但他制造的回忆也珍贵 你的房间里
残留他的气味 说遗忘却不干脆
我真的以为 爱给双倍 未来不管错对
但你说爱我却不够绝对 还会想见他
却还要我跟随 告诉我 爱怎能这样的分配

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范玮琪 到不了 in 范范的世界 album

Christine Fan 范玮琪 and one of my most favourite song 到不了 to sing in KTV.
First appeared in her first album, 范范的世界 in year 2000.
Still so beautiful today. So relevant. To our lives. To my life.
Sad but true.
到不了 no matter how hard we tried. Or I tried.

范玮琪 范范的世界
范玮琪 范范的世界

ENJOY !!

范玮琪 到不了 LYRICS
卫视中文台[乱世英雄吕不韦]片尾曲
Tvbs创世纪主题曲
作词:范玮琪
作曲:张洪量
编曲:王豫民

你眼睛会笑 弯成一条桥 终点却是我 永远到不了
感觉你来到 是风的呼啸 思念像苦药 竟如此难熬 每分每秒
我找不到 我到不了 你所谓的将来的美好
我什么都不要 知不知道 若你懂我 这一秒
我想看到 我在寻找 那所谓的爱情的美好
我紧紧的依靠 紧紧守牢 不敢漏掉 一丝一毫 愿你看到

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Apple Music and Mandopop and Cantopop

I never really managed to get a hang on Spotify and its Mandarin and Cantonese music. I always think that iTunes has a better selection of Mandarin pop and Cantonese pop and was looking forward to the launch of Apple Music.
Apple Music

So tonight, an update to iOS 8.4 brings the new Apple Music. I am in love with it after a few mins.
Find the new Apple Music icon:
Apple Music and Mandopop and Cantopop
The new app launches:
Apple Music and Mandopop and Cantopop
Apple Music and Mandopop and Cantopop
There are five icons on the iPhone (and 7 on the iPad) and choosing the last one gives you your CURRENT music library (the music that you have loaded into your iPhone):
Apple Music and Mandopop and Cantopop
Then comes the part which allows you to tailor the music to your taste. I read somewhere that you can actually ask Apple to scan your existing music library to get a good sense of your music. I don’t see that happening though on my iPhone so I am not sure what happened. Anyway look at the steps and you should be happy. You can see things like Mandopop, Cantopop, J-Pop, K-Pop etc. Look how “Asian” this feels ! I feel that it is important as it shows that the music is going to care about the listener, even though he is an Asian user… I don’t get that feeling in Spotify (seemed to feel a more “Western” application).
Apple Music and Mandopop and Cantopop
Tap two times to choose the GENRES you love most and once that you like. Hold and release after a few seconds to remove those y ou don’t like.
LOOK AT HOW MUCH I LIKE MANDOPOP and CANTOPOP 🙂
Apple Music and Mandopop and Cantopop
Apple Music and Mandopop and Cantopop
This is already making me so happy that the app cares about my taste. Then the next screen makes me happier…. what are some examples of the artists you like ?
See how much I LOVE JAY CHOU 🙂
Apple Music and Mandopop and Cantopop
And do I like SHE or do I LOVE SHE. ha ha.. finally, I LOVE SHE 🙂
Apple Music and Mandopop and Cantopop
Apple Music and Mandopop and Cantopop
And A Mei, of course 🙂
Apple Music and Mandopop and Cantopop
And ta ta, the Apple Music, tailored to your taste. Click on the first icon, “FOR YOU” to get your individualised music:
Apple Music and Mandopop and Cantopop
Apple Music and Mandopop and Cantopop
And even nicer on iPad version:
Apple Music and Mandopop and Cantopop
Apple Music and Mandopop and Cantopop
Looking at the featured artist, Jam Hsiao. Now remember that Jam was not available for me to choose from my favourite artists, but I guess the connection of SHE, Jay Chou and A Mei gave Apple some ideas on what I might like:
Apple Music and Mandopop and Cantopop
And Fish Leong:
Apple Music and Mandopop and Cantopop
You can then start a STATION based on Fish Leong and her music…..
Apple Music and Mandopop and Cantopop
Much later, you can still choose more artists to “teach” Apple Music your taste. This is mine after adding more artists 🙂
Apple Music and Mandopop and Cantopop
Or what’s new which again has a decidedly Mandarin/Canto feel:
Apple Music and Mandopop and Cantopop
The true test of such a service is the RADIO service (a radio attempts to play music of the genre of your choice and it is how you usually discover new music).
Yes, like Spotify, it has Mandopop and Cantopop radio.
Apple Music and Cantopop Radio Channel
Apple Music and Mandopop and Cantopop
The first song it ran was a Jolin song 🙂
Apple Music and Mandopop and Cantopop
Once you played a station, it appears at the top to make it easier for you:
Apple Music and Mandopop and Cantopop
The 2nd song from the Mandopop radio made me confused. Is this a song from the radio or my own iTunes library:
Apple Music and Mandopop and Cantopop
Of course, it is from Apple Music radio as the English words are used for the title and singer 🙂 Oh come on, dear Apple 🙂 U can do better than that.
And the next song, same feeling. Another familiar song.
Apple Music and Mandopop and Cantopop
On a more serious note, the feeling of “was this from my iTunes library or from Apple Music” happens too often. The songs from the radio are many familiar ones. Either Apple Music know my taste too well (but then it sort of spoiled the “discovery” mood for new music) or i know too many popular Mandopop that make me feel that way. Anyway, as I listened more, more and more unfamiliar music appears that I am starting to discover new music ….
You can also see what is the next song coming up in the Apple Radio.
Apple Music and Mandopop and Cantopop
Also, I am not sure if it is me not able to use Spotify properly but my Mandarin radio and Cantopop radio in Spotify always repeat the songs after a while. So far, for Apple Music, it is okay… no repeats so far… but we shall see….
Now I went back to the NEW icon and got many pleasant surprise.
Apple Music and Mandopop and Cantopop
Here, tell me where you find a Mandopop Workout Playlist !!!!!!!! FINALLY you can run to Chinese music !!! HAHAHHAHAHAHAHHA !!
The first song, of course, Mr can-dance-cannot-sing, Show Luo:
Apple Music and Mandopop and Cantopop
And later I found Cantopop Workout playlist too 🙂
Apple Music and Mandopop and Cantopop
Under “NEW” icon, there are the famous Curators section (which has NO asian choices, not surprisingly) but if you look at the Apple Music Editions, you can find Mandopop and Cantopop stuff..
Nice banners.. love the Cantopop one with Hong Kong Skyline:
Apple Music and Mandopop and CantopopApple Music and Mandopop and Cantopop
Nice in iPad too:
Apple Music and Mandopop and Cantopop
And love the write up on Cantopop:
Apple Music and Mandopop and Cantopop
In them, you can see some music that the Apple Music Editors have chosen….
Apple Music and Mandopop and Cantopop
Leslie… Leslie.. Gor Gor !
Apple Music and Mandopop and Cantopop
Apple Music and Mandopop and Cantopop
A write up on Leslie
Apple Music and Mandopop and Cantopop
Also this is not just about audio music. There are music MTVs for you too. Here’s one from Jacky Cheung, my favourite !
Apple Music and Mandopop and Cantopop
Looks like Apple is trying hard to be a COMPLETE entertainment platform for music.
And one last word….. the album art covers are complete… so far, I have not seen a single song without album art covers or (like Spotify) poor old album covers. The album art covers are nice and accurate. And oh, I hope Apple can introduce scrobbling to last.fm soon !! And also to improve its Mandopop and Cantopop singers and titles of the songs from ENGLISH (i.e. a translated English singer name/song title) to the actual Chinese words. And finally, of course, I would love to have LYRICS !! LYRICS !!
This is a keeper. 5 stars so far from Chinese Album Art so far….
Remember you have 3 months to try this service out…… so enjoy the 3 months first here:

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My top 5 album art covers of 2012

2012 has come to an end (but earth has not). Looking back through the album art covers for the past year that were hosted on this web site, I truly had some difficulties finding my top 5. Not that there were too many. There were simply too little good ones. Sigh. We need more creativity !
These are my favourites. I am sure there are better ones outside of this album art web site. The choices do reflected the fact i am a man 🙂 Dun bash me. Ha.
Here goes…
Number 1 : 2012-03-01 : Twins 2 Be Free
Oh yes… Without a shadow of a doubt. TWINS ! Just coincidence they are very sexy here 🙂
Twins 2 Be Free
Number 2 : 2012-11-30 : JPM 365
Very colourful. Beautiful use of colours. Lovely. I love love love this colourful album art.
JPM 365
Number 3 : 2012-06-06 : 徐佳莹 理想人生
Lala album art cover is simple and yet unique. An album art cover on an envelope type background.
徐佳莹 理想人生
Number 4 : 2012-07-24 : 蔡卓妍 Montage
Ah Sa in boots 🙂 okie. On a more serious note, i liked the way the dusk and blue elements integrate and showed a rather bluish feel that reflected the songs in this album.
蔡卓妍 Montage
Number 5 : 2012-07-27 : 张敬轩 Why Not
Nice colours too. Hins looked super cool here. Very anime. Very super hero feeling. Why not 🙂
张敬轩 Why Not
What are your own favorites ? Any very super nice album art you loved in 2012 ?

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iTunes 11 and Album Background Colours

While iTunes 11 continues to frustrate some people (especially myself) with the removal of the Coverflow (oh my god.. HOW COULD APPLE DO THAT !!)… some parts are pretty interesting..
Under album view, the colour of the background actually corresponds rather intelligently (creepily..) to the colour of your album art covers.. AMAZING.. iTunes 11 changes the background color of the display window depending on album artwork !!
For example, look at Linda’s latest album.. Pink in nature and somehow the whole album background colour is also pink.
钟嘉欣 Love Love Love
iTunes and Background Colours of Albums
Dont believe ? Check out Aaron Kwok’s 3 different albums.. they look so nice !!
郭富城 到底有谁能够告诉我 has a blue background in the album art…
郭富城 到底有谁能够告诉我
iTunes 11 and Album Background Colours
郭富城 爱的呼唤 has primarily a green background in the album art…
郭富城 爱的呼唤
iTunes 11 and Album Background Colours
郭富城 真的怕了 does not really have a light blue background but iTunes loved it and the end result is stunning too..
郭富城 真的怕了
iTunes 11 and Album Background Colours
You can disabling this feature (WHY ??)
Open iTunes Preferences and choose on the “General” tab
Uncheck the box next to “Use custom colors for open albums, movies, etc”
iTunes 11 changes the background color of the display window depending on album artwork.
And finally, here’s an excellent article on how people think it is done … interesting !

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Wall of Sound iPad App uses album art

As usual, I love apps like this. This app is called Wall of Sound.
Wall of Sound iPad App
It is actually a music player. It made use of all your music album art covers in your iPad library as an interactive unique way of allowing you to listen (and discover) music.
When launched, it showed the album art covers of all the albums in your iPad music library and also some covers from the iTunes store. I promptly switched off the latter from settings which can be found on the right bottom part of the app.
The size of the albums can be zoomed in or out.
Wall of Sound App
Wall of Sound app
Wall of Sound app
When you tap on the album art cover, it promptly played the songs inside the album. A double tap showed all the songs inside that particular album for your choosing or randomize the songs inside the album. You can also twitter, facebook or email the songs too.
Wall of sound app
Wall of Sound app
Wall of Sound app

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iTunes 11 Launched

Finally… iTunes 11 has launched..
Here’s how it looked for me with Album Art Covers and all.. It is a CRIME (ha ha) not to have Album Art Covers for all your songs okie…. Look how nice they look in your iTunes and in your iPhone and in your iPad and in your iPod Touch 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂
Album View
iTunes 11 Launched and Album Art Covers
iTunes 11 Launched and Album Art Covers
Artist View
iTunes 11 Launched and Album Art Covers
Genre View
iTunes 11 Launched and Album Art Covers
iTunes Match. No thanks.. unless you are going to give me 320kbps 🙂
iTunes 11 Launched and Album Art Covers