Or Why I Started This Web Site
Years ago, Album Art or Album Cover or Album Artwork does not matter. It comes with your LP. It comes with your CD. But it is not something that you worry too much about. You look at it, put it back to the jewel case and then you keep it in your shelf or rack or shoebox and just enjoy your music.
Then came Apple and the first generation iPod. When Apple came out with that revolutionary product, it kicks off the MP3 craze (sorry, Creative, I know you came first but…). Album art was still, however, not something you cared. Properly tagged MP3 files are (you know, the MP3 file must be tagged with the right artist name, right album name, right release year, right gene, right composer.. you get the idea..).
Then came iPod with the colour display. Album Art was re-introduced as a real art form. People realised that they do want to make good use of those bright color pixels on the iPod screen. Then when CoverFlow was purchased by Apple in 2006, and its technology was integrated into its iTunes 7. People start to realize that there is probably a need to fill out this blank square in the iTunes library.
Album Art suddenly matters. Really matters to me personally.
If done correctly, it is embedded in your MP3 file and when you use iTunes or use your beautiful ipod nano or ipod classic, a properly formatted album art is in fully glory and is just a great companion to the songs. If you have a iPod Touch or a iPhone, Cover Flow is incorporated to it and album art then takes a different amazing experience.
I bought my first iPod when Apple introduced the iPod nano. I never looked back and thus begin my journey of self obsession with my iPod. I think they called us 封面党 in China. Every MP3 track in my iPod must be properly tagged. Every MP3 track in my iPod must have the lyrics. Every MP3 track must be traced back to the original album where the first time the song appeared. Every track must be tagged up in proper Unicode format (since I listen to mostly Asian songs). And of course, my track must have a proper decent album artwork.
To me, a properly sized album is at 500×500 dimension. Some called it an overkill (but hey, I think Apple iTunes stores’ songs are at 600×600 !). But that’s me. me. me.
Over time, I find it frustrating that it is difficult to automatically find properly sized album art for Chinese albums. For English albums, there are tons of tools and tons of great album art. Not so for Chinese. For my own CDs, that’s fine. I can scan them and then size them properly. For the rest of the MP3 tracks I found on the web, it is not so easy. I do find a lot of album art for Chinese albums that are either too small or even come with watermark embedded in them. I absolutely hate that. I find it crazy. What’s the freaking point !
I personally want a web site of album art that are easy to use in my beloved MP3 player. That’s why I started this blog. To upload and share album art of Chinese CDs from wherever I scan them, found them, downloaded them, copied them etc. I don’t claim to be the owner of all but I do cleaned all up nicely.
I also decided I will regularly blog about my obsession on how I tagged my MP3 songs, added lyrics to them, about how I find and size up my album art. Or maybe whatever new stuff I am doing or learning from others about my iPod, my iTunes or my MP3 files.
You are welcome to use these album art and share them. I am open to that.