There are two ways to embed downloaded artwork in music files. For the first method, find an album whose artwork doesn't transfer when you put its files on your flash drive. Select one track from that album, press Command-I, then click the Artwork tab. Click the artwork itself to select it, and then press Command-C to copy it. Click OK to close the window.
Next, select all the tracks on the album, press Command-I, and then click the Info tab if it's not visible. Click inside the Artwork well and press Command-V. You'll see the artwork pasted into this well. Click OK to save the artwork to all the tracks. It will now be embedded in the files.
There's another way to do this using AppleScript. Doug Adams's Embed Artwork AppleScript (donation requested) can automatically embed the artwork for a group of selected files. However, the script can't handle more than about an album's worth of tracks, but it's still a bit faster than copying and pasting manually.
Q: I work as an entertainer, and I use a music system called Media Star. This allows me to control my music from a remote control in my pocket when performing. In order to get my iTunes music on the Media Star system, which runs on Windows, I have to convert my iTunes files to MP3 files. But because of the tags embedded in the MP3 files, these files will not play on Media Star. Do you know any way of stripping tags from my files?
Yes, there's a free Mac app called Tag Stripper, by Mark Verstraete, that can do exactly what you want. It's very simple: Just launch the app, drag your files into its window, then click Strip. You'll see that the files retain their filenames--which you still need in order to identify your files—but all other tags get stripped out.
Q: Can you please explain how iTunes uses the Album Artist tag versus the Artist tag?
Some music has a principal artist, plus others on certain tracks. For example, Miley Cyrus's forthcoming album (surprise, I actually know who she is!) has several songs with "featured" artists, as shown to the right.
This is also the case in classical music, where there may be an artist--an orchestra and conductor—and additional artists on certain tracks, such as singers or soloists. In that case, you can put all the names in the Artist tag, and the name of the principal artist in the Album Artist tag. A given album could have a number of artists--take an opera, for example, which has different singers on different tracks—but the Album Artist name is constant.
When iTunes displays music in, say, Albums or Artists view, it shows the Album Artist name next to the album name, and the individual artists (if any) below the track names.
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