Set custom Album Art for video content in iTunes

  • February 15th, 2007

Chalk this up in the "things I probably should have known but didn’t figure out until about 5 minutes ago" category. As I decided to take a break from work, I stared blankly at my iTunes Movies & TV Shows playlists which have grown into a considerable collection of movies and 5-star sitcoms – so large in fact that I am considering picking-up one of those external 1TB USB / Firewire drives which continue to fall down in prices – I’m already pushing my current 1.5TB.

iTunes without accurate Album Art for movies

Those that use the same video habits of allowing iTunes to manage libraries are undoubtedly familiar of the fact that iTunes – in regards to video content added outside of the iTunes Music Store (iTMS) – lacks Album Art (Cover) which results in iTunes displaying the opening studio credit. I don’t know, maybe everyone else enjoys seeing the Miramax’s, Paramount’s, and Fox’s, but I don’t.

iTunes without accurate Album Art for movies

In preparation for the arrival of the Apple TV, as well as my continued streaming content hanits via iTunes to computers throughout the house, I make it a regular habit to convert DVD’s into smaller, more manageable, MP4 files. Additionally, rather than manually managing my audio & video library, I trust in iTunes’ ability to break down the content directory by artist and album. In the case of video content, movies & TV shows. In iTunes I trust.

Set Poster Frame optionSo how do you choose what frame of a movie or television show is shown as the Album Art for a file? Simple. The next time you’re watching a movie, take note of any familiar scenes which [as a whole] are reminiscent of the entire film. Once you’ve identified a frame, quickly pause the movie, right-click or CTRL+click on the video window, and select "Set Poster Frame". The new Poster Frame will then become your Album Art for the currently opened film making it oh so much easier to browse through video collections without having to actually read through titles.

An honorable virtual pat on the back for iTunes. The simple audio & video player has managed to provide just the right amount of control and organization to keep my library running smoothly without sucking every resource out of my machine. I now know that if I am ever bedridden for 15 straight days, I’ll have enough video content to keep me entertained from start to end.

Is video file conversion to MP4 for you? Maybe not. You don’t have to convert video files in order to play them through iTunes or Front Row. If you check out Breathe new life into OS X Front Row, you’ll find a number of tips helping manage your own library without having to convert files.

A shout-out to readers, what video files are making their way into your iTunes? My current television favorites include LOST, Prison Break, 24, and Dirt. If you don’t use iTunes, what video manager are you using for entertainment?

Related services or software used in relation to the above post: Amazon, Netflix, Mediafork, MacTheRipper, iTunes, VisualHub, and Disk Utility.