fixing mixed up album covers on iPod

Until I need a new iPod, I will stick with my 5th-generation video iPod and it’s 60GB space limitations. This means, for instance, that come Christmas time I have to de-sync a lot of albums from the iPod to put Christmas music on the iPod. And on the long drive home to my parents for Christmas, Marlin and I discovered my album covers on the iPod were sometimes wrong. We were listening to Crosby Stills and Nash “Daylight Again” album, but the iPod was sometimes displaying the Thompson Twins. So I played a game for a little while, bouncing around on the iPod. Thompson Twins “Greatest Hits” sometimes had the album cover for Jet (the band made famous by the iPod commercials, not the Paul McCartney album). Jet sometimes displayed a Morrissey album cover. And so on. It was as if some iPod gremlin shuffled the album covers.

I couldn’t find any solutions at Apple’s web site, but a web search eventually uncovered this post at iPod Nano Artwork – Fixed

The posted fix is a couple years old, so apparently this problem has been around for a while, and a scan of the comments seems to indicate that moving large numbers of albums onto and off the iPod triggers the album cover shuffle. The post is also outdated for newer versions of iTunes where the option to enable/disable album artwork display on iPod is now on the Music tab for the device, and not in the Preferences section of iTunes.

As far as I can tell, the fix worked fine for me, but it took a long time re-syncing the album covers. Long as in a few hours.

5 thoughts on “fixing mixed up album covers on iPod

  1. When I had this problem with my 60GB iPod, all I had to do was restore it et voila, problem solved. I want to say that I found that solution on Apple’s support site, but it was a while back so I don’t really remember.

  2. Thanks for the suggestion, Fredo … but wouldn’t a restore take just as long? I thought if you did a restore, it basically wiped iPod and restored it to out-of-the-box settings. Which means (I thought) it would then have to re-sync all your music, correct?

  3. True that restores wipe it clean and then replace everything. For me it took little more than two hours at most from connecting the iPod to complete re-syncing. I’m not sure how you defined “a few hours,” but I assume it was more than that. I also don’t know if you’re iPod is connected to a USB 1.1 or 2.0 port, cuz WOW that makes a huge difference. (I learned that the hard way, which partially spurred a new computer purchase, but I digress.)

    But it is fewer steps toward the same goal and you don’t have to babysit it.

  4. It’s probably about the same amount of time either way, then. Turning off album art and syncing only took a few minutes. Turning album art back on is what took long. I was doing lots of other things around the house and just left it run, so I’m not certain how long it took … it was at least 2 hours.

    I’m syncing via USB 2.0 — I wouldn’t even attempt it on a USB 1.1 port. I still wish you could sync via Firewire. I remember how disappointed I was after buying the 5th-gen iPod to discover they dropped Firewire support for syncing.

  5. Yeah, dropping FireWire support was a big disappointment to me. In my mind, all it really allowed for was a physically thinner profile. For me, it also fueled the above mentioned computer purchase; my previous Mac (an eMac) had no USB 2.0 ports, only 1.1 and they weren’t easily upgradeable. So I dealt with overnight synchronization for 5 or 6 months until I purchased my new iMac in late ’06.

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