Artwork (album art) is a great feature of Apple devices. It not only helps to distinguish your albums, movies or podcasts visually, but also it is a real eye-candy. A lot of people enjoy it!
Loading pictures from tags and resizing them every time is really slow, so devices are using cache with images of several different sizes to speed-up loading. And sometimes this cache is getting corrupted. As a result you can see “black squares” or partially drawn images, or even images from other album/movie.
In such cases iTunes won’t help you a bit – it reads images directly from tags and doesn’t even know about cache corruption. Also for new devices there’s no “Show artwork on device” option anymore. And even if your device is either jailbroken or you have TouchCopy (or other file manager), deleting artwork cache won’t force it to get rebuilt.
As a workaround, you may automate iTunes via COM and rewrite artwork for each track, but it takes a lot of time and you’re not guaranteed it won’t get corruped on next sync.
ArtDoctor utility was written exactly for healing corrupted cache. It will scan all your albums, get uncorrupted artwork from tags and write it into cache. You may use existing cache (to keep images that can’t be extracted from tags, e.g. video thumbnails) or recreate it from scratch.
ArtDoctor deals directly with binary cache, without rewriting tags, modifying iTunes database and performing other stupid things. Thereby it is very fast (takes several minutes on average content) and doesn’t affect synchronization.
Download ArtDoctor 1.0.2.
It requires .NET Framework 3.0 (or newer), iTunes and Windows XP/Vista/7 to run.
Note: ArtDoctor 1.0.2 doesn’t support iPhone OS 3.0. Please refer to ArtDoctor 2.0 preview.