Friday, September 12, 2008

Fetch Art 2.1 Verified iTunes 8.0 Compatible

As soon as iTunes 8.0 was released I started testing Fetch Art 2.1 with it.

The latest version of Fetch Art is compatible with iTunes 8.0.

Often updates to iTunes will require Fetch Art be updated.  Thankfully that isn't the case this time.


Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Fetch Art 2.1 Released, Adds iTunes 7.7.1 Support

I've just released a new version of Fetch Art.  This is the first "non-Beta" release in the 2.x series.

CHANGES in version 2.1.0:
1) Modified the code to fix a bug introduced by Apple in iTunes 7.7.1. Now this works with iTunes 7.7.1.
2) Added more logic in constructing the query to Amazon to improve search accuracy.
3) Amazon changed some behaviors with empty keywords, I've eliminated the existence of empty keywords in the search.
4) Prioritized album art so that it should find the correct album art before single releases. Earlier versions were returning singles instead of the album.

You can download it here: DOWNLOAD 2.1

NOTE:  For the first 10 hours after this post, the download was still pointing to an installer that installed the older 2.0.0 version.  I've fixed that now.  If you are still getting errors in Fetch Art, check to make sure you have the latest 2.1.0 version.

iTunes 7.7.1 Introduces AppleScript bug that breaks Fetch Art 2.0 and Earlier

With the latest release of iTunes, Apple introduced a bug.  AppleScript code that previously returned a track object now returns a list of tracks (it should return a track.)

I spent a bit of time narrowing the issue down, only to find Doug had already documented the problem here:  AppleScript Bug or Feature in iTunes 7.7.1  I sure wish I had found that before I spent a while blaming my own code and debugging.

Anyway, the next version of Fetch Art will contain a fix for that AND I wrote the code so if Apple changes the behavior back in a future version of iTunes, Fetch Art should still continue to work.  It will handle the return object whether it is a track or a list.

Stay tuned for the new 2.1 version update.  It will be available soon.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Fetch Art 2.1.0 Nearing Release

With the release of iTunes 7.7.1 Apple changed something in how you can reference a track by ID.  This has broken all previous versions of Fetch Art.

I'm testing a new 2.1 version that addresses some of the bugs that have been reported as well as this issue.

Fetch Art 2.0 has been working for many people prior to iTunes 7.7.1 and I've gotten feedback that will help improve the accuracy of the Album Art. 

It will be a few more days before I can solve this issue.

Check back here for updates and thanks for the great feedback!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Fetch Art 2.0 Released as Beta

Hi all.  I wasn't able to test the new version of Fetch Art enough, so I am releasing this as a beta.

If you encounter any problems please report back to me whether you are on an Intel Mac or not and the name of the song that caused the issue.  If you can include a screenshot of the problem, do that too!

Email me at for support.

Also if you use it without any issues, I'd love to hear back from you.  Post to this blog with your comments.

You can download the new beta version here.

CHANGES in version 2.0: 
1) Fixes for compatibility with Amazon's new search web service. 
2) Improvements in accuracy logic in searching for art.
3) Added the option of skipping tracks that already have art 
4) Improved Unicode/extended character support 
5) Removed dependency on Perl which has caused problems when Mac OS X updates caused changes to Perl 
6) Increased performance by removing dependency on custom C application for image conversions. 
7) Added support for searches on Amazon Japan, France, and Canada as well as including the ones previously supported which were US, UK, and Germany

Fetch Art 2.0 Being Released...

I'm currently updating the files on my server.  The new 2.0 version will be available for download within the next hour.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Fetch Art 2.0 to be Released in One More Day

I still have to build the installer and update the files on my server, but the new improved Fetch Art 2.0 should by out by late Monday night (June 23, 2008)  I'm in GMT -7:00 time zone (that's Mountain Standard with no daylight savings) and that's Monday night, my time ;-)

Stay tuned right here...

Monday, May 26, 2008

Update, no new version yet, but coming soon...

As you probably read in my previous post Amazon pulled their older Web Service interface, and upgraded to the new Amazon Associates Web Service 4.0. This of course broke all previous versions of Fetch Art.

Initially I figured this would be a quick fix, and estimated maybe four weeks of development (understand I have a real paying job during the day, and a family, so my time to work on Fetch Art for free (donations accepted ;-) is limited.)

However as you can see it's been seven weeks since my initial announcement about Amazon taking down their older Web Services and still no fix has been released. Well the reason is the change hasn't been as simple I as expected. This is both good and bad.

It is bad, because it means more work for me, and more time you have to wait. However it is good, because it is forcing me to really rewrite some large areas of the code that have caused bugs and performance issues in the past. So when the new version is out, it should be better then ever.

I have completed a lot of work, and developed a prototype that is successfully getting art off of Amazon. However, because of my changes, I have to rewrite the code that saves the art to iTunes now.

The big question of course is... when will a new version (even a beta) be available?

My target release date (may be a beta, not a final version if I run into unexpected problems) is for June 23rd. If I have enough time to get some of the new features I want into the code, I may call this version 2.0, however, if I don't get everything in there in time, I'll probably call it 1.5.

What are some of the changes I'm working on? I hesitate to list them, because if some of them don't make it you'll be disappointed, but since I cannot offer you a working application, I'll go ahead and list them. Just understand, I may not be able to get all of these changes in time for the next release. These are the current features I am trying to include while I am re-writing the software:
1) Faster performance by improving the AppleScript code
2) Removing Perl code (which has been a source of bugs and incompatibilities with Mac OS X updates) should increase reliability across future versions of Mac OS X
3) Support for searches on Amazon Japan, France, and Canada as well as the ones the previous version supported which was U.S., UK, and Germany
4) Better support for unicode characters

Sorry I don't have more to offer you right now. Just know that any extra time I get, I'm working on this.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Amazon Pulls Web Service Fetch Art Uses

Well, Amazon has disabled Fetch Art starting in April 2008.

You can see their message here.

So in order to get Fetch Art working, I have to migrate to their Web Service 4.0 interface.

It will take some time to migrate the code to the new Amazon Web Services, however, I do plan to work on it ASAP.

Thanks for your support!