Categories Multimedia

Customise genre jackets in iTunes 8

iTunes 8, the new media player signed Apple, introduces grid browsing. The principle is to display the jackets of your albums but also specific jackets for a classification by genre (pop, rock, film music, etc.). In the event that a genre is not supported, an album jacket will appear. How to add genre jackets? Can one change the ones present by default? Answers in this tutorial.


In iTunes 8, grid browsing now takes on a prominent place and, in my opinion, will be even more successful than CoverFlow.

Very powerful, this display mode by jacket allows you to classify your music library — also available for your movies, podcasts, etc., by albums, artists, genres and composers.

In addition, a ruler allows you to choose a zoom level according to your desires. Very useful, for example, to get a global overview of his library!

But there is still a problem. Indeed, some genre jackets are not present natively what is really boring... similarly, there is a way to customise the default ones!

Addition of jackets of non-existent genres

Open the folder C:\Program Files\iTunes\iTunes.Resources then locate the file Genres.plist.

As a precaution, make a backup copy!

Take, for example, a non-existent genre: the French variety, a genus present in the iTunes Store — I rely only on genera present in their index.

Just open the file Genres.plist with the Notepad although I don't advise you. Prefer Notepad++ or Dreamweaver this will allow you to add much more easily the necessary piece of code without making mistakes.

Capture d'écran - Explorateur Windows, ouverture du fichier genres.plist
Screenshot of screen — Windows Explorer, opening file genres.plist

To add a new genre, copy/paste the highlighted code after the previous one.

Capture d'écran - Aperçu dans Dreamweaver du fichier genres.plist
Screenshot of screen — Preview in Dreamweaver of the file genres.plist

Then replace the information with the information you are interested in, i.e. in our example:

  • Enter French variety — the genus is to be entered in lowercase and accents are allowed, between tags ‘STRING’ ;
  • Specify the name of the.jpg file — so very convenient to create your own images or search them on the Internet, again between the tags ‘STRING’ the second line;
Capture d'écran - Modification du fichier genres.plist
Screenshot of screen — Modification of file genres.plist

Save the file and open iTunes 8. A new jacket was created:

Capture d'écran - iTunes, aperçu des modifications de jaquettes du genre "Variété française"
Screenshot of screen — iTunes, preview of changes to jackets of the genre “Variété française”

Modification of existing types of jackets

To do this, simply repeat the previous steps regarding the information to be changed and apply it for a particular gender.

So look for a genre to be changed using the command Ctrl + F — be careful, not all are francised, then operate the modifications.

Save the file and see the result in iTunes 8.

Personally, I find this display by grid — especially the one by genre, very friendly. Maybe we'll soon find jacket packs for different genres? If anyone wants to create a pack, I'm ready to publish it here without delay!

Notice to artwork lovers!


Leave a Reply to Aurélien Denis Cancel reply

  • That’s cool, thanks for the trick. Even though the covers are not so ugly as his
    On Mac, just right click on the iTunes icon and then “Display Package Content”. The images are in the “Resources” folder

    As a user of Tab Mix Plus, I confirm that the cross is present on the last tab of FF 3.5. By clicking on this cross the tab becomes a white page. Personally, I use Tab Mix Plus for many other tab features.

  • @Valentin: I agree with you the jackets are really nice but some were missing at the call hence this tutorial.

    And thanks to you for completing by indicating the location of the folder concerned for Macs.

  • Paul

    Sorry, but your site is *HORRIBLE* when it comes to translation.
    I have no idea what algo you're using to translate it in german but — here’s a tip deep from my heart:
    *Just don't do it!*
    The whole sense is translated so bad that it’s just funny if it wouldn‘t be nonsense in the end... — Hindi translated backwards to Traditional Chinese can’t be worse, imo.

    If you don't believe me, check it out with the help of someone capable reading in german.

  • @paul: I totally understand your thoughts but it’s just a Google service to give non French readers to have access to my blog.

    Yes, it is not perfect but the service is going better and better and some people noticed me that they understand it (English case).

    I can do better, sorry.

  • Thom

    Thanks bcp for the tuto, it didn't hurt my head;-).

    The only problem I have is that he does not accept the ç (cedille) for French song. Can it come from where?

    Bye Bye

  • Nico

    First of all, thank you for this tip! However, I am faced with a problem that I cannot solve and I would like to have your opinion on:

    As you advised, I used Notepad++ instead of the note block. But when recording data from.plist genres, an error message tells me: “Please check wether if this file is opened in another program”. I had to close all the other programs still in progress, no way to solve the problem... Would you have a little idea as to the origin of this message?

  • @Nico: either a program has nevertheless remained open — at least its process, in this case use the Windows Task Manager to try to identify the wrongdoer (the browser window containing the folder must also be closed), or there is a bug with Notepad++ in which case I advise you to go through one of these 6 alternatives or by downloading a demo version of Dreamweaver or — even more simply, using the Notepads Windows (although visibility is not top at all).

    If the problem persists, we will try to consider an alternative solution. Good luck!

  • Nico

    Here, I just tried the manoeuvre with Dreamweaver but the same problem seems to reappear: apparently, at the time of recording the changes, I was denied access like.plist...

  • Thank you for the trick. I encountered the same problem with the “ç” character. In fact, you have to register the file in UTF-8 format as NotePad++, and not in the ANSI format, which is the default text file format of Windows. Thank you very much.

  • Blanchard

    Hello, I just performed the gait so nicely delivered, and brilliantly, when I open iTunes I can indeed enjoy custom illustrations by genre. However, when I sync my iPad, and then open the iPod app, I only see the illustrations provided by Apple and not the one I have customised, instead I find myself with the “joy” music note. Do you have a method to deal with that?

    Thank you very much for the time you will take to read and answer me.

  • Helkin

    thank you for the method
    Where can I find your image “French Songs”, or can you publish it if it belongs to you, thank you.