Note: MusicBrainz is an excellent source for metadata for music recordings. It’s also a wonderful reference resource.
From the MusicBrainz Blog:
Cover art (the images associated with music products) adds a great amount of value to the digital music experience. Many projects and apps on the net use these images to add color and depth to their music tools. However, there isn’t a cleanly organized, publicly available resource where everyone can access these images. You can use Amazon product images, but your project needs to be able to abide by their Terms of Service, which doesn’t work for everyone. Many projects use Google Images to source their cover art, but that is an inexact science since they may not always find the right image.
Furthermore, the copyrights around cover art have never been aggregated by anyone. Most of the copyrights for these images are not held by the labels that licensed the music itself. In a lot of cases, the actual copyright owner may not actually be known. All of this creates a lot of inequality around cover art and we hope to fix this inequality by curating a collection of clean and easily accessible images.
So far, we’ve collected nearly 100,000 images that are attached to 54,000 releases for a 5% coverage in MusicBrainz. The largest file we have clocks in at 23MB and the largest image is 16,000 x 7842 (125 megapixels!). For all of the juicy stats on this project, check out our cover art statistics page.
Read the Complete Blog Post to Learn More
Direct to Cover Art Archive Home Page
API info available here.