Descreening & Dust Removal

I’ve been busy lately fixing a bit of a screw up with our music collection: over six hundred albums lost because of a hard-drive corruption. Okay, because of RAID. Okay, okay, because I forgot that the NAS runs Linux. Overall though, I find this to be a win. How is this possible? Well…

Originally, the CDs were ripped using iTunes, not the best of methods I know now, as there were mislabeled and misfiled mp3s, silent tracks and data files included, missing album art, incorrect tags – I didn’t even want to listen to it, things were such a mess.

This time, I ripped the CDs using Exact Audio Copy to ensure perfection (or close) and FreeDB for tags, which ended up being about 98% accurate. I then cleaned up the tags and embedded album art with MediaMonkey, adding my own cover scans when not satisfied with those on Amazon (which has horrific compression artifacts) or Google.

I ended up learning a lot about scanners, their software, and album art, so here are some tips:
1. Use Professional Mode. The more options, the better.
2. USE THE DESCREEN FILTER. No one likes moiré in scans.
3. Dust removal is very nice. It saves cleanup time in Photoshop.
4. It doesn’t matter if scans are 1,200 x 1,200 dpi. If the image is compressed, it will always look bad.

I have added the album covers to the gallery for download. The majority are 600 x 600 pixels and they do not have any compression artifacts or watermarks. Enjoy!

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