Cover Art Archive
The Cover Art Archive is a cooperation between the Internet Archive and MusicBrainz to form a repository of music cover art (e.g. the covers of CDs) that is freely and easily accessible. The Cover Art Archive is stored on the Internet Archive's servers and curated by the MusicBrainz community. The images for any release are indexed by MusicBrainz Release ID (MBID) and can be fetched by constructing a URL that is based on the MBID.
Fetching Cover Art
To construct the URL for the original size front cover for a release with a given MBID, replace (MBID) in the URL below with the MBID of the release:
For example, to fetch the cover art of Portishead's Dummy CD Audio, which has the MBID of 8f468f36-8c7e-4fc1-9166-50664d267127, you construct the following URL:
You can do the same for the back cover:
Then all you need to do is an HTTP GET on that URL to download the cover art. Please note that coverartarchive.org is only a redirect service: when you request one of these URLs you will either get a 404 (not found) response or a 307 (moved) redirect response that points to the full Internet Archive URL where the actual image is located. Any modern HTTP client should transparently handle the redirect. If you get a Not Found (404) error, this release does not have that piece of cover art in MusicBrainz.
Note: The MBID appears twice in the full URL because these cover art images are part of the normal Internet Archive collection, and their naming convention is friendly to their visitors, who might download individual images via their web browser. In order to allow the user to save multiple images to a directory on their own computer without overwriting existing files, each of the files names should be unique.
Supported Image Types
While /front and /back are the only two automatic redirects, you can get information about what other images the Cover Art Archive has for a specific release by entering the bare URL:
This will give you a JSON file that contains a machine-readable list of all the images, with some details about them and links to both the full size image and two thumbnails (500px and 250px).
An image's type(s) indicate what kind of image it is - you can look at our list of types to know more. Not every release will have one image of each type, and a lot will have more than one of several of them.