I had an old H19 Heathkit terminal that I wanted to do something fun with and I was looking for an excuse to learn some Ruby so I decided to write a program to display the iTunes artwork as ASCII text.
The program uses AppleScript to communicate with iTunes and extract the album art. Since the images can be in many different formats it uses ImageMagic to convert them to JPEGs which are piped into jp2a. Depending on what the terminal supports, jp2a will either convert it to monochrome ASCII or colorized ANSI text. The song’s art and metadata are positioned on the screen using the curses library.