that is one sweet setup!
Wish you well with your thesis!
why not delete the .jpg files?
if they are embedded, you can use mp3tag to erase all tags, including cover art tag.
Look, George is a man who has a brilliant idea which he wants to realize and let others with similar interests participate – for the benefit of them and himself. A win-win situation.
You, on the other hand... with your cardboard sign on the corner... have nothing to offer but the appeal to people' goodwill and pity – which won't get you out of your frustrated life.