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Cover Art Resolution Issue

1646 Views 14 Replies Latest reply: Jan 23, 2013 10:55 AM by PrismaticSessions RSS
PrismaticSessions Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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Dec 6, 2012 12:59 PM



I'm currently experiencing bugs in iTunes and I was wondering if anyone else is having the same problem? These are a concern for me a podcast producer so if we can can we make our voices heard by the iTunes Store team maybe they'll fix it?!


My podcast link ( when opened takes me to the iTunes Store, but then I get a pop-up which says 'This content is not available in the UK Store'. Yet if I search for "Prismatic Sessions" in the search bar in iTunes it goes straight to it and allows it to be downloaded. - This is fustrating if you ask me, because it will put off potential listeners.....


i've also noticed my podcast artwork looks blurry all of a sudden, even in the Apple Podcast iOS app, this can't be right because my podcast artwork is uploaded at 1024x1024 so that it looks amazing on the retina / HD compatible displays. The iTunes Podcast Creators page suggests artwork of 300x300, but this is way too small in my eyes for the new displays we are now using. I've emailed reuesting it be changed to match the minimum res of Albums bought in iTunes which is 700x700.


The degredation in resolution could be my podcast host using an algorithm to automatically reduce my podcast art inline with the iTunes reccomendation. so I contacted them to bump it up but they won't, because they take iTunes podcast Creators pages as 'Gospel' and won't deviate from it unless iTunes make the changes...I've email iTunes about this as a suggestion and as a support ticket but it hasn't helped!


Can we get our voice heard so we can make the whole podcast experience better? I feel like i'm talking to a brick wall here! Plus...they need to fix their own iOS podcast app too!

  • Robert Walch Level 4 Level 4 (1,275 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 6, 2012 1:08 PM (in response to PrismaticSessions)

    Apple has for some time recommended your artwork be 1,400 x 1,400 pixels.


    1. Create a graphic for your podcast that is easy to recognize when scaled down to 50x50 pixels. Good art communicates the value of the podcast with a simple picture and a few words. Before you create your podcast art, go to the Podcast page in the iTunes Store, click on Top Podcasts, and note which art works best and why. We recommend a 1400 x 1400 pixel JPG for cover art. You can also use images at the episode level.




    Rob W


  • Roger Wilmut1 Level 9 Level 9 (63,975 points)
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    Dec 6, 2012 1:30 PM (in response to PrismaticSessions)

    The link to your podcast is



    its feed is at


    You also have a podcast (with no episodes) at



    - its feed is not present on the server ( )


    Looking at the first one, which has three episodes in the feed (though only the latest one appears in the Store), the image in the Store is not the same as the one in the feed. It looks OK:




    Presumably you've changed the image recently. If you did not change the image filename the Store (which caches the image) will have no way of knowing it's changed. If you did change the filename, it may take some time for the Store to change the dislayed image. The image referenced in the feed is 300x300:


    Podcast Cover_1.jpg

  • Roger Wilmut1 Level 9 Level 9 (63,975 points)
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    Dec 6, 2012 1:52 PM (in response to Roger Wilmut1)

    Regarding image quality: the original spec was for 300 x 300, later upped to 600 x 600 then 1400 x 1400 to accomodate the enlarged image obtained when you clicked the image at bottom left in iTunes 10. However in iTunes 11 there appears to be no way of enlarging the image, though there is with songs - you get only the tiny image at the very top when playing in the Store, and the Store's own image. At this size your images won't look any better than they currently. Whether the lack of the large image is another accidental omission to be fixed in an update remains to be seen.


    The image seen when you subscribe to a podcast is entirely another matter, as these are not referenced in the feed but have to be actually embedded in the episode media files - please see this page. The episode I checked does have this embedded image, and clicking on the small image at the top of the window when actually playing it does produce the large image, which looks much better and is obviously a good size (your ISP can't change this because it's part of the audio file).


    UPDATE: I posted the above before I saw your latest post. The image I posted was downloaded from the URL in the feed and is definitely 300x300 (the display here may shrink it slightly).


    As you say, the 'Report a concern' link has been removed, despite the fact that the published instructions still tell you to use them. I really don't know what they think they are playing at. You could try emailing them at podcasts 'at'


    The quote in Rob's post is from the Apple Podcasting Tech Specs page:

  for that section and

  for the top of the page.

  • Robert Walch Level 4 Level 4 (1,275 points)
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    Dec 6, 2012 1:58 PM (in response to PrismaticSessions)


    This is the link.


    More detailed info is at the bottom with regards to the image artwork tag



    This tag specifies the artwork for your podcast. Put the URL to the image in the href attribute. iTunes prefers square .jpg images that are at least 1400 x 1400 pixels, which is different than what is specified for the standard RSS image tag. In order for a podcast to be eligible for an iTunes Store feature, the accompanying image must be at least 1400 x 1400 pixels.

    iTunes supports images in JPEG and PNG formats with a RGB color space (CMYK is not supported). The URL must end in ".jpg" or ".png". If the <itunes:image> tag is not present, iTunes will use the contents of the RSS image tag.

    If you change your podcast’s image, also change the file’s name. iTunes may not change the image if it checks your feed and the image URL is the same.

    Spend some time developing an attractive, original image that represents your podcast well. Potential subscribers will see it on your podcast’s page and a much smaller version of the image in search results and feature placements. Make sure your design is effective in both sizes.

    The <itunes:image> tag is also supported at the episode level. For best results, we recommend using the <itunes:image> tag at the item level as well as embedding the same art within the media file’s metadata. To embed art within an individual episodes’ metadata using iTunes, highlight the episode and select "Get Info" from the "File" menu. Click the Artwork tab. Then click "Add," navigate to and select the image file, and click "Choose."

  • Roger Wilmut1 Level 9 Level 9 (63,975 points)
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    Dec 6, 2012 2:04 PM (in response to PrismaticSessions)

    PrismaticSessions wrote:


    I'm thinking maybe the iOS app doesn't read the image data in the audio file, but only the 300x300 image in the feed as my minimix and episode images are all different. They show up differently in iTunes 11 but not in the Apple Podcast app.

    I think this may be the case, but I dono't have an iOS device so I have no experience of their Podcasts app - onloyo that a lot of people are complaining about it. I have a feeling it streams the media - as when playing in the Store on a computer - because of the file storage issue (certainly it only requests part of the file at a time), and of course if that's the case it probably won't be able to access the image.

  • Damian holt Calculating status...
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    Jan 4, 2013 7:35 AM (in response to PrismaticSessions)

    Hi, I use jellycast as my host also. Im in the process of designing a 1400x1400 image for both my podcasts. Did you place the iTunes image tag at item level or episode level or both? Were you able to upload the larger file on the jellycast management page? I've noticed it still recommends 300x300 and I'm sure when I 1st uploaded the original image a year ago it wouldn't accept it until I cropped it to 300x300.

  • Roger Wilmut1 Level 9 Level 9 (63,975 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 4, 2013 8:04 AM (in response to Damian holt)

    There is no point in placing an 'itunes:image' tag within the 'item' tags for an episode: it will be ignored. Your image should be referenced in the top section of the feed, between the 'channel' tag and the first 'item' tag, and should take the form:


    <itunes:image href="URL OF AN IMAGE FOR THE PODCAST" />


    This image will appear in the iTunes Store (eventually) but will not appear when subscribing in iTunes. For that the image has to be actually embedded in the media file, as described in this page:


  • Damian holt Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Jan 4, 2013 10:02 AM (in response to Roger Wilmut1)

    Using jellycast I don't actually have access to editing the feed. They simply give you fields to populate which I assume they then add all the tag references when uploading it to iTunes. I'm currently producing hour long dj mixes as enhanced podcasts in the m4a format. Each episode is track marked in chapters as a cd would be and each chapter has its individual artwork assigned to it. I have no issue with either of my podcast images at present(I post 2 different podcast feeds). They are viewable from web, in iTunes and the podcast app, however they are only 300x300 and I would like the possibility of being listed so am in the process of making 1400x1400. When i subscribe in iTunes to my podcast the image that gets displayed is the image I assign to it as an album cover which is as I intend.  My 1st feed is

    And the second is at


    Where would I need to place the 1400x1400 image to ensure I can be eligible to be advertised on iTunes?

  • Roger Wilmut1 Level 9 Level 9 (63,975 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 4, 2013 10:30 AM (in response to Damian holt)

    It has to be referenced in the tag I described above in order to display in the iTunes Store. There is an image correctly referenced in both feeds, though in both cases it is 300 x 300. I don't know how picky the Store is about this - my own podcast image, which has been up a long time, is 300 x 300 and the image still appears. You may need to replace the image with a larger one - if you do this, give it a different file name.


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