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iTunes 'optimizing' = grainy, bloated, low resolution?

12672 Views 45 Replies Latest reply: Dec 6, 2008 2:28 PM by endriko RSS
  • Kyn Drake Level 7 Level 7 (21,460 points)
    I had thought the dithering was to make the image look better on the low bit-depth of the iPhone screen (same as some laptops).

    Then I found this page, so I'm still looking to see if there's a reason for using a dithered .jpg that's larger than what you gave it..

    I know that the image is getting larger because .jpg really likes large expanses of smoothly changing colors. Throwing all that dithering in there wreaks havoc with the compressor.
    MacBook Pro 2.16, Mac OS X (10.5.4), 2 Gig RAM - 1 GHz TiBook 1 Gig RAM
  • Kato101 Calculating status...
    Sent feedback referring to this article. Thank you mavisXP for pointing this out!
    MB C2D 2.0Ghz 1GB (2nd gen), Mac OS X (10.4.11), dual boot(camp) winxppro
  • mcdj Calculating status...
    You should see what happens when you upload a screenshot from the phone to a MobileMe album. JPEG mayhem, destroying an otherwise pixel perfect PNG. I imagine it does the same to camera roll pics.
    G5 Quad
  • Domox Calculating status...
    Yep, this is garbage. Esp. for those of us who keep it for a mobile portfolio.
    Mac OS X (10.5.4)
  • bluetooth Calculating status...
    I having the same problem after syncing with iTunes. Not sure why they compressed it so much. NEVER had this problem before in the past. Now my wallpaper looks like crap. I thought this was a space issue on the phone, but I deleted all my music and just synced the photos and it still looks really bad. I noticed that your pictures look somewhat better than mine. Does anyone think that I have a bad screen or a lemon iPhone 3G? I also have the 2.0.2 installed. Please help.

    See my sample before and after pics (double click image to see original size)...

    Message was edited by: bluetooth
    MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.5.4)
  • bluetooth Level 1 Level 1 (45 points)
    Can anyone look at my pics and help me please? I just wanted to know if my phone is defective because it may not be processing graphics correctly. I notice a huge difference with my photos, vs. the photos posted by the other person on this thread.

    MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.5.4)
  • u137 Calculating status...
    It might be the case that iTunes is part of the problem, but I've noticed the same pattern within the iPhone 3G itself. If you read a mail with an attached image, the image has the original size and quality. If you then save the same image to your photo roll, it gets resampled and/or compressed and looses a lot of quality. I noticed this when I tried to transfer some hi quality photos to be used as wallpapers by mailing them to myself, but they ended up very blurry and with loss of dynamic range. Too bad. Hope this is unintentional and gets fixed soon.
    iPhone 3G
  • Charles Conway Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 16, 2008 6:19 PM (in response to u137)
    Exactly! I tried to get around the iTunes "optimization" by saving images from Mobile Safari into the camera roll and then using them for a wallpaper. They look great in Safari but as soon as they're saved, they look like junk. Emailing the saved photo back to my computer confirms that the image is modified (blurrier, very limited dynamic range, and slightly resized larger).

    The loss of quality cannot be blamed on saving space. A simple re-save of the original image in Photoshop as JPEG quality level 4 resulted in a 53% smaller image whereas the iPhone-modified version was only 27% smaller. The smaller file from photoshop looks nearly perfect whereas the larger file from the iPhone looks like trash. How, then, could it possibly be intentional?
    Dual 2.7 G5, Macbook Pro C2D, Mac Mini, Mac OS X (10.5.4), iPhone OS 2.1
  • bizzyb0t Calculating status...
    I just bought an 8GB iPod Touch 2nd gen when they first came out. I read about this issue of the bloated "basketball grain" photo issue but thought, surely, Apple would have fixed this problem in the new iPod Touch. Surely, this issue won't exist since you know, it's supposed to be the "Funnest iPod EVER!" Well, imagine the joy when I found out that my beautiful photos were trashed when I synced them. I hunted and I searched for some sort of setting that perhaps I overlooked. No, apparently it's the also the "Dumbest iPod EVER!" as well, or at least they feel that they need to dumb everything down. I mean, two finger pinch and zoom is great and all when you're looking at pictures but what's the purpose if all it does is remind me that my iPod is made of fail? I was excited because rather than bring my laptop around to show people my photographs, I'd be able to take the awesome and mighty iPod Touch 2g and use it to show off my stuff. Nope, I can't because Apple decided that recompressing and quadrupling the size would be "optimal".

    After over a year and a hardware revision, I thought they'd have fixed stuff like this. My intuition tells me that this craptacular compression for photos (and it's even worse if you save through Safari onto the Touch) is to gently guide you to buying photos through iTunes and their sneaky way to implement a DRM scheme. I honestly don't believe that it's unintentional. Not by a long shot. This isn't some sort of glitch that they can't fix, there's no reason (in the hardware or the software) why the images have to be "optimized" in such a manner. All they have to do is make a couple of check boxes that allow you to disable this horrible compression scheme in Safari and iTunes and allow you to upload your images as-is. I have a Sony-Ericsson w580i that handles images that aren't compressed to smithereens.

    I don't have any faith that this issue will ever be fixed. I think it's exactly as Apple planned it to be. So, I'll be returning my iPod Touch and the unopened one I have hidden away as a surprise birthday gift for my wife and replacing them with the new Archos 5's that are out:

    I have an older Archos 604 that displays the photos from my 7.2 megapixel camera (~3MB apiece) beautifully. The Archos 5 that my friend just bought has an even better screen than my iPod Touch and his device doesn't crap all over his photos like the iPod Touch does.

    Seriously, what's the use of keeping the iPod Touch with it's snazzy hi-res screen and using it as a mobile platform if it ruins photos and turns them into lo-fi junk? I've already recommended the Archos 5 to a couple of my friends that were thinking of getting iPod Touch's too. When I showed them the compression that the images had after syncing, they were not impressed in the least.

    I'll eat the 10% restocking fee instead of stewing over this horrible irritation of having my iPod Touch and iTunes cripple photos upon sync. It butchers the photos even if they're exactly the same resolution as the iPod Touch's screen. And seriously, what could be the purpose of that?

    If you're reading this and you're thinking of enjoying your photos on the iPod Touch, forget it, unless you like lo-fi circa 1995 images.

    Apple is very sensitive to criticism, so don't be surprised if this post gets deleted like the quality of your photos on the iPod Touch.
    MacBook1,1, Mac OS X (10.5.5), 2.0GHz Intel Core Duo, 1GB RAM
  • Tinlad Calculating status...
    I haven't got much to add to this discussion other than a 'me too'. I first noticed the problem when I saved a JPEG in Mobile Safari to use as a wallpaper - the quality of the saved image was terrible.

    The quality of the iTunes 'optimized' photograhs is also frankly shocking.

    Hopfully this issue is merely an oversight and will be fixed in a software update soon...
    MacBook Pro 15", Mac OS X (10.5.5), 2.0GHz Core Duo, 2GB, 200GB, 128MB X1600
  • Grant Tompkins Level 1 Level 1 (25 points)
    I don't remember having this problem on the 1st Gen phone. Im surprised this wasn't fixed with the 2.1 update.
    Macbook pro, Mac OS X (10.5.5)


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