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Apple TV support color profiles in photos?

681 Views 12 Replies Latest reply: Jul 31, 2012 7:33 PM by Stephen Dawson1 RSS
Stephen Dawson1 Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
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Jul 24, 2012 10:46 PM

I've come across a problem with color in my photos. I use Aperture as my photo editor, and most photos have been taken in the RAW format. When iTunes shares photos to the Apple TV 2, it uses the previews generated by Aperture. These previews are JPGs with an embedded color profile of Adobe RGB (1998). You have no control over this. Aperture always uses this color profile for RAW photos.


Now let's say I export a photo from Aperture into JPG format, using the sRGB profile. I can open this photo in Preview, and open the Aperture-generated preview version in Preview, and they look identical. I can also import the JPG back into Aperture, and again it looks identical to the RAW version when viewed by Aperture. This is to be expected because Aperture and Preview are color-managed apps. However, the sRGB version, when viewed on the Apple TV 2, is way more saturated then the Adobe RGB version. Does this mean that the combination of iTunes and Apple TV isn't color-managed? Does it, for instance, assume that all photos are sRGB? This is a major problem, because if I have a mixture of RAW and JPG photos the colors will not be consistent between them when shown via the Apple TV.


Any thoughts welcome!

  • Alley_Cat Level 6 Level 6 (16,625 points)
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    Jul 25, 2012 1:08 AM (in response to Stephen Dawson1)

    There is no official information on this AFAIK though I would be surprised if iOS devices were colour profile aware.


    I think safe to assume that it will deal with Adobe RGB images as though they are sRGB, hence the typical washed out look of the wider gamut Adobe RGB image treated as sRGB.


    Are you sure Aperture is forcing Adobe RGB for RAW - my Canon's allow me to choose either sRGB or AdobeRGB in their camera settings menus.

  • Alley_Cat Level 6 Level 6 (16,625 points)
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    Jul 25, 2012 2:46 AM (in response to Stephen Dawson1)

    Ah yes - too early in the morning and not thinking straight!  Didn't mean to suggest that the RAW data had a specific colour profile just wondered if the in camera option was getting used as a default output profile for processed RAWs, perhaps not. 



  • Alley_Cat Level 6 Level 6 (16,625 points)
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    Jul 25, 2012 2:58 AM (in response to Stephen Dawson1)

    Is Aperture generating the previews or set to use the embedded JPG?


    Hoepfully someone from Aperture forum will chime in.  Could be a bug.



  • Alley_Cat Level 6 Level 6 (16,625 points)
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    Jul 25, 2012 3:58 PM (in response to Stephen Dawson1)

    Winston has pointed out that officially AppleTV doesn't support RAW - maybe Aperture should not be sending RAW derivatives at all?


    I'm assuming however it must be sending a default/processed derivative of some kind.



  • Alley_Cat Level 6 Level 6 (16,625 points)
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    Jul 25, 2012 5:51 PM (in response to Stephen Dawson1)

    Stephen Dawson1 wrote:


    Well, as far as I'm aware, Apple TV 2 "streams" photos via iTunes. Aperture has a preference to "Share previews with iLife and iWork". It is these previews that are picked up by iTunes and by the media browser in Finder (via an XML file produced by Aperture, and also by iPhoto). The photo browser icon in a new email compose window will also use these. So no, Apple TV doesn't support RAW directly - it doesn't have to, because the photos shared from Aperture or iPhoto are always JPGs. But the previews produced by Aperture (and iPhoto - I just tested that) from a RAW file have the Adobe RGB profile, and it doesn't look like the workflow handles that properly at all when it comes to Apple TV or even emailing photos from outside Aperture/iPhoto (it's not a good idea to be emailing JPGs that have an Adobe RGB profile). Sorry, I'm starting to sound like a broken record!


    You mentioned Winston. Where does he hang out?


    Thanks again for your continued interest...

    Winston hangs about all over the place, especially here.


    In all honesty I think this goes beyond any configuration issue you have control over as a user and I would advise you to send feedback to AppleTV and Aperture teams:



    I'm not sure if you're shooting RAW and JPG or just RAW but if both I think I'd be inclined to set iTunes Advanced preferences to share a Smart Album of JPGs only (assuming that's possible).



  • Winston Churchill Level 10 Level 10 (81,670 points)
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    Jul 25, 2012 6:17 PM (in response to Stephen Dawson1)

    Any expertise I have is in relation to video, unfortunately I know very little about photography. In the conversations I had with Alley Cat, I questioned that iTunes is picking up the previews in the way that you suggest.


    I may of course be wrong, but what is it that makes you suspect that iTunes is using the previews from Aperture, so far as I am aware you cannot point iTunes towards the media browser.


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