How to get clear photos on iPod?

Discussion in 'iPod touch' started by mavis, Jun 6, 2008.

  1. mavis macrumors 68040

    mavis

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2007
    Location:
    Tokyo, Japan
    #1
    Hey guys,

    As much as I love my iPod Touch, there's one thing I absolutely HATE about it: the image quality is TERRIBLE when viewing photos sync'd from iPhoto. I was wondering of anyone has any ideas on how I could either force iTunes to use a modern, efficient algorithm when resizing photos OR manually transfer the photos myself?

    Using the app "PhoneView" I was finally able to transfer one of the pictures from my iPod BACK to my Mac and view it there. It turns out, the picture is not only horribly compressed, but also the filesize is HUGE. Kind of ridiculous, I think. I zoomed in 200% in Photoshop (just like we can do on the iPod) so you guys can see what I'm talking about here. The difference between the two halves is night and day - not only image quality, but also filesize (436KB vs. 60KB) ... I hope Apple fixes this annoying problem soon!! In the meantime, does anyone know of any workarounds?

    [​IMG]
    Another example
     
  2. slappy sam macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2008
    #2
    Edit: Didn't see the photo when I posted this, I haven't tried this with mine, but I think that it should still look fine on the 320x480 screen of the ipod. You could try what I outlined below and see if it makes a difference, but if you want to zoom in then its gonna be a problem.

    I'm a photographer, so I use photoshop to downsize to 400x600 files and sharpen for my site anyway. I run these (very sharp) 400x600 files through itunes and they sync to my ipod touch in gorgeous 320x480 (pretty sure thats the res). I must say, they look REALLY good. I'm surprised your having trouble.

    Are you cropping your files down at all or are they going straight from the camera to the ipod? Also, what software do you have for managing/editing your photos? If I was to only output to my ipod, I'd suggest cropping every photo to 320x480 dimensions and using the sharpen feature of your software (just a touch). Then save in a new folder. Set itunes to sync to that folder. If the file is 320x480 itunes shouldn't have to compress it, so you will be controlling what the photos look like.

    That's what I'd do if I wasn't already cropping to 400x600. Since I am and that looks great on my ipod, theres not really any reason to also crop to 320x480.

    I'm assuming your talking about sharpness, if your not then please explain whats wrong. Also, if you crop the photos down like this you won't really be able to zoom in very well, it will just pixelate. Shouldn't really need to zoom anyway :)
     
  3. andybno1 macrumors 68040

    andybno1

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2007
    Location:
    Liverpool, UK
    #3
    I have had very similar problems when I originally got photos for my touch but when I transfered the quality was terrible and I had weird colour effects going on. I ended up using a trial of a windows program called smart converter and everythin was fine after that but I'm stuck with smart converter: unregistered in the top corner with a white background behind the text. I will have to see if I can sync my photos from my mac whilst keeping the library from my windows pc
     
  4. mavis thread starter macrumors 68040

    mavis

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2007
    Location:
    Tokyo, Japan
    #4
    Thanks for posting, I appreciate you trying to help. :)

    This is the second iPod I've noticed grainy pictures with, so I know it's not just defective hardware. Anyway, after using PhoneView to download my sync'd pictures from my iPod BACK to my Mac, I've noticed that the resolutions are different for pictures, depending on whether their orientation is portrait or landscape. For portrait 4x6 images, the resolution is indeed 480x320. However, for landscape orientation, the resolution is consistently 640x426. Kind of odd that Apple would be sizing photos differently depending on their orientation.

    Anyway, I tried doing what you suggested - manually resizing my pictures to 640x426 (landscape) and 480x320 (portrait) and then syncing them as a folder, rather than through iPhoto. The results were disappointing. I've put together a sample, below:

    [​IMG]

    As you can see, even the manually resized images are turning out horribly grainy. What's even more pathetic than the image quality, however, is the file size: my original JPG is 84KB, but the iTunes' "optimized" JPG is five times as large (456KB) with inaccurate color and awful grain to boot. I mean, it looks like someone dribbled a basketball all over a glossy print (seriously, that grain's pattern is an exact match with the grain on a basketball) ... WTH?!?

    PS after examining the EXIF data for both pictures, I've noticed another oddity which explains the bad color at least - when iTunes 'optimizes' pictures for the iPod, it apparently assigns them your monitor's color profile! Was this just an oversight, or what the hell were they thinking? When I export my pictures from Lightroom to iPhoto, I always use the sRGB profile because it's the most standard profile to use when sharing pictures (posting online, emailing, etc) ... My iMac's color profile is a custom Spyder2Pro profile, but that profile is only accurate for THIS MONITOR - certainly not my iPod. :mad: This just keeps getting better. Anyway, I've uploaded the original pictures if anyone is interested in checking them out - you can download them in a zip archive here.

    So I guess my question remains: does anyone know of ANY way to get clear photos sync'd with the iPod Touch or iPhone?
     
  5. mavis thread starter macrumors 68040

    mavis

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2007
    Location:
    Tokyo, Japan
  6. G99 macrumors 6502

    G99

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2006
    #6
    There are ways to prevent this "compression" from happening, but I haven't found either of them to be particularly practical.
    1) If you have jailbroken your iPod, you can follow the instructions here to bypass iTunes' optimisation of the photos.
    2) If you haven't jailbroken, you can use this software to get the photos to display in Safari. However, this means that you will not be able to view the photos in the photo app, but will have to view them from within Safari through the use of bookmarks or webclips. Personally I use this method to get the London Underground map onto my iPod in full-res. Note that the software seems to crash if processing large photos.
    Hopefully someone will release an app with 2.0 to get full-res images onto the iPod in a much easier way.
     
  7. mavis thread starter macrumors 68040

    mavis

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2007
    Location:
    Tokyo, Japan
    #7
    Thanks for the tips. I've actually tried both already - the first is a must have for wallpaper, but it does nothing for the photo app images. The second is very useful for single images but as you said, it is highly inconvenient for browsing galleries.

    Since apps like PhoneView can read the photo app's database and extract images, I don't see why it can't INSERT them, too. I guess that's what I'm really waiting on. Well, that or even better, Apple getting their act together and allowing us to transfer non-grainy pics. :(
     
  8. mavis thread starter macrumors 68040

    mavis

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2007
    Location:
    Tokyo, Japan
    #8
    Still hoping someone has a suggestion on how to get around Apple's sloppy coding ... ?
     

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