iTunes video quality

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by Meatball, Mar 12, 2010.

  1. Meatball macrumors regular

    Aug 24, 2006
    I've been a long term user of iTunes and think it's a fantastic piece of software but one area of the iTunes Store that needs an overhaul is the quality of the video supplied. The quality is pretty poor especially the quality of most music videos. We're at the age of being able to stream 1080p video from YouTube, EG. Lady GaGa Feat. Beyoncé - Telephone (1080p!) yet barely get decent quality 480p video from iTunes. With the launch of VEVO on YouTube you can now watch iTunes equal (if not better) quality music videos for free.

    It's not only the resolution of the video it's the encoding. A lot of the music videos I've purchased from its have washed out colours and look like a layer of vaseline has been smeared on the camera lens. I can get better quality videos ripping from my music video DVD's. Some examples:

    Britney Spears - Toxic

    DVD rip (1500Kbps, H.264, Handbrake encode from ripped music video DVD)
    Cost: £7 for DVD with 14 videos

    Good contrast, lack of macroblocking, richer colours and better deinterlacing

    iTunes encode (1755Kbps, H.264, iTunes encode)
    Cost: £1.29

    Washed out colour, bad macroblocking, bad deinterlacing and terrible contrast.
    Owl City - Fireflies

    YouTube snapshot (480p)
    Cost: FREE

    iTunes music video
    Cost: £1.29

    Need I say more?

    I would love to download my TV shows, movies & music videos from iTunes but I get much better quality from my Blu-Rays, DVDs and now even YouTube. Sure iTunes is a lot more convenient and easier but for me quality > convenience.
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    There is a noticeable difference! I agree that with so many looking to Apple for media-oriented applications, that it's a shame the built-in tools don't measure up to the 3rd party apps.
  3. Julien macrumors G4


    Jun 30, 2007
    Don't forget that Apple HD is only 720 and at an abysmal data rate that is far less than a DVD. Apple will never succeed with Apple TV unless they get on the quality bandwagon.
  4. Meatball thread starter macrumors regular

    Aug 24, 2006
    Apple need to be supplying high quality 1080p video with actual surround sound before I will buy a movie from them. Am I right in thinking Apple "HD" films are 720p with pro-logic sound? What a joke!

    I see no reason why music videos cannot be at least 720p or even 1080p, with the option of creating an iPhone version etc.
  5. MVApple macrumors 6502a

    Jul 18, 2008
    In an ideal world iTunes would carry all of the music, books(manga and comic books included), and video available in the physical format and they would have quality that is very close to their physical counter parts. If that were the case I would stop buying physical copies of my media.

    That would give iTunes way too much power though, similiar to the power they have over music labels. This is iTunes first problem.

    iTunes second problem is that they have a legacy of devices that they continue to support and this means that they have to lower the quality of video so that those devices can play back the video.

    Lastly, although iTunes music quality and selection are very good, apple admits that video is still just a hobby for them. I think part of the problem is that the united states has poor Internet connections for large parts of the country. Our Internet speeds are some of the worst out of the developed world. I'm on verizon fios though, so personally I would have no problem downloading a 10gb movie to get near blu-Ray quality. For the mean time, even though I'd love the convenience of not have stacks of books movies and music, I'll be sticking to the physical for format
  6. pumpkinhead macrumors newbie

    Mar 30, 2007
    No, you are not (completely) right. iTunes HD content can now include AC3 5.1 surround sound. But 720p is the highest HD standard supported (yes, 720p *is* officially HD, look it up).

    Really, you see no reason? How hard did you think about this? Let me help you out. It's about file size and the resulting download time and bandwidth costs. This is not you torrenting a 13Gb movie overnight, this bandwidth costs Apple money. They need the balance the image quality needs with people being able to click "buy/rent" and start watching the movie quickly. In my personal experience, on common consumer-sized TV's (say 42"), the different between 720p and 1080p for most people is minimal.

    That said, it will come. It will require a beefier AppleTV, thicker pipes to our homes and bigger server farms for Apple (in progress now). Then y'all can start complaining why it isn't in 3D...
  7. soapage macrumors member

    Dec 26, 2009

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