Scaling Album Art to the iPod photo’s screen
Ask iLounge offers readers the opportunity to get answers to their iPod-, iPhone-, iPad-, iTunes-, or Apple TV-related questions from a member of the iLounge editorial team. We'll answer several questions here each week, and of course, you can always get help with more immediate concerns from the iLounge Discussion Forums. Submit your questions for consideration using our Ask iLounge Submit Form. We reserve the right to edit questions for grammar, spelling, and length.
Q: I’m currently adding album art images to my MP3 files via iTunes. I was wondering whether there is an ideal width and height that would enhance their appearance in the iPod photo and would make them look sharper while minimizing “pixel distortion.” Is 170x170 pixels OK?
A: There are two answers to your question. The easier answer is to use high-resolution artwork and let iTunes handle the sampling for you, and this would be our recommendation. We tried one set each of practical and theoretical tests with the iPod photo’s screen, and found that in our practical tests with an actual piece of album artwork, the differences between iPod album art downsampled from various resolutions were barely if at all noticeable.
However, when you sync your files to your iPod, iTunes downsamples album art to 140x140 pixels for full-screen display, and 56x56 pixels for the thumbnail view (the one that displays with the name of the track and other information). If you want to optimize your artwork for one of these views, choose the appropriate size. For example, if you add 140x140 pixel album art in iTunes, it will appear with no subsequent distortion on the iPod photo when you display it full-sized. However, you will have some distortion when you view it in iTunes, as iTunes has to resample it to display at 200x200 pixels.
If you’d like to try and see exactly what the results are, here are two graphics: this one is a 140x140 pixel pattern, and this one is a 280x280 pixel pattern (which we used to check the 1/4 downsampling). You’ll notice that the 280x280 image looks better in iTunes, but the dots look like flat gray on your iPod photo, whereas the 140x140’s dots display identically on iTunes and the iPod.
- Will removing a credit card from Safari also remove it from Apple Pay?
- Can I mute Handoff calls coming into my Mac from my iPhone?
- How do I keep my iPhone calls from ringing on my Mac?
- Why doesn’t Traffic show up on my Today Notifications Screen?
- Why doesn’t my iPhone reconnect to Wi-Fi after I turn it on?
- Why can’t I see the iPad-style landscape view on my iPhone 6 Plus?
- ConnectSense Smart Outlet adds power monitoring, reduces price
- Automatic releases new Automatic Lite version of car monitoring accessory
- Apple releases fourth tvOS 10.0.1 beta
- iOS dev finds unimplemented one-handed keyboard in iOS code
- Apple sends out press invites for ‘Hello Again’ Oct. 27 Mac event
- Apple releases fifth beta of iOS 10.1 to developers
- Apple partners with builders to include HomeKit-enabled devices in new homes
- Report about Apple Pay in Japan hints at Oct. 25 release for iOS 10.1
- Apple Pay adds 20+ new U.S. banks and credit unions, MBNA Canada coming ‘mid-2017’
- Misfit launches Phase smartwatch
- Incase Icon, Pop, and Textured Snap for iPhone 7/7 Plus
- Philips Hue Motion Sensor
- Bowers & Wilkins P9 Signature Headphones
- Tech Armor FlexProtect and Shock Flex for iPhone 7/7 Plus
- SwitchEasy Flash and Fleur for iPhone 7/7 Plus
- Blue Microphones Raspberry Mobile Microphone
- Incipio Haven for iPhone 7 and Reprieve Sport for iPhone 7 Plus
- Mophie Hold Force Magnetic Case System for iPhone 7
- Speck Presidio and Tech21 Evo Tactical for iPhone 7
- Belkin Lightning Audio + Charge Rockstar
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of watchOS 3
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of tvOS 10
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iOS 10
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Photos gets Advanced Computer Vision
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Music app delivers ‘clarity and simplicity’
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Maps gets a major redesign
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 shakes up the user experience
- Inside the betas: watchOS 3 promises a real speed boost
- Inside the betas: A sneak peek at what’s new in tvOS 10
- Filling the Gap: A look at third-party HomeKit apps