It appears that some of the main graphic images used in Apple’s iTunes Store are of a lower visual quality than in the recent past. Look for some of the classic representations of image compression—noise, loss of edge clarity and tone roughness. Compression artifacts are especially recognizable in small and medium sized text.

Image quality changes appeared sometime around August 24-27, but this date range is unconfirmed. The alteration in image quality is consistent across multiple configurations including OS X, Windows and iOS on the iPad (iPhone images seem to still be very hi res).

The change in quality is obviously based on the amount of compression being applied. Apple may have chosen to forgo a bit of image clarity for a faster user experience. The change is not drastic, and most users may not even notice the subtle compression artifacts. This might speed up iTunes, but at the loss of a great looking experience for those of us who noticed…

Update: It seems this was simply a 48 hour hiccup, and all is back to normal—i.e. high-quality images back on iTunes.

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This article has 3 comments

  1. Rain Reply

    The App Store for Mac OS X also now has lower quality/more compressed images…

  2. Doug IT Design Reply

    There is also currently a bug in in the App approval process that is applying the Apple gloss effect to the icons of all updated and approved apps—even apps that specifically disabled the (bad looking) Apple gloss. Looks terrible. come on Apple!?

  3. Doug IT Design Reply

    Looks like Apple has corrected or adjusted their images on iTunes…the images do not looks so obviously compressed as they were looking last week.

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