I've heard about how AOL puts jpegs thru a compression manager before the browser renders them. Has anyone ever seen a side-by-side comparison of how this affects renderings of jpegs of human subjects?
I'm into digital photography and I'd like to know if this could be portraying my photos in a "less than favorable light"?
I just did some google searching on this topic and came across a site with a before-and-after example of a jpeg put thru AOL's compression.
YIKES! If this is true, then my AOL surfers have been looking at CRAP!
Can anyone say whether or not such results are really as striking as this website claims?
I never got too scientific about it but I found that using no less than 64 color palettes on .gifs and compression a little less than I would like on .jpegs will do ok with AOL. AOL uses their own compression and it usually destroys color graduations pretty well.
There is only one sure-fire way to work around this (since you cannot force AOL users to turn of compression), and that is to use a 2 frame animated gif with the same picture in both frames. AOL's compression cannot change an animated gif.
The reason AOL does this is to conserve their bandwidth. All of their users access the internet through proxy servers. If several other AOL users have previously visited any web-site, AOL tries to conserve bandwidth by compressing the images, and cacheing them on their servers.