When Apple announced the new VGA res for all iTunes videos
the other week -- including new versions of their current QVGA catalog -- we were definitely stoked to be getting 4x the pixels for our video dollar, even if we were a bit miffed at having to re-purchase some of those videos which we'd already bought. Unfortunately, it looks like the offer might not be quite as rosy as we would've hoped. It seems that for certain videos, Apple has simply up-sampled the flick from its formerly compressed QVGA version, the disastrous results of which can be seen above. So, instead of paying $2 for a second time around for what should be a high-res video sampled straight from the original source, you might be paying through the nose for a file that doubles the pixels and megabytes, but severely lessens the general quality of the picture. Friendly tipster Paul C. was kind enough to alert us to this problem, and screencapped a few videos to demonstrate the sitch, all of which can be seen after the break. If you're experiencing similar quality problems, please let us know in the comments so we can figure out the extent of this issue, and bring the appropriate smackdown upon Apple.
First off, let's look at this done right.
Anastacia - "Left Outside Alone"
Original: 320 x 224 upscaled through QuickTime (file size: 17MB):
Updated: 640 x 480, clearly encoded from high-quality original (file size: 45.7MB):
Not too shabby, eh? Next up we have Madonna, whose image consultant can't be at all happy about those jaggies.
Madonna - "Sorry"
Original: 320 x 240 upscaled through QuickTime (file size: 24.9MB):
Updated: 640x480, poorly up-converted from old content, not from high-quality original source (file size: 55MB):
Jaggies are even worse in this Blue vid. For shame, Apple.
Blue featuring Elton John - "Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word"
Original: 320 x 160, upscaled through QuickTime, (file size 18.3MB):
Updated: 640 x 346 (file size 39.5MB):
How are your vids looking?