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D'Lynn Waldron, Industry Insider - AOL Degrades Graphics

AOL does not tell its 15 million subscribers that it will severely degrade the images that come in from Web sites! AOL Reprocesses and
Degrades Graphics

by D'Lynn Waldron, PhD ©1999

AOL does not tell its 15 million subscribers that AOL reprocesses and severely degrades the images that come in from Web sites, before AOL sends them on to its subscribers. This saves AOL a vast amount of bandwidth, but deprives its subscribers of what they should be seeing on the Web sites they visit.
... AOL turns 24 bit JPEGs into 8 bit Progressive GIFs which AOL drastically compresses. This creates terrible banding and artifacting. Text included in the graphics is often unreadable. AOL's Progressive GIFs begin as a blurry mess before resolving to a focused mess. Many visitors click off before the image has a chance to resolve, saving AOL additional bandwidth.
... AOL tech support does not tell callers about this reprocessing when subscribers complain about the terrible image quality.
The steps and names are different in every version of the AOL browser, but based on this you should be able to work your way through.
1) Click "My AOL" or "Member Preferences"
2) Click "Set Up Now"
3) Click "Preference Guide"
5) Click "Set Up Now"
6) Click "The Web" or "AOL Internet Properties"
7) Click "Web Graphics".
8) Click to remove the check from "Use Compressed Graphics"
.... (In some versions click to put a check by "Use Uncompressed Graphics" )
9) Click "Save" or "Apply"

D'Lynn Waldron THE IMAGE PERFECTED copyright 1999

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