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Chapter 15. JPEG Format > JPEGs in AOL Browsers

15.5. JPEGs in AOL Browsers[1]

[1] Thanks to Max Leach for his assistance with this topic.

The America Online 3.0 software uses a version of the Internet Explorer browser that is integrated with Johnson & Grace compression technology for faster image downloads. Unfortunately, the J&G compression has trouble rendering JPEGs created with Photoshop 4.0 because of problems locating the header information in the file. As a result, JPEG image quality gets mangled, displaying a blurry image, sometimes with green, streaky artifacts.

Although users can turn off the "Use Compressed Graphics" option in their Preferences, you can't count on them to do so. AOL's recommendation is to use Photoshop 3.0 instead. Some web developers have found that Photoshop 3.0-created Progressive JPEGs survive their journey through the AOL grinder more successfully, maintaining image quality closer to the original. (Note that Netscape 1.0 users and users with AOL 2.7 on the Mac platform will not be able to see Pro-JPEGs in their AOL browser; however, they make up only 1% of AOL's audience as of this writing.) This problem is rumored to be fixed in the upcoming 4.0 version of the AOL software.


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