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OK on this page I'll explain why AOL causes some images on web pages to be blurry.

Skip to Page 2 for instructions on how to fix the problem

    First I want to explain why I made this page.
Back when I used AOL (1999 - 2004), most people that saw my web page were AOL users and AOL has a setting that degrades image quality for images on web pages that's turned on by default for dialup users. Since most people weren't even aware of it, most people that saw my web page were seeing crappy graphics. That really bugged me so I made this page to inform people how to fix this problem and see my web page the way I intended it to look.


Now I'll Explain why AOL does what it does

    By default when on a dialup connection AOL will covert JPEG, GIF, and Window's Bitmap image file formats to it's own proprietary image format that uses the Johnson-Grace compression scheme and changes the file extension to .art when viewed in AOL's internal browser.
    The ART file format can often compress JPEG and GIF images to about 1/3 of their original size, but does so at the expense of image quality since most images become fairly blurry and blocky looking. AOL does this to speed up downloads, but in most cases the difference in download time won't be that noticeable. Also since the ART file format isn't a standard image format most image editors/viewers won't be able to open those files. (the only other programs besides AOL that I know of that can open ART files are Internet Explorer and Netscape)


Below is an example of the difference between how images look with and without AOL's compression

Note: the 2 images in the example below and the images on the next page use the PNG file format, I used this file format because AOL does not compress it, although you may not be able to see them if your using an older version of AOL in which case I suggest you upgrade to at least the 32bit version of AOL 4.0

With AOL's compression
With AOL's compression
Without AOL's compression
Without AOL's compression

So you have to ask yourself. Which one of these two things do I want?

1, Do I want slightly faster image downloads when using AOL but have blurry ugly pictures?
2, Do I want to wait a maybe few extra seconds and see the pictures as the were meant to be seen?

If you picked number 2 then Continue to Page 2 to find out how to get around this problem.