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View Full Version : Want Retina Artwork on iPad? Check out iPeng for iPad 1.3!



pippin
2012-03-27, 14:06
UPDATE: OK, since some people were thinking this was only on resolution - which is it not, it's at least as much about artwork size being used - and felt it was bashing their Apps' quality - which also was not my point, I had thought at least SqueezePad was retina ready since it contains release notes to that extent - I've scaled down the original screen shots to 50% size, if you want to see the full resolution of iPeng, please have a look at the screen shots on http://penguinlovesmusic.com and make sure to download the screen shots - you can't see the full resolution in a web window.


Apple's review queue is really hard this time so I'm giving up and releasing the normal iPeng without the Party App...:
Here comes iPeng 1.3 with artwork display in retina quality! Finally make really use of that cover art you so carefully collected while browsing your music and also view it in decent size!

EDIT: OK, just found out that iPeng Party does NOT yet use the same quality as iPeng for iPad, but it does use the same sizes so you can at least get an idea about that.

Just a little comparison of what you get:

iPeng for iPad 1.3

Grid View

http://penguinlovesmusic.de/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/ipeng_grid_small.png

List View

http://penguinlovesmusic.de/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/ipeng_rows_small.png

Logitech Squeezebox Controller App

http://penguinlovesmusic.de/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/Logitech_small.png


For other Apps please have a look at the App itself or their web sites.


And if you want to know what else is new in iPeng (a lot) and what iPeng Party is, you can read on here:

http://penguinlovesmusic.de/2012/03/27/spring-refresh-for-ipeng/

erland
2012-03-27, 14:38
What kind of resolution is needed on the album art files for it to look a lot better ?
I think most of mine are less than 500x500 pixels, will they still look significantly better on the retina display ? Or do I need to start getting album covers with higher resolution to get any real benefits ?

Does the retina display improve it also in the big album cover when opening up the full screen Now Playing screen with 500x500 pixel album artwork ? Some kind of smart anti aliasing or similar ?

pippin
2012-03-27, 14:51
What kind of resolution is needed on the album art files for it to look a lot better ?
I think most of mine are less than 500x500 pixels, will they still look significantly better on the retina display ? Or do I need to start getting album covers with higher resolution to get any real benefits ?

Yes and Yes :)

Yes, you'll profit from it. The thumbnails are 300x300 so they fit well into your range (by comparison: Logitech's are 64x64) and this means as long as you don't scale up the grid view from the default size all artwork thumbnails can use the full retina resolution. This includes the NowPlaying playlist screen saver.

NowPlaying of course is a different story, here you'd need 1536x1536 in full scale, here you will probably see blocks.
In iPeng you can scale the NowPlaying artwork as you probably know but right now the lowest scale size is 1.0 so you can't get small artwork in retina, yet, this will come with the next update, I've got a bit of a queue waiting here due to the almost three weeks of delays with this release.

But my experience is that it matters less for the big images since you tend to look at them from a bit farther away.
MOG has cover art in 768x768 and this looks quite good in full-screen, Spotify's 320x320, however, are a joke.

so..


Does the retina display improve it also in the big album cover when opening up the full screen Now Playing screen with 500x500 pixel album artwork ?

No.


Some kind of smart anti aliasing or similar ?
No, well, the iPad does it anyway, but actually my experience with anti-aliasing when upscaling isn't really good, it tends to blur things a LOT. The iPad does this (it's the default behavior) so you will not get uneven Lego bricks but it will be blurry. Look at the SqueezePad screen shot above, I believe that's a 64x64 image scaled up to something else.

Time to find good artwork somewhere....

pippin
2012-03-27, 15:27
OK, tried it a bit again, 500x500 is not _too_ bad. Anything below somewhere around 400x400 will not really look good in foll screen but then that wasn't really different on iPad 1/2. I'd recommend to use one of the lower scaling factors, e.g. the "even scale" thing.

iPeng for iPad has three (in the future: four) different artwork sizes for the NowPlaying screen that you can select through zooming:

* Full screen (biggest)
* Even scale. This scales to the biggest size you can use by upscaling by an even factor. If the original artwork is bigger than the screen size this equals full screen.
* 1x (smallest) which on retina display already translates into "2x" right now since it uses the iPad's native scale
* HS. This is coming with the next update and will use full retina resolution. With most of my artwork this really results in small covers, though....

Jeff Flowerday
2012-03-27, 15:30
Art looks wicked in album art mode, it always looked good in list mode.

Nice!

epoch1970
2012-03-27, 15:37
Wow.

With the right cover quality, I dare say the screensaver looks much better than having a physical CD in hand. The screen is larger than a CD, you can't see the pixels, and colors are vivid.

Thanks a lot for this update!

bluegaspode
2012-03-27, 15:37
Just for the record the development version of SqueezePad contains high resolution artwork already as well.

And while posting pictures here in twice the resolution might make a point, it should be noted, that it looks much less drastic on real iPad even on Retina display.

Please also care for 6 UWG, once the new version has been released. I'm not really amused about you posting pictures of SqueezePad, that won't be up to date then anymore.
Posting wrong DPIs here already now is very very grey area in my opinion in this regard.

pippin
2012-03-27, 15:44
Just for the record the development version of SqueezePad contains high resolution artwork already as well.

And while posting pictures here in twice the resolution might make a point, it should be noted, that it looks much less drastic on real iPad even on Retina display.

Please also care for 6 UWG, once the new version has been released. I'm not really amused about you posting pictures of SqueezePad, that won't be up to date then anymore.
Posting wrong DPIs here already now is very very grey area in my opinion in this regard.

Sorry, if there's anything wrong please correct me. These are not "twice resolution" but actual, unaltered screen shots I did this afternoon with the current release version of all three Apps.

People can easily find out how it looks on a real iPad by viewing these images on an actual iPad.

If I'm stating something wrong, please let me know and I'm going to change it.

I never posted anything about the bricky text your App had in the last version, for example, if I had wanted to dis it, that would have been a better chance. It's of course up to you to improve things in future versions but I have no idea about what they will bring, I don't know your roadmap and may I remind you that you haven't really shyed away from bold claims in the past ("Playback comes to iPad") that were actually not even true.
When your App changes and the images are no longer accurate, please let me know and I'll post new ones.

bluegaspode
2012-03-27, 16:02
I just wanted to point out that I expect you to change the pictures, once a new version of SqueezePad has been released.

Comparative advertisement is a tricky area, but there are clear rules for it.

garym
2012-03-27, 16:05
Gosh, doesn't everyone have both apps. If not, they should!

pippin
2012-03-27, 16:17
I just wanted to point out that I expect you to change the pictures, once a new version of SqueezePad has been released.

Comparative advertisement is a tricky area, but there are clear rules for it.

Well, as I said: just tell me when it's out or provide a screen shot and I'll change it.

As I said: I don't want to dis your App, there are enough differences. But one is: iPeng uses high-res artwork forever and SqueezePad does not. Period.

So far it's been part of the philosophy, even stated by you (that you want to use it as the server provides it by default), you always stated you wanted to stay close to Logitech's implementation, I actually wasn't aware that you considered the fact an offense.

Actually the one thing that came as a surprise to me (only this afternoon) was that your artwork actually was differently sized from Logitech's, I hadn't realized that before.

iPeng on the contrary does a lot of effort to do things differently, e.g. by using own containers, different artwork sizes, making things scalable and so on. I have any right to point that out as much as you have all right to point out that by not doing things like that you can spend a lot of space for a permanently visible big cover or playlist and by staying closer to what people know.
It's how the two Apps differ.

But OK, If you want it, I'll remove your screen shot, just let me know.

nolan
2012-03-27, 16:18
Thanks, updated tonight.

I've been gathering high res artwork 1000x1000 or greater where I can in anticipation of the newiPad display and it does surpass the actual CD cover as a thing to look at while it's playing.

pippin
2012-03-27, 18:29
So here's one to make bluegaspode happy:

iPeng Party obviously went to the App Store with a non-retina build :( , so for reference, here's how that looks like now:

http://penguinlovesmusic.de/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/ipeng_party_old.png

virgiliomi
2012-03-27, 19:25
I believe Squeezepad has been updated... at least here in the States, it's showing version 1.9.4 with retina display support, updated yesterday 3/26/12.

And I'll add, now that I've also purchased iPeng (I bought SqueezePad over a year ago), that to me at least, iPeng's visual quality in list view whoops even the new version of SqueezePad. Grid view looks nothing short of spectacular. And now I definitely see that I need to update some of my album artwork, as some of it just isn't up to par for either app's full-screen view. But the smaller thumbnails look just awesome in iPeng.

The only thing I don't like about BOTH apps is that I can't customize that Home menu.

Some notes about iPeng on my new iPad...
- Lyrics don't seem to load. It just sits at "Searching for Lyrics..." even after changing songs
- The up/down arrow buttons on the MultiPlayer control (to expand/reduce the music source category) are considerably lower resolution than the right-arrow buttons.
- The globe button to the right of the search box on the main screen also looks to be lower resolution

All minor things in the grand scheme of things... if I find anything else, I'll be sure to let you know.

pippin
2012-03-27, 19:33
Some notes about iPeng on my new iPad...
- Lyrics don't seem to load. It just sits at "Searching for Lyrics..." even after changing songs

iPeng has no built-in Lyrics loader (long story, the short version is: the cheapest service to use that does NOT get you thrown out of the App Store starts at 30.000$ a year...)

So you either have to have Lyrics embedded into the music OR (better) you need to install the SongInfo/SongLyrics plugins (both, they are free) in Squeezebox Server.


- The up/down arrow buttons on the MultiPlayer control (to expand/reduce the music source category) are considerably lower resolution than the right-arrow buttons.
- The globe button to the right of the search box on the main screen also looks to be lower resolution

Good find. Yes, there is more. App Artwork itself is not yet fully retina ready, especially the player artwork looks bad.


All minor things in the grand scheme of things... if I find anything else, I'll be sure to let you know.

A good place is
https://trac.penguinlovesmusic.de/trac/ipengnat/

pippin
2012-03-27, 19:38
The iPeng Party issue is a nasty one, btw.
I fell prey to an error in Apple's development tool that forced me to use an old version (of the tool) to submit the App and that obviously kills retina support :(

I'm afraid this means I'll have to find a workaround (there's a known one, but it may mean a lot of work) :(

I even know what I have to change but it's in a library also provided by Apple....

mherger
2012-03-27, 21:07
> Well, as I said: just tell me when it's out or provide a screen sho and
> I change it.

FWIW: the controller app didn't need an update for full resolution Now
Playing screen images, did it? No comparison there. I wonder why...

C'mon pippin, your app is great. No need play this sort of silly games.

--

Michael

erland
2012-03-27, 22:32
Gosh, doesn't everyone have both apps. If not, they should!

Exactly, they all have their own benefits, so it's really worth to skip a few burger meals and instead use the money on buying all the apps. I also feel that it's important to purchase them all, because competition will make all the apps better, and you never know which one that's going to release a new exciting feature next. Having the ability to use all apps also makes it easier for you to get ideas of possible improvements to suggest for the app you use most of the time.

I'm just happy because I know that all the apps is soon going to look a lot better on the new retina screen, I just wish Apple would prioritize to deliver my new iPad so I could see for myself...screenshots are really not the same as the real thing.

To all app developers, please try to avoid these kind of comparisons between each other apps in the future. At least let each app developer post their own screenshots if they feel it's relevant instead of posting it for them, because I really don't trust screenshots posted by a competitor, even if the competitor says the screenshots have been done the same way. There are just too many ways you can focus the screenshots on the areas where your own app looks a lot better than the competing app even if it's not the overall experience when using the real thing. I'm not saying it's the case in this thread, I'm just saying that people should be aware that it's the overall experience that matters, not a screenshot.

Personally, I'm a happy owner of both iPeng, SqueezePad, Orange Squeeze and some of the other apps and would miss them all if some would disappear. All are worth a lot more to me than a few burger meals which I've usually forgot after a day or two.

bluegaspode
2012-03-27, 22:45
I believe Squeezepad has been updated... at least here in the States, it's showing version 1.9.4 with retina display support, updated yesterday 3/26/12.

And I'll add, now that I've also purchased iPeng (I bought SqueezePad over a year ago), that to me at least, iPeng's visual quality in list view whoops even the new version of SqueezePad.

Hi virgiliomi,
when the new iPad arrived it turned out that SqueezePad had an option set, which made the previous version look really bad on iPad3. Not even the fonts did scale automatically, this is what has been fixed in version 1.9.4 of SqueezePad, which gives a huge boost for SqueezePad on Retina display already.
Yet there is a lot of work and areas left, which I'm working at in this very moment, for instance all icons need special treatment (they also haven't been updated in iPeng yet) and in iPeng pippin now was just faster with album art handling than me.

But this is only a temporary effect and this is why I am not really amused about the type of advertisement pippin started right now.
As a developer you don't get the devices faster than any normal customer (and due to problems I even only got the iPad on Wednesday last week). One just needs to have a real device to see, how e.g. different types of album art scaling really work out with the new possibilities of the iPad.
I guess I'll need about two weeks to be really pleased with the next even more Retina improved version of SqueezePad (then add one or two weeks for Apples review queue). I'm only working on SqueezePad my free time, and actually we are moving right now, so my wife rather wants me to get some paint on the wall, which makes Apples release date of the new iPad a bit complicated for me ;)

Mushroom_3
2012-03-28, 02:04
My wife has just purchased an iPad. I was reading this thread to help decide which app to purchase and my decision has been made easy by pippin's antics. I would not purchase anything from someone who would stoop to such petty tactics. SqueezePad looks fine to me and it's author appears honourable.

DaveWr
2012-03-28, 02:24
> Well, as I said: just tell me when it's out or provide a screen sho and
> I change it.

FWIW: the controller app didn't need an update for full resolution Now
Playing screen images, did it? No comparison there. I wonder why...

C'mon pippin, your app is great. No need play this sort of silly games.

--

Michael

It's called competition and marketing - something Logitech could do with learning a little about. iPeng has been a lifeline to Squeeze stuff in the early days, well before ALL the other apps, so cut the guy some slack.

pippin
2012-03-28, 02:31
> Well, as I said: just tell me when it's out or provide a screen sho and
> I change it.

FWIW: the controller app didn't need an update for full resolution Now
Playing screen images, did it? No comparison there. I wonder why...

C'mon pippin, your app is great. No need play this sort of silly games.


OK, maybe this has obviously come through as a resolution-only thing which is not what the intention was.In the very first place, there is a very considerable size difference.

And: will you change the resolution and size? Ever?

On the big ones i't also quite simple: for most cases it will simply be the same for quite a while since most people don't have any artwork that will show in retina resolution on the big cover display. In all Apps.
But most people have artwork that can look good as a thumbnail.


Hi virgiliomi,
...
I guess I'll need about two weeks to be really pleased with the next even more Retina improved version of SqueezePad (then add one or two weeks for Apples review queue).

OK, abut that didn't keep you from pointing out in posts in the forum and in the App Store, that SqueezePad is now "Retina Ready" and how gorgeous is looks like on the retina display and so on.
I'm actually not the first one doing that here.

virgiliomi obviously caught that spin and thought he had a retina App already.
And actually myself, I also did not even imagine that you consider your App to be inferior and not ready for retina, yet, you do sound different yourself.

And also, the point is not only resolution, it's also size, which simply just matters more now that the big cover thumbs also look good in high resolutions.
This has been a difference between the Apps ever since they came out. I actually spent month optimizing the views so that they perform well with biug artwork. Not now but already before iPeng for iPad came out.

bluegaspode, you yourself have never shied away from bold comparisons. You are quick to point out differences if they are in your favor, for example that SqueezePad would load artwork faster because it uses the small scales (which is not even true, with most servers it's even slower than iPeng even with the small artwork, no idea why) and you never had an issue with posting threads that stick around for years and that did hold even clearly false claims, what was with 6UWG when you claimed that SqueezePad "brings Playback to the iPad"? Playback is built into the iPad and even if it comes to Squeezebox streaming to the iPad your App was the 4th that worked on iPad and even the second one of the dedicated iPad Apps (Squeezey was first). That thread also sticks around for years.
Stop whining about things you do yourself.

pippin
2012-03-28, 03:33
OK, since obviously Michael and bluegaspode felt offended by the full resolution comparison, I have now scaled down the screen shots in the first post, if you want to see full-resolution shots of iPeng, you can download them from http://penguinlovesmusic.com

Jeff Flowerday
2012-03-28, 04:01
Hi virgiliomi,
when the new iPad arrived it turned out that SqueezePad had an option set, which made the previous version look really bad on iPad3. Not even the fonts did scale automatically, this is what has been fixed in version 1.9.4 of SqueezePad, which gives a huge boost for SqueezePad on Retina display already.
Yet there is a lot of work and areas left, which I'm working at in this very moment, for instance all icons need special treatment (they also haven't been updated in iPeng yet) and in iPeng pippin now was just faster with album art handling than me.

But this is only a temporary effect and this is why I am not really amused about the type of advertisement pippin started right now.
As a developer you don't get the devices faster than any normal customer (and due to problems I even only got the iPad on Wednesday last week). One just needs to have a real device to see, how e.g. different types of album art scaling really work out with the new possibilities of the iPad.
I guess I'll need about two weeks to be really pleased with the next even more Retina improved version of SqueezePad (then add one or two weeks for Apples review queue). I'm only working on SqueezePad my free time, and actually we are moving right now, so my wife rather wants me to get some paint on the wall, which makes Apples release date of the new iPad a bit complicated for me ;)

I told you well over a year ago that the art in squeeze pad looked like crap in comparison to iPengHD, but now that pippen announces retina art it first you are crying foul. Come on.

Jeff Flowerday
2012-03-28, 04:10
> Well, as I said: just tell me when it's out or provide a screen sho and
> I change it.

FWIW: the controller app didn't need an update for full resolution Now
Playing screen images, did it? No comparison there. I wonder why...

C'mon pippin, your app is great. No need play this sort of silly games.

--

Michael

There must be at least a few of the 100s of LMS bug reports that have to be a higher priority than the worrying about comments on the rudimentary Logitech iOS app?

Mushroom_3
2012-03-28, 04:11
It's called competition and marketing - something Logitech could do with learning a little about. iPeng has been a lifeline to Squeeze stuff in the early days, well before ALL the other apps, so cut the guy some slack.

I have no problem with him highlighting his product - there's no need to criticise someone else's product. Especially a fellow forum member.

pippin
2012-03-28, 04:22
I have no problem with him highlighting his product - there's no need to criticise someone else's product. Especially a fellow forum member.

Please show me where I did that.
I just pointed out that iPeng uses bigger graphics and that they are retina quality. I did not criticize anybody.

epoch1970
2012-03-28, 05:15
OK, since obviously Michael and bluegaspode felt offended by the full resolution comparison, I have now scaled down the screen shots in the first post, if you want to see full-resolution shots of iPeng, you can download them from http://penguinlovesmusic.com

So now you imply that half a Penguin is better than a full of the other apps ?
Decidedly. You're going too far ;)

pippin
2012-03-28, 05:31
So now you imply that half a Penguin is better than a full of the other apps ?
Decidedly. You're going too far ;)

No, half a penguin is better than half of the other Apps ;)
I scaled them all....

Hofstede
2012-03-28, 11:16
My 2 cents: I stopped using iPeng a few months ago. I didn't even install it on my new iPad 3. Why? Because in my personal opinion it gets more and more extra's I don't want/need/use. I only want a program to control my players. This was iPeng's functionality on it's original release. For my taste it is getting pretty close to the edge of "bloatware". But as it's creator Pippin has the right to change his app as he sees fit.
I much prefer the simplicity of Squeezepad and that is the app I recommend to friends when they ask me for my opinion.

michel
2012-03-29, 03:55
Personally, I think the retina display's resolution is just unnecessary.
But as things are people always want more no matter if they need it.
Same as we are still seeing with meegapixels in digital cameras.
Unfortunately lower res images will look much worse on iPad3 than they did on iPad 1/2.
What resolution of cover art will you use in the future?

800*800
1600*1600?

Probably cover art soon will rival flac files in size!

pippin
2012-03-29, 07:07
Personally, I think the retina display's resolution is just unnecessary.

Have you actually seen it and used it? And especially: have you seen the old one?

The original iPad's display probably was the lowest resolution display still around (except for TVs, which you view from a distance).
It might not be the most important thing for images or music Apps but for reading long texts, the original iPad display was close to unacceptable and very tiring. Even the retina display still holds potential and is not as good as, say, the original Kindle.

The iPad is thought to be used - among other things - for written media and actually there's a lot of use in that area and I believe to really be an alternative to printed media the new iPad's display is pretty much the minimum you need.

We are still a factor of 2-3 away from print and even the iPhone (and other modern phones) have a higher resolution and you don't do as much reading on them.


Same as we are still seeing with meegapixels in digital cameras.

That's a very different story. These higher pixel densities are in areas where the sensor noise made actual improvements impossible even a few generations ago. High resolution camera sensors generate images that produce up to 20 times the number of pixels the iPad shows.


What resolution of cover art will you use in the future?

The same as in the past: the biggest one I can get hold of.


Probably cover art soon will rival flac files in size!
If you use a decent format, file size doesn't scale with resolution.

Jeff Flowerday
2012-03-29, 07:47
Personally, I think the retina display's resolution is just unnecessary.
But as things are people always want more no matter if they need it.
Same as we are still seeing with meegapixels in digital cameras.
Unfortunately lower res images will look much worse on iPad3 than they did on iPad 1/2.
What resolution of cover art will you use in the future?

800*800
1600*1600?

Probably cover art soon will rival flac files in size!

Retina resolution is the most important part of the iPad. Try reading a magazine or book on the old fuzzy screen, it's horrible.

Sorry, but all images look better on the new retina screen, doesn't matter if they are low res or not.

pippin
2012-04-03, 16:59
OK, the first update of iPeng Party now adds the same retina-compatible resolution to that App.
So if you want to have a free preview, iPeng Party is your chance.

pippin
2012-05-14, 18:16
iPeng 1.3.2 is now rolling out on the App Store and besides bug fixes and some smaller improvements (see here: http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?95167-Announce-iPeng-updates-1-5-2-1-3-2) it's does now feature even more retina features.

All player icons and most main screen UI elements are now in full retina resolution, only some of the small B/W icons are still in standard resolution.

13365

Squeezemenicely
2012-05-20, 04:28
After using iPeng on my iPhone for a long time I got myself Squeezepad for my iPad, was great (still is). But then I tried the iPeng party app on my iPad and that gave me a taste of what iPeng would be like, so I bought it.
Absolutely great! just love the coverview and that I can finally use the iPad in portrait mode. The layout is very clear.

For me the winner at the moment is - iPengHD.

But it is good to have options and that there are two great apps "competing" on the iPad market.