A few weeks ago, undocumented sources came out stating iTunes is changing their sizes for the cover art to your iTunes account. Last week I received confirmation of this change from [email protected] with all the details you need to know.
The New iTunes Artwork Guidelines
Official email from [email protected]
Hello,Cover art must be in the JPEG or PNG file formats and in the RGB color space with a minimum size of 1400 x 1400 pixels and a maximum size of 2048 x 2048 pixels. Note that these requirements are different from the standard RSS image tag specification.Please update your podcast and/or episode cover art to meet these specifications. Once updated, please allow 24 hours for the changes to be reflected in the iTunes Store.Regards,Kyle
Do I Have to Update to 2048 x 2048?
No. However, if your artwork was 600 x 600 or smaller, you will have to at least update it to 1,400 x 1,400.
What Happens if I Don’t Update to 1,400 or 2,048?
Your image might start looking fuzzy on larger screen TVs through AppleTV. If a 600×600 image is scaled down it can look better. If a 600 x 600 image is blown up, it can look distorted and pixelated. Same thing goes with a 2,048 x 2,048 image.
Apple is not stating what will happen if the image is not updated. If they choose to purge their database, your show might be in jeopardy if they sort by image size.
The PNG Myth
There was word going around that PNG files would not be accepted anymore. This is not the case. However, it will be harder to use PNG files and keep them under the 500 KB size limit.
RGB vs. CYMK
iTunes states it has to use the RGB standard. If you use CYMK, you will have to convert the image.
How large in File Size is 2,048 x 2,048 image?
This is a sliding scale. A solid white .jpg files in this size with a 60% image quality will be 48 KB in size. The more content and colors you use, any IPTC, description or copyright information you add to the photo can increase the size of your file. A PNG file might just double the file size.
What About Episode ID3 Tag Information?
Keep in mind these are two different things. I still recommend your episode artwork should be either 300 x 300 or 600 x 600 in size. I did a test when Apple changed to 1,400 and found that some MP3 players got hung up on the larger artwork.
Do you have any other questions on this? Let me know!