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Photobucket dramatically changing the quality of photos under 1MB, but not others?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography & Imaging' started by oniiku, Jul 21, 2009.

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  1. oniiku

    oniiku Thread Starter

    Feb 11, 2009
    Okay, so I'm having some major issues with Photobucket that I can't figure out.

    I noticed that some of the photos on my account have DRAMATICALLY changed in quality. Which is surprising to me because I keep everything under 1MB, and that's what I have it set up for. Now, it isn't every single picture. It's here and there...but it's annoying because I keep a small portfolio on Photobucket, so the details of the photos matter and they're literally so blurry now I can't see any details at all.

    I'm no where near the account limit, and all the pictures are uploaded with the same settings and always under 1MB. Some of the pictures that aren't blurry are actually a HIGHER KB than the ones that are blurry. I even deleted the blurry photos, uploaded them fresh with new names, and they looked great. Then I came back an hour or two later and they were freaking blurry again! What the...!?

    I noticed this about 2-3 days ago, and figured it had something to do with Photobucket. Maybe an error or something, because I can recall having this happen before...and after a couple hours the pictures looked normal again. But this has lasted for days...and because only some pictures are affected while others aren't...it's really confusing me.

    Does anyone have any idea what the problem might be?
    Is this a Photobucket error...is anyone else having this problem? :confused:
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  3. bbgrl3


    Jul 21, 2009
    I noticed the same problem over the past few days, but then I thought maybe I was crazy and seeing things. I'm so glad I'm not the only one. I'm not sure why it's happening or what will fix it, but I did want to let you know I'm having the same exact problem. Just a select few of my pictures have changed quality, but it's still aggravating! :mad:
  4. oniiku

    oniiku Thread Starter

    Feb 11, 2009
    Oh, wow. I'm glad to see it isn't just me then!

    Yeah, I can't figure out why it's only a few of my images, rather than all of them. :mad: Or why they're changing automatically when the images themselves meet all the standards and should be fine. I've actually contacted the Photobucket team and from what it sounds like, they don't know what's going on either. I'm providing them with examples and information, so hopefully I'll hear back from them soon and update this!
  5. Ilona55


    Aug 9, 2009
    I couldn't believe my eyes....I though I needed a new pair of glasses...until my husband notice the difference in the original size file that we had download...compressed to 1/4 or more....such as for example 800kb ..to 158kb...but not one photo...our 2,600 ..2mb to 200kb and so on...completely destroyed our photos...so I wrote an email asking for explanation..since my husband knows a bit more how to find out when our files were modified...he checked and all was started Aug 5, 2:00am..and every 2 to 3 days after that for every new photo we put on the photobucket ..we are so displeased, since we had so much work with the photos, because we wanted people to see our photos with decent quality. They said that with a pro account you can upload up to 5mb...so they lie...we don't even upload up to 3mb...I am glad other people are seeing the reduction of quality in their photos and it would be a good idea to write them an email......I did....and I was mad...:mad:..this is what I wrote according to the answer they gave me:
    To whom it may concern:

    I thank you for your respond, but we simply don't understand why you are giving us this answer that does not clarify anything for us...We know what photobucket has done and we have proof ...

    Photobucket changed the original compression of all our jpg files.

    We have been uploading files since Feb 2008 to our Pro Account. In the uploading settings we have always chosen the maximum file size up to 5MB. The files that we have been uploading has always been in its best quality but always under this limit of 5MB but never to a compress size that ruins the quality of our photo. After the upload we always check and we see in the "image info" of photobucket, that the "file size" remained exactly the same of the one that we uploaded. All your reasoning does not make any sense to us since we had never had a problem before and here is why......

    Our files have never been changed by Photobucket since Feb 2008, until yesterday August 5, 2009. Our 2,600 files were compressed to a very low quality "high compression" all at the same time. Yesterday Aug 5, when we started to detect this loss of quality, looking at our images in the photobucket site, we knew right away that something was wrong and confirmed it by comparing and seeing that the files size was nothing like the original files that we had put in photobucket . We keep a record of all our files that are in photobucket.

    Then in your photobucket Tutorials ..we checked on "Uploading with FTP" with which we accessed the content in our photobucket account. This way we saw that "ALL THE FOLDERS WITH FILES" showed a MODIFIED TIME and DATE between 4:42am - 4:46am on August 5, 2009. This means that the Folders content was changed.

    We do not want our photos to be compressed by Photobucket, that's why we got the PRO ACCOUNT...we paid for it.....that's what you advertise for your PRO ACCOUNT....THAT WE CAN UPLOAD UP TO 5MB.....IS THIS FALSE ADVERTISEMENT??????????

    The fact is that Photobucket has destroyed our photos by compressing it and also the time we had put into the photos for people to see in best quality. Photos that were already there before your site decided to compress.........how can we upload the 2,599 photos again, that takes time.. which we dont have!!!!

    We deserve an apolyge! So instead you said....

    To clarify, compression on our site is a general feature that we use in order

    to balance the cost of bandwidth and storage while providing various features
    and overall site performance for our users

    "I understand this answer but it does not give your site the right to take 2,599 photos and compress to its lowest quality" !!!!

    In regard to this other answers "Within the next few weeks we will include a "High Resolution" setting in the
    upload tab that will allow for storage of the high resolution version of your
    image, still, you may notice that the album displayed and linked images are
    the compressed versions. In this scenario, downloading the image from your
    Photobucket account should download the high resolution version."

    "Even though you should "expect compression to occur on our site in general", you
    may want to try to re-upload any images you are concerned about using the
    resolution settings (e.g. 1024 x768) instead of the file-size limit settings
    (e.g. 1MB). This may preserve the quality closest to the original in the
    short-term. Also, keep in mind that how the image was originally created and
    any pre-upload editing that you may have done (especially adding super-imposed
    text) can also affect the post-compression quality of the image."

    This answer does not help us one bit with the quality of our 2,599 photos that has been lost! Other photographers will feel the same and problably just leave!!
    Taking 2,599 file and destroying it... OFFCOURSE "It is not
    for us to expect!!" You said that "expect compression to occur on our site in general" really "Who would expect such compression??" Not a Pro Account!!!!! So what is a pro account suppose to expect after we pay for the year, when you say that we may upload a photo file up to 5mb??? When than you go behind our backs, and compress files that are already compressed and under 5mb???? It just dosent make any sense!!!It is a dishonest way of making room in your service, with an account that is paid for!!

    As a Pro account we are allowed according to your site to have a maximum of 10gb on our albums and we are still less than 20 per cent of that...using about 1.8gb. The bandwidth we are only using 386mb and we have unlimited bandwidth....so why compress our photos when we suppose to have all this rights?????We paid for it!!

    Let me ask you something...(suggestion and opinion)

    Do you think you are really making it better for your users, by doing things without warning, specially to a pro account that is paying for your service? Your have the business on the site to try to sell photo pritnts to the public and do you think they want to have a low quality photo printed? Or to look at photos that they cannot see details...

    I just think your site is trying to handle too many things at one time! It's becoming very cluttered!!! You are really not giving the passioned photographers credit, and doing so, you are giving us a very bad service. I am sure other photographers and people will start to see that and soon leave if they are paying money for your servicet!!! People who does not pay for your service but likes good photography, will leave too, if they only see a few photos..! "We pay for your service"! GOOD SERVICE is what is important!!! All those features without good service, and good quality photos, will not work for long!!! Destroying someone's Work...is Not Good Service!

    You advertisement is becoming unreal....or you can say false advertisement in regard to Pro Account....I hope you see that..!

    I wish Photobucket.com all the best ....and I hope you see what you are doing..you are cheating us....the people...the ones that makes Photobucket become alive........I hope you dont continue downgrading photos, because doing so ..your are downgrading the Photobraphers, after all you are called "PHOTOBUCKET"!


    Ilona & Ricardo
    So that's my story....and I hope everyone will complain because even if you don't have a pro account, I don't see a reason for them to compress your file specially if its less than 1mb .......Ilona
  6. kustirider2


    Aug 18, 2009
    I am having this problem too! and i'm extremely mad

    I have used photobuket since 2004, I think, and not ONCE have they compressed my files until a couple of days ago. All of my pictures are under 1MB by about 200KB so I don't see why this is happening.

    I also got exactly the same email as you, Ilona.

    The thing that annoys me the most is that i've been trying for years to get my pictures to look nice and clear (They're taken in The sims 2/3 game) and when I finally get my hands on photoshop and they actually have a good quality, Photobucket do that!

    If they don't stop doing it, Im going to go and use another host because it's crazy.
  7. Ilona55


    Aug 9, 2009
    Yes..the same here..I understand your problem...as you said..and I mentioned before.. after all the work trying to make our photos look their best ...they destroyed our work...as if there was no problem doing it...:mad:

    I've been in contact back and forth with them....they even asked me some of my original files to compare with the same that is in photobucket....for the support team only says what they are told but then they came out with the truth....this is what they said after I send email after emails wanting an explanation...

    Photobucket Support <[email protected]>to[​IMG]"ILONA TONGEL Alves da Silva :)" <[email protected]>
    date[​IMG]Mon, Aug 10, 2009 at 9:01 PMsubject[​IMG]Re: [Ticket#200900800510005506] Fwd: Prohide detailsAug 10 (8 days ago)
    Dear ILONA TONGEL Alves da Silva ,

    Can you send us 2 - 3 examples of the original pre-uploaded image (attaching
    to your reply) and it's linked counterpart on your PB album?

    Thank you


    Your Photobucket Support Team

    I did as they asked...and I waited for an answer...finally I got the answer...but off course the answer does not bring our original photos back...:mad::(

    subject[​IMG]Re: [Ticket#200900800510005506] Fwd: Pro
    hide details Aug 13 (5 days ago)
    Dear ILONA TONGEL Alves da Silva ,

    Will do. So to clarify on some of the updated functionality that again,
    doesn't help the overall problem, but may address the concern as regards
    storage and download of the original quality image - as of next Wednesday,
    August 19th, Pro members's uploaded High-Res images will be stored on your
    account in their original file size and subsequently able to be downloaded via
    the download features. However, album view, linking (at least as the
    technology stands today), and sharing will be the compressed versions of those

    Again, we completely understand the core issues: e.g. Why compress across the
    board without tell your users? Why no language indicating that such will be
    the case BEFORE Pro sign-up? Why no ability to retrieve the original, filesize
    versions of high-rez images? What are we paying for? -- These are the issues
    that we are working on in an ongoing basis and your feedback is extremely
    valuable in helping us to shape policy and process as we continue to address
    this issue.

    I was not happy at all....and I am still very sad with all the photos that have lost its quality.....photobucket.com/it_rs..(if you like to see it...I've been uploading the newest photos over and over again because I am so mad with the compression....it last for a day or two, unless you getting many views on the photo, then they immediately compress them....(if you re-upload by the FTP..you don't loose the title or description)....

    Anyway, I wrote them this email to finish with what I had to say and I just wanted to scream...as soon as our subscription is over...we will find another server...


    You are right, it does not resolve the overall problem of not having our original files back on photobucket as they were, so people could look at our photos with decent details....etc...etc...etc...

    What choice is photobucket giving us?! So we just have to accept this problem as if nothing really happened, right? Wrong! Like I said before "its bad business, to not put the customers first, "the members" or "Pro members", we all should have good service....We are not stupid, we know they are compressing to make space, "they using our space to do their work and to upwnload more photos, get more members etc"!! Offcourse they did not want to tell people to stop uploading photos, videos or what ever, so they could work on photobucket site to make more space for uploading!!! They would've lost their business!!

    What puzzles me is why photobucket started compressing the original size photos right away and yet at the same time, they DID NOT SAVE OR STORED THE ORIGINAL FILES FIRST before compressing
    the files size so that we would NOT have this problem...Why???? They should have stored the files first, then they could have done the compression right away to make space for the site's work space, and then they could have simply warned us of this new idea that you mentioned ("August 19th, Pro member's uploaded High-Res images will be stored on your account in their original file size and subsequently able to be downloaded via the download features. However, album view, linking (at least as the technology stands today), and sharing will be the compressed versions of those images."), so that they would not have to deal with such communication problem..or worse destroyed thousands and thousands of photos, or wasted your time, mine and of all the photo members of this site.

    I must say that the "The team support communication" was well done, for we know you can answer only what you told, even knowing that your answers could not resolve our problem, but yet you gave us the honest fact...thank you for that...

    I think the management of photobucket shoud send an email with the same explanation you have giving us and at the same time an apology to all members of its site that have had their original photos compressed. There are some Forums site that are already talking about this compression that is happening in photobucket....so word is spreading...people are frustrated, very confused and mad...Photobucket should know..that word of mouth can spread, either giving business or destroying ..and so it is written.


    Ilona Tongel

    Than I got this reply

    Photobucket Support <[email protected]>to[​IMG]"ILONA TONGEL Alves da Silva " <[email protected]>
    date[​IMG]Sat, Aug 15, 2009 at 2:41 AMsubject[​IMG]Re: [Ticket#200900800510005506] Fwd: Prohide detailsAug 15 (3 days ago)
    Dear ILONA TONGEL Alves da Silva ,

    We do very much appreciate your feedback and we are forwarding this message to
    the appropriate department. Thank you and have a nice weekend.

    So that's all the information I got for you...I know it does not help bring the hard work you put into your photos...:(...

    Wishing you all the best..and a great time photographing....photography is a treasure.......Ilona


  8. kustirider2


    Aug 18, 2009
    I've decided that I don't want that kind of service anymore (A lot of other people on the forums I visit have been hit by it too). I'm now going to be using Tinypic.. Not ideal but i'm not going back to Photobucket until they sort themselves and their service out. (n)
  9. madatphotobucket


    Aug 24, 2009
    I have had a photobucket pro account for about two years.

    When I first got the pro account, there was a 5MB upload limit; which I need because I make animated .gif's to link to websites, blogs and forums.

    These .gif's are large files, so I had to have the 5MB limit.

    So, the other day, I decided I wanted to edit a few frames out of a .gif I had previously uploaded to photobucket. I went there, downloaded my original file, edited out a few frames in Adobe Imageready, then re-uploaded it.

    Well, when I linked it to the webpage and saw how it looked I was puzzled - the .gif was LESS THAN HALF THE SIZE OF THE ONE I ORIGINALLY UPLOADED.

    I couldn't figure out what was wrong until I looked at the upload options.

    Apparently, photobucket reduced their maximum upload file size from 5MB to 2MB WITHOUT EVER NOTIFYING ME ABOUT THIS!

    So, basically they charged me the same price for their service but cut the service by 60%.....


    In my opinion, this is a shady tactic and unscrupulous business practice. Perhaps this is their way of dealing with the current economic downturn - or maybe they are just greedy - or maybe they are bending over paying customers like myself to finance free server space for all the basic (non-paying) users.


    Do you hear me photobucket-of crap? No more money for you.

    If anyone can recommend an alternative to these shysters I would greatly appreciate it.

    Rant over. Good luck to the rest of you in dealing with these crooks.
  10. madatphotobucket


    Aug 24, 2009
    Here is my email exchange w/them:

    Hell Hound wrote:
    When did you people change the maximum file upload size from 5MB to 2MB? I
    noticed this problem when I recently edited one of my .gif's and re-uploaded
    it - only to find it was now half the size of when I uploaded it the first
    time. All my animated .gif's that I upload are super tiny now. I was never
    informed you would be charging the same amount of money for less file upload size. I guess this is your way of dealing with the economic downturn -
    providing 40% of your original service for the same price. Be glad you can't be contacted by phone because you would be receiving an earful from me if I
    could attain a phone number. That is a pretty dirty practice and I am
    currently looking for a webhost that will provide the same service that you
    used to. I won't be renewing my pro account again but I still expect some sort of reply as to why you would do treat your customers in such a manner.


    username: sicemdogs

    Photobucket-of-crap Response:

    Please try the new 4000px X 3000px dimension setting to see if your upload
    remains closer to the original image size you are uploading.
    You may upload high resolution images with your Pro account, up to 20 MB in
    filesize. Though this is the case, the maximum display for the web is 2 MB.
    The web display was previously compressed as well, though this was most likely transparent to you. Our uploading options now reflect this number instead of the resolution the image is actually stored at. If you upload a 5 MB image, you will be able to download that same size with your Pro status. We apologize for any confusion.
    Your Photobucket Support Team

    Hell Hound Responds (again)

    There is no "confusion" on my part.

    There is no 5MB upload option anymore - it has been replaced by a 2MB upload option. All the previous .gifs I uploaded still display at the original size I uploaded, BUT - when I take the EXACT SAME FILE, download it, then re-upload the file, it reduces the file size to 2MB and displays it as such.

    You have reduced your service by 60%. Your old settings had a 5MB option, your new settings have only a 2MB option. Apparently it is you who are confused. Once more just so it sinks in - THERE IS NO UPLOAD OPTION FOR 5MB ANYMORE.

    Why would uploading my large file at a setting LESS than the maximum setting help at all? This statement makes no sense. Here is what you are saying -

    "Your file doesn't work on the maximum upload setting? Try an EVEN SMALLER setting in order to make it look right."

    What on earth are you talking about? The dimensions of an animated .gif have nothing to do with the file size, as the file is made up of many layers that are basically frames. Most of my .gifs were 320px X 240px, yet the FILE SIZE was around 4MB-5MB.

    Please explain this, if you will - Two months ago, I could upload a 5MB animated .gif. The .gif would display on photobucket in the original size I uploaded. I could link the image to websites, forums, and blogs, and it would display at the original size I uploaded. The web display and links WERE NOT REDUCED TO 2MB AND NEVER HAVE BEEN UNTIL RECENTLY.

    This statement made by your company is patently FALSE.

    Now, I can take a 5MB animated .gif, upload it, and your service reduces the file size to 2MB. The image links are reduced too.

    Please explain to me why this service is performing differently now than it did two months ago.

    I don't upload images to photobucket to "store" them - I upload them to display and link them to websites, blogs, and forums. I don't care what size the image is "stored" at, I care about how it is displayed. If you are going to sit there and try to tell me that your service has not changed recently then you are lying.

    The service does not work like it did a few months ago and I am going to say this one more time just so you understand:
    Two Months Ago: I could upload a 5MB animated .gif, when I used the image code to link the image to a site, it displayed at the SAME SIZE I UPLOADED. Your site included a 5MB upload option - now it does not.

    OK - are you still with me? Now I will explain (again) what happens now. As it today. As in not two months ago. As in right this minute.

    Presently: I can take a 5MB animated .gif, upload it to photobucket using the LARGEST POSSIBLE FILE SIZE UPLOAD OPTION WHICH IS 2MB, and it is reduced to 2MB and the image links display it as such. When I link the image to a forum or blog, the display is small, unlike how photobucket performed in the past.

    Can I make this any clearer to you?

    I also would like to point out this email I received right before I renewed my account. Here is an excerpt from the email I received from photobucket pandering for my money:

    Notice the 5MB uploads part.

    Well, I renewed my Photobucket Pro account and I have apparently lost some of the "great features" anyway. Please explain why you would send me this email that says there is a 5MB file upload option and now there is no such option.

    I anxiously await your response. Please make it less confused than your last one.


  11. Ilona55


    Aug 9, 2009
    You have made it very clear to them...In my case its my photos about 2000 or more that they have compressed and destroyed their quality...and all the links shows the horrible compression too..We also have a pro account..with the same options as you did 2 months ago ..as I try to show above the madness of it all..but you have made it even more clear what they have done to all of the pro accounts...Its false advertisement!!! It is just horrible!! They took our money knowing they would make this changes...its not right!!!!

    When you get an answer to your email...pls post it here so I can see what they will say to the clear facts you posted by your email to them.

    thanks for letting us all know...that there are more than one person mad about this....
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