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Strange sort of protected JPGs?

Posted: Mon Jan 30, 2006 2:55 pm
by Drahken
The images on this site, such as and work normally when viewed normally through the browser. However, once saved they become unreadable (even the browser can't read them). The filesize remains the same, but opening them in any image program just gets an unknown format error. Here are those same 2 pics after I saved them (so you can compare and see if anything changed):

I can save the images properly by right clicking and choosing copy image, then pasting it into xnview and then saving it from there. Mainly I'd just like to know how they made it so that the image would show when served from their own server, but not show after it was downloaded.

Posted: Mon Jan 30, 2006 5:55 pm
by Irving
Nothing wrong on my end. Perhaps you're having browser trouble?

EDIT: no problems for me either with IE6 or Firefox.

EDIT 2: your direct links don't work in either browser.

Posted: Mon Jan 30, 2006 7:48 pm
by Drahken
Hmm... they do work fine for me in opera...
I can save images from other sites without any problems in k-meleon (my normal browser), but those ones just won't save correctly. KM uses the gecko engine just like firefox and mozilla/seamonkey, so it should behave the same.

Posted: Mon Jan 30, 2006 8:18 pm
by Irving
Firefox and Mozilla is weird when it comes to images. One of the things I think is boneheaded stupid is how images are tied to the Downloads box. I still sometimes have the box pop up in Firefox (It always does with Mozilla) when saving an image, and sometimes when you right click and save it'll download the thing again, very irritating with large files on a dialup. Makes no difference if you have the image toolbar extension.

Firefox is okay, but over time I've become convinced they either don't know what they're doing, or they don't care about fixing basic things. I lean towards the latter.

Here's a trick you might not know - go to Tools>Page Info>Media and find the image listed. Highlight it and save. See if that bypasses the problem. (That's a trick I learned on IMDB pages).

Posted: Mon Jan 30, 2006 10:40 pm
by Olivier_G
Really strange...
I get "Not Found: the requested URL /angie_harmon/angie4.jpg was not found on this server" with Opera 8.01 on your first link... but it opens without problem with Internet Explorer.
There, I can save the file (as a .bmp) and view it normaly with all my programs (XnView, ACDSee, Picture Window Pro, etc...) including Opera again...


Posted: Tue Jan 31, 2006 1:26 am
by mk.2
Olivier_G wrote:Really strange...
I get "Not Found: the requested URL /angie_harmon/angie4.jpg was not found on this server" with Opera 8.01 on your first link... but it opens without problem with Internet Explorer.
I also got "Not Found" message. That website probably prevents hot-linking. If you click a link from somewhere else outside their server, picture will not show up. I tried copy and paste short-cut in adressbar on firefox, it works fine. Also, I don't think these JPEG files are protected. I can view them on my computer without problem.

Posted: Tue Jan 31, 2006 12:42 pm
by Drahken
If you have your cache set too low and have filled it up with numerous images or a few very large files, then the image is no longer in memory (even though it still shows) and has to be downloaded again. You can usually avoid this by going file->offline mode before trying to save it. Being in offline mode forces the browser to save the cached version.

That site serves up a 404 if you try to get to the pics from some other site, but they'll load fine if you either click in the url bar and hit enter or click the go button while on the 404 page. In fact, the image will then load instantly. This fact makes me suspect that the supposed 404 page is actually the image itself. I would hazzard a guess that they did some kind of hacking to the images and inserted the 404 stuff into the image itself, then somehow made their servers skip past the hack part or something when you view the image "legitimately" but when you try to view the image from another site you get the 404 message. Additionally, imaghing progs probably don't know how to handle the hack and thus turn up the unknown format message (or perhaps that's also part of the hack). (I have encountered BMP images with a similar hack. They included some bogus data that told the image viewing progs that the image stopped before the actual image even began, yet when viewed in the prog they were designed for, they worked perfectly. Said prog was apparently designed to simply skip past the bogus data.)

Can someone who's familiar with the proper structure of JPGs open those pics in a hex editor and see if I'm right?

Posted: Tue Jan 31, 2006 4:31 pm
by Irving
Yep, you're right about that trick of highlighting the link then hitting GO. Interesting. Still, the images are not corrupted on my end.

As for the cache, I always set mine on 200 megs, (as compared to the preset of 50 megs). It doesn't help it. And the images are in the cache, on the hard drive, otherwise you couldn't have an offline mode. (IE wins hands down in the offline area).