"Michelangelo", by Planet Art
Contributed by David C. Wilkins
Rebuttal by Eric Muller
"The Michelangelo CD from Planet Art, which consists of a collection of
images in Kodak PhotoCD format, is disappointing in just about every
"The description of the Michelangelo CD on the jewel case
says that there are images up to 18MB in size. However, almost all of
the images are 3MB in size, with some of them going up to 5MB. The
description of the CD on the case also advertizes the art as being
"Royalty Free". After seeing the shots it becomes clear why there are
no copyright fees. I have six art books on Michalangelo and have four
other art books with major sections on him. In every case, the
selection of which art works to include and the angle/cropping of the
individual works is far far superior to that included on Planet Art's
"The CD was expensive. About US$80. The mail order house from which I
purchased the CD does not normally allow opened CDs to be returned.
But they refunded my money because of the false advertizing on the CD
case cover -- promising images up to 18MB but delivering images only
up to 5MB. There is a series of CD's put out by Planet Art on major
artists. Based on my experiences with their Michelangelo CD, I would
be wary of purchasing another CD from Planet Art."
Eric Muller offers this rebuttal:
"I don't work for Planet Art and have no relationship with them, but I feel you
have given them a somewhat unfair review. I have one of their CD-ROMS, the
Antique Maps one. While the maximum compressed file size on the CD-ROM is
between 3 and 5 megs, the uncompressed maximum file size is certainly 18 meg
as advertized. This is the norm when the Kodak Photo-CD format is used, and
according to the Planet Art catalog all of their CD-ROM are Kodak Photo CDs.
"These Photo CD CD-ROMs require that you have the proper Photo CD software to
correctly access the files. Each picture is stored in a single image file that is
from 3 to 6 meg in size (hence the maximum of ~ 100 photos on a single Photo
CD). This single image file contains five images of the photo stored using a
complicated program of lossy and lossless compression techniques. The three
lower resolution pictures (128x192, 256x384, 512x768) are essentially
uncompressed. The two higher resolution files (1024x1536 and 2048x3072) are
compressed. When uncompressed the 2048x3072 image takes up ~ 18 meg (hence
Planet Art's claim re the 18 meg file size).
"The quality of the scans and the choice of pictures may not be the best, however
remember what this is. It's royalty free images. It's normal to pay far far more
for the full commercial rights to such images. Other CD-ROMs with royalty free
art on them typically cost far more. Some I've looked at are ~ $200-$300 for 20
to 30 pictures. These higher-priced CD-ROMs may be worth it at times. Some of
these have better drum scanned pictures and may have better selections.
However, at 100 images for $80 the Planet Art CDs are a bargain. I can't even
get 100 Photo-CD scans of my own work on a CD-ROM for that price, let alone
film, time, and reproduction rights.
"It's important not to compare these CD-ROMs to ones which aim primarily to help
people understand an artist and his/her work. It is strictly an inexpensive source
of great pictures one can use legally for whatever purpose one wants."