JPEG Compression Test: Google Photos vs. JPEGmini

In this article I will take a look at Google Photos' new photo compression performance. I've been using a program called JPEGmini for a couple years now to compress my JPEG images. Its compression of JPEGs is lossy, but it claims to do so leaving the perceptual image quality virtually unchanged. As far as I can tell, its claims are pretty accurate, and it has literally helped me cut the size of some of my picture folders in half.

How JPEG Handles Colors and Compression

Want to understand the math and science behind how JPEG files store your digital photographs? The YouTube channel Computerphile has a new series of videos on the JPEG. They're a bit long and heady, but you may find them interesting if you've ever wondered about the technical details behind one of the world's most popular image compression methods.

JPEG Voodoo: Or, Does JPEG File Size Matter?

Would you say the above photograph has any compression artifacts? Compressed too much, not enough, or just right? What exactly is “just right” anyway. This post will explore the concept of compression, why and how do we do it, and how aggressive we should be in either reducing the file size or increasing the image quality.

BPG is a New Image Format That Wants to Replace the JPEG with Equal Quality at Half the Size

JPEG is a remarkably resilient file format. Despite having many upstart formats attempt to dethrone it over the years -- including JPEG 2000 and Google's WebP -- the JPEG is still used by nearly 70% of websites and is holding strong in popularity.

Now there's a new competitor in the ring. It's called BPG (Better Portable Graphics), and it's a format designed and advocated by notable French programmer Fabrice Bellard (creator of FFmpeg and QEMU).

Weird Tip: Wear Compression Socks to Avoid Leg Fatigue on Long, On-Location Shoots

If you've ever been on-location for a shoot from sunrise to sunset (and beyond), you know how fatigued your legs can get by the end of the day. Standing up all day can make it feel like your legs are about to fall off.

But if a comfortable pair of shoes aren't quite enough to keep you going, this weird tip might just be the best gift you can give your legs the next time you've got to be on your feet for extended periods of time.

Using Romeo and Juliet to Illustrate the Pitfalls of JPEG Compression

It's common knowledge that JPEG compression leads to a loss of data, but it's difficult to really visualize the extent of that loss in a photo. A keen eye will be able to tell a difference, but it's still hard to quantify it.

Tom Scott wanted to bring the reality home to those who don't already understand it. So he took the pitfalls of JPEG compression and transferred them from the world of photos, to the world of Shakespeare.

JPEGmini Now Available for Mac: Put Your iPhoto Library on a Diet

Back in August we featured a service called JPEGmini, which gives anybody the ability to shrink their photos up to 5-times in size without any visible quality difference -- a substantial claim, but one that the service seemed to live up to quite well (we use it regularly).

A Higher Quality Setting in Photoshop Sometimes Reduces JPEG Quality

While looking into the new compression service JPEGmini yesterday, the following statement caught my eye in an interview they did with Megapixel:

[...] sometimes you increase the quality setting in Photoshop and the actual quality of the image is reduced...

I had never heard of that before, so I decided to dig a little deeper.

JPEGmini Magically Makes Your JPEGs Up to 5x Smaller

JPEGmini is a new image compression service that can magically reduce the file size of your JPEG photos by up to 5 times without any visible loss in quality. ICVT, the Israeli company behind the service, explains how the technology works in an interview with Megapixel:

Our technology analyzes each specific photo, and determines the maximum amount of compression that can be applied to the photo without creating any visual artifacts. In this way, the system compresses each photo to the maximum extent possible without hurting the perceived quality of the photo.

You can test out the technology on your own photos through the service's website.

Google Wants to Speed Up the Web by Killing the JPEG

Google unveiled a new image format today called WebP that it hopes will make the web faster by cutting files sizes of images without affecting quality. According to a blog post they published earlier today, photos and images account for 65% of the bytes transmitted by websites. In their tests done using 1 million randomly selected images from the web, re-encoding images as WebP resulted in an average file size reduction of 39%. Here's a gallery with image and file size comparisons.

Saving JPEG Photos Hundreds of Times

Most of you probably know that JPEG is lossy compression method, meaning compression permanently throws out data and detail. Luckily, a typical compression can save 10 times the space of an uncompressed image without sacrificing much noticeable quality. However, if the image is repeatedly compressed and saved, artifacts introduced during compression become more and more obvious.