Google Creates Guetzli – A New JPEG Encoder With 35% Smaller Files Without Loss Of Quality


People have been trying to minimize and shrink the memory occupied by pictures on the web space for years, and Google’s efforts have mainly revolved around using its proprietary WebP format. But this new project might be the next best thing that has happened to internet technology, as Google’s research and open source divisions claim that they can make JPEG images up to 35 percent smaller while not compromising on their quality.

The project is called Guetzli (Swiss German for cookie since it was made in Google Research’s Zurich office). It is essentially an image encoder that can work towards making image files that are smaller and even better looking than other compressed images.

the first image is uncompressed. The second image is encoded with libjpeg, and the third image uses Guetzli.

Usually, such projects revolve around introducing a new kind of photo extension, which might be more effective and powerful but never really take off due to lack of usage and applicability. Guetzli, on the other hand, is unique since it aims to work on the most popular photo format, JPEG, thus is more likely to catch on with the current technology.

The comparisons below show Guetzli image compared to an uncompressed image vs an image compressed using the lib jpeg encoder.

Left to right, Uncompressed,  compressed with libjpeg, compressed with Guetzli with fewer digital artifacts. (Image: Google)

The Guetzli encoder is open source and available on Github for anyone to use and modify to their own applications. This move will put Guetzli at par with lib jpeg since many web-based image programs and even stand-alone image processing apps the encoder only because it is free.

Guetzli seems like a solid lib jpeg replacement for the future of web!

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