"A new graphics file format, proposed by programmer Fabrice Bellard, could cut the file size of digital photos by half with far-reaching consequences."

"His new format, dubbed Better Portable Graphics (BPG), generates much higher quality images than JPEG for any given size of file."

"But, rather than improving on JPEG, BPG abandons it entirely, instead using a subset of a newer algorithm called High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC), which is an open-source standard designed primarily for video compression. Using this technique, BPG achieves roughly double the compression of JPEG, so a similar level of quality to JPEG can be achieved while creating a file of only half the size."

"This means picture-heavy web images could display at double speed, while a phone or camera could store twice as many images before it becomes full. Metered data allowances would allow for considerably more web browsing with lower data caps."

"HEVC, and hence BPG, also adds features not supported by JPEG, including greater dynamic range by increasing the maximum number of bits per pixel from 8 to 14 and adding support for transparency. It also allows for lossless compression modes where an exact copy of the original can be generated with no loss of quality."

"Despite the obvious performance gains of BPG, it’s unlikely to become a new standard image format, the problem being one of compatibility."

"With almost no existing software currently supporting the BPG format, it would take a lot for it to gain widespread popularity."

"More recently, in March 2014, Mozilla Research, the research arm of Mozilla Foundation, creators of the Firefox browser, announced the “mozjpeg” project."

"The aim of mozjpeg is to increase the compression performance of JPEG encoding while maintaining compatibility with existing picture viewing software."

"There is certainly demand for better image compression: On July 15th 2014, mozjpeg 2.0 was announced, along with a $60,000 donation from Facebook which is testing the use of mozjpeg to improve the compression of images on the social media site."

"BPG produces much smaller images than mozjpeg 2.0, but implementing it on site the size of Facebook.com with current browser software would be a compatibility nightmare as every application used to access the site would require additional code. However, adding support to Facebook’s own apps could be rather more feasible."

"BPG is available to try right now and is a great piece of work, but I expect any eventual still image format based on HEVC will need to carry the weight of a standards body such as the Joint Picture Experts Group itself."

From +Forbeshttp://ow.ly/FYZQx

Half The Size Of JPEG: Could BPG Lead To A Double-Speed Web?
A new graphics file format, proposed by programmer Fabrice Bellard, could cut the file size of digital photos by half with far-reaching consequences. How are images made smaller? The vast majority of photos taken with a cameras or smartphones and nearly every image viewed on the Web is stored in the Joint […]

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