Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 30th Sep 2010 23:04 UTC
Google A few months ago, Google open sourced the VP8 video codec as part of the WebM video project, to create a truly Free/free unencumbered video format for the web as an answer to the non-Free/free patent-encumbered H264 format. Today, Google launched a new image format for the web, WebP, which aims to significantly reduce the file size of photos and images on the web.
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commenting about how you can get similar compression rates from JPEG.

Google took a random sampling of images from the web, then re-encoded all of them as JPEG, JPEG2K, and their new WebP format, all targeting the same PSNR rate of 40. Google's format was significantly better, especially at the smaller images.

Now, that doesn't mean this format is an automatic win. How important is another 20% compression compared to the problems associated with supporting a new format? How CPU intensive is the decoding/encoding process? etc. A 3rd party test/comparison would also be good, just to double check that google didn't forget anything important. One good thing is that most of the format is defined in VP8 already, so browsers will already have most of the code in them, it should be just a matter of hooking it up to the correct places to display the images.

Another thing to be aware of, as dark shikari has pointed out VP8 is optimized for PSNR. He shows that that's bad for quality, but it also might have twisted the results of Google's test a bit since they were targeting a constant PSNR of 40 in all 3 formats.

Edited 2010-10-01 08:56 UTC

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