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How Google’s open source .jpeg encoder can help your website load faster – TechRepublic

Image: iStockphoto/Vladimir_Timofeev

A new open source image encoder from Google, announced last Thursday, could help business websites load faster and create a more seamless experience for users. Announced via a blog post, the new algorithm is called Guetzli, and promises .jpeg files up to 35% smaller than other methods, the post said.

According to the post, Guetzli means “cookie” in Swiss German. By using the encoder, businesses and professionals can shrink the file size of their images and graphics down, while maintaining quality, and browser and application compatibility, the post said.

Google has a similar algorithm called Zopfli that works to shrink down .png and .gzip files as well. Both options are meant to be more scalable than alternatives like RNN-based image compression, RAISR, and WebP, the post said.

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Typically, .jpeg compression happens in three distinct stages. Guetzli works during what is known as the quantization stage, in which parts of the visual quality are reduced to make the file smaller. Guetzli tries to minimize the quality loss while still making the cuts necessary to improve the file size, the post said.

“However, while Guetzli creates smaller image file sizes, the tradeoff is that these search algorithms take significantly longer to create compressed images than currently available methods,” the post said.

Although, Google also noted in its post that the slower compression times seem to be worth it, as human raters preferred the images produced by Guetzli as opposed to libjpeg images.

“It is our hope that webmasters and graphic designers will find Guetzli useful and apply it to their photographic content, making users’…

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