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Google Releases New Image Format Called WebP

Soulskill posted about 4 years ago | from the pixelating-the-web dept.

Google 378

An anonymous reader writes "Google has released WebP, a lossy image format based on the image encoding used by VP8 (the video codec used in Google's WebM video format) to compress keyframes. According to the FAQ, WebP achieves an average 39% more compression than JPEG and JPEG 2000 while maintaining image quality. A gallery on the WebP homepage has a selection of images which compare the original JPEG image with the WebP encoded image shown as a PNG. There's no information available yet on which browsers will support the WebP image format, but I imagine it will be all the browsers which currently have native WebM support — Firefox, Chrome, and Opera." Independent analysis of WebP is available from a few different sources.

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Microsoft releases a new image format called WebP (4, Funny)

symbolset (646467) | about 4 years ago | (#33757810)

Apparently over at TG Daily Emma Woollacott [tgdaily.com] thinks WebP is a Microsoft innovation. They've also reassigned Richard Rabbat to Redmond, which will probably be quite a surprise to him.

Meanwhile, in 2016 when the IE team gets around to implementing this image format they'll find a way to put an exploitable buffer overflow into it.

Re:Microsoft releases a new image format called We (-1, Troll)

VincenzoRomano (881055) | about 4 years ago | (#33757922)

What's the difference between Microsoft and Google?
Isn't Internet just one big thing?

Speaking of editorial malpractice (-1, Offtopic)

symbolset (646467) | about 4 years ago | (#33757926)

Over at WSJ [wsj.com] they're posting that the new HP CEO is making $1.2B/year. But hey, what's three orders of magnitude among friends?

Not as Sharp (4, Interesting)

Saint Stephen (19450) | about 4 years ago | (#33757846)

I can visibly see a difference in ALL the pictures. The WebP version is slightly murkier and less shows less detail than the JPEG version.

It's like people say you can't hear the difference in suitably high-bit rate MP3, but I can - in the cymbals - they're not as bright as CD or FLAC.

This is kind of like that. It's ALMOST pretty great, but it's not as great. I guess if we all lower our expectations, we can get used to it.

Re:Not as Sharp (2, Interesting)

Zelgadiss (213127) | about 4 years ago | (#33757910)

I don't notice much loss of detail in the ones on http://code.google.com/speed/webp/gallery.html , it's just that the webP ones are darker for some reason.

There is no reference image, so I have no idea which is more correct.

Re:Not as Sharp (3, Informative)

EdZ (755139) | about 4 years ago | (#33758028)

Look at the edges of the red and orange areas in the third image. The WebP version has some very nasty aliasing, and a line of black pixels inside the border.
Cheekily, most of the WebP sample images on the page linked in the summary are higher resolution than the jpeg images they're compared to.

Re:Not as Sharp (2, Interesting)

Zelgadiss (213127) | about 4 years ago | (#33758116)

Again without reference images, we can't really say which is correct.

Good catch on the resolution differences.
But it might be just a mistake, as in the footballer one they are both the same resolution.
The same for 1 & 9 too.

Re:Not as Sharp (5, Insightful)

DarkIye (875062) | about 4 years ago | (#33758356)

Eh? The pixels you refer to are only slightly darker, not black.

.

I'm very impressed with WebP overall. The images are sharper and have better colour tones, and obviously lack those awful JPEG colour smudges. The resolutions are unimportant - the important thing is that WebP produces the images at the same size at similar or superior quality. They are also significantly smaller.

I'd just like this opportunity to say "fuck the shitty Slashdot comments system". Try and guess which of the myriad reasons is causing me to complain this time!

Re:Not as Sharp (1)

Inda (580031) | about 4 years ago | (#33758084)

I cannot trust my eyes so I used a difference filter and there really isn't much difference. Interesting Mr Google but one has to ask why?

Re:Not as Sharp (1)

DarkIye (875062) | about 4 years ago | (#33758398)

Subtle minutiae across the entire image makes a difference greater than the sum of its parts.

Re:Not as Sharp (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33758288)

There is a link to the reference images near the top.

I also noticed the Webby images didnt show appropriate copyright notices near their use of the NFL logo, the British Rail logo etc. :)

Re:Not as Sharp (2, Interesting)

GooberToo (74388) | about 4 years ago | (#33758340)

Actually if you look at the football player, you can actually see artifacts to the right of the player's head, as well as a smaller, less obvious artifact halo around his body in the JPEG image, which is entirely missing in the webp image. Aside from that, everything looks more or less the same to me. Again, aside from the football player image, I wouldn't prefer one over the other which means, for me, webp is the winner.

A bigger questions is, with the rise of small computing devices, how does decoding perform on these devices? What about encoding? What about devices lacking FP? How does this compare with JPEG? If it takes half the bandwidth and memory but twice as long (twice the battery power) to decode, is that still a viable solution?

Re:Not as Sharp (2, Interesting)

click2005 (921437) | about 4 years ago | (#33758494)

is that still a viable solution?

I'm guessing this isn't really about getting a better image format. That is just a stepping stone to their real goal.
It shouldn't be too hard to get it put into a chip (for cameras, portable devices & media players). Once that is done
those devices should (with little modification) be able to use WebM video files too.

True... (2, Insightful)

recoiledsnake (879048) | about 4 years ago | (#33757930)

From the x264 link:

What a blur! Only somewhat better than VP8, and still worse than JPEG. And that’s using the same encoder and the same level of analysis — the only thing done differently is dropping the psy optimizations. Thus we come back to the conclusion I’ve made over and over on this blog — the encoder matters more than the video format, and good psy optimizations are more important than anything else for compression. libvpx, a much more powerful encoder than ffmpeg’s jpeg encoder, loses because it tries too hard to optimize for PSNR.

These results raise an obvious question — is Google nuts? I could understand the push for “WebP” if it was better than JPEG. And sure, technically as a file format it is, and an encoder could be made for it that’s better than JPEG. But note the word “could”. Why announce it now when libvpx is still such an awful encoder? You’d have to be nuts to try to replace JPEG with this blurry mess as-is. Now, I don’t expect libvpx to be able to compete with x264, the best encoder in the world — but surely it should be able to beat an image format released in 1992?

Earth to Google: make the encoder good first, then promote it as better than the alternatives. The reverse doesn’t work quite as well.

Sounds like a business opportunity to me (1)

Moraelin (679338) | about 4 years ago | (#33757932)

Think positively. It sounds like a business opportunity to me.

Think all the special power cables, wooden volume knobs, and the other BS that gets sold to "audiophiles" who don't, in fact, hear the difference, under the claim that it'll increase the fidelity when they listen to something off their iPod. You just need to add an organic, hand-tuned volume knob, and *wham* all those missing harmonics spring into place.

I for one welcome this new development and would like to offer videophiles an amazing DVI-D cable that removes such WebP imperfections. For the low price of 499.95$, plus VAT, shopping and handling.

Re:Sounds like a business opportunity to me (1, Funny)

MachDelta (704883) | about 4 years ago | (#33758268)

Audiophiles don't use iPods. Crappy EQ. ;)

Re:Sounds like a business opportunity to me (2, Funny)

Moraelin (679338) | about 4 years ago | (#33758384)

Audiophiles don't use iPods. Crappy EQ. ;)

You'd be surprised what some use.

E.g., I remember one case from another board who was hearing differences in sound quality when playing MP3's off different hard drives in his computer. And no, he didn't mean the HDD's own noise. He was convinced that it's like on the old cassettes, where different kinds of tape (e.g., iron vs chrome) had different frequency responses. So it stood to reason to him that some HDD's have better bass than others.

Re:Not as Sharp (1)

AvitarX (172628) | about 4 years ago | (#33757934)

Funny,

The first thing I thought was how remarkably sharper the WebP looked. Especially on the football player.

I wonder if the artifacts along defined lines are making them stand out better for you.

Anyway, what's an image comparison test doing without Lenna?
http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~chuck/lennapg/ [cmu.edu]

Re:Not as Sharp (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33758054)

Anyway, what's an image comparison test doing without Lenna?
http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~chuck/lennapg/ [cmu.edu]

From the selection of images link:
The tables on this page contain some sample images from Wikipedia. The photos are licensed under a Creative Commons License. Famous classic images such as Lena, the Baboon, etc., often used when doing compression comparisons, are unfortunately not free of copyright.

Re:Not as Sharp (1)

AvitarX (172628) | about 4 years ago | (#33758126)

Guess I didn't rtfa

Did you look at the originals? (3, Insightful)

Moraelin (679338) | about 4 years ago | (#33758162)

Did you look at the full size images offered for download? Because the ones on the page are scaled down, and any artefacts will be inherently "antialised" out. But when you look at them at 1:1 zoom and flip between the two, it's not hard to notice small differences. E.g., the wood texture in picture 4 is notably different IMHO and the chairs in 9 look IMHO blurrier.

Re:Not as Sharp (5, Insightful)

m2pc (546641) | about 4 years ago | (#33757938)

I disagree. Look at images #3 and #4. The WebP versions are clearly sharper and more detailed than their JPEG counterparts. Other than that, the rest of the images are so close it's difficult to tell which is better. For a 39% size reduction, I think WebP has a clear advantage over JPEG. Some questions remaining are a) will companies actually adopt WebP and popularize it, or will it die a quiet death, and b) how CPU and memory-intensive is the algorithm to implement compared to JPEG, especially in mobile devices with limited resources and CPU power?

Re:Not as Sharp (1)

clone53421 (1310749) | about 4 years ago | (#33758210)

I disagree. Look at images #3 and #4. The WebP versions are clearly sharper and more detailed than their JPEG counterparts.

Um, dude... you realise they generated that WebP image from the JPEG... there can’t be any more detail than the original. If there is, it’s a compression artifact.

Re:Not as Sharp (2, Interesting)

Fnkmaster (89084) | about 4 years ago | (#33758502)

Actually, apparently those are all generated from higher resolution source images (which were previously JPEGs, yes, but at a higher resolution, so that presumably their prior JPEG compression is roughly irrelevant to the current round of compression).

Re:Not as Sharp (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33758438)

Mobile devices with increasingly crisp displays, increasingly fast processors, and increasingly expensive 3G connections. I vote for WebP.

Re:Not as Sharp (2, Informative)

Dan East (318230) | about 4 years ago | (#33757946)

I don't agree. Take a look at the NFL logo on the football player's jersey just below his neck. If you zoom in and compare then you'll see the WebP version is crisper.

Are there any specific portions of the images where you feel JPEG has better clarity, so others can compare them as well?

Re:Not as Sharp (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33758090)

No need to zoom in - just look at the outline of his head.

Re:Not as Sharp (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33757962)

Yes, it'll be interesting to see the results once people do some blind studies on this. Until then we'll just have to put up with all the anecdotes that are about as useful as being assured that person X really can tell the difference with gold plated connectors or whatever.

Re:Not as Sharp (2, Funny)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 4 years ago | (#33758158)

Yes, it'll be interesting to see the results once people do some blind studies on this

Blind people probably can't tell the difference between JPEG and WebP, but I don't think that's much of a selling point...

Re:Not as Sharp (4, Interesting)

GreyWolf3000 (468618) | about 4 years ago | (#33757974)

I disagree with this. A music track exists to sound good, so degradation of quality transitively degrades its' purpose. However, not every image on the web was designed to be an artistic masterpiece. For most use cases, smaller filesize for slight drop in quality is a reasonable tradeoff. You can still use PNG for the stuff that you want to render just a certain way; remember, most of us have monitors that inject their own "noise" into the color spectrum of the photos we're watching. Besides, this is all up to the guy (or gal) hosting the website. Since (presumably) it's their content, I think it's fair that they have the choice to choose the quality/compression level that both saves bandwidth costs and looks good.

Re:Not as Sharp (5, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 4 years ago | (#33758010)

The images from the x264 comparison are the most striking. In particular, compare the parasol. With the H.264 keyframe, you can see the spokes and the structure. With the JPEG version, there's some macroblocking, but the features are detectable. With the WebP one, it is just a red circle. The rest of the image is similar.

This is really a shame. Replacing JPEG is probably worthwhile - it's an ancient standard in computing terms. It comes from 1992, making it about the same age as the web. We have almost two decades of image encoding research to build on since then and, almost as importantly, computers are now much more powerful. The first web browser I used was on a 386, which was just about fast enough that the modem was the bottleneck when decoding JPEG images. Now, decoding even large JPEG images doesn't tax my CPU, so we have a lot more cycles to play with for efficient compression. Things like JPEG-2000 provide this, but because they're newer there is a potential for submarine patents to cause problems for them (as happened with GIF).

The problem with replacing JPEG is the install base. Every graphical web browser since Mosaic has been able to view JPEG images. None can see your new standard (without a plugin). No existing image editors or cameras can generate your new standard (without an external program). Remember how difficult it was for PNG adoption, and that was with the threat of patent lawsuits for encoders.

Re:Not as Sharp (2, Interesting)

excelsior_gr (969383) | about 4 years ago | (#33758030)

Hmmm... I don't think so. The jpeg artifacts (blurry edges) are not present in the webp format. Take a look around the ear of the football player (actually, around his face in general). The blue transition is more "pure" in the webp version. As for the detail, how many white lines in the middle of the road in the tunnel can you count? In the jpeg version I count 4, maybe even 5 with a little bit of imagination. In the webp next to it there are 5 lines clearly visible an a 6th one is very faint in the far end.

Re:Not as Sharp (5, Interesting)

mcvos (645701) | about 4 years ago | (#33758040)

I can visibly see a difference in ALL the pictures. The WebP version is slightly murkier and less shows less detail than the JPEG version.

More accurately, WebP doesn't invent any additional detail. Look at the second image. Lots of artifacts on the background around his head. The WebP version is sharper, has less artifacts, and is a whopping 75% smaller.

Clearly WebP is especially good at photos with large areas of the same colour, something that JPEG has always been incredibly bad at.

Re:Not as Sharp (1)

Saint Stephen (19450) | about 4 years ago | (#33758196)

I don't know why someone would mark this as flamebait. I'm just offering my opinion about what I see.

Re:Not as Sharp (1)

wjousts (1529427) | about 4 years ago | (#33758208)

I'd wait until some (independent) third party has the chance to do comparisons. Google are obviously going to cherry-pick their images that look good in WebP versus JPEG, so their gallery is pretty much worthless.

Placebo effect (1)

clone53421 (1310749) | about 4 years ago | (#33758234)

You expected less detail. You perceived less detail. /thread

Re:Not as Sharp (1)

gravis777 (123605) | about 4 years ago | (#33758310)

I was thinking the same thing, but I think the issue here is that the WebP graphics were compressed twice - to PNG because browsers do not currently support WebP.

The sample images were all pulled off of Wikipedia, and could have been JPEG to begin with, so you are then converting JPEG -> WebP -> PNG. WebP is a lossy compression format, according to the summery, so it only goes to show that if they are starting from a JPEG and recompressing, the WebP (and final PNG) will be worse than the original JPEG

Great. So? (5, Insightful)

ceoyoyo (59147) | about 4 years ago | (#33757866)

JPEG was cutting edge a couple of decades ago but it's not very hard to beat now. We still use it because everything supports it and it's good enough.

Re:Great. So? (1)

Trent Hawkins (1093109) | about 4 years ago | (#33758018)

yeah, that's about it.
Colour is good enough and so is the size and no one is really in a position where the size of your images is a real issue.
The only people that will care are guys like Google or Facebook that have to host a billion of these... oh and porn collectors I guess.

Re:Great. So? (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | about 4 years ago | (#33758146)

Does Google really host that many images? What for?

Re:Great. So? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33758172)

ever use Google Image Search? or Blogger?

Porn... Re:Great. So? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33758382)

Finally, a working giant porn search engine. ...just booble it.

Re:Great. So? (1)

derGoldstein (1494129) | about 4 years ago | (#33758442)

Image search. Those thumbnails (and the slightly larger "zoom-ins") on the new image search (the one that floods your page) take up a massive amount of bandwidth. Also anything that Google owns that displays thumbnails of any kind -- YouTube, Video Search, Google News, etc.. There's also Picasa, but I don't think that it's really a big bandwidth hog, comparatively.

Re:Great. So? (1)

tverbeek (457094) | about 4 years ago | (#33758212)

If it isn't supported by IE, it won't be of use on the web. Not that there aren't other possible uses for it, but that's a pretty important one.

Transparent To The End User (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33758402)

For sites that serve any significant number of images it will be a huge win to have WebP versions of their images and have the browser served the smaller WebP version if it is supported. It doesn't matter if crap browsers like IE don't support the format. The savings on bandwidth will be very large.

If anything it will make sites more hostile to IE since its users will be costing the site more bandwidth costs for the same content.

Halo (1)

Dan East (318230) | about 4 years ago | (#33757906)

I don't see that very annoying JPEG halo affect in the WebP image. Compare the blue background around the football player's head.

Re:Halo (4, Informative)

kill-1 (36256) | about 4 years ago | (#33757952)

That's because the scaled down preview JPEGs are compressed twice which is completely idiotic of course. Check out the unscaled images for the real deal.

Re:Halo (0, Offtopic)

od05 (915556) | about 4 years ago | (#33758230)

I don't see that very annoying JPEG halo affect in the WebP image. Compare the blue background around the football player's head.

EFFECT. Affect is verb and effect is a noun.

Re:Halo (1)

tverbeek (457094) | about 4 years ago | (#33758468)

Affect is also a noun, though it isn't used that way very much outside of psychology. For example: "He has a cheerful affect, which leads others to like him." It's pronounced with the accent on the first syllable.

WebP is currently NOT supported in any browser (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33757912)

Submitter didn't even read Google's page on using WebP [google.com] .


Since this is a new image format, you won't be able to view your WebP images in browsers or image viewers until support for the format has been provided for those programs*.
* The WebP team is proposing a patch to WebKit to provide native support for WebP, so you will be able to view your images in an upcoming release of Google Chrome.

Re:WebP is currently NOT supported in any browser (1)

Iskender (1040286) | about 4 years ago | (#33758244)

Actually, the summary doesn't say anything about supporting it currently, but rather talks about which browsers will support it (read:in the future.) This there is no data on.

Restarting again (1)

Voulnet (1630793) | about 4 years ago | (#33757918)

What, and get back to waiting until it is supported and/or rewriting image tools to accommodate the new type? I've just had the (dis)pleasure of programmatically converting JPEG2000 images to JPEG and bitmaps, and I sure as hell don't want to waste more time writing yet another converter for a type that will be useless 4 months after I finish coding it.
And really, who cares about a wee bit increase in compression rate? Computers are getting faster, networks are getting faster and grander in bandwidth, and deadlines are growing smaller.

Re:Restarting again (1)

Issarlk (1429361) | about 4 years ago | (#33757966)

> networks are getting faster and grander in bandwidth
You mean... outside the USA?

Re:Restarting again (1)

WeatherGod (1726770) | about 4 years ago | (#33758430)

Why not use ImageMagick for your converter? They support all sorts of formats and have a powerful command-line arguments that allows you to specify all sorts of conversion options. I am sure they will quickly pick up WebP.

Lenna image not shown?????? (0, Troll)

AbbeyRoad (198852) | about 4 years ago | (#33757940)

The first and foremost image comparison should be the Lenna image.

No Lenna, no approval.

Lenna forever. Long live Lenna. I am lossless without thee.

Lenna, you make my pixels huffman.

Lenna you transform my fft.

----

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lenna [wikipedia.org]

Re:Lenna image not shown?????? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33758142)

In case you missed it --

"The tables on this page contain some sample images from wikipedia. The photos are licensed under a Creative Commons License. Famous classic images such as Lena, the Baboon, etc., often used when doing compression comparisons, are unfortunately not free of copyright."

Re:Lenna image not shown?????? (4, Informative)

am 2k (217885) | about 4 years ago | (#33758170)

Great that you have read the article you apparantly did look at:

The photos are licensed under a Creative Commons License. Famous classic images such as Lena, the Baboon, etc., often used when doing compression comparisons, are unfortunately not free of copyright.

Re:Lenna image not shown?????? (0, Troll)

Rogerborg (306625) | about 4 years ago | (#33758498)

Famous classic images such as Lena, the Baboon, etc., often used when doing compression comparisons, are unfortunately not free of copyright.

ORLY? Then Google have very... selective... ethics when it comes to obtaining permission prior to copying content [google.com] , don't they?

Re:Lenna image not shown?????? (1)

sakdoctor (1087155) | about 4 years ago | (#33758532)

Perhaps we should standerdize on goatse?

Then again, it's already very low quality. Would anybody be willing to make goatse2010, as a stunningly high resolution PNG, and release under a creative commons licence?

Well... (4, Interesting)

sweffymo (1760622) | about 4 years ago | (#33757950)

Meh. I always use PNG anyway. With the advent of faster web connections, there is no need for more compression.

Re:Well... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33757998)

There's always need for more compression. It all adds up. One loser at home isn't going to care, whereas an ISP with 20 million users might. Users might care when we eventually switch over to being billed by the byte, and being stuck on slow connections like cellular networks.

Re:Well... (1)

sweffymo (1760622) | about 4 years ago | (#33758068)

One should never try to view images on a phone. The only images I post online are either photographs taken by myself or computer screenshots, both of which would be terrible to browse on a phone. An ISP's job is to provide losers like me with more bandwidth. If they don't want to give us the amount of bandwidth we are paying for they can always throttle us and get sued... Also, the by the byte/MB/GB model will never catch on for residential or corporate customers. Mobile customers are used to being ripped off, but look how a la carte TV programming has turned out. A very small percentage of users actually want to have a variable bill.

Re:Well... (1)

tverbeek (457094) | about 4 years ago | (#33758342)

One should never try to view images on a phone.

Oh, I'm sorry. I'll stop now. (Damn this iPhone4 display for tricking me into doing it!)

Re:Well... (1)

sweffymo (1760622) | about 4 years ago | (#33758114)

Also, in case you haven't noticed, cellular networks have been getting faster as well. I am not saying that people should start designing webpages using PNGs only and slicing them up... I am saying that if you upload a picture that is meant to be looked at, you don't want it to look terrible like a JPG or a WebP.

Re:Well... (5, Insightful)

Cornelius the Great (555189) | about 4 years ago | (#33758052)

Memory is a concern, especially on embedded devices. Plus, many mobile devices have built-in hardware encoding/decoding support for JPEG to minimize CPU and memory usage.

PNG is a great format, but we don't need lossless for most pictures on the net.

Rather, rather than replacing everything with PNG, the web needs a lossy image format with alpha support and ability to do lossless when needed. Oddly enough, (currently) WebP does neither...

What a load a crap (5, Insightful)

suso (153703) | about 4 years ago | (#33757976)

Most of the formats in general use are over a decade old, and the company says that they're consistently responsible for most of the latency users experience

BULL SHIT! Images are nothing anymore. Its poor javascript coding, flash ads and all the dependent site components that are responsible for most of the experienced latency now. Images don't mean squat unless you're still on a 28.8 modem.

Also, one way you can make jpeg images smaller is to set the quality value to 75 or 80, most people won't notice the difference and the size of your image will reduce dramatically. The problem today is that people leave their images at full quality right off their camera and upload a 2MB image file when it really only needs to be 138KB. WebP won't fix that user mistake.

Angry Dumb Guy (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33758124)

Way to make a fool of yourself dipshit.

Re:Angry Dumb Guy (1)

TheLink (130905) | about 4 years ago | (#33758320)

Actually the OP's right. In my experience for many pages, I'm not waiting for the content to load, I'm actually waiting for some ad/tracker site's 1x1 tracking pixel, or banner ad or javascript crap[1], or css or whatever.

That's why noscript and adblock can make certain sites so much faster. You only depend on one site working properly to see the page you want.

Whereas without the blocking, in order to see the page you depend on multiple sites (and their ISPs) to work properly.

Sure the 1x1 tracking pixel is an image, but the fact it's taking time to load is not because it's gif, png, jpg or webp.

[1] FWIW Slashdot takes a lot longer to load when I turn on javascript.

OP Doesn't Have A Clue (1, Insightful)

RingBus (1912660) | about 4 years ago | (#33758510)

No, the OP doesn't have a clue and is just ranting.

This isn't about site loading speeds. WebP is about wasted bandwidth. Serving WebP versions of images for sites is going to be huge win in their bandwidth costs for virtually identical results to the end user's browser.

Re:What a load a crap (1)

iammani (1392285) | about 4 years ago | (#33758508)

Do read the last link in TFS. They compress to the same image size and still WebP performs better. I for one would prefer a better compression algorithm that includes more detail for the same image size (Even if it is a 2MB file, I would prefer WebP to JPEG). Buts thats just me.
 

Re:What a load a crap (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33758594)

The problem today is that people leave their images at full quality right off their camera and upload a 2MB image file when it really only needs to be 138KB.

Speaking of that, do you happen to know the quality percentage Facebook uses with its javascript uploader? Its status goes to "compressing" before it starts uploading my image batches. Still takes way too long.

JPEG 2000 was boon (1)

VincenzoRomano (881055) | about 4 years ago | (#33757988)

But very few companies embraced it. Just give a look to its capabilities [wikipedia.org] !

Re:JPEG 2000 was boon (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33758166)

And if you have used it before you would know that it takes about 2x longer to decompress and even more to compress than JPEG. That is assuming you are using a good JPEG 2000 library which are few and expensive. And we have only seen 10 - 20% better compression than JPEG.

Why? (1)

geminidomino (614729) | about 4 years ago | (#33757990)

As long as crappy digital cameras save as Jpeg, people will use Jpeg. I'm not holding my breath. I also doubt anyone would bother converting their JPEG images to this new one, considering they're both lossy.

So honestly, what itch is being scratched here? Just a smaller filesize? Fear of bogus patent suits from dipshit and trolls like Forgent and Global Patent Holdings(both invalidated, but I'm sure patent trolls won't have any trouble finding anything even in a new clean-room implementation to sue over).

Granted, with the myriad image formats we have going around, what's one more... but honestly, when was the last time anyone used a ".PIC" file?

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33758104)

As long as crappy digital cameras save as Jpeg, people will use Jpeg.

Yeah, surely Google should have waited for the camera manufacturers to start saving in webp first...

Re:Why? (1)

geminidomino (614729) | about 4 years ago | (#33758204)

That was my point. I don't expect them to change it. Somehow that sentence got clipped.

It should have read "As long as crappy digital cameras save as Jpeg, people will use Jpeg. Maybe they'll move to WebP, but I'm not holding my breath."

Blame FFB syndrome.

Re:Why? (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | about 4 years ago | (#33758302)

Except for all the photo sites. Just like YouTube the can transcode the images "most already do to make thumbnails". For them saving the bandwidth and storage costs may make it very worthwhile.
The problem will be waiting for Microsoft to support it.
 

JPEG XR (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33757992)

There's also JPEG XR (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/JPEG_XR) which was released a year and a half ago.

Don't think this or JPEG XR will gain much traction.

Re:JPEG XR (1)

metamatic (202216) | about 4 years ago | (#33758148)

Well, Microsoft specifically licensed JPEG-XR's reference implementation in a way that prohibited using it with GPL code, so it's not surprising nobody is using it.

Compression and quality aren't the real problem (4, Insightful)

Aphoxema (1088507) | about 4 years ago | (#33758004)

Something suspiciously absent is any mentioning of license. I don't think it is necessary for me to describe why that's a problem.

Re:Compression and quality aren't the real problem (1)

RavenChild (854835) | about 4 years ago | (#33758300)

I'm guessing that since it is the same algorithm used in WebM, wouldn't it have the same licensing (BSD) ?

Re:Compression and quality aren't the real problem (1)

Aphoxema (1088507) | about 4 years ago | (#33758614)

I'm guessing that since it is the same algorithm used in WebM, wouldn't it have the same licensing (BSD) ?

Well, I don't believe the BSD license requires derivations to be similarly licensed so it could be anything. Worse... it could be nothing.

Re:Compression and quality aren't the real problem (1)

icebraining (1313345) | about 4 years ago | (#33758380)

I see no reason why would this be different than WebM (or the rest of the Webkit).

The format will probably struggle already to succeed, if they add cumbersome licenses so that Firefox doesn't add support for it they can shelve it right now.

Is it free or is there intellectual encumberment? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33758008)

Is WebP free?

Does Google have any patent claims or other intellectual property claims (pending or otherwise) over WebP/

If so, then it is not free :-(

Re:Is it free or is there intellectual encumbermen (2, Insightful)

Aphoxema (1088507) | about 4 years ago | (#33758130)

Yeah, considering that this is /. I'm surprised not more people are asking about that right away.

Re:Is it free or is there intellectual encumbermen (2, Funny)

beelsebob (529313) | about 4 years ago | (#33758354)

No no, you're missing the point. People here only care about something being free if it gives them the chance to bash microsoft or apple. This would only give them oportunity to bash google, so it's inaplicable.

It's certainly a step up from JPEG, but... (2, Informative)

dotKuro (1762182) | about 4 years ago | (#33758086)

The main problem with new file formats is adoption. JPEGs have been the main image type online ever since the world realized that GIF sucked. Boards that allow image posting allow JPEG, social networks etc. which allow profile pictures allow JPEG, image search engines catalogue primarily JPEGs, almost every site's design utilises JPEGs. Offline it's the same; every OS which allows background images uses JPEG. Every image viewer and editor works with JPEGs. JPEGs have been an integral part of the internet for so long that I heavily doubt that any new format, superior or otherwise, will supersede them for a long time.

Re:It's certainly a step up from JPEG, but... (1)

lattyware (934246) | about 4 years ago | (#33758298)

Not really. Look at PNG. If it has a feature people want (alpha transparency) then it gets used.

Javascript Support? (1)

curado (1677466) | about 4 years ago | (#33758092)

It'll be secure and work great until they add Javascript support

Why do a comparison without good data? (3, Interesting)

frovingslosh (582462) | about 4 years ago | (#33758120)

This makes no sense to me. The /. summary claims the webp images are built from the jpeg images. The jpeg images have already suffered loss and thus sacrificed image quality, and if correct any further processing will only be worse, never better. The proper test would be to make a comparison between two forms of lossy compression based on a lossless source (such as a raw file), which I suspect may be what really happened in the comparison. Of course, some people will take poor quality jpeg images and try to compress them further, but you can't blame the bad results this will produce on the new format technology.

Anybody know how it stacks up against JPEG2000? (1)

Chrisq (894406) | about 4 years ago | (#33758134)

We already have a "better than Jpeg" standard that hardly anyone supports, JPEG 2000. Anybody know how WebP compares to this?

Rendering Speed (3, Funny)

watermark (913726) | about 4 years ago | (#33758164)

On my system, the WebP images take seconds to render, where the jpegs are near instant. This delay is even more noticeable on the last image of the tug boat. I know the memory/cpu trade-off laws, but is this trade-off worth it now? Will this format have to wait until people have better CPUs? They said they put the WebP images in a PNG container, is that affecting rendering speed?

(I have some random Intel Duo, Chrome, Win7, on a FiOS line.)

Re:Rendering Speed (1)

Chrisq (894406) | about 4 years ago | (#33758602)

On my system, the WebP images take seconds to render, where the jpegs are near instant. )

Clever trick seeing as you can't view webp in a browser yet. I expect you are viewing .pngs produced from the webps.

Not another image format (3, Insightful)

glatiak (617813) | about 4 years ago | (#33758182)

I can only read this with horror -- yet another lossy image format to burden everyone. When I setup a media management system the number of different formats I need to accommodate already makes my head hurt. We are all dancing around the black hole that says the ultimate lossy compression can be achieved by writing to the null device. I guess that is the problem of software -- since it is intangible one can claim better by making it different (and incompatible). One sees few cars on the road with five wheels -- that standardized pretty quick and a long time ago. And I guess everyone likes keeping it art rather than science. Means 'engineer' is just a courtesy.

If it is going to be used instead of JPEG (2, Insightful)

Chrisq (894406) | about 4 years ago | (#33758202)

If it is going to be used instead of JPEG they are going to have to include EXIF data [wikipedia.org] /. I am not clear whether you can currently, evidently some RIFF-based formats can but I am not sure whether just using RIFF enables this.

A Boon for Image Processing SW makers (1)

wjousts (1529427) | about 4 years ago | (#33758260)

That'll be $200 to upgrade to the new version with WebP support.

What about HD Photo? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33758312)

How does this compare to Microsoft's HD Photo format, which is designed to span a continuum from lossless raw-quality through lossy all using the same efficient digicam-friendly algorithm? Team leader Bill Crow did many interviews on the format in photography circles and it sounded very well designed;

http://www.microsoft.com/whdc/device/print/xps/WMPhoto.mspx

Why, oh why? (1)

JanneM (7445) | about 4 years ago | (#33758452)

Jpeg is mostly fine, even for high-quality real-world images if you keep to a high quality setting (95 or more). No visible artefacts, but a factor ten compression compared to good lossless formats. If you, say, want to store a copy of your film scans or other large images, high-quality lossy encoders can save you an enormous amount of space.

But there's one single problem with using Jpeg for that today: it doesn't support more than 8 bit data per channel. That makes it kind of suck as a lossy format for high-quality images. Any subtle tone shifts - a clear sky, for instance, or a near-white background - and you have visible banding. We have a possible contender - Jpeg2000 - that's been mostly rejected in the market due to the heavy thicket of patents surrounding it.

So what does Google do? They propose another image format without higher bit-depth support. And just to make sure that it's really useless for high-quality image applications, they restrict the image size to no more than 16383 pixels on a side. Anybody who has even played with panoramas with Hugin knows that you can easily get images larger than that.

So really, what is the freaking point? It doesn't do anything Jpeg isn't already doing well enough.

I only noticed the difference once (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33758568)

The Football player pic is noticeably worse IMO, but considering they claim it to be a 75% reduction in size, that seems reasonable.

LOL, CAPTCHA: artifact

Another problem solved! (1)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | about 4 years ago | (#33758586)

Again (png), and again (jpg), and again and again.... Please, won't somebody think of the pixels?!

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