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Sunday, December 26, 2010

WebP: New image format for Web by Google

We have all seen how images transform our web pages from piece of code to a beautiful piece of art. But very often these turn out to be a headache if we are on a slow network connection and thus can seriously hamper the efficiency of our site. So to overcome this problem were introduced various image formats with different levels of compressions. But these formats namely JPEG and Gifs that are most widely used are decades old , and so the demand for a new image format that can offer even better rate of compression at the cost of least hampering the quality was felt by the engineers of Google ,and thus they came up with this revolutionary image format WebP ( WebP is pronounced “weppy”.)

Webp uses image compressor based on the VP8 codec that Google open-sourced in May 2010. They used the techniques from VP8 video intra frame coding to push the envelope in still image coding. A very lightweight container based on RIFF is also used. While this container format contributes a minimal overhead of only 20 bytes per image, it is extensible to allow authors to save meta-data they would like to store.

Comparison of image sizes and compression percentage
Comparison of image sizes and compression percentage 

WebP was able to achieve an average 39% reduction in file size. WebP converters is available for download for Linux as precompiled binary and for Windows/Cygwin.

The size limit is of only 16383×16383? This seems very limited given 25+MP cameras these days—and increasing. WebP uses the color spaces supported by the VP8 bitstream.

For those too eager to use WebP in there websites there is a bad news that this ain’t supported yet by any of the browsers, but Google is soon gonna roll out its support for Google Chrome 9.

For a comparative study of JPEG and WebP visit here

Download WebP

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