Introducing Google’s WebP, A Faster Web Alternative To JPEG [News]

0 webp intro   Introducing Googles WebP, A Faster Web Alternative To JPEG [News]Google has taken it upon themselves to make the Web faster. In a recent post on their Chromium Blog, Google pointed out that through their efforts they have noticed that one component of web pages is consistently slowing them down across the web – images.

Most of the common image formats on the web today were established over a decade ago and are based on technology from around that time“, stated the article. It was this that caused some of the engineers at Google to try to come up with a way to further compress lossy images (like an alternative to JPEG) without losing quality of resolution.


With that came the release of a developer preview of a new image format called WebP. WebP promises to significantly reduce the byte size of photos on the web, allowing websites to load much faster.

What Is WebP & How Does It Work?

WebP (pronounced “weppy”) is a method of lossy compression that can be used on images. “A WebP file consists of VP8 image data, and a container based on RIFF.

It uses predictive coding to encode your images, meaning that it uses the values in neighboring blocks of pixels to predict values in a block, and then encodes only the difference between the prediction and actual values. Since residuals contain a lot of zero values, this allows for much more effective compression.

The degree of compression is adjustable so a user can choose the trade-off between file size and image quality.

Does It Really Work?

To showcase and compare WebP’s performance with other image formats, Google has shared some open-source images (along with file size) so you can see for yourself.

1 webp vs jpeg   Introducing Googles WebP, A Faster Web Alternative To JPEG [News]

Google is also releasing a conversion tool that you can use to convert images to the WebP format. Native support for WebP is also expected in an upcoming release of the Google Chrome browser.

What are your thoughts on this subject? Will WebP be good for the Web?

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30 Comments -

0 votes

d.g.

Brilliant. If the savings are really as good as they are claiming, then smart web developers will start serving WebP images to Chrome browsers and JPEG images to any browser that doesn’t support them. That will mean that either Chrome will have an advantage other browsers or other browsers will quickly adopt the standard.

I predict Apache module to do this automatically in 3, 2, 1…

0 votes

Steve Campbell

That is something I didn’t think about, d.g. By creating something to make the web load faster in general, Google has created something that will set Chrome apart from the other browsers, at least in the beginning stages.

0 votes

d.g.

Brilliant. If the savings are really as good as they are claiming, then smart web developers will start serving WebP images to Chrome browsers and JPEG images to any browser that doesn’t support them. That will mean that either Chrome will have an advantage other browsers or other browsers will quickly adopt the standard.

I predict Apache module to do this automatically in 3, 2, 1…

0 votes

Pjaware

It is really a good thought and work by Google.

0 votes

Steve Campbell

I agree. Other companies, namely Microsoft, have tried to do this in the past and failed, but I think if anyone is capable of achieving it it’s Google.

0 votes

Alan Ralph

One thing I’ve not been able to uncover is exactly how the WebP technology will be licenced – I know it’s open source, but is it GPL’d or using some other licence? This will have an impact on how many of the stakeholders in the Web (Microsoft, Apple, Adobe, Mozilla, Facebook, etc.) will take it up.

0 votes

Strodtbeck

Anything that speeds up browsing the net. . . I’m in favor of!

0 votes

Michael

Great. Now the .jpgs I can’t open on zipdisks and CDs I can’t open can be replaced by .jpgs I can’t open on DVDs I can’t open. Thank dog for progress.

0 votes

Ugh.

Thanks, dog for no making any sense.

0 votes

Doggoneurban

amen!

0 votes

Saikat Basu

If any company can push through these changes, it’s Google. They covered videos though the WebM format and now it’s WebP for images. The one thing that can push its early adoption is that it is Open Source and thus royalty free.

0 votes

sneakily1

yeah that’s great and all but what about transparency support? I use PNG’s because they look the way I want them too, but the file size is a bitch… hope Google thinks far enough ahead of the game to take care of the issue. JPG’s suck

0 votes

SteveAx

Faster Porn?!??! I’m for it! ;)

0 votes

Aibek

:-) good point

0 votes

Aibek

That alone would probably reduce the overall bandwidth usage on the web by 50%. :-)

0 votes

Bolatito Akanji

First of its kind. Great achievement if Google can really do this