JPEG files are, by their nature, lossy and of lesser quality than things like TIFF. However, even JPEGs can have excellent quality…if you’re not picky about file size. Problems start when you require both a certain level of quality, a certain resolution, and a certain maximum file size. Compressing a photo to reduce its file size is simple, but maintaining its high quality at the same time is tricky. Thusly enters Google’s new Guetzli tool.
Guetzli is a new JPEG encoder developed by Google and made available to the public as an open source tool. The company bills this as a new (albeit slow at the moment) way for websites to crunch their images, reducing file size for faster page loading without sacrificing quality. Graphic designers and others can also use the tool by building the encoder on their own computer using Google’s instructions.
There’s no shortage of JPEG compression tools on the market, of course, and many of them are arguably easier to use than Guetzli is at the moment. Those concerned with maintaining the utmost quality while conserving storage space or reducing upload times may want to give the tool a chance, though, as Google points to multiple tests that indicate its tool is more capable than libjpeg.
If you’re interested in the tool’s finer details, Google has published a full study with all the pertinent information. If that’s not something you care about, you can head over to the Github destination instead and check out all the files, instructions on installing the tool, and the code necessary for using it.