back to article Picture this: Data-wrangling boffins say they have made JPEGs OBSOLETE

Boffins have devised a new way of squishing data which could herald the end of the trusty JPEG picture format. A team at the University of California, Los Angeles, claim their new compression technique is much more efficient than the olden-days ways. As well as being useful for crushing images or streaming video, the new …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.

Page:

Anonymous Coward

Great, now every jpg device is now defunct.

Time to spend money on new stuff.

Anyone want to buy a Zune? How about a Betamax recorder? Laser Disc anyone?

I fall for it every time.

4
1
Silver badge
Headmaster

Nah! Just think VHS/Beta. VHS was inferior but it kept limping along for many, many years and machines can still be bought. It's not about what's best but about who got there first with something that just about works.

1
0
Silver badge

Bring out your jpegs! Bring out your jpegs!

So what format is killing jpeg now? First it was PNG, then webP, and I'm sure there have been others in between. Poor jpeg, why not bring out a new format to herrald the death of GIF instead?

8
0
Silver badge
Joke

Re: Bring out your jpegs! Bring out your jpegs!

Poor jpeg, why not bring out a new format to herrald the death of GIF instead?

Beware of geeks bearing GIFs.

23
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Bring out your jpegs! Bring out your jpegs!

Uhh, at what point was PNG, a lossless format, supposed to kill JPEG, a lossy format? They serve totally different purposes. And PNG has pretty much killed GIF, the intended target, thankfully; no more 256 colours and binary transparency. Apart from the annoying animations, that is.

5
0
jai
Silver badge

Re: Bring out your jpegs! Bring out your jpegs!

http://ytmnd.com/ would beg to differ.

0
0
Silver badge

Re: Bring out your jpegs! Bring out your jpegs!

Actually before PNG there was JPEG2000 (patented that's why it never took off) and various "fractal compression" schemes.

The point is, JPEG is good enough and everybody has it implemented. The Web isn't slow because of the JPEG isn't highly efficient. The Web is slow because of idiotic web developers writing hugely complicated pages and spending more bandwidth on tracking cookies... while putting images onto a new, shorter, domain to save bandwidth, ignoring the time the DNS query takes to complete.

5
0
Anonymous Coward

Will it matter?

This only makes JPEG obsolete if it's not patented; otherwise it's worthless. But the story doesn't mention it either way.

12
0
Silver badge

Re: Will it matter?

Do you think JPEG wasn't a mess of dubious (and less dubious) patent claims? No doubt with the way USPTO will allow patents for 'a number on a device' this will attract every turd patent trolling company in the USA with spurious 'an operator that changes a number' patent claims.

In many ways the best future for this might be to knock out a few hundred patent claims and let institutional buyers do the funding and fighting whilst granting free licence to noncommercial use, or similar.

1
1
Silver badge

Re: Will it matter?

> Do you think JPEG wasn't a mess of dubious (and less dubious) patent claims?

JPEG was supposed to be open, but patent trolls still managed to buy patents and use them to extort hundreds of millions of dollars from dozens of hardware companies producing JPEG-capable software. I'm not aware of any patent trolling using JPEG patents since 2008, tho.

4
0
Silver badge

Re: Will it matter?

Probably because any patents related to JPEG have expired by that point, forcing the tech into the public domain.

3
0
Silver badge

Wow!

This sounds like an incredible way to compress and decompress data whilst keeping resolution and I'm impressed. Well done them.

6
3
Silver badge

Re: Wow!

There already exist better compression techniques than JPEG, but they're proprietary and therefore not in widespread use.

2
0
Silver badge

Re: Wow!

Yes indeed, but that doesn't take away from the achievement of finding another one. In fact, the fact there are already other ones makes it harder to discover a new, different one.

Well done to them for that.

5
1
jai
Silver badge

Re: Wow!

Have an upvote, sir, for your upbeat and positive comments. A rare thing on an El Reg comments page - it must be a Friday :)

4
0

contact@schwarzat.net

Open Standard?

Company name at least implies 'dual use' - which would suggest a 'no'

3
0

Jpeg2000 never caught on either. By the time usable software appeared, bandwidth and storage capacities had increased to the point for the majority of use cases it didn't make much difference whether images uncompressed, jpeg or jpeg2000 compressed.

0
1
Silver badge

But at the time, images were much smaller. Now we have 8-40MP images to store, and, more importantly, send over limited bandwidth net connections. Better JPG has a market, but the patent issue is probably the killer.

3
0

Jpeg2000 never caught on either

It did, except it is called REDraw.

0
0

JPEG2000 failed because it was chock full of patents and a suicidal hard line licensing policy. The critical mass needed for success never happened, too few developers felt like paying for a unproven format, it never proved itself because so few used it.

0
0
Paris Hilton

Good god

This new format could save me a couple of gigabytes worth of space.

Paris well because.

5
0

They don't have a guy called Philip Whitley working for them?

http://www.sfo.govt.nz/casestudy/Philip-James-Whitley-1674

0
0
Silver badge

Unlikely

Obsolete eh.

So all those millions of cameras will suddenly stop working. Same for picture editing/viewing programs across all operating systems.

I've a feeling the photos of my Peru holiday are safe for a while yet

0
0
Anonymous Coward

A good idea

How long before it EPIC FAILS due to shite patents, DRM and other bollocks?

Or will it get swallowed by a cabal (e.g. MPEG-LA) which will ensure that the world's culture continues to be controlled by private wallets?

3
1
Anonymous Coward

Re: A good idea

OTOH Google could acquire it and adapt it into the WebP standard, make it Android-standard, and hold the patents under generous terms (basically saying they will only pursue if a rival firm like Apple tries to squelch them, like what happened with the WebM stalemate). Google, after all, doesn't have to be a troll to make money; the "side business" works well for them.

1
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: A good idea

There is a F/OSS patent defence pool (or something like that).

0
0

Browser support

PNG had a slow start but is now more common because broswers can render it. JPEG 2000 has also struggled because of the lack of tooling, despite it's massive advantages, browsers don't have a clue what it is, and even plugins don't take advantage of it's "only get what you need to show" nature. JP2 will keep struggling until server technology and browser capabilities align. There is a IIF initiative ongoing so maybe in a few years we'll see a lot more of JP2s, they are being used in many big digitisation projects and in medical imaging. If you want to get a new format established these days you need to start witht he browser, get it there and you have removed all the obstacles as tooling and adoption will follow.

1
0
Silver badge

Re: Browser support

Which was why I mentioned Google. They're in a unique position to be able to (a) simultaneously saturate both the browser and mobile markets with the tech thanks to Chrome and Android, respectively, and (b) not really the type to patent troll: only using patents defensively and getting their revenues in other ways.

1
1
Silver badge

Re: Browser support

JPEG2000 is now largely irrelevant due to the advances in image compression made by the video industry in h264, webp, and even more with the new UHD stuff*. But JPEG2000 didn't take off because it was encumbered in patents from the start.

*Mozilla recently ran a comparison of alternatives to JPEG: http://people.mozilla.org/~josh/lossy_compressed_image_study_october_2013/

WebP is my favourite at the moment because it also for lossless compression where required making it suitable for both photos and text. Just missing a "file-in-file" approach to handling responsive images.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Browser support (JPEG2000)

Yes, but JPEG2000 is required for PDF 1.5, which was published back in 2003, so anyone with a modern PDF reader has a JPEG2000 decoder. JPEG2000 is often found in PDFs generated by commercial software. However, I'm not sure if there's any widely-used free software that generates a JPEG2000.

0
0
Silver badge

Re: Browser support (JPEG2000)

Yes, but JPEG2000 is required for PDF 1.5…

The patent trolls like free-to-read, pay-to-write specs: GIF, JPEG2000, MPEG-2, h.264, etc. The free-to-read model encourages adoption by consumers but actually restricts the market by using licence fees to restrict new entrants to the market. However, the WWW is one of the best examples of allowing a market to thrive by keeping specifications open and free. Yes, it's not been without its problems, with the industry packing committees either to push their interests or prevent innovation from others.

0
0
Silver badge

Re: Browser support (JPEG2000)

"Yes, but JPEG2000 is required for PDF 1.5"

Maybe that's why I typically see PDFs at v1.4 instead.

1
0
Bronze badge
WTF?

I would believe this more...

If it was the p0rn industry saying this.

4
0
Silver badge

In a world where selfie and cat videos rule the web

compression is a pipe dream.

If it doesn't appear on youtube - i.e. free then its DOA.

0
0
Silver badge

Re: In a world where selfie and cat videos rule the web

Actually, compression is what allows YouTube to thrive.

Without the ability to deliver these videos (and the attached ADS) over narrow mobile pipes, where would YouTube be now?

0
0

Nail on the head

A targeted cat compression algorithm would save enormous amounts of space. Perhaps an 8 bit type field followed by the compressed bytes: field header:0x1 = cat compression 0x2 = gym shot with amateur positive text 0x3 = dinner shot 0x4 = selfie...

1
0
Black Helicopters

More worrying

"It was so powerful that it could spot one cancer cell amid a million blood cells - all in real time"

or one face in thousands going about their legitimate business!

(only partially tongue in cheek.)

3
0

Re: More worrying

It was so powerful it could capture and deform any number of Internet images so they all fit on Snowdens phone

0
0

Well it means I will need to buy a new Camera/Phone for the new file type

0
1
Anonymous Coward

You make it sound like your camera will stop working overnight.

2
0

To create images of this new type? Depends on whether the software is user-upgradeable. But if it can save raw uncompressed images, you get to compress them however you like without any extra loss due to having to convert from another compressed format.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Patent pending ?

Next they will put a patent on it to ensure that it's never used by anyone, anywhere ever.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Patent pending ?

"ever" -> "for 20 years", because patents expire eventually, unlike copyrights, which are constantly extended.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

God help us

if we're gonna get another "standard-propriatory" format, such as pdf or djvu...

0
1

Ubiquity

Just because something comes along which is better than the established norm, it doesn't mean it'll be taken up as a new standard.

Look at Dvorak keyboards, HP Pre3s and rubber shoes.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

One picture format for the old

One picture format for the weary

And one picture format to rule them all.

0
0

Why not just call them jp instead of jpg.

Thats 33% off right there.

=)D

3
0

Could a new video standard, superior to HEVC, be in the offing? If so, I'll work on it.

0
0
Bronze badge
Joke

what to do with all me pronz

upconvert it? nah!

0
0
Silver badge

Who cares about saving space over jpeg?

Even if it could store megapixel images in a single byte it would never displace jpeg, because saving space or bandwidth for images is a problem that no longer exists in today's world. The inevitable patents, and even if made freely available, inevitable patent trolls who will claim patents on various things it does, make switching from jpeg to something new not worth whatever storage/bandwidth could be saved.

Now if it has significant benefits over HEVC for video (i.e. at least 2x improvement at the same quality) then I could see it having a chance of gaining traction there. The key would be to figure how to get it built into hardware, because without hardware support a video codec has no chance.

0
1

Page:

This topic is closed for new posts.

Forums