Search This Blog

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

WebP - the Google image format...

While everyone is off playing at Graph Expo ...  Google is busy undermining printing with a new web image format called WebP ("weppy").

From the Google code blog here's the skinny on the new WebP image format.  It's based on the VP8 video codec.  Things look pretty straight forward from a programming perspective.

From what I can see this is totally video-based and just rehashed for web images, i.e., YCbCr, and not CMYK or other printer-friendly formats.  I am certain it is possible to convert between printer friendly and WebP but that's probably not what's on Google's mind.  There is a wrapper technology that goes around the actual compressed image so the format can be extended.

Though as we have seen before Google seems to know very little about things like CMYK or color (management, correction, etc.).  I suppose one day the format can be extended to include profiles and such.

Their big issue here is the time it takes to load your kid's hi-rez birthday pics over the web.  They claim "Images and photos make up about 65% of the bytes transmitted per web page today." and so they want to squeeze more band width out of their connections and more disk space out of their disk farms.

They don't like JPEG; apparently because its not good enough in terms of compression.

I imagine that once they are happy with all this your images stored in the vast archives will simply be converted to WebP for storage and back to whatever format you though you uploaded them in when you go to use/look at them.

I think this is probably a "sustainability move" to save on power and stop destroying the environment on their part...  More likely to save them money in a bad economy - no need to buy as many disk drives and network switches - just crunch down what your sending through your existing infrastructure and just like that you have more infrastructure.

In Google's mind, at least, video is the new print.

You can see the comparative image result of WebP here.  No printed results of course.

You can play with this yourself if you are interested.

No comments:

Post a Comment