What is JPEG-LI?

For years, the JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group) format has been the standard for digital image storage and sharing. But JPEG’s method of compression often forces a choice between image quality and file size. However, there is a new image coding format called JPEG-LI that could change the way we store and send visual information.

JPEG-LI is a coding library created by Google that aims to improve the traditional JPEG compression by a large margin. Maintaining compatibility with existing JPEG viewers and programs, JPEG-LI provides compression that halves the size of the JPEG guise while retaining image quality.

How Does JPEG-LI Work?

There are a few strategies JPEG-LI uses to approach the problem.

One is to use more exact calculations in its compression. Traditional JPEG uses approximations that can lose information; JPEG-LI works with a more accurate calculation (while selecting less important parts of the data to ignore and remove) to keep it from discarding as much data.

Another important technique is to make use of advances in psychovisual modeling. That means making use of information about how humans perceive visual information. By using this information JPEG-LI to devote its limited bandwidth to preserving the details most important to the human eye, even as compression reduces the overall quantity of data.

Advantage of using JPEG-LI

The advantages of JPEG-LI extend further than just smaller sized files. Additional benefits come from compression speed increase compared to a traditional JPEG workflow.

The direct outcomes from these benefits include faster image uploads and downloads/processing times for images; which in turn allows streamlines workflows placed upon various applications.

What's next for JPEG-LI?

Though highly notable, JPEG-LI is not designed to be the only compression method. Situations calling for pixel-by-pixel perfection (for example, medical or scientific imaging) will still utilize lossless PNG formats.

But in a vast array of applications where high-quality images that are significantly smaller than their original files is the primary goal, JPEG-LI delivers 15 percent improved efficiency (and often much higher amounts). Technically it far out performs even the best vanilla JPEG.

JPEG-LI has the potential to revolutionize the ways we work with digital images – fast content delivery, lower storage costs, quicker sharing, etc. and ultimately, improve the user experience.

If you are interested in image compression, you might want to check out AuroraImage, our AI-driven image compression algorithms for JPEG, WebP, AVIF, and HEIF image formats.

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