Tuesday, January 15, 2008

JPEG replacement announced (kind of old news)

Well, here we go: a replacement format for the venerable JPEG has been announced last year, but may not get implemented until 2009. It's called (for now anyways) JPEG XR and is based on Microsoft's Windows Media Format also referred to as HD Photo.

JPEG XR was apparently chosen on Microsoft's promise to deliver the technology FREE of charge. JPEG consortium is going to be the governing body of the new format and it says that XR will be available once the "kinks" are worked out so it conforms to standard's specifications.

JPEG XR promises better quality with better compression (not lossless though). Official press release can be found HERE.

I've not been a Microsoft basher for a long time. However, after the Vista release I may just become one. I now begin to question Microsoft's agenda every time they come up with something. WMF has been around (and might well be a better choice for now), but I'm convinced that sticking to a lossy format by the JPEG "officials" is, to me, taking the whole thing into a blind alley. It only tells me that degrading image's information is somehow the ONLY way to go (NOT). Problem is, when you have a near monopolistic giant behind an idea, it just can't be good long term. Is there a chance that giving it "away" will at some point allow Microsoft to "screw" with it? The general tendency to view this is, that it'll be the EXPERTS to govern the new format, not Mr. Gates. Will they?

I think still image format gorillas should slow down and take this issue a bit more seriously (I bet this statement upsets them). Why not think lossless???