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Webp, Google's Answer to Jpeg, Gets Better Quality

By CNet

May 26, 2011

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Google has improved the quality of WebP, an Internet image format that Google says will make the Web faster, but now the company must convince people to use it instead of JPEG.

Google says that WebP offers a new compression technology that enables Web pages to load faster and use less network bandwidth compared to JPEGs. However, beyond users, Google must convince browser makers and Web developers to use WebP by adding features to match JPEG or improve on it, and by assuring tech companies that they can feel confident in relying on something that is not standardized.

WebP contains alpha channels for transparency, and will accommodate metadata. "We want to support people's need for metadata, and we're adding XMP support," says Google's Richard Rabbat.

WebP also will contain three-dimensional stereoscopy, which uses a multi-image technology that can package several images into one file. "Instead of having to figure out what coordinates you're going to pick the image from, you can just refer to the image within that multi-image format," Rabbat says.

Google is lobbying Internet service providers, browser services, and mobile device developers to carry the WebP format, but so far only Opera uses WebP for its browser's Turbo mode.

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