Beyond JPEG

Seems like Opera (i’m using 9.10) supports jpeg2000 as well. The images open fine for me.

While Jpeg2000 isn’t a big enough improvement over Jpeg, Microsoft’s new HD Photo might be. It’s possible that HD Photo could become a standard for images greater than 24-bit colour depth.

Mind you, the first step required is to get the operating system and video cards to do deep colour. And then getting camera vendors to trust Microsoft will take, in my estimation, at least 6 years.

Yet another software patent monster of the day.

JPEG has two weaknesses. The Discrete Cosine Transform has a fixed length scale, which isn’t ideal for all images (or parts of images) and the method of entropy encoding (lossless encoding after the lossy step) isn’t the best.

There are two better transform methods: wavelets and fractals. Both of them are heavily patented – rather than bringing in big $$ for the patent holders, this has the simple effect of keeping the technology out of circulation for 18 years.

An arithmetic compression mode of entropy coding is available for JPEG, but it’s little used for the same reasons.

The JPEG2000 patent situation is particularly insidious – the consortium behind it has granted a royalty-free license to use the technology to implement JPEG2000. However, many in the open source camp have declined to implement JPEG2000, because the patents violate the principle of letting other developers modify and repurpose the code as they please. For instance, this certainly violates the spirit of the GPL. If I licensed you a JPEG2000 implementation under the GPL, I’d be granting you rights (to modify the code s you wish) that aren’t mine to grant you.

It is a bit sad. Wavelet and fractal compression would let us store our images in about half the space.

“No current web browsers can render JPEG 2000 (.jp2) images”

Well, on my Mac, Firefox 2 certainly does. So do Safari, Preview and Pages. Word 2004 does too. Everything seems to display “lena512color-40.jp2” correctly.

On Windows XP, nothing seems to. Not Firefox, IE7, “picture and fax viewer”, nothing.

ie7 with quicktime can render .jp2 files. it’s not native, and it’s slow, but it does.

To add upon Sailor Moon’s comment, Microsoft’s HD Photo format is no better than JPEG 2000, because also the licence is royalty free, the EULA specifically prohibits you from distributing your implementation as open source, or letting other people modify your implementation.

IANAL, so here’s the EULA :

“No current web browsers can render JPEG 2000 (.jp2) images”

Bullshit. Firefox and Safari on Mac render it. Get your facts straight bucko.

Safari on Mac OSX renders them fine and as well as OpenEXR on the desktop environment, Mac OSX handles other more exotic camera RAW files from Nikon and Canon without 3rd party software.

Here’s a color test of ICC version 4 that Safari passes that other browsers to my knowledge has not passed.

“No current web browsers can render JPEG 2000”? Safari and Konqueror can! Not everybody uses MS Shit.

Jeff: You wouldn’t happen to know those quantization values, would you? (if so, please contact me at ) I was concerned about image quality and wanted to learn how to do DCT/image processing programming, so I wrote myself a little JPEG encoder/decoder. I spent a while trying different values for the quantization matrix, reading who-knows-how-many papers about colour and the human eye, and I could easily slip them into my encoder. I’m currently using a mix of a low-bitrate XVID matrix and the reference JPEG matrix.

It may be a LOT slower than the other JPEG encoders and the image quality isn’t the best at the high-bitrate end, but at the lower bitrates it produces better images than most of the handful of other JPEG encoders that exist out there. I’d say that for web use, it’s the best compressor out there. The ability to feed it a compression mask so that the background has higher compression than the foreground really helps, though.

I also have another program that analyses two images and does an area-based recompression between them - in effect, you open a JPEG image, edit part of it, save it, and it attempts to avoid recompressing the areas of the image that haven’t been changed. I’d really like to release both of these programs, but I’m rather afraid I’ll get lawsuits out the wazoo because I paid no attention to what was patented or restricted methods, I just did things the methods that I thought would work best, that I knew of.

@SkinnyC: With QuickTime installed, yes.

Either I am experiencing the most vivid deja vu ever or you are reposting the exact same blog again. Didn’t we already do this one to death last year? I sure remember you posting those pictures before.

Maybe you are just experiencing a log anomaly.

What about djvu? There is a free implementation of it and it’s very comparable to jpeg2000

Viva le jpeg2000 revolution! Free (high quality) pr0n at Jeff’s place!

Meh, I don’t like anything involving JPEG. I prefer .TIFF files, but Windows refuses to let me use them as backgrounds, so I’m SOL in that way.

Let’s just drop all this compression stuff…roll out high speed networks and upgrade our hard drives and processors…then we can all edit raw. If only. I just can’t belive that JPEG is 1986.


jp2 files seem to open fine using the quicktime plugin in FF and IE on WinXP; however, they won’t render as part of a page.

I imagine that Mac OS X handles image rendering via CoreImage (iirc), which any sensible application would use, wittingly or not.

Obviously Windows Vista must offer an equally well-thought out technology, so JPEG2000 will work on that operating system too.

The real advantage of JPEG2000 over JPEG is not compression of most photos images, it’s management of edges (as in maps, scanned documents, etc) and it’s color spaces (JPEG is really bad with white point adjustment – not enough bits).

JPEG2000 is way better than JPEG for compressing a map or scan. Adobe Acrobat 8 can use JPEG2000 with very good results – but they’ll only be readable by recent vintage PDF clients. (I don’t think the OS X PDF viewer will read them, though OS X has excellent JPEG2000 support in general.)

The comments on your post are excellent. The problem with JPEG2000 is not that it’s patented per se, it’s that some of the math is thought likely to be subject to other unclaimed patents. So if it ever got serious traction, it would become patented (remember GIF?). We’ll probably have to wait the 18 years …

I’d love to see cameras do JPEG2000 rather than JPEG and RAW, but it must be said the current algorithms for doing JPEG compression are incredibly fast and very energy efficient.

Apple fanatics calm down. Until Microsoft puts JP2000 or HDPhoto into IE7.x no one will care - and then the decision will be made and FF and Safari and Opera can just follow.