Geutzli Is Slow. So?

The main complaint I often read about Geutzli, Google’s new JPEG encoder is that it takes a long time to work.

If you are compressing images based on how fast it’s for you, then I honestly don’t think it’s a fair criticism. The way Geutzli works is a very different kind of compression than other methods we employ so, yes, it does take a while to work.

Recently, I had the need to compress a sizable number of JPEGs. Keeping image integrity high, the JPEGs were saved without much compression. So, it was not a shock that the result of the image file sizes from a Photoshop exports combined with an ImageOptim pass didn’t result in large file sizings.

Setting up an automated process for Geutzli, I got up and walked away for a lunch break. When I came back the images were all processed.

Selecting the JPEGs and then pressing Control + Command + I on Mac OS, I’m able to get combined file size of the images and get a comparison of the file savings.

It turns out, by leveraging my time, I was able to get them to 60% of their original file sizes. Then I ran the images again through ImageOptim and was able to shave off another additional 1–2% file savings.

While we might not be able to point Geutzli put into a Grunt task and expect it to wrap up in a few seconds, that doesn’t mean you can’t toss a large number of images to be converted during an extended break or overnight or even over a weekend. When you come back, your users could be enjoying a substantial increase in web performance without a perceptual loss in image quality.

That can never be a problem.


Also published on Medium.

About Christopher Schmitt

The Internet's Christopher Schmitt is an award winning designer, author, and speaker and one of the people behind the web conference team, Environments for Humans. He hosts the Non Breaking Space Show and curates the weekly UX Design Newsletter.

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