I just saw on Yahoo PC News [story.news.yahoo.com] that a company eCom eCom, Inc. [myphotozip.com] is proposing a new image compression format. Optimistically it can compress a TIFF image 1000 times and has copy-protection built-in. It will require at first a plug-in, but they hope to incorporate it in all browsers, just like JPEG viewing is.
I was wondering if anybody has used it, what the results look like, and what is the likelihood of it spreading to the mainstream.
The public opinion trend among graphics designers seems to be moving away from proprietary image formats... PNG instead of GIF for instance.
However, if it really is immensely better than JPG for photographic images, it may start to see some acceptance if it becomes fully integrated into all the major browsers, and major graphics packages like Photoshop, Fireworks and Paint Shop Pro can incorporate the algorithm into their image compression options.
As long as you need a plug in to view the graphics and proprietary software to create them though, I don't think it's going anywhere... copy protection alone isn't a big enough incentive, IMO.
It will take atleast 5 years to intagrate a new compression. Even though PNG is supported by most browsers most web designers don't use it. It is much better than gif. It also needs a marketing frenzy. It took flash a long time to get where it is and it is almost fully supported. Macromedia really marketed it.
You won't be able to right-click a.mpz picture and download it. For copyright holders, that's arguably good news. For viewers, it's an annoyance.
It's like the stupid right click trick. It doesn't protect you from the right people.
The people that really want to steal your image can push the Alt+PrtScn button and paste it into Photoshop while the people that want to admire it will just be out of luck.
Also, it will be another hurdle to get over like when Flash was new. Most people didn't want to download the plugin. Now it's almost standard. Do you want to take the risk of some of your sliced graphics not showing up on peoples computers?
Finally, the article itself says that you can only realistically compress things to half the JPEG size without it becoming abstract art. Let's say in 5 years it becomes accepted and we all use it. Will it matter? Think about how many surfers will be using broadband by then...