Lossy compression is hands down one of the best choices when it comes to optimizing one’s own website. However, many users still don’t know which file format has a lossy compression.
Do you know which is it?
Well, then we recommend you follow this article till the end.
Which file format has a lossy compression?
A common file format that uses lossy compression is JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group). This format is commonly used for digital images and photographs. It uses a compression algorithm that reduces the file size by discarding some of the image data, which ultimately can result in a lower-quality image.
However, there are two other file formats that use lossy compression and these two file formats are; MPEG (Moving Picture Experts Group) for video and MP3 (MPEG-1 Audio Layer 3) for audio.
Now, some of you might not be well versed with these three types of lossy file formats, and therefore to give an idea about the same, we will be giving you a brief explanation about each of the file formats shortly after discussing what is a lossy format and how is it different from the lossless file format.
What is a lossy format?
A lossy format is a file format that uses a compression algorithm to reduce the file size by discarding some of the original data. This can result in a lower-quality version of the original file.
The degree of compression can be adjusted, allowing a balance between file size and image quality. As mentioned earlier, the most commonly used lossy formats include JPEG for images, MPEG for video, and MP3 for audio.
Generally speaking, lossy compression is best suited when the goal is to reduce file size and storage space, rather than to maintain the highest possible quality.
Moreover, they are widely used on the internet for displaying photographs, videos and audio files due to the limited bandwidth available for transmitting large files.
They are also used for storage on personal devices such as smartphones and tablets, where storage space is limited.
However, it’s worth noting that lossy formats are not suitable for certain applications where the original quality must be preserved, such as professional photography, video production, and audio recording.
In these cases, lossless formats such as PNG, TIFF, and WAV, should be used instead.
Lossy vs Lossless, and which is the best?
Starting with the basic definition, a lossless format is a type of digital file format that can be compressed without losing any digital data that is present in the file.
For instance, if you compress the RAW file format, it will for sure reduce itself in file size but the details that it holds will still be intact.
Although, the same cannot be said for lossy files like JPEG, and as a result whenever you compress this type of file via the file compressor apps, it will lose most of its details.
For instance, when an 8-bit JPEG file format is further compressed, you will notice a greater color shift and blurry effect.
However, when it comes to choosing the best file format, there is no perfect answer, because it bluntly depends on what type of application or website you are running.
What is a JPEG, MPEG and Mp3 format?
After discussing what is a lossy format and how it is different from lossless, let’s now throw some light on the three available lossy formats, namely; JPEG, MPEG and Mp3.
JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group) is a commonly used digital image file format that uses a compression algorithm which in turn reduces the file size by discarding some of the image data.
Meaning that some of the original image information is lost during the compression process, which can result in lower-quality images.
However, the degree of compression can be adjusted, allowing a balance between file size and image quality.
Further adding, this format supports 8-bit grayscale or 24-bit RGB color images and is typically used for photographs and other continuous-tone images.
JPEG is supported by most image editing software and is widely used on the internet for displaying photographs and other images.
MPEG (Moving Picture Experts Group) is a set of standards for video and audio compression. It is a lossy format, meaning that some of the original video or audio information is lost during the compression process.
The MPEG standards are developed by the MPEG group, which is a working group of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC).
It is widely used for digital video and television, as well as for video on the internet.
Like JPEG, the degree of compression can be adjusted, but with increasing compression, the video quality may suffer from loss of details, blocking and motion artifacts.
MP3 (MPEG-1 Audio Layer 3) is a widely-used audio compression format that uses a technique called perceptual coding to reduce the file size of an audio file.
It works by eliminating certain parts of the audio that are deemed inaudible to the human ear, resulting in a smaller file size while still maintaining a high level of audio quality.
MP3 is a lossy format, meaning that some of the original audio information is lost during the compression process. The degree of compression can be adjusted, allowing a balance between file size and audio quality.
Lastly, MP3 is supported by a wide range of devices and software and is commonly used for music, podcasts, and other audio content.
Choosing the correct file format for your website or application solely depends on the type of content you are serving.
But, if anytime you are aiming for a compressed file type without focusing on quality, then we suggest you go for these three lossy file types without giving any second thought.
Can you reverse lossy compressions?
No, lossy compressions are irreversible.
Does a DAW file sound exactly like an MP3 file?
No, DAW files are lossless files thus they have a rich sound quality.