Think back just a few years and there’s a good chance that you didn’t have nearly as much choice when it came to filing formats as you do today. You probably just had JPEG, PNG or BMP if you were going to post an image online. So you might have to decide between JXL, AVIF and even TIFF or XPM. These last two are ironic since they predate many of the other options you’d run into.
While many different file formats are used today, they might not be as varied as you initially thought. That’s because of the concept of encapsulation.
Capsulized File Formats in Use Today
Many types are just archives that have been creatively bundled in one way or another. For instance, a CBZ file is a group of PNG or JPEG pictures that are all put together in a zip folder. For example, someone changed the extension to load like a photo album or comic book in a document viewer. Several audio formats, such as OGG, act as containers for different media types. For instance, a podcast uploaded via OGG could contain sound encoded with the Vorbis library.
That still doesn’t explain the vast number of image formats you’d be likely to see if you found a picture online.
Also read QR Code
Kinds of Image Formats Currently Used
The chances are that compressed JPEGs are the most common type of image on the web. However, these have been updated repeatedly to work with the kind of image API libraries that allow servers to share content with browsers. Unfortunately, all of the various versions of JPEG released over the years are more or less compatible with one another.
Progressive JPEG is probably the most crucial type today. According to the experts from Contentful, “While a progressive image is loading, the viewer first sees a lower quality pixelated version, which gradually improves in detail, until the image is fully downloaded.” This makes it possible to serve people images over a slow connection without making it look like they’re being held back.
TIFF isn’t going to be your first choice for posting images online, but you’ll want to get used to it if you’re swapping pre-publication layouts with other publishers. Content creators used many different versions, which led some to believe that the name stood for thousands of incompatible file formats. Today, though, most people share uncompressed JPEG or PNG files in this format. You’ll need something special if you plan on doing animations, however.
Animated Online Image Files
Animated GIFs are the go-to for most people working with animations on the web, but you can also make an animated PNG file that provides the entire 24-bit color. WebP, which often creates the smallest file sizes, is posed to overtake either of these formats. Unfortunately, some browsers still don’t support it, but this might change in the near future.
Technology news can be hard to keep up with, but you honestly don’t need to follow the release of every new format that comes out. Those who stick with some classic standbys, like PNG, usually won’t run into compatibility-related issues.
Read also: ranksway