April 02, 2007

JPEG 2000 – Do you use it?

As you may or–as seems overwhelmingly likely–may not know, Photoshop ships with a plug-in for reading and writing JPEG 2000-format files.  Compared with the regular JPEG format (technically known as JFIF), JPEG 2000 offers advantages such as support for higher bit depths, more advanced compression, and a lossless compression option.  Adobe developed the plug-in in anticipation of cameras entering the market with native JPEG 2000 support on board.

The thing is, that hasn’t happened, nor have we seen other widespread adoption of the format in places we know Photoshop is being used.  Therefore with Photoshop CS2 we made the call to stop installing the plug-in by default, but to continue making it available via the product CD.  What’s probably not obvious is that existing features keep consuming resources to maintain & test, even if no features are added to them.  As we plan for the future, we need to retire features that no longer make sense & focus instead on capabilities that matter.

So, do you use JPEG 2000?  If so, please give a shout and let us know how & why you use it.

PS–Note that support for JPEG 2000 as a file format by itself & support for the compression options it offers are two separate things. PDF supports JPEG 2000-compressed images, so we wouldn’t remove that support.  I’m just trying to gauge the value of supporting standalone JPEG 2000 reading and writing.

[Update: We're not planning to change Photoshop's JPEG 2000 support strategy anytime soon. Thanks for all the feedback. We've got what we need, so I'm switching off comments. --J.]

Posted by John Nack at 4:33 PM on April 02, 2007
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