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Why Do I Need Photo Compression Software?

Digital photography allows us to store photographic images on our computers. We no longer have to sort through individual pictures stored in boxes or photo albums, saving time and physical space in our homes. However, digital images take up a tremendous amount of memory space on our computers, which can slow down application processes and make our computers run much more slowly.

Like time in a bottle, our photographs are memories of moments forever captured. In conventional cameras, chemical and mechanical processes captured images on film. To email a picture taken on film to a friend, the film needs to be developed into individual photos, and the photo then has to be digitally scanned to save the image on your computer. The scanner reads the pixels (tiny dots of color) that make up a photograph and converts the pixels into digital language (bits and bytes) that can be understood by the computer's processors. The photo file from the computer can then be transferred over the internet via email. Digital cameras use a tiny computer processing chip that automatically converts the different levels of light in individual pixels of an image into bits and bytes, eliminating the scanning step necessary with film images. Digital photography allows us to store photographic images on our computers. We no longer have to sort through individual pictures stored in boxes or photo albums, saving time and physical space in our homes. However, digital images take up a tremendous amount of memory space on our computers, which can slow down application processes and make our computers run much more slowly. Why do digital images take up so much computer memory? The brightness values in the pixels of an image are converted into bits; 28 bits make up one byte and can have 256 different values. The more pixels in an image, the more bytes of information must be stored. Images can contain hundreds of pixels per inch. Since most pictures have complex bit and byte makeup, it takes a lot of memory to accurately store a photograph or other image. The more memory required to store images, the harder a computer processor has to work to run software applications. There are a couple of ways you can reduce the stress and storage space needed to store photographs on your computer. The first way is to transfer all your photograph files to CD. Storing your photos this way takes up less space than photo albums or box files, but still requires physical space for storage. Another way to reduce the amount of memory needed to store images on your computer is to use compression software. Compression software is less expensive and more versatile than CDs or other storage methods. Compression software works by eliminating repetitive information in a file, thus reducing the size. Most types of computer files have the same information listed over and over again. Instead of listing a whole piece of information over and over again, a file-compression program lists that information once, catalogues it and then refers back to it whenever it appears again in the original program. This compression process reduces the total file size and eliminates the need for extra storage. If you use a digital camera, you need photo compression software to ensure that you computer's speed is not inhibited by memory requirements for photo and image storage.

Author:Scott Heath Category:Computers Published: 5-Sep-2004 Tags: image compression