What is the best format to compress files? We analyze the most popular compression methods — 2022

Today we bring you a somewhat different article. We will analyze the compression formats most popular that allow us to compress any type of file without losing information. Which Quick ? The more powerful ? and the most used ?

What is file compression? What does compress mean?

Have you ever come across any file that took up too much and you didn't know how to make it take up less space, for example, to send it to a friend by mail? That's what compression is for. This can be done throughapps to compress files on mac.

Compressing a file allows us reduce the size of the same. This way, it will take up less space on your hard drive, and it will be easier to send it. Depending on the type of file and type of compression used, its size will be reduced more or less.

As we have just said, there are several types of compression methods :

  • at a loss . This is the compression method used to compress files from video, audio or images , for example. The main characteristic of this compression method is that when compressing, approximations , so the media file is reduced in size. The problem is that the approximation is something irreversible, and therefore quality will be lost when viewing/playing the media file.
  • Without losses . Contrary to the previous case, in this no information is lost . This method looks for repeating patterns, in addition to other more advanced methods. With this, the size of a file is reduced without losing information or quality, although obviously it doesn't shrink that much the size of the file.

What compression formats are there and which ones are most popular

In terms of formats and compression methods we have a wide range:

  • With losses. In the case of lossy, we have a multitude of formats depending on what they are intended for. This is because the compression algorithms only valid for one type of files ie if you try to compress an audio file with an image compression algorithm, it won't work. And what do we have in this area? For example, in the case of images we have.jpeg'http://apple5x1.xoanweb.com/descargas/Window%20Maker%205x1%20ZIP.zip'>virtual machine , and we have done it on a MacBook Pro with a second generation Intel i5 and 8GB of RAM (the compression was done on a 5200rpm HDD connected internally via SATA). Also mention that we use the tool Czech , which is compatible with macOS and is free.

    For our second test we will see just the opposite. How many takes time to decompress ?

    And finally, what parameter do we have left to check? well the compression degree , undoubtedly. If we do not analyze how much space we save, this article would lose its meaning. Well, this is the result:

    As we can see, the one that compressed the most turned out to be 7z .

    and the least TAR ...in fact it didn't compress anything...why? For a simple reason: I have deceived you. Tar is not a compression format, rather it is a container file . That is, it does not reduce the size, but only includes several files in one, it is like converting a folder into a file directly (which is technically known as packaging). This format is used along with others like BZIP2 or GZIP , because these only compress, they do not pack.

    compression mode

    Finally, to conclude this article, mention that the vast majority of formats allow you to select the amount of compression. The normal mode It is the one we used for the previous tests and the most recommended, since compress enough but not too long much. The difference in terms of compression between the normal and the highest compression is little, but the time it takes is much longer. On the other hand, if we use the fastest mode, it will barely compress. Therefore, a balance is necessary. The only problem is that all these steps that are done cannot be applied at the time ofcompress videos on ipadsince it is not done in the same way.

    To do the test we compress the same file as before in ZIP with the maximum and minimum compression . Although, this test could also be carried out with the other formats (except Tar, since it does not compress). This is the result:


    Those are the results that we have obtained from our tests. We hope they serve you as reference , although not as something exact. Above all, the result of the time trials must be taken with care, as many things can influence it. But it serves to give us an idea.

    As you can see, there are many formats and many options. Which one will you keep? Which do you usually use? I usually use *.zip, although sometimes I also use *.tar.gz, due to its enormous versatility.

    Do not forget to tell us if you want more of these articles, or if you would like us to explain how they work internally.