I’ve been doing some research on PNG image optimizations, and I’ve stumbled across this program called FileOptimizer. On the surface, it looks like just another file converter that takes in one file type and outputs it in another with degraded quality. Well, you’d be wrong!
FileOptimizer is the only program I’ve found so far that is designed to optimize broad range of file types. It doesn’t only work with images, it can also optimize music, be it lossless or lossy format, videos, Word document files, PDF documents, archives like ZIP etc. All this without degrading quality further!
I know there are many unbelievers that will say it’s absolute bullshit, but FileOptimizer uses several highly specialized tools hidden underneath the interface that are actually dedicated to do just that. It processes the data in such a way that it removes and compacts data segments within a file, resulting in a smaller file. Data can be lossy to begin with, like MP3 for example and FileOptimizer will be able to decrease file size without affecting quality.
Which is useful when, for example you don’t want receiving party to fiddle with decompression of ZIP, 7z or RAR archives, especially if you’re unsure if they have archivers that support such archive types. Or for example when you want files smaller, but still readable directly by a device. For example, MP3’s on USB drive in your car. You can’t have 7z compressed MP3’s. Not only standard file archivers do nothing to MP3’s, they’d also make them entirely unplayable in car stereo. And in many cases, even compressing with 7z LZMA2 didn’t yield any gains, but FileOptimizer did. So, that’s why 🙂
I’ve done some testing with my files and while results greatly depend on the content of files, there are quite significant gains for certain file types and very small or none for others.
As you can see on the screenshot of the program above, the gains are quite big. Almost 8KB big avatar was compacted down to just 3KB. I did use lossy optimization for PNG, but the end result is indistinguishable from lossless TrueColor PNG. Even edge transparency which is a problem for most PNG optimizers, was left in perfect form.
JPEG photos also got some gains. Very much depends on image, ranging from 0.5MB up to over 1MB. May not sound like much, but with 1000 photos, that’s 500MB to 1GB of saved space! Useful for online albums where space is usually very limited or simply on your computer drive.
MP3 got mostly slimmer for around 1MB. I’ve also tested it with 1 hour long MP3 mix and it has compacted it from 142MB down to to 129MB. That’s 13MB less without any loss of audio fidelity (as much as MP3 has it anyway hehe). You may say it’s insignificant, but with 10 such mixes, it means I’ve basically saved enough space to fit in additional 1 hour mix on USB drive “for free”. Which is not that bad right? FileOptimizer is also able to convert VBR MP3’s that might be unplayable on some hardware media players into CBR (which is usually more compatible) without actually re-compressing the audio stream.
There were no size reduction with FLAC, APE and WAV files. At least the ones I had at hand.
PDF’s had huge gains across the board. Though be aware, FileOptimizer has lossy image optimization for images within PDF’s enabled by default. I recommend disabling it, because despite this option being disabled, look at the above PDF. It’s a full user manual for ASUS Sabertooth X99 motherboard. From 18MB down to 8MB! If you then compress it in ZIP, it goes down to 7MB and with 7z (LZMA2 Ultra) it’s 6MB. I’ve tried compressing original PDF with ZIP and 7z and it was still a 17MB big PDF document. Amazing! If you enable image downsampling you may gain even more, but the image quality within PDF’s will degrade.
Word files (.doc and .docx) did have some improvements, usually around 30% decrease in size. But there were also some documents that had no gains. Mostly those documents that were text only.
Several AVI (DivX) and MP4/MKV (H.264) were also tested and I did not get any gains or they were so small it wasn’t worth the time I spent processing the files. Apparently these are already as good as it gets from the beginning so no improvements here. Again, for files that I used for testing, your results may vary.
FileOptimizer supports countless other file formats, some of which are more exotic than others. To see the full list, please check its official homepage. Just try and see 🙂
As stated before, some file types support lossy optimizations at expense of quality. Make sure you’re using the correct settings before you inadvertently degrade files (it automatically creates a backup inside Recycle Bin for easy restoration but still). This especially applies to PDF which for some reason has image downsampling enabled by default. I suggest setting it to “None: No downsampling”. You’ll still see significant size savings even without this option. All other file types have lossless settings enabled by default so no need to worry about those.
Oh and you may want to enable “Copy metadata” options for images and music if you want to keep special file details like what camera was used to take the photo and the location if GPS was enabled on a phone etc.
I have also experienced what looked like program hangs/freezes with certain file types. Particularly when trying to optimize ZIP archives and APE/FLAC files. So you won’t be surprised if program stops processing files half way through because it encountered some of these files. I suggest processing them separately. Only JPEG files or only MP3 files at once. Not mixed together with ZIP/APE/FLAC etc.