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jStrip 3.3

Shrink your JPEGs without losing any image quality

by Mike Williams

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License: Freeware
Operating Systems: Windows 7 (32 bit), Windows 7 (64 bit), Windows Vista (32 bit), Windows Vista (64 bit), Windows XP
Requirements:
Languages: English
Software Cost: Free
Date Updated: 22 October 2012
Watchlist: Add download to my watchlist
Downloads To Date: 797
Developer: David Crowell
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jStrip 3.3
Shrink your JPEGs without losing any image quality

JStrip is a compact free tool which can reduce the size of most JPEG images, while preserving their image quality.

The program works by scanning the files, then removing all the data which isn't a part of the picture. And it's surprising how much this can be. Your files might contain comments, for instance; metadata; thumbnails, colour profiles and assorted other bits and pieces, none of which have anything to do with the image itself.

You shouldn't expect too much from this. Normally these extra chunks take up something under 100 bytes, so you could run jStrip on large files - your digital photos, say - and find it makes no difference at all to the disk space they use.

The program may still be worth using to optimize web graphics, though, and we did find occasional exceptions where it delivered spectacular results (a tiny web button dropped from 11,372 to 749 bytes, a 93.4% compression rate).

In use, the program is very straightforward. Clicking File > Options lets you choose what you'd like to remove, then you simply select the folder containing your images, click Start and check the results: easy.

Just keep in mind that jStrip will overwrite your original files with the stripped versions. The program doesn't appear to harm images so this shouldn't be a problem, but we'd recommend you work with copies anyway, just to be safe.

Verdict:

A quick and easy way to reduce your JPEGs by a few bytes (and, sometimes, considerably more)

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Spotlight: Free Full Software

Spektrel Art 1.0.0

Free Full Commercial Software

Spektrel Art is a stand-alone program and Photoshop plugin which transforms digital photos into "magical art that glimmers and gleams with intersecting lines of tapered light".

What does that mean? Essentially it applies a configurable mix of effects, enhancing edges, smoothing backgrounds and emphasizing colours. Take a look at the thumbnail for one example, and the official product page has more.

Spektral Art works much like any similar tool. Open an image, click one of the thumbnails to apply a particular preset, or click a few buttons and drag some sliders to fine-tune the results.

There's surprising scope for variation, too. For example, just switching from the "Light" to "Dark" theme can transform a bright and friendly image into something dark and sinister, at least in some cases (results vary depending on the source image).

Please note, the demo version doesn't allow images to be saved.

SPECIAL OFFER: as we write, the developer is offering Spektral Art for free. The offer expires August 29th. Please note that you must provide your name, address and phone number to receive your free license.

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