Without question we live in the golden age of digital photography, that point in the space time continuum where photos are dirt cheap, smartphone photos rival DSLRs, and sharing photos is instant. There’s just one problem.
It seems that far too many people don’t realize that sharing photos or uploading photos may require that the photos be optimized. Optimized? That usually means compressing or shrinking them so half a dozen photos sent to a friend via email or uploaded to a website gallery don’t weight 5-megabytes each. Here’s a free way to optimize photos and images with a click.
Apple’s own Mail app and a number of online services will take an original photo and compress it to an acceptable size, but far too many do not, especially the home brew online gallery sites. But compressing and optimizing images for website viewing is easy and free with ImageOptim.
It’s all drag and drop.
As easy as that sounds there are a few caveats to be aware of and options which could trip you up on the way to free compressed files.
ImageOptim can take multiple files at the same time, but make sure the files you drop are duplicates of the originals. To save space, the app optimizes image in place and rewrites the originals. However, if you forget to make copies, there’s a built-in safeguard. ImageOptim puts the originals in the Trash so you can find them there (just don’t empty the Trash can first).
The drag and drop process is straightforward and yields a list of photos or images, the respective sizes and how much has been saved on each (as a percentage).
Because the idea behind the app is to reduce the size– compress the image– metadata gets removed, too. Even that setting can be altered in Preferences, but just remember that metadata makes a file larger, but it also can retain EXIF camera data, color profiles, and more.
The only negative here is that it’s an all or nothing removal process. Either remove all metadata or don’t remove it.
Not bad for free, huh?
What you get in ImageOptim is a free image optimizer, one that strips out all the metadata, shrinks the file’s size down to an easily manageable– and shareable– size, whether JPG or PNG, while preserving the visual quality. What would really be nice is a slider bar for quality.