The .jpg file extension is perhaps the most commonly used image file type used today. Also written .jpeg, the JPEG type is almost always used to refer to compressed images. There are multiple different compression formats, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. Some compression formats cause a kind of distortion to the image as a trade off for a reduction in file size, similar to the way MP3 compression works. This is called 'lossy' compression. The JPEG format is a lossy compression algorithm, which is important to bear in mind if you plan on manipulating this type of file in an image editing program. For example, if one was working on a long-term digital art project, it is unreasonable to assume that the work would be done in one day, much less one sitting.
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The artist will likely want to work incrementally, saving different versions of his file along the way. When working with lossy formats, this scenario can cause an issue with quality degradation with each successive save. Since the image is compressed in a way that actually changes the look of the image (and in a negative way), the quality loss will be compounded each time. JPEG files are meant to be used as a sort of final product; the reduced file size allows faster transmission over networks like the internet. People working with digital artwork are careful to preserve every pixel of their work as it was originally intended to be viewed, with as little compromise as possible. For this reason, up until the completion of a given project it is in the user's best interests to use a 'lossless' file format.
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More Info Regarding File Extension Jpg
There are hundreds, if not thousands of different applications available for viewing or editing this type of file. Since use the JPEG file type is so widespread, there are many non commercial software products which are available for download at no cost. If one wanted simply to view the image file, a simple, low file size image viewing program can be obtained so long as one has an internet connection. Most people will probably want to do some simple manipulations to a JPEG file at one time or another, so you may choose to get a still light weight viewer that has some color adjustment and cropping functionality packaged in as well. A completely free program called Irfanview accomplished these and many other basic tasks quickly and efficiently. If, on the other hand, you are more heavily involved with some sort of task which requires digital image manipulation at a more fine tuned or subtle level, one may be inclined to gravitate towards some of the more fully featured offerings available. As the complexity and functionality of software increases it becomes more and more likely that cost must be incurred, but if you are frugal or simply prefer something more available to the public, there are also completely free software products which rival their expensive counterparts, arguably in every way. To be certain, you must try and see for yourself. As commercial software is almost invariably offered on a trial basis, you have the option of trying both options out. For the free side of the fence check out 'The Gimp," available for both Microsoft Windows and Linux operating systems. If you want to get your feet wet with a commercial trial, try Adobe's website for a test drive of Photoshop. These are good starting points for any user; if you find your needs still unfulfilled there is guaranteed to be an offering out there somewhere which will satisfy your requirements.
There are, at this point, no currently maintained programs or software packages which share the file extension .jpg or .jpeg. If you find one of these in a folder some where and aren't sure what it is, chances are better than ninety nine percent that is is an image. If it is not recognized by Windows and automatically associated with image editing or viewing software that you know you have already installed, you may need to manually choose the program from a list that can be accessed by right clicking on the file in question. If you are still unable to open it and are sure you have properly installed the appropriate software, re-download the file from a different source to ensure that it is not corrupted.