RIOT: powerful, handy image file-size reduction tool

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RIOT is a free program which can best be described as an “image size reduction” toolkit. It allows you to reduce the size of your image(s) while previewing a side-by-side before and after. It also delivers a number of handy image tweaking, conversion, and editing tools.

One thing that never fails to impress me is how much you can reduce the file size of an image (through a reduction in it’s quality) without much of a visible degradation, if at all, in the way it looks to the human eye.

In any case if you’ve ever needed to upload an image to the internet or use it on a website you know that its important to reduce the image size to an “internet
friendly” smallish size. This program allows you to do this quickly and easily. It is somewhat similar to previously reviewed “Jpeg Express” in that it allows you to visually preview the changes to the resulting image.

Eight noteworthy features that RIOT has to offer: (in no particular order)

  1. Supports JPG, PNG, and GIF: and I don’t take this for granted, since most similar programs are very JPEG-centric, while RIOT allows me to quickly manage all the formats that I need for most of my internet/website related image needs.
  2. Compress to specific size: an option from the “tools” menu where you can specify “I need it to be such-and-such K’s in size and it will automatically figure out the quality percentile for you.
  3. In-place compare: you already know that RIOT offers before-and-after image previews. In-place compare goes one further by superimposing the before image on the after image. Switching this on and off in succession will allow you to perceive pixel-level differences (if not, try zooming the preview images; you will eventually be able to see differences).
  4. RIOT Screenshot - transparencyManages PNG/GIF transparencies: quickly set the thresholds of PNG/GIF transparency, or fill in a sold background of your choosing (see image to the right).
  5. Auto-rotate according to EXIF data: from the options, you can set RIOT to auto rotate images according to the EXIF data (most digital cameras these days store this information in the image).
  6. Supports standard edits: such as rotating, flipping, resizing/resampling, etc. Resample using any of a number of familiar filters (Lanczos3, Catmull Rom, Bicubic, and others). Also allows you to convert across image formats.
  7. Portable: simply extract and use.
  8. Available as an IrfanView plugin: which you will appreciate if you use that program.

Wish list:

  • Batch processing images would be great (e.g. resave a group of images at 80% quality, or at 100K file size, etc)

Freewaregenius 5-Star Pick

The verdict: I am giving this a Freewaregenius pick for (a) a very nice combination of features, (b) support for JPG, PNG, and GIF, (c) portability, and (d) a very nice overall look-and-feel and user interface. Its just a very nice program to have.

Version Tested: 0.3.0 beta

Compatibility: Windows 2000, XP, Vista or newer.

Go to the program page to download the latest version (approx 953K).