If you have used a Mac for any length time, you are frequently interacting with images. Having to reduce the size of an image for emailing or serving up on the Web is a common issue. There are several software Apps to reduce image size on the Mac, but none work as well as Aerate from BZG Software. Here is how Aerate operates, it is a fun and easy App to use.
I have one caveat before we begin. Aerate is used to compress and reduce the size of an image. It does not have a setting to prepare an image for insertion into a web page. There are different Apps for preparing images for websites. If you need to email images to people or put them up on a server for download or just save some space on your Mac, Aerate is a good choice to reduce their size while maintaining their appearance.
There is a free version of Aerate that performs basic conversion functions. I am using the Pro version Aerate which costs $14.99. If you have either Coherence or Unite Apps from BZG you can upgrade to Aerate for $7.99. If you have their Compress App you can upgrade for $4.99. The Pro version of Aerate has the additional features of Fast Mode, Extreme Mode, Multi-Core Mode and Bulk Compression. Even if you pay full price, I think Aerate Pro is worth it if you do much image compression.
Here is the main window of Aerate Pro:
You drag the image into the window or use the “Open” menu item to locate the image. Aerate Pro has three settings, Fast, Default and Extreme. I found that these settings made a difference for some images but worked essentially the same for other images. Some experimentation is in order here.
When you drag an image onto the Aerate window it processes it immediately:
This is a JPEG after it is finished being processes. 8 MB is a pretty good space savings. Once the image is processed, just click on the “Save all images” button to store it on your Mac.
Aerate can do batch image processing:
You drag a batch of images onto the window and they are processed, then you can save them.
Aerate will process different types of images including PNG’s:
And also including Tiff’s:
To compress a Tiff, Aerate just converts it to a JPEG which makes sense. You use a Tiff format to get super high resolution. If you are going to compress it, you might as well use a JPEG which is a lossy format. Aerate also converts PSD (Photoshop) files to JPEG.
As far as I can tell Aerate does not convert HEIC or RAW file formats.
Aerate has a few Preferences you can tweak to fit your desired workflow. I will list them by the numbers:
- Engine: You can choose a different compression engine. I did not mess with this too much, but you can if you wish to experiment.
- PNG Compression: You can choose to up the compression for PNG files, but it is quite slow.
- JPG Quality: You can set the compress for JPEG quality. I left mine at the default 70% which seemed to work quite well.
- Convert PNGs into JPGs: You can set Aerate to automatically convert PNG images to JPEG.
- Dark Mode: As you can see from some of the above images, Aerate has a Dark Mode.
Aerate is Catalina ready. It has not had any problems in Catalina. There are some comparisons with other image compression Apps on the BZG website.
Aerate is an excellent image conversion application. It works quite well and is very effective in compressing images. If you are in the market for an image compression App, or if you want to see if Aerate is better than the one you have, download the free version and give it a test drive.