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Question: Zipping files like other people on PC's

I am a Mac person, and have been for 10 years. Don't use PC's, but I am decently computer savvy period, so when I go to my moms I have to help her out on her PC alot.

Well, I just recently started wanting to zip files down to send large files across email, etc... (For these 10 years I usually stayed away from this due to the fact I hate compression being a pro audio guy, etc..), But there is a time and place for everything. So now I want to do it.

WELL, at my moms house on a PC it is soooooo simple (I hate to say this because I hate PC's and have been in love with Macs from day 1) BUT, it is true. On a PC you simply right click, then click on "zip" from the drop down window, and BOOM the file is zipped to a WAY smaller file, with no need for complicated settings, etc...

Well, I go home, try it on my Mac, I got top of the line programs for this... one being Stuffit 10.0 PRO... it got everything for this.... So I try it, and when I zip it or stuff it or anything it, it saves it as a zip file that is the SAME SIZE as the original !!! What gives ?

Plus, when I use the normal Mac OS way to zip (control click, zip, etc..) SAME THING !! It zips it alright, but to a file that is the SAME SIZE as the original !! *** ??

How do you correctly zip a file on a Mac ? And why is it so difficult ?

Thank You

G5 Dual 2.7, 4.5Gb Ram, Two 74Gb WD Rapture 10k rpm HD's for Boot Drive & extra, Mac OS X (10.4.6), Pro Tools HD 4 Acell, 3 Apogee 16X's, 4 300Gb SCSI Drives in Xpansion Chassis.

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And as far as my tests -- SO I tried to "zip" on of
my raw PSD files. It actually did it, but this is
what I mean, it did it very lamely. Meaning, it was a
37.5mb file, and when I zipped it (via ctrl click,
etc..) it zipped it to a 20.3mb file.

A PSD is an intermediate Adobe file. It is designed for fast reading or writing by Photoshop, not for storage and transmission, so would have little if any compression. ZIP can compress it, but since it was not designed as an image compressor, doesn't do a very good job. The PSD could be converted to a lossly compressed format (TIFF would work but would lose the layer information) which might be much smaller. JPEG would be even smaller, but would lose even more information.

SO Malcolm, my question to you then now is, as I
understand zipping now alot better (thanks) is there
any possible difference between a PC's zipping and
our Macs zipping ? ALSO is there settings for it
somewhere ? Like maybe I can set mine to naturally on
default zip things much smaller or vise versa?

ZIP does have various setting that can effect how much compression occurs (you can choose more speed vs. more compression), but you can't change them when using ZIP by just right-clicking. If you use the Terminal "zip" command you have a lot more control. Use "man zip" to get help. You can tell it to run fast and not even try to compress certain file types, or you can have it spend more time searching for patterns so it can compress more.

If this is the case, maybe thats it, maybe my moms PC
is set to zip the living christ outta things?

The setting used by just right-clicking could be different on a Mac and PC. The only way to tell would be to compress the same file on both machines.

If there is no settings for that on the stock Mac OS
zipping proceedure, is there settings for the one in
Stuffit ?

I only have Stuffit Expander on my system, so I don't know if they give you much control over the compression, but no program can do much with files that are already compressed. If you could always compress a compressed file, you could keep on doing it until it is compressed to a single bit, either one or zero. That would mean you only have two possible files in your universe. All JPEGs would be ether a solid black picture, or a solid white picture.

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Jul 5, 2007 10:46 AM in response to Roulette Records In response to Roulette Records

Hi

I'm sorry if I'm missing something, but a file can be zipped simply by right clicking (or Ctrl left clicking) to bring up the contextual menu and selecting the Create Archive Of option. I assume the Zip file generated is fully compatible with Windows.

As already mentioned the amount of compression possible will depend on the file type and the data it contains. Some files, such as JPEGs and MP3s, are already heavily compressed so zipping them is likely to have little or no affect. I think Malcolm was suggesting converting music files to a different lossy format, which reduces the file size by throwing information away. Zip isn't lossy, so when a file is unzipped it's exactly the same as the original, but this also means it can't be compressed as much.

Finally the hard disk block size may also have an impact. I think the default for OS X extended format is 4K, so whether a file contains 1 byte or 4096 bytes of data it will still occupy the same amount of space on the hard drive. I'm sure Windows is the same, although the block size may be different.

 PM G4 QS 1GHz DP, ATI 9600, 1GB RAM, WD Raptors, 23" ACD Mac OS X (10.4.9)

Question marked as Helpful

Jul 5, 2007 7:56 PM in response to Roulette Records In response to Roulette Records

Bottom line is - Compression usually means compress
something, and it stays that way... But Zipping on my
moms computer is so simple, and then when it gets to
it destination, you UNZIP it and it is back to its
original size..

That is what I am trying to do. On a PC it works in 3
seconds with ANY file. I am not trying to permantly
compress these files. I want to ZIP them to be
unzipped later. Why is this so difficult on a Mac ?

What can I do to accomplish this same thing that I do
on my moms PC ?

When you Zip a .mp3 file on the PC does it get smaller?

Another thing is how hard Apple makes it to make a
PDF file out of several individual pages. On my moms
PC it is a snap... On a Mac,,, I still haven't
figured it out with out having to use Quark, and then
it turns the PDF into a million GB file !! lol

There is a way to combine PDF files with OSX's Automator, but it is a lot easier with one of these free applications:
Combine PDFs
<http://www.monkeybreadsoftware.de/Freeware/CombinePDFs.shtml>
PdfMergeX
<http://www.malcom-mac.com/blog/pdfmergex/>

How do you combine PDF files on the PC?

Malcom, are your serious about me having to use
iTunes to Zip audio files?

If the audio files are already in a compressed format, ZIP will not be able to do much compression. ZIP can compress uncompressed audio files (AIFF or WAV for example) but iTunes can do better, especially if you use a lossy format (MP3 or AAC), because it is designed for audio. With a lossy format, though, there may be some reduction of audio quality, depending of the amount of compression.

There has to be a equal to the way a PC zips a file
on my mac. Fast simple, and not file oriented.

It's nothing to do with the difference between a PC and Mac. Both can ZIP files just as easily. It's just that you can't compress a file that's already compressed.

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Jul 5, 2007 1:08 AM in response to Roulette Records In response to Roulette Records

What kind of files are you trying to compress? .mpg, .jpg, .avi, .mp3 will not compress because they are already compressed. .aiff, .txt, .wav will compress, but you will get better compression on the audio files by using iTunes to convert them to Apple Lossless Format, rather than ZIP. You will get more compression to a lossy format, such as AAC or MP3.

Jul 5, 2007 1:08 AM

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Jul 5, 2007 3:28 AM in response to The hatter In response to The hatter

Thanks guys for the replies... but this is what I mean. Why is this not more simple ? Yes it is MP3's I was trying to Zip. But it works fine on my moms PC., without all the technical mumbo jumbo too. (which is USUALLY what Macs are known for) --

Bottom line is - Compression usually means compress something, and it stays that way... But Zipping on my moms computer is so simple, and then when it gets to it destination, you UNZIP it and it is back to its original size..

That is what I am trying to do. On a PC it works in 3 seconds with ANY file. I am not trying to permantly compress these files. I want to ZIP them to be unzipped later. Why is this so difficult on a Mac ?

What can I do to accomplish this same thing that I do on my moms PC ?

And why has Apple overlooked this simple task ? Another thing is how hard Apple makes it to make a PDF file out of several individual pages. On my moms PC it is a snap... On a Mac,,, I still haven't figured it out with out having to use Quark, and then it turns the PDF into a million GB file !! lol

Them are the two things (at least the ONLY two things) about Mac that are killing me right now.

Can anyone please help me with this ?

Malcom, are your serious about me having to use iTunes to Zip audio files ?

There has to be a equal to the way a PC zips a file on my mac. Fast simple, and not file oriented.

Please help

Jul 5, 2007 3:28 AM

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Question marked as Helpful

Jul 5, 2007 10:46 AM in response to Roulette Records In response to Roulette Records

Hi

I'm sorry if I'm missing something, but a file can be zipped simply by right clicking (or Ctrl left clicking) to bring up the contextual menu and selecting the Create Archive Of option. I assume the Zip file generated is fully compatible with Windows.

As already mentioned the amount of compression possible will depend on the file type and the data it contains. Some files, such as JPEGs and MP3s, are already heavily compressed so zipping them is likely to have little or no affect. I think Malcolm was suggesting converting music files to a different lossy format, which reduces the file size by throwing information away. Zip isn't lossy, so when a file is unzipped it's exactly the same as the original, but this also means it can't be compressed as much.

Finally the hard disk block size may also have an impact. I think the default for OS X extended format is 4K, so whether a file contains 1 byte or 4096 bytes of data it will still occupy the same amount of space on the hard drive. I'm sure Windows is the same, although the block size may be different.

 PM G4 QS 1GHz DP, ATI 9600, 1GB RAM, WD Raptors, 23" ACD Mac OS X (10.4.9)

Jul 5, 2007 10:46 AM

Reply Helpful (1)
Question marked as Helpful

Jul 5, 2007 7:56 PM in response to Roulette Records In response to Roulette Records

Bottom line is - Compression usually means compress
something, and it stays that way... But Zipping on my
moms computer is so simple, and then when it gets to
it destination, you UNZIP it and it is back to its
original size..

That is what I am trying to do. On a PC it works in 3
seconds with ANY file. I am not trying to permantly
compress these files. I want to ZIP them to be
unzipped later. Why is this so difficult on a Mac ?

What can I do to accomplish this same thing that I do
on my moms PC ?

When you Zip a .mp3 file on the PC does it get smaller?

Another thing is how hard Apple makes it to make a
PDF file out of several individual pages. On my moms
PC it is a snap... On a Mac,,, I still haven't
figured it out with out having to use Quark, and then
it turns the PDF into a million GB file !! lol

There is a way to combine PDF files with OSX's Automator, but it is a lot easier with one of these free applications:
Combine PDFs
<http://www.monkeybreadsoftware.de/Freeware/CombinePDFs.shtml>
PdfMergeX
<http://www.malcom-mac.com/blog/pdfmergex/>

How do you combine PDF files on the PC?

Malcom, are your serious about me having to use
iTunes to Zip audio files?

If the audio files are already in a compressed format, ZIP will not be able to do much compression. ZIP can compress uncompressed audio files (AIFF or WAV for example) but iTunes can do better, especially if you use a lossy format (MP3 or AAC), because it is designed for audio. With a lossy format, though, there may be some reduction of audio quality, depending of the amount of compression.

There has to be a equal to the way a PC zips a file
on my mac. Fast simple, and not file oriented.

It's nothing to do with the difference between a PC and Mac. Both can ZIP files just as easily. It's just that you can't compress a file that's already compressed.

Jul 5, 2007 7:56 PM

Reply Helpful (1)

Jul 5, 2007 11:27 PM in response to Malcolm Rayfield In response to Malcolm Rayfield

Thanks again SOOOOOO much guys for the help.

Ok, first things first - Malcolm, AWESOME links for the PDF creater things. But which one is better ? Man, that is exactly what I needed, COOL !! I seriously can't believe Mac OS don't have a PDF creater thats as simple as text edit, but creats PDF's out of any documents you want..?? Its so weird. They make so many awesome things and the best computers with the best OS's, and they can even make a item like a iPhone !!! But they can't put a frickin PDF maker in their OS as a stock application ?? odd to me.

And as for the Zip thing,,,to Rodney and Malcolm,, well thanks for the help, but I guess what I knew already is all there is to know, and I have been doing it right, its just that you cant zip MP3's any smaller than they already are aye ?? Weird. Why is this weird to me ? Let me explain. Can you compress something that is already compressed ? YES actually you can and therefore should be able to zip them even smaller if you want (**** zip them 3 times in a row for a tiny file)... How do I figure ? - Well if you got a jpeg right ? and you save it again as a jpg, you can compress the ALREADY compressed file even more, as a matter of fact you can make it ridiculusly small if you want, or to blow the "you can't compress a compressed file" theory out of the water you can just keep saving a jpg over and over again and it will consistantly get smaller... So why can you not zip these things to make them even smaller ?

Heres another prime example - see at this particular task I make a mp3 for a client to hear the music so far (I could care less about the quality for now, it is a tester and I got the real files in million dollar equipment, etc..) so I make a mp3, and them I need to send a few other things and I dont want to clog up his mailbox (you know with over 10mb) - so I want to ZIP all this stuff down, then when he gets it, he unzips it, and they are back to the way they were over at my place (if a few quality levels dropped, no biggie). Now you guys are saying it is the same on a PC, but I swore I did this at my moms on her PC and it worked fine and turned a 10mb folder into like 3mb !! COOL and yes it was packed with MP3's, PDF's and Jpgs..... So go figure, it was simple too. Just right clicked on the folder picked zip, and it was done. BUT like i said, I tried that on my mac, (same exact files, same exact folder) and it doesn't make it smaller, it just remains the same !!! Go figure... it just doesn't zip like a PC. I tried this on the Mac stock OS ctrl click zip way, and then with Stuffit pro,, same thing....

This is what I am talking about. Is this still normal ?

Also, even if we do get to the bottom of this, I am a professional recording engineer and pro studio owner, and I know for a FACT that you can compress and re-compress anything over and over again.... so what is zips problems IF what you guys are saying is right.

I am going to run a test, and I will make a large uncompressed PSD file or something, and then I will try to zip it and see if it works...... I will post back my results. If it does work, then ****, you guys are right, zips just wont make compressed files even smaller (which to me is lame, because I can do it manually if I want with other means - but why should I have to, zips should just make what ever you are zipping smaller. period.) Why is a "zip" function even trying to think and recognize something as comressed or not ? It is not a human, it should not think or recognize crap !! It should just make whatever I tell it to smaller... don't you agree ?

Now if my PSD file doesn't zip right, then I got a settings issue or something I guess right ?

I will post back soo.

Thanks again for even taking the time with me on this small meaningless issue...

Jul 5, 2007 11:27 PM

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Jul 6, 2007 1:27 AM in response to Roulette Records In response to Roulette Records

Ok, first things first - Malcolm, AWESOME links for
the PDF creater things. But which one is better?

I Use Combine PDFs most. It is easier to use when dealing with lots of files. They are both free, so try them to see which you like.

I seriously can't believe Mac OS don't have a PDF
creater thats as simple as text edit, but creats
PDF's out of any documents you want..??

Any application can produce PDF's Use the "PDF" button at the bottom-left of the Print dialog. They probably consider combining PDF to be more of a page-layout function, for which they have Pages (part of the iWorks package). It's not free (but neither is Adobe's PDF generation software) but they provide a 30 day free trial version with OSX.

And as for the Zip thing,,,to Rodney and Malcolm,,
well thanks for the help, but I guess what I knew
already is all there is to know, and I have been
doing it right, its just that you cant zip MP3's any
smaller than they already are aye ?? Weird. Why is
this weird to me ? Let me explain. Can you compress
something that is already compressed ? YES actually
you can and therefore should be able to zip them even
smaller if you want (**** zip them 3 times in a row
for a tiny file)... How do I figure ? - Well if you
got a jpeg right ? and you save it again as a jpg,
you can compress the ALREADY compressed file even
more, as a matter of fact you can make it ridiculusly
small if you want, or to blow the "you can't compress
a compressed file" theory out of the water you can
just keep saving a jpg over and over again and it
will consistantly get smaller... So why can you not
zip these things to make them even smaller ?

ZIP uses lossless compression. That means a compressed file will uncompress to a file identical to the original. It works by replacing repeated patterns with pointers to the first occurrence, and by encoding frequently used characters with short bit strings, and rarer ones with longer strings. This works very well for text, less well for other data. For example, there is no way to losslessly compress a file of random bytes, because there are no patterns, and all characters have about the same frequency.

Lossless audio compression doesn't look for byte patterns or usage frequency, but looks at the numeric values of the audio waveform samples. Normal audio has most energy at lower frequencies, so adjacent sample don't differ much. By encoding small differences in shorter bit patterns than large differences, the file size is reduced with no loss of data.

Lossless image compression does the same thing in two dimensions, looking at adjacent pixels and adjacent lines. Video compression can work in three dimensions, because there is usually not much difference between adjacent frames.

Lossy compression loses data, depending on settings at the time of compression.

The output of a compressor program has the characteristics of random data, with no patterns, so will not compress. For audio, images, or video, you can uncompress, then recompress with higher compression (and data loss) to get smaller files, but if the first compression was lossy, you will get better results by recompressing the original data with higher compression.

Heres another prime example - see at this particular
task I make a mp3 for a client to hear the music so
far (I could care less about the quality for now, it
is a tester and I got the real files in million
dollar equipment, etc..) so I make a mp3, and them I
need to send a few other things and I dont want to
clog up his mailbox (you know with over 10mb) - so I
want to ZIP all this stuff down, then when he gets
it, he unzips it, and they are back to the way they
were over at my place (if a few quality levels
dropped, no biggie). Now you guys are saying it is
the same on a PC, but I swore I did this at my moms
on her PC and it worked fine and turned a 10mb folder
into like 3mb !! COOL and yes it was packed with
MP3's, PDF's and Jpgs..... So go figure, it was
simple too. Just right clicked on the folder picked
zip, and it was done. BUT like i said, I tried that
on my mac, (same exact files, same exact folder) and
it doesn't make it smaller, it just remains the same
!!! Go figure... it just doesn't zip like a PC. I
tried this on the Mac stock OS ctrl click zip way,
and then with Stuffit pro,, same thing....

This is what I am talking about. Is this still normal
?

Also, even if we do get to the bottom of this, I am a
professional recording engineer and pro studio owner,
and I know for a FACT that you can compress and
re-compress anything over and over again.... so what
is zips problems IF what you guys are saying is
right.

There are compression schemes (used to speed up downloads over slow connections) that look for audio or images, uncompress them, then recompress at a higher compression (with some reduction of quality). There are some internet providers that do this (with customers complaining about image quality).

I am going to run a test, and I will make a large
uncompressed PSD file or something, and then I will
try to zip it and see if it works...... I will post
back my results. If it does work, then ****, you guys
are right, zips just wont make compressed files even
smaller (which to me is lame, because I can do it
manually if I want with other means - but why should
I have to, zips should just make what ever you are
zipping smaller. period.) Why is a "zip" function
even trying to think and recognize something as
comressed or not ? It is not a human, it should not
think or recognize crap !! It should just make
whatever I tell it to smaller... don't you agree ?

It tries to compress anything you give it, but if it can't find patterns in the data, it can't do anything.

Jul 6, 2007 1:27 AM

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Jul 6, 2007 2:36 AM in response to Malcolm Rayfield In response to Malcolm Rayfield

Ok, got it. and WOW Malcolm, thank you for the extremely valuable information and some serious intelligence flexing there buddy - right on !!

As I understand now, I still say technology needs to catch up to some "beam me up scotty" type power and transform anything I want into anything I want, and let me use it anyway I want later !! LOL (but true at least for zipping)

And as far as my tests -- SO I tried to "zip" on of my raw PSD files. It actually did it, but this is what I mean, it did it very lamely. Meaning, it was a 37.5mb file, and when I zipped it (via ctrl click, etc..) it zipped it to a 20.3mb file..

Ha ha, that is hilarious. They call that zipped ? I am telling you on my moms PC I am sure it would zip to a way smaller file. But before I say to much, I will go over there and try it.

SO Malcolm, my question to you then now is, as I understand zipping now alot better (thanks) is there any possible difference between a PC's zipping and our Macs zipping ? ALSO is there settings for it somewhere ? Like maybe I can set mine to naturally on default zip things much smaller or vise versa ?

If this is the case, maybe thats it, maybe my moms PC is set to zip the living christ outta things ?

If there is no settings for that on the stock Mac OS zipping proceedure, is there settings for the one in Stuffit ?

Thanks Again --

Jul 6, 2007 2:36 AM

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Question marked as Solved

Jul 6, 2007 10:36 AM in response to Roulette Records In response to Roulette Records

And as far as my tests -- SO I tried to "zip" on of
my raw PSD files. It actually did it, but this is
what I mean, it did it very lamely. Meaning, it was a
37.5mb file, and when I zipped it (via ctrl click,
etc..) it zipped it to a 20.3mb file.

A PSD is an intermediate Adobe file. It is designed for fast reading or writing by Photoshop, not for storage and transmission, so would have little if any compression. ZIP can compress it, but since it was not designed as an image compressor, doesn't do a very good job. The PSD could be converted to a lossly compressed format (TIFF would work but would lose the layer information) which might be much smaller. JPEG would be even smaller, but would lose even more information.

SO Malcolm, my question to you then now is, as I
understand zipping now alot better (thanks) is there
any possible difference between a PC's zipping and
our Macs zipping ? ALSO is there settings for it
somewhere ? Like maybe I can set mine to naturally on
default zip things much smaller or vise versa?

ZIP does have various setting that can effect how much compression occurs (you can choose more speed vs. more compression), but you can't change them when using ZIP by just right-clicking. If you use the Terminal "zip" command you have a lot more control. Use "man zip" to get help. You can tell it to run fast and not even try to compress certain file types, or you can have it spend more time searching for patterns so it can compress more.

If this is the case, maybe thats it, maybe my moms PC
is set to zip the living christ outta things?

The setting used by just right-clicking could be different on a Mac and PC. The only way to tell would be to compress the same file on both machines.

If there is no settings for that on the stock Mac OS
zipping proceedure, is there settings for the one in
Stuffit ?

I only have Stuffit Expander on my system, so I don't know if they give you much control over the compression, but no program can do much with files that are already compressed. If you could always compress a compressed file, you could keep on doing it until it is compressed to a single bit, either one or zero. That would mean you only have two possible files in your universe. All JPEGs would be ether a solid black picture, or a solid white picture.

Jul 6, 2007 10:36 AM

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Jul 6, 2007 12:31 PM in response to Malcolm Rayfield In response to Malcolm Rayfield

Thank you Malcolm for sticking with me on this matter. Even though the solution wasn't what I was wanting it to be, it still is so much clearer to me now thanks to you, and you answered every little detail so well, that I must mark this thread of mine as "Solved". And you solved it. So thanks.

Anyway, I will post back as I discover new things about this and the differences between PC stock OS right click zipping, and Macs. I am a good fair tester always, so yes, I will be using the same exact file, and I will try several different file types. It could be my imagination from memory, but it just seems when I ziped things on my moms PC they seem to zip better/smaller. Could be wrong though, I will post back about that.

The wrap up here to me is, as I asked more questions, and tried more things, I found the answers I got back about the "whys" of the outcome were mainly based on the fact that Zipping is seriously limited, it has brick walls that you run into all the time as far as how technically advanced it is. It can't do this because of that, it can't do that because of this, etc..... Bottom line, is when I hear that alot about something, I just realize that something is very limited in its capabilities. In this case, I found out zipping is ALOT more limited than I thought.

But thanks to everyone here on the boards, I at least know I was not doing something wrong, or better yet, going insane. I thank you all for your valuable time, and thanks again,

Jul 6, 2007 12:31 PM

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Jul 6, 2007 7:22 PM in response to tele_player In response to tele_player

Tele_Player -- is this you ? The guy I once knew years ago over at tha DUC ? I believe you posted in the LE forums alot ? You were under the same name right ? Was that you ?

I hope so, anyway holla back - I tried to look up a way to PM members here but I cant find one. SO I figured I would ask you right here. lol

Jul 6, 2007 7:22 PM

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Jul 6, 2007 8:00 PM in response to Roulette Records In response to Roulette Records

Yes, that's me. I still go there sometimes, but I don't have any ProTools system now. I haven't been doing much music, and I've been using Logic Pro, which is... sometimes interesting. Overall, I much prefer ProTools, but I don't like the mediocre hardware.

Jul 6, 2007 8:00 PM

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User profile for user: Roulette Records

Question: Zipping files like other people on PC's