- BatchPhoto is a tool designed for bulk processing of images, including format conversions like JPG to AVIF.
- While there are limited user-friendly options for JPG to AVIF conversion, BatchPhoto offers an efficient solution.
- The conversion process in BatchPhoto involves selecting files, applying transformations or filters, and choosing the output format.
- BatchPhoto preserves folder structures during conversion, ensuring organized output.
- The software is available for both Windows and Mac, with a free trial version and multiple license options.
I routinely work with large numbers of images. Some of the tools that are designed for editing and converting image files work well on small numbers of files, but they don’t offer efficient workflows for bulk processing.
But, as you can probably tell from the name, BatchPhoto is geared toward applying the same edits, transformations, or conversions to many images at once. If you often work with many image files at once, it’s well worth a look–it really is quite a powerful tool and can solve quite a few image workflow problems.
Table of Contents
BatchPhoto can do a lot more than I’m showing here. You can do all sorts of transformations, from format conversions to adding watermarks to color replacement to resizing. And so on. And you can also stack processes, doing multiple transformations at once. So you can add a watermark, resize, crop, and convert to a different image format all in the same batch process.
So converting from one format to another is a very basic usage in terms of BatchPhoto’s functionality. But I’m focusing here on converting JPG images to AVIF for a couple of reasons.
Firstly, it’s something I needed to do for some images on my website. And secondly, I’ve come across few straightforward ways to batch-convert JPG to AVIF. My usual go-to batch conversion apps, XNConvert and Permute, don’t currently support AVIF. Nor do some conversion web services like Convert.io (Squoosh does, but only individual images at a time; AVIF.io can work with multiple files, but as a web service isn’t well suited to large numbers of files). And while shell and command-line approaches work well, they also get messy.
Coincidentally, the developer of BatchPhoto sent me a copy to try out. It’s a paid image processing app for Windows and Mac, and it’s designed to simplify the process of applying sophisticated image transformations and conversions when working with large numbers of image files. And when I dived deeper into the app, I realized it could fill this need for me to convert a large number of JPG image files to AVIF files.
So I thought I’d put together a post on the process of converting from JPG to AVIF with BatchPhoto. (It’s also the same workflow for converting from any other image to type to any other image type, as well, such as JPG to WebP, or 48-bit TIFF to 24-bit TIFF.)
But the general workflow is fundamentally the same for other kinds of image transformations and conversions you can do with BatchPhoto.
Whether you’re converting from HEIC to JPG or adding a watermark or doing more sophisticated alterations, the program works with the same kind of 3-step process: add the files, apply the transformations or filters, and choose the type of output.
BatchPhoto’s Image Conversion Workflow
I’m focusing here on JPG to AVIF conversion, but the same workflow applies for other types of conversions such as JPG to WebP or HEIC to JPG.
Choose the Files
The first step is to choose the files to work on. And the strength of this photo is right there in the name: it’s designed to work on batches of image files. For this particular example, I’m working on a batch of around 2100 JPG files.
The core workflow of BatchPhoto is handled by the four buttons, or icons, at the top of the screen. The idea is to work from left to right. And if you look closely at those buttons you’ll see they have a 1, 2, 3, or ! in the bottom left corner of each.
Step one is to identify and add the image files you want to work on. The process for adding them is intuitive. Either drag them into the window or use the Add Photos button at the top of the screen.
At the top right, you also have a few tool buttons for adding, removing, and viewing the photo selections.
Add Filters & Transformations
Once you’ve selected the input files, you can move on to the Edit Photos section. This is where most of the image transformations like resizing, filters, cropping, watermarking, etc, are set.
But if you look at the list of available actions, you’ll not see one for conversion from one image format to another. So there isn’t an option in this section to convert JPG to AVIF, for instance. That’s because that type of conversion is set in the next step.
It’s in the output section that you can select an output format. And that’s how you set an image type conversion.
So what you want to do is to set the Output Format section to AVIF. (NB: There’s also an AVI option–that’s not the one you want. You want the AVIF one, at the top of the (sort of) alphabetical list.)
Then click on the settings button. There are actually many different encoding options that can be used along with the AVIF format, but here you only get to choose the compression amount.
The default is set to 88%. But this is where running a few tests on a smaller number of images will serve you well. There’s no “right” answer as to the correct compression amount, except that you almost certainly want the resulting files to be smaller than the originals (more on that below). And the more compression you apply, the more image quality is likely to suffer. So it’s a matter of where your preference is when it comes to the combination of filesize and image quality. I’ve found that I can get away with a setting well below the default setting.
You’ll want to check the destination settings (i.e., where the files will be saved) and then click on the Process button.
You’ll then a confirmation request.
And then a detailed progress bar.
And that’s it!
Things Worth Knowing
AVIF File Sizes
In many situations, AVIF versions can offer major filesize savings over JPG equivalents. That’s why AVIF is such an attractive format for use on the web.
But that doesn’t always hold true. There are some types of image scenes, particularly those heavy on details, where the resulting file can end up being much larger. And surprisingly often, a well-optimized JPG can be very close in filesize to an optimized WebP or AVIF version.
Some conversion services, such as Shortpixel or Cloudflare, have safety nets built in so that they only convert or serve WebP or AVIF if the WebP or AVIF version is smaller than the original. There’s no such “only-if-it’s-smaller” check when converting with BatchPhoto–it will convert regardless, even if the result is larger, or even much larger, than the original.
So it’s worth doing a quick scan of the filesizes of the results to check for any outlier files that have resulted in unusually large files.
As a starting point, I’ve found that I can get good results with more aggressive compression than the app’s default 88% setting, so it’s worth running some experiments with that.
Working with Recursive Folders
When you’re working with large batches of image files, there’s a good chance that they’ll be pre-organized into folders.
BatchPhoto can work recursively with folder structures, but there’s a key setting you’ll want to use to make sure that folder structure (aka directory hierarchy) is preserved in the output files.
When you go to the Setup section of the workflow, make sure to select the option to “Recreate original folder structure in selected folder.” If you leave it on the default “Use selected folder as output destination,” it will flatten the results (i.e., all the output files will be put in the same-level folder).
I’ve been focusing here on a pretty specific image-type conversion task: JPG to AVIF. And, right now, BatchPhoto is one of very few user-friendly GUI apps that can make this process quick and easy.
Image format conversions like this are actually very simple tasks for BatchPhoto. It can do some quite sophisticated transformations to the images themselves that I haven’t even touched on here. And there are also some different output and workflow features. Rather than outputting the results to your hard disk, you can have it email the results directly or upload files via sFTP (this is a local app, though, not a web service, so your images only leave your computer if you specifically send them.) As you get up to the Enterprise license level, there are some neat features like adding watched folders for automatic processing.
As user-friendly as BatchPhoto is, as a paid app, BatchPhoto isn’t really aimed at users who only need its features once in a blue moon. But if you’re a photographer, or image editor, or work heavily with social media accounts, it can save you a bunch of time and effort. So if you find yourself routinely converting, resizing, cropping, or making other types of changes to large numbers of image files, it’s well worth a look.
Where to Get It
You can find BatchPhoto here.
There are versions for Windows and Mac (I’ve been using the Mac version).
There’s a free trial version. If you decide to buy a license, there are three versions with increasing feature sets (you can find a side-by-side comparison chart here). If you’re working with RAW image files, you’ll want at least the Pro version.