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Is there a compression tool which doesn't attempt to compress incompressible files in order to reduce the compression time? It would need operate on a folder (rather than on a single tar file), and it would try compressing each file, and give up if it doesn't make much progress. By 'give up' I mean switch to lowest compression level for that file.

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What's your OS? – slhck Apr 14 '12 at 12:13
    
Agreed with slhck. On Windows, it is really easy to do this. Just use "compress.exe", and you can set WHAT to compress. Compress text, log files, etc. Done. – Shiki Apr 14 '12 at 12:33
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Similar (Dupe?): How to avoid compressing compressed files – Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Apr 14 '12 at 17:05

Curiously there is AutoCompress

AutoCompress scans files evaluating their compressibility (or current compression ratio), and compresses them (or decompresses them) if they meet certain criteria; namely the date since modification, compression ratio, and file size.

ps: I have no idea what the author means by "decompress them if they meet criteria"
Update: There is also a note saying "compress using NTFS compression" on an earlier page -- not sure if we are even discussing standard file-compression here.

In general, I think that 'compressibility' of a file might be estimated with some methods but they would imply extra time-overhead. There should however be ways to code the compressor so that it will 'bail-out' and just archive the file as-is with a mark describing that on it. While I like the idea, I've not yet seen this.

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