Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

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.

share|improve this question
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
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.

share|improve this answer

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .