Gifs, how do they work?
January 12, 2014 5:46 PM   Subscribe

Recently, when I've been trying to look at cute animal gifs*, they have changed how they load. Namely, instead of loading slowly the first loop and then running at normal speed thereafter, they are now loading about 1/3 of the gif duration, then starting again from the top and loading another 1/3, then jumping back again to the beginning and loading again. It's not necessarily a three-time pass. Sometimes it makes 4 passes to finally make it through to the end. It didn't used to work this way. What gives? *and even non-cute, non-animal gifs.
posted by Stewriffic to Technology (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
What operating system? What web browser? In all probability, your browser updated itself and changed the way it handles GIF rendering—possibly to reduce memory usage, or to improve page rendering times at the expense of GIF smoothness.
posted by bcwinters at 6:08 PM on January 12, 2014

Oh sorry. Firefox 26.0

Mac OSX.8.5
posted by Stewriffic at 6:26 PM on January 12, 2014

Firefox 26 did include a change related to GIF playback. My guess is your internet connection may be slow enough and/or the GIFs you're loading may be large enough that they're just not done loading when playback begins thanks to this change.
posted by Monsieur Caution at 6:38 PM on January 12, 2014

Chrome shows this too. It's likely this algorithm

Start showing frame one, if it's downloaded, show the next frame, if not loop back.
Repeat until fully loaded.
posted by plinth at 6:40 PM on January 12, 2014

My internet is indeed very slow.
posted by Stewriffic at 6:40 PM on January 12, 2014

Not sure on Firefox, but for Chrome:

GIF Delayer
posted by shinynewnick at 7:36 PM on January 12, 2014 [1 favorite]

This is fixed in Firefox 27 which will be released in three weeks. You can test the fix now by installing Firefox 27 Beta.
posted by mbrubeck at 7:47 PM on January 12, 2014

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