Abstract The problem inherent with any digital image or digital video system is the large amount of bandwidth required for transmission or storage. This has driven the research area of image compression to develop more complex algorithms that compress images to lower data rates with better fidelity. One approach that can be used to increase the execution speed of these complex algorithms is through the use of parallel processing. In this paper, we address the parallel implementation of the JPEG still-image compression standard on the MasPar MP-1, a massively parallel SIMD computer. We develop two novel byte alignment algorithms which are used to efficiently input and output compressed data from the parallel system, and present results which show real-time performance is possible. We also discuss several applications, such as motion JPEG, that can be used in multimedia systems.