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How to Compress and Make Video File Sizes Smaller


Do you want to compress one of your videos to make its file size smaller? That may sound fairly complicated, but it is actually fairly straightforward if you understand what you need to do.

Essentially the file size that your video is in is affected by two main factors: The video codec that is being used to compress it, and the video bitrate that determines how much data it uses each second.

If you want to compress and reduce the file size to make it smaller than it currently is, you need to adjust one (or both) of these factors.

Convert the Video Codec

To compress the video by converting its codec you will need to identify the codec that is currently being used and find one that provides better compression. On top of that you will need to make sure the new codec is supported by the device or platform it will be viewed on.

As you can imagine this can be a bit involved, which is why it is best to stick with the more popular formats.

If your video is currently using an older codec such as MPEG-2, DivX, or MPEG-4 (H.263), you should convert the video to MP4 with H.264. That is a safe option that is widely-supported, and will help compress your videos.

The only exception is if your device supports HEVC (H.265) in which case you could convert to it to compress the video further.

In either case you should end up with a smaller video file, but the video quality should be maintained.

Reduce the Video Bitrate

Reducing the video bitrate is easier on the surface as you just need to lower it to reduce the file size. However it will affect the video quality, so you need to be careful how much you reduce it by.

As a rule it is best to reduce the video bitrate in increments and observe its effect on the video quality. In particular you should look for compression artifacts that may appear as the bitrate gets lower.

Ultimately your goal should be to strike a balance between the quality and the file size of the video.

Conclusion

It should be noted that in some cases you may want to use both of these methods in conjunction with one another. For example you could use Online Video Converter to convert the video to MP4 by following the steps at http://www.videoconverter.com/how-to-convert-mov-to-mp4.html. After that if it isn’t small enough you could reduce the video bitrate until it is.

At the end of the day you will need to evaluate each video on a case by case basis to determine the best option to compress it and reduce its file size. As far as possible you should try to avoid letting its quality deteriorate too much, otherwise you may find that it is practically unwatchable.

Now that you know what to expect, that shouldn’t be too hard however – and you just need to be a bit careful to avoid it.

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