If you want to compress a video file and reduce its file size there are a few ways to go about it. Most notably you can transcode it to a codec with more efficient compression, or reduce the video bitrate.
However before you compress a video using either of those options, there are a few tips that you should try to keep in mind and make use of:
- Be realistic about your expectations
Try to be realistic regarding the file size that you expect to compress your video down to. While technically you could reduce the bitrate and compress the video as much as you need to – if its quality deteriorates too much it will be practically unwatchable.
- Look for hardware support when transcoding a video
Transcoding a video may sound like the perfect way to compress it. By using a newer codec with more efficient compression, you can reduce the video file size without compromising its quality.
However the caveat to that is that newer codecs aren’t as widely supported as older codecs. To be more specific newer codecs often may not have hardware support on various devices – which will mean that they will need to be decoded using software which will be processor intensive and consume lots of power.
That is why you should always look for hardware support when deciding on a codec to transcode the video to.
- Try reducing the bitrate gradually on a sample of the video
As you reduce the bitrate the quality of the video will be affected and compression artifacts will appear, so it is best done gradually. That being said rather than using the entire video, you could trim out a small sample and use it to experiment with lowering the bitrate.
Needless to say this method will let you apply the changes to your video more quickly, until you decide what bitrate to use.
- Compress a copy and store the original video
It is a good policy to always compress a copy of the video and store the original. No matter which option you use to compress the video the fact of the matter is that its quality will be affected – and you can’t ‘restore’ the original quality after it is compressed.
By storing the original video, you will preserve it in its original quality. In the future if you ever need a higher quality version of the video, or want to transcode it to a different format – you can use the original.
Be sure to use these tips the next time you compress a video in any way. All that you need to compress your videos is a PC or Mac video converter and for example you could use Movavi Video Converter for Mac.
Make no mistake compressing videos and reducing their file size will help you to manage them more effectively. That being said you need to handle the compression itself with care – which is what the tips listed above will help you to do.