How to Effectively Reduce the Size of Video Files

How to Effectively Reduce the Size of Video Files

Are you having problems because your video files are simply too large? Maybe you find that you don’t have enough space to store them or, or maybe you’re trying to transfer or email them but the file size is making it difficult?  

While it can be tricky to manage videos that are too large, the good news is that there are ways that you can reduce the size of your video files. In fact, you can choose between several different options:  

Encoding the video using a codec with better compression  

The video codec is the part of the format that determines how the video data is stored, and the type of compression that it uses. Odds are your video is already compressed and encoded with a codec, but if you re-encode it using a codec with a better compression rate you could reduce the file size without compromising its quality at all.  

How to Effectively Reduce the Size of Video Files

  In general newer codecs offer better compression rates, and are your best bet for reducing the file size. For example, the H.265 codec could reduce the file size of an H.264 video by up to 50%. The only downside is that newer codecs aren’t as widely compatible as older codecs, and you’ll want to factor that into your decision.  

If you choose to encode your video in a different codec you’ll need a video converter – specifically one that supports the latest codecs. For example, you could try Movavi Video Converter for Mac. However, if your video is already encoded in the new codec, this might not be an option that you can pursue.  

Reducing the video bitrate  

Another way to reduce the file size of videos is to reduce the bitrate. Because the video bitrate is literally the amount of data that is used each second, by reducing it you will directly reduce the file size of your videos.  

The downside of this approach is the fact that as you reduce the bitrate your video quality will start to suffer. Simply put videos require a certain amount of data in order to maintain their quality, so if you reduce the bitrate too much compression artifacts will start to appear when it is played.  

In short, you should be careful when you use this option, and try to find an acceptable balance between the quality and video file size as you reduce the bitrate.  

Extract shorter clips  

In specific cases where you have long videos but you really only require a specific part of it – why not extract and save that part as a shorter clip? Needless to say, the shorter clip will have a much smaller file size than the original and will be much easier to manage.  

Admittedly this method technically won’t reduce the file size of the original video, but it will effectively allow you to end up with a smaller sized video regardless. However, it is an option that you can only really use in the very specific type of situation as outlined above.  

It is up to you to decide which of the methods above will work best for the video file that you want to reduce in size. Each will help you to reduce the file size in a very specific way, but none is ‘perfect’ by any means.  

Just remember that if you do reduce the file size of videos through any of the methods listed above, it is still a good idea to keep the original. That is especially the case if you’re extracting clips or reducing the bitrate, as you may need the high-quality full version at some point in the future.


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