View Full Version : A movie on iTunes store is 1.4gig but in AVI file it's 800mb...Why?

M. Malone
Oct 22, 2008, 09:01 AM

So I'm looking at a movie that's on the iTunes Store, its size is 1.4 gig, and at "near DVD quality"

My friend has the very same movie in AVI file type and at full DVD quality, but at only 800MB.

can someone explain to me why is this so? is AVI better at being compressed than the file type Apple uses on iTunes?

Thanks :D

Oct 22, 2008, 09:07 AM
A full DVD is almost always multiple GBs, so an AVI compressed to 800MB isn't "full DVD quality".

Oct 22, 2008, 09:39 AM
"near DVD quality" and "full DVD quality" are not terms you can really use to accurately gauge the many many different variables in compressing media.

It's also rare to see a flawless 800 meg compression of dvd media, or maybe I'm out of touch with the latest witchcraft in codecs.

If you like the 800meg version better having watched them both just get flip4mac, or the VLC player; Win Win.

Oct 22, 2008, 09:44 AM
is AVI better at being compressed than the file type Apple uses on iTunes?
Nope, avi is just a container, its the video codec that is paramount for compression.

As was suggested before, there is no way those two files are the same quality even if they use the most advanced codec, h.264.

Oct 22, 2008, 09:55 AM
Sound also plays a big part in the size. Most, if not all of the 700-800MB avi files floating around out there are not encoded with dolby digital (AC3). Not sure if the itunes downloads are dolby digital since i have not downloaded any movies from them, but that could explain the size difference.

Oct 22, 2008, 10:11 AM
As dynaflash stated, it's all about the codec used, not the container.

Without having the specific file, and assuming that the AVI was obtained through "less than legitimate" means, I'm going to guess that they encoders used some advanced h.264 options that result in a smaller file, but takes more processing power to decode. This is fairly common with "scene" releases.

This is just like the MKV files that everyone wonders why they can't simply extract the h.264 video and audio and mux into an AppleTV-compatible container and have a file that will actually playback on the device.