Compressing Video File

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by kjhbanana7, Jan 6, 2008.

  1. kjhbanana7 macrumors newbie

    Jan 6, 2008
    I'm new to Mac (I just got my Macbook a few weeks ago) and to the software. I've been taking videos and pictures with my new camera also. I use the software GIMP to compress my pictures files but I'm not sure how to compress video files.

    Can I use iMovie to compress the video files or do I have to download another program for that?

    If I do need to download another program, are there any out there for Mac that are easy to use and free?
  2. 147798 Suspended

    Dec 29, 2007
    Congrats on moving to a Mac. Hope you enjoy it. I moved over the summer, and it's been great.

    For real newbie type questions, you might also want to check out the Apple user support forums at

    While you are a newbie to Mac, are you a newbie to video and or digital photography?

    If you are truly a newbie, then I recommend first exploring iPhoto and iMovie, and see if that works for you. Can can see tutorials for both on The iLife suite is generally very useable and helpful to novices. In general, though, you might need to make a mental shift from the PC. In PC-land, you may be used to managing your own files yourself, and then pointing applications at those files. In Mac-land (at least, iLife land), you load your content into iPhoto, iMovie and iTunes, and let those applications manage the data for you. You literally put your content into the application database, and you stop messing around with your own file structures.

    If you need more help than this, it would be useful if you explained a bit more what you are trying to do. When you say you "use GIMP to compress your photos" -- what exactly do you mean? Are you shooting in RAW and compressing to jpg? If you are shooting in jpg, then I'm not sure what you are doing to "compress" the photos.

    Same goes for video. What format are you capturing in, and what do you mean you are "compressing" your video files? For instance, I have a bunch of old DV tape off a Sony DV camera that, when captured, were converted into avi files. I used Quick Time pro to compress them into h264-based mov. There are many other tools reportedly better than QT that you can use, as well (iSquint, VisualHub). Generally, this is referred to as "transcoding" and the result many (most) times includes compression.

    If you'd like more specific responses, I suggest specifics on your equipment and output. For instance, I use a Canon ELPH SD800 to shoot some videos, which puts out MJPEG AVIs that iMovie easily ingests. Other formats it may not so easily work with. So, details are very helpful, if you desire helpful responses :)

    If you are unsure of the formats you capture in, then at least specify the equipment you use, and what you are trying to achieve, if anything other than compression (which is simply making a larger file smaller). If you are just trying to compress files to save space, then perhaps just a zip or archive solution would work just as well.
  3. kjhbanana7 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 6, 2008
    When I say compress I mean making the video/image smaller so that it is a decent size and maybe a little lower in quality so as not to take up as much space.

    I use a Canon Powershot SD1000. The video format is AVI. Is there anyway to compress the video files in size and quality with iMovie? I don't plan to go back and edit them, if that helps.
  4. 147798 Suspended

    Dec 29, 2007
    Canons use MJPEG in AVI for their movie output. It retains a lot of information, but makes large file sizes (and also leaves a lot of noise in the movie).

    iMovie08 can save these files into smaller files. I actually use QuickTime Pro outside of iMovie first (otherwise iMovie keeps the larger files around). I convert the larger files into .mov, archive the large files on an external drive, and then use the smaller, .mov files on my Mac for putting together videos.

    Send me a private message if you want some more details on how to do this.
  5. belizefan macrumors newbie

    Jul 22, 2009
  6. Sydlor macrumors newbie

    Nov 2, 2011
    Help with compressing a video

    I need help compressing a video that is 359MB to under 300MB. I too am new to MAC and compressing files for that matter. I had to video a speech for school and now I need to upload it to a site the school uses to grade the video. I have tried the trial verson of WINZIP MAC and the MB didn't change after I compressed it. To make matters worse, I am strapped for time and don't have the time to research. I have to have this uploaded by Friday. Any Suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
  7. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    HandBrake or MPEG Streamclip can do that, depending on what format the file you have uses.
    And what is the "MB" in "and the MB didn't change after"?


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