Compressing video files

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by julienko3, Mar 17, 2007.

  1. julienko3 macrumors regular

    May 6, 2006
    Hi guys,

    I have a digital camera that takes videos. The videos are decent/good quality in my opinion, but the files are way too big for uploading to YouTube.
    If I try to edit and compress the video in iMovie, it ends up looking like crap, and the video file is still too big.

    Any idea on how I can compress these without loosing sooo much quality?

    Help is appreciated.

  2. Georgie macrumors member

    Aug 25, 2006
    Columbus, Ohio
    I'm going to be presumptuous and guess that you might be having a problem I did when I first starting using iMovie with digicam movies. My camera takes nice video (Canon S3 IS) but when I input that video into iMovie there was an immediate degradation in quality that really disturbed me. Really significant degradation. Nothing in the instructions mentioned this and online I only found pithy responses like "it's meant for film not digital cameras." The trick to maintain quality, at least with M-JPG video like my Canon shoots, is to creat an "iSight project" in iMovie. That's one of the settings available when you create a new project. That's the only one that will not degrade the quality of your video immediately on import.

    Your question is different, pertaining to quality on export, and that I can't help you much with. At least my advice above will allow you to start with the best quality video instead of reduced-quality. I agree it's difficult to get the file size down without sacrificing a lot of quality. When I'm ready to export a movie I made I usually make five or six versions of it with different "Expert" settings. I play with 24 vs. 30 fps, and the maximum data rate, and the quality of the audio, and the codec used. I have to do that because I just don't understand all the nuances of the video compression. So make five or six different versions and then I compare them with each other, noting the filesize of each. Of course the movies with large file size look good, but if you tweak the settings enough you can usually create a video that looks almost as good but is significantly smaller. If you play it next to the uncompressed video you can see the difference, but otherwise you don't know what you're missing.

    So that's my not-so-helpful advice: time-consuming experimentation.

    Keep in mind that YouTube recompresses your video again, a lot, with significant degradation in quality. You might as compress it that much to start with if you need to get your video down to 10 megs (which is I think what YouTube requires), because YouTube will automatically recompress again anyway.
  3. julienko3 thread starter macrumors regular

    May 6, 2006
    Thanks man. That wasn't the question I asked, but that was a question I was GOING to ask. Thanks a lot. Yeah, the exporting qualiy is sh**.
    Youtube has a max of 100Megs.


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