3 Effective Ways to Reduce the File Size of Videos

As you can imagine, reducing the file size of videos will make them easier to store and transfer. That can be extremely useful, and there actually several ways that you can use to pull it off.

Knowing each of the options that you can use will prove to be helpful, and each has its own advantages and disadvantages:

  • Extract important clips from the video

If you have a very long video with only a few important parts spread out across it – why not extract those parts are shorter clips? The video file size is directly tied to its duration, and so extracting shorter clips will leave you with videos that are much smaller.

The exact amount that you’re able to effectively reduce the file size if you use this method will vary depending on the duration of the original and the clips that you extract. Suffice to say however it could be a significant reduction, but it is a method that is situational at best.

  • Transcode the video to a codec with superior compression

The video codec is the part of the format that is tasked with encoding the video data and compressing it. If you transcode the video (i.e. convert its codec) to one that has superior compression, you will essentially compress the video to a smaller file size without affecting its quality.

For example you can convert WMV to MP4 with H.264 and reduce the file size significantly without affecting the quality in any noticeable way.

While this is a very good option, in order for it to work you need to be able to find a new codec to use that has superior compression compared to the existing codec. Additionally it needs to be a codec that is supported by the device or platform that the video will be viewed on.

  • Reduce the video bitrate

Last but not least you could reduce the video bitrate, which is literally the amount of data that is used by the video per second. In theory you could reduce it so that your video’s file size ends up as small as you want it to be.

In practice however reducing the video bitrate will affect the quality of the video and cause compression artifacts to appear. It will get worse as the bitrate gets lower, which is why it is best to gradually reduce the bitrate until you arrive at an acceptable balance between the quality and file size.

If you want to try out the options described above you will need a decent PC or Mac video converter. For example you could use Movavi Video Converter for Mac for all of them.

At the end of the day the ‘best’ option to reduce the file size of any given video will depend on the video itself, its content, and how much you want to reduce its file size by. In some cases you may even want to use a combination of the options listed above.