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Video Compression, Small File Size

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Sam Hoyt
Video Compression, Small File Size
on Sep 7, 2011 at 6:53:04 pm

A client is asking for a video file, but they want it "under or around 1 MB."

I shot and edited the video (which is about 2 minutes), so I can export and compress it however I want, but I'm not sure what filetype to use to get it that small and keep it watchable.

I am a "professional" video producer, meaning I get paid to do stuff like this, but I often feel anything BUT professional. The video was shot on a Canon DSLR EOS 5D (my boss's) and imported and edited in Final Cut Pro 7.

In my brief research, it looks like .FLV will get it pretty small. I have tried exporting a highres .MOV from FCP and converting it to .FLV with Adobe Media encoder. the smallest I can get it is about 5 MB. is there a better way to do this?

Thanks for your help

Sam


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Craig Seeman
Re: Video Compression, Small File Size
on Sep 7, 2011 at 9:06:01 pm

[Sam Hoyt] "A client is asking for a video file, but they want it "under or around 1 MB." "

If the client can afford those kinds of hallucinogens you should be able to charge them a lot of money for someone to develop this mythical codec.

[Sam Hoyt] "I shot and edited the video (which is about 2 minutes), so I can export and compress it however I want, but I'm not sure what filetype to use to get it that small and keep it watchable."

I think the tool needed would either be magnifying glass or maybe microscope.
Do you have a favorite bit rate calculator?
At 2 minutes you're looking at 70kbps.
You might consider a frame size of 256x144 if it's 16x9

I can't fathom why they'd want a file that small. Most ISPs can handle 10MB and it really makes more sense to put a video online and just send a link.

Data rate and duration impacts file size. It's really basic simple math. kbps x duration = file size.
bits per second x seconds = file size. I'm not sure what the tricky part is for this math.

Certainly some codecs look better at lower data rates but H.264 should work fine given that some older smartphones can handle H.264 Baseline profile. Moderns can handle Main and a few High Profile (new IOS devices although Apple doesn't document this).



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Ken Isenhour
Re: Video Compression, Small File Size
on Sep 17, 2012 at 6:01:06 pm

@ Craig
Sarcastic negative comments about someones questions are not very helpful.

Youtube has a method of producing highly compressed files of small size without greatly sacrificing quality. Why can no one give some positive input as how this may be accomplished. I know Youtube's methods are proprietary and kept secret. However, there should be some smart people out there who have an idea how to accomplish highly compressed files.

I came seeking how to compress video for streaming on a website. Many of the videos I have when compressed as Mpeg4 are around 1 gb. I need to get these down to around 20 megs and still retain a modicum of quality. The reason for obtaining this amount of compression is bandwidth expense. If we put up 50 videos that each get viewed 100 times a month with file sizes ranging between .5 and 1.5 Gb the bandwidth charges will be in the thousands of $. How can I get these files down to around 20 megs?


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Craig Seeman
Re: Video Compression, Small File Size
on Sep 17, 2012 at 7:42:12 pm

[Ken Isenhour] "Sarcastic negative comments about someones questions are not very helpful. "

The client is entirely unrealistic. To me it's the same as clients asking for a day's work for $50 on craigslist.

[Ken Isenhour] "Youtube has a method of producing highly compressed files of small size without greatly sacrificing quality."

Sorry but they use similar methods available to the rest of us. They may be using some variation of x264 and ffmpeg on an enterprise level.

[Ken Isenhour] "any of the videos I have when compressed as Mpeg4 are around 1 gb."

Which is about 1000 times bigger than 1MB (assuming you mean Gigabyte and not gigabit)

[Ken Isenhour] " How can I get these files down to around 20 megs?"

Duration x data rate = file size.
Hence the recommendation of a bit rate calculator in the above post but this is very simple math.



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