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How to compress file sizes by half for fast ftp:ing

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Aira Vehaskari
How to compress file sizes by half for fast ftp:ing
on Aug 27, 2012 at 10:01:56 am


Compression science is not my forté, so I'm having trouble understanding a problem with how to compress a file down so it's fast to ftp while still retaining good quality. I didn't think it could be done, but my client manages it somehow and wants me to do the same. Here are the details:

My client collects news feed from all over the world via ftp. They want footage that is 1080 x720 and exported as Quicktime files with codec of ProRes or H.264. Fine, no problem. Their own staff use FCP, Compressor, and DVTransfert to edit, compress and ftp files really fast. DVTransfert is their own software they don't share with freelancers.

When I edited a 2-min piece and exported it as QT h.264, it was about 2GB and would have taken 4 hours or so to ftp. Someone on my client's staff, who was also working the job with me, copied my QT file into her fcp/compressor and exported it with a size of 300mb. Then in DVTransfert she compressed it even further for ftp-sending. She said the final file was only 100 mb, with the quality intact.

I am stumped. A two-minute video file that's only 100 mb? It took around 10 minutes to ftp it to the client headquarters; and we were using the same internet connection.

I tried fiddling with my export settings in Adobe Premiere and Media Encoder. It had to be QT h.264. so first I tried decreasing the quality under the export settings to various levels. Then I kept the quality at 100 but limited the data rate. I had to limit the data rate to 11,000 kbps. But any time I got the same file down to 100mb and sent it to the client, they said the quality was far too bad to be usable.

There is something here I don't understand. How is it possible to compress a video so much without losing quality? I would love to be able to send high-quality videos faster to my clients. Can someone teach me how? I've looked all over video tutorials and other pieces of web advice but I can't find an answer.

I'm using CS5 on a Mac and I'm using Filezilla to ftp, if that matters. Thanks in advance for any advice!


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