So, you just created an awesome video. You want to now send it to a collaborator. Or perhaps you want approval from a client. You attach it to your email and immediately get a pop up that says “file size too large.” Irritating no! Let’s face it, compressed videos mean reduced bandwidth usage and upload time, and less buffering on your viewer’s end too. But, how do you compress a video file without losing quality?
In this post, we’ll walk you through the top 5 techniques on how to compress a video and when they should be used. Let’s get started.
1. How to Reduce Video Resolution Online?
2. How to Download a Video File in Lower Quality?
3. How to Compress a Video File into a .zip File?
4. How to Send Video as a link instead of uploading?
5. How to Trim a Video Online?
Method 1: How to Reduce Video Resolution Online?
Resolution or aspect ratio refers to the number of pixels on display. The higher the resolution, the sharper the video quality. Inversely, lower the video resolution, and smaller file size. Which is why this is one of the most effective ways to compress a video. Generally speaking, HD videos are 1920 x 1080 pixels. On lowering the resolution, you may be compromising on quality.
But if you’re wondering how to compress a video for email or for sharing online, you can compress your video to 1280 x 720p or 854 x 480p. Also, note that making a video smaller – that is going down from 1080p to 720p will not make a big difference to the viewer. In fact, you can even go down to 640 x 360p if needed. If your video is heavy on graphics and animation, it is advisable to not go below 480p. Here are some common tools you can use to reduce video resolution:
How to Compress a Video using VLC Player?
1. Download VLC Player here if you do not already have it. Once downloaded, install and open the VLC player.
2. Click Media > Convert/Save
3. Click Add to select your video file (or multiple files)
4. Click Convert/Save to bring up a list of conversion options. You can select your preferred type in the profile dropdown
5. Select your conversion option (the software offers useful suggestions such as YouTube HD or Video for MPEG4 1080p TV/device)
6. Once you’re satisfied with your selections, simply hit Save, select your destination location (on your hard drive or cloud storage), and then click Start.
How to Compress Video via Shotcut?
1. Download Shotcut here and install it. Once done, open Shotcut and click Open File to open your video
2. Click Export
3. You’ll next see a large list of compression options – select your preferred option
4. You can use the Resolution and Aspect ratio fields from this screen to further reduce video size and proportions (it won’t automatically adjust your video’s aspect ratio for you)
5. Click the export video
How to Compress Video via QuickTime? (Especially for Mac OS users)
1. Click File to open <your video file name> to open your video
2. Click Export As
3. You’ll next get a list of options, but you’re limited to just four: 4k, 1080p, 720p, and 480. To compress your file, select a smaller file format than the original file.
Method 2: How to Download a Video File in Lower Quality?
When you want to download a video file in lower quality, or low resolution, you can do so right from the editing software.
If you’re using Adobe Premiere Pro to edit your video, here’s a tutorial to help you figure out how to reduce file size right before render/ export.
If you’re using Final Cut Pro to edit your video, here’s a tutorial to help you figure out how to reduce file size right before render/ export.
There are a few key pointers you can keep in mind while doing this:
- Downloading/ exporting your videos in the MP4 file type usually helps keep quality and reduce file size.
- Exporting at 720p or 1080p resolution will work for most people. But mostly, export at a suitable resolution for your project – depending on the viewer’s screen (again a 720p or a 1080p are good resolutions for most screens.)
- Adding a lot of movement or even transitions will cause your video file to be larger.
- Compress your audio on export. It’s rare to need uncompressed audio in most video projects. Find out how you can compress an audio file here.
- Higher frame rates will cause slightly larger videos. This is why it is smart to use the frame rate that is right for your project. 24-30 is the standard frame rate that is used across files of different sizes. Higher frame rates exist as well, but it’s advisable to use the standard (24-30) when compressing videos too.
Method 3: How to Compress a Video File into a .zip File?
One of the most used and quick ways to compress a file is to .zip it! This ensures that the file size is reduced while the quality largely remains the same. Many have observed that the file size is not reduced significantly. Nevertheless, this is one of the most efficient methods to share a video file, especially combined with Method 4 that we’ll talk about shortly.
How to zip a video file on Windows OS?
1. Right-click on the video file.
2. Choose to Send to>Compressed>Zipped Folder
3. Follow the steps and the file will get compressed
How to .zip a file for Mac OS?
1. Right-click on the video file.
2. Choose>Compress (file name)
3. Follow the steps and the file will get compressed
Despite compressing your file or creating a .zip folder, you will find that some video files can still be too heavy to attach to emails. Here are two workarounds that you can use to be able to send your video files via emails.
Method 4: How to send video as a link instead of uploading?
If you want to share your video files without losing the quality, a great option available to you is hosting or uploading your video online. Here are a few places where you can host your video and share it seamlessly:
- One of the most effective ways to send these files then is to upload them to a cloud service. You just need to drag and drop your file to Google Drive, Dropbox, or OneDrive.
- You can also upload your compressed file to a file sharing service like WeTransfer or an Android App like ShareIt.
- Finally, you can upload your video to YouTube and tag it as ‘unlisted’ or ‘private’ and share the link with your collaborators.
Method 5: How to Trim a Video Online?
Finally, if compressing a large video file is not the best option, or if you are creating a heavy on graphics video, you have the option to trim your video. You can cut out only the relevant part of your video that needs to be shared and send it off to your collaborators or clients. You can trim your video using built-in editors such as iMovie Maker or QuickTime on your Macbooks or Windows Movie Maker on Windows OS. But a much more convenient way to do this completely on the web via InVideo’s Free Editor.
How to trim & compress your video using the InVideo Free Editor?
2. Next, select the blank canvas option and then click on the aspect ratio your video best fits into. After this click on the “Make A Video” button.
3. You will be taken to the InVideo free editor. Once here, you need to go to the “Upload Media” section and upload the video you wish to trim.
4. As your video finishes uploading, you will automatically see the video trimmer video pop up. You will notice your full video in the timeline.
5. Next you can just go ahead and trim your video by manually inserting the timings or dragging the start and end controls.
6. Once you are satisfied with your trim, you can click the “Done” button. You will then see the trimmed video on the timeline back on the video editor page. Now you need to navigate to the top right corner of the screen and click on the “Download & Share” button and next, click on the “Export” button.
7. On clicking the “Export” button, your video will start to render. You will see a page with various share and download options (as shown in the screenshot). Click on the “Download” button to download your trimmed video. Or share it via social media through the many plugins provided. That’s it.
Oh, one more thing. If your file is rendering, you can go and do some other work. Because you’ll also receive an email notification as well as download option once your Invideo trimmed file is rendered!
Summing up: So these were 5 super easy methods to compress your videos. Now you can compress and email or share your videos quick and easy with nothing lost in translation! You might also want to check out this super easy step-by-step guide on cropping a video online for free.
For more quick tips and hacks on editing and creating videos, subscribe to InVideo’s YouTube Channel. If you have any questions or want to continue the conversation, hop over to the InVideo community and learn from 25K other marketers and video creators just like you!