3 Things to Remember When Compressing a Video File

Compressing videos is a necessity due to the fact that uncompressed videos are just too large to be distributed or managed (although there is help out there for sending and receiving big web files if you really do need to preserve the original quality). In some cases you may even have to compress your video files further, to cope with the storage requirement or to fit various file size limitations.

If and when you do compress video files for any reason, there are three things that you should always remember:

  • Keep the original video if it is important

For important videos you should always keep the original video file, and not discard it in favor of the compressed one. When a video is compressed using lossy compression some data is invariably discarded – meaning that the quality of the original version is technically better than the compressed file.

The fact of the matter is that the original video will be the highest quality copy of it that you have. By storing it safely, you’ll have more options if you need to convert or compress your video at any other point in time.

  • Avoid compressing the same file repeatedly

As noted, some data is lost when a video is compressed – which is why you should avoid compressing the same file repeatedly. Although initially it may not seem to make a difference, over time the data that is lost each time the video is compressed can affect its quality.

The solution to that is actually part of the reason why you should keep the original video – as it will let you compress any versions that you need from it. If you don’t have the original then you may not have many other options. Either you can simply try to avoid compressing the video too many times, or keep your existing copy (in lieu of the original) if you feel you will need to compress it again in the future.

  • Rename compressed video files

It helps to get into the habit of renaming any video files that you’ve compressed – especially if you’re going to have multiple versions of the same file. At a glance a MP4 video encoded with H.264 compression will look identical to a MP4 video encoded with H.265 (HEVC) compression – with the only difference being the file size.

By naming your video files to note the fact that they are compressed, you can save yourself from a lot of hassle. More importantly you’re a lot less likely to accidentally delete or discard the wrong file – which could have unintended consequences.

It should be noted that the compression referred to above can refer to both transcoding the video to a codec with better compression, or reducing the video bitrate.

In any case you can try to use Movavi Video Converter to compress MP4 videos or videos in other formats. It will let you convert your videos to any formats, adjust the bitrate, and even edit your video if need be.

Just be sure to remember the things listed above when you do compress any video – and you’ll be able to preserve its quality far more effectively in the long term.

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