How do I reduce the MB size of a video?
If you want to share or host videos online, it's often necessary to compress them in some way. This is true whether you're sharing over social media, streaming live footage, or otherwise publishing content publicly. There are lots of different reasons why you might need to shrink down a file.
But how exactly does one reduce the megabytes (MB) of a video? What happens when an app tries to compress its own videos? And what about photos? We've got answers for all these questions and more below.
How do I reduce the MB size of a photo?
Most people know that reducing the image quality will make their pictures smaller. But few realize just how much they can shrink a PNG by using Photoshop's built-in tools. The process isn't as simple as resizing images with GIMP, but if you have access to Adobe Lightroom CC, then there's a lot you can do. You'll find the instructions at this link.
The same principles apply across platforms too—you just need a program like IrfanView to resize RAWs from your camera. It won't affect any EXIF data or metadata however, which means you should leave those alone unless you really want to get specific.
To reduce the size further, consider cropping out unnecessary parts of the frame. That could mean removing backgrounds entirely. If you don't mind losing details, try turning off sharpening effects while keeping noise reduction turned on. Noise reduction makes your shots look "softer" without actually making them blurry at all.
Finally, use compression settings tailored towards photographs rather than regular webpics. These can improve your results considerably, even though the end result may not always save that many kilobytes worth of space. Just open up File & Export As... and choose Web Picture under Image type.
How do I reduce the MB size of a JPEG?
JPEGs are lossy formats, so shrinking a jpeg doesn't make sense. Instead, we recommend converting it into another format. For example, you can convert a GIF into a JPG with one of several free apps available online. Use something like this one. Or maybe you prefer to stick with the original because it retains full color information. Then again, perhaps you want to turn an animated GIF into a series of still frames. In that case, this tool will help you.
That said, if you want to shrink down a jpg, you first need to strip away some extraneous meta data. A good place to start would be by opening up your browser's developer console and looking through the page elements tab. Check out our guide here.
You'll probably see a bunch of entries labeled 'img'. Right click each one and select Inspect Element. Find every instance where the word'src' appears in the code. Each time you press Ctrl + C to copy it, paste it into Notepad and remove everything else. After doing this a couple times, you should have a small list containing only the URL of the source image itself. Once you've done that, right click anywhere on the screen and select Edit Contents. Paste whatever URLs you found earlier into the clipboard, highlight everything after /image/ and delete it. Now go back and repeat the above steps for every other entry labelled img. Repeat until none remain.
Afterwards, head to Google Images and search for your newly stripped-down version of the image. Make sure to keep the resolution as high as possible. Otherwise, you risk getting something that looks like a pixelated mess.
As far as actual storage goes, if you'd like to store the final product as a jpeg instead of a png, check out this site. They claim to offer the best balance between quality versus file size.
How do I reduce the MB size of a video?
Unfortunately, nothing beats having a video editor installed on your computer. However, if you don't have one already, we highly suggest checking out Premiere Pro CC 2018. It comes with plenty of useful features, including multi-cam editing.
However, if you're stuck on Windows 10, there are some great lightweight editors you can download to cut down on load times. One such option is OpenShot Movie Editor 2.0 Beta. You can also opt to stream directly to YouTube with OBS Studio, if you feel comfortable with that setup.
Of course, most of us aren't professionals who need professional software. So if you're a beginner and haven't yet purchased anything, check out these awesome free alternatives to popular paid programs.
In terms of actual file sizes, the key thing you want to worry about is bitrate. Video codecs like H.264 take up a ton of space, especially since they feature pretty long encoding durations. When you upload a clip onto Facebook or Twitter, the service converts the video before sending it to everyone. Your choice of bitrates determines how well it handles this task.
Generally speaking, you shouldn't let the default setting exceed 500kbps. Bitrate depends heavily on what kind of hardware you're working with, so here are some general guidelines to follow. Remember that higher resolutions require higher bitrates.
For 1080p streams, you typically want to aim for around 600kbps. Lowering it to 400kbps will give you better quality without sacrificing too much overall bandwidth. For 4K clips, you generally want to stay no less than 1Mbps. Anything lower risks introducing artifacts and fuzziness during playback. Again, note that these figures vary depending on the quality level you desire.
Nowadays, almost every smartphone manufacturer has its own proprietary video recording system. Sometimes it works fairly well, sometimes it doesn't. In order to ensure maximum compatibility, you're usually going to want to record straight to MP4 containers whenever possible. Alternatively, you could transcode later. To learn more, read up on Android video options explained. iPhones work similarly, except Apple uses MOV container types exclusively. Other devices may support both.
Apple users will likely face issues trying to play back compressed MKVs. Their native HEVC decoding capabilities fall short against competing products, meaning transcoding is required. Transcoding is a relatively painless operation, although it can become resource intensive if you run multiple instances simultaneously. See our guide here explaining more.
Once you've recorded your clip, you can easily trim it down to size. Simply hit Record once more, but set the duration to a shorter amount. Keep hitting Stop until you reach the desired length.
Then simply export it as either an MP2S or WEBM file. Both of these are handy for mobile uploads, whereas the latter offers improved performance over the former. Afterwards, import the new file into Handbrake, and enable Lossless mode to squeeze the last bits of juice out of it. Hit Start Encode and wait till completion.
This method requires quite a bit of patience, so you might want to prioritize things accordingly. On top of that, handbrake tends to eat up CPU cycles, so you might want to close everything else running on your PC beforehand. Finally, remember that transcoded files tend to be larger than originals. Always compare apples to apples.
How do I decrease the MB of a photo?
Shrinking a photograph is trickier than reducing the dimensions of a video. Because you're dealing with pixels here, you can't just crop out useless pieces of background anymore.
Instead, you need to alter the colors themselves. Unfortunately, you cannot simply change the RGB values to create a lighter tone---that wouldn't preserve any image metadata whatsoever. Instead, you must rely on a dedicated piece of software called PhotoScape X. It allows you to tweak individual colors individually, thus allowing you to fine tune your adjustments.
It's important to understand that altering the brightness of an image is never recommended. Doing so changes the perceived value of luminance, resulting in unsightly artifacts. It's better to adjust exposure levels slightly. Also, keep grain in mind, as increasing it beyond 100% will cause certain objects to appear unnaturally blurred.
Ultimately, you should strive for a balanced outcome. Don't push it too hard, lest you lose valuable detail along the way. You can test the effect yourself by downloading this sample image and playing around with various sliders. Feel free to experiment with saturation and vibrance as well.
Remember that you can scale up images too, provided you maintain sufficient quality. If you ever intend to print a physical copy, you should shoot for 300DPI. Higher DPI means sharper prints.
Hopefully now you understand how to shrink the file size of a video. But if you're curious to learn more, here are a handful of related articles you might enjoy reading:
What Is ISO Quality in Photography?
Can I Shave Off Some Space From My Cloud Storage Limit Without Losing Quality?
Why Does Photos Look Better Online Than On Phone?
How Do I Share Large Files Between Computers Quicker Than Usual Methods?
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Video is pretty important on YouTube these days. If you're not using it yet, then now's probably as good a time as any. What about when you want to upload your videos elsewhere or just need them around for posterity? Well, if they're big in resolution but small in storage space...it's going to get annoying real quick. Thankfully, there are some simple methods available to help with this little conundrum.
If you have ever watched a 4K video on YouTube which has been uploaded at 12 megabytes (MB), only to see how quickly the page loads down below your browser window, then perhaps you've also experienced what happens when trying to watch an HD video on Facebook while simultaneously browsing other tabs. The experience is like being back from vacation only to discover that all of your favorite places closed hours ago because they ran out of bandwidth. This situation isn't exclusive to YouTube either; many online streaming services offer similar problems where users come across poor experiences due to lack of bandwidth.
Luckily, we'll show you several techniques to compress your videos so that you don't sacrifice quality by reducing their overall size. We'll go over both lossless and lossy compression, including options for converting your formats between different codecs. Finally, we'll discuss tips on making your new compressed version even smaller than before. And best of all -- no software required. Let's begin!
How can I reduce the MB size of a video without losing quality?
The first thing you should consider doing is compressing your original source footage into a lower-resolution format (if possible). As mentioned previously, higher resolutions require more bandwidth. So if you know the final product will likely be used on devices such as phones and tablets, you may wish to shrink the dimensions of the video instead. You could use one of those tools that automatically resizes images to multiple sizes depending on screen width. Or alternatively, you might choose to resize manually by changing the height and width values yourself.
For example, let's say you have a 1920x1080p 30fps video saved locally as AVI container. To achieve a 1/3rd reduction in size, simply divide 1080 by 3. Then set the height value accordingly. In our case, 1080 / 3 = 340. Thus, we would convert it to 640 x 240 pixels. Now, obviously, if you plan to save this reduced-size video somewhere else, you must adjust its physical dimension accordingly. For instance, if you're saving onto a mobile device, you'd better multiply 320 by 2 since the latter represents the number of rows per column.
However, keep in mind that most people won't notice much difference between full-sized and slightly-shrunken versions unless you zoom way into 100% view. Most viewers tend to focus on details rather than pixelation, especially if they aren't viewing high-definition content.
Also note that in addition to keeping aspect ratio intact, most editing programs allow us to scale up/down proportionsally. Simply open the clip in question, click Video " Scale, then drag the handles along the sides until desired settings appear.
How do I reduce MB size of video?
Now that you already know how to downsample your video, here are two additional tricks to further squeeze every last bit of data out of your media. First off, try turning automatic color management features off. These usually apply changes based upon lighting conditions, resulting in larger sized files. Also check whether auto contrast adjustments are enabled. Those too often cause artifacts within clips, hence increasing file size.
Lastly, we recommend checking your video frame rate. It sounds strange, but lowering it actually reduces the amount of information needed to represent each second. For instance, standard definition movies run at 24 frames per second (FPS) whereas high-def ones range anywhere from 50-60 FPS. That means that if you were planning on recording a 120 fps video in 720p, you shouldn't bother given that few TVs support playback of anything above 60 FPS anyway. On top of that, the human eye typically doesn't perceive motion accurately beyond 40 FPS anyway.
So why waste valuable resources on creating ultra-high speed videos? Instead, opt for lower speeds with fewer frames. Doing so results in less wasted energy and disk usage. However, a downside is that it becomes harder to edit such projects later on. But hey, who said life was fair?
How can I make MP4 MB smaller?
As discussed earlier, MP4 is a common audio/video container type that supports various encoding standards. One such popular choice is H.264, which is an MPEG-4 Part 10 specification widely used today. Unfortunately, unlike JPEG image compression, H.264 does not natively handle lossy compression. Therefore, if you intend to save your project in a smaller file format, you must employ another method. Fortunately, there are plenty of free video editors that include functionality to encode/decode H.264 streams.
One option is Avidemux, which offers a wide array of filters specifically designed to perform H.264 conversion tasks. Once installed, select File " Export Movie " Save movie as WebM. Note that although webm is technically a proprietary extension of Google Chrome, it is supported by numerous browsers nowadays. Alternatively, Media Encoder can export directly to MKV, OGM, and M4V containers with minimal fuss. Lastly, Adobe Premiere Pro CC 2015 allows users to export H.264 videos via Output Settings dropdown menu. Just remember that whatever tool you end up choosing, ensure that it outputs in HEVC/H.265.
How do I reduce the MB size?
In order to take advantage of modern hardware capabilities, it helps to transcode your project to a newer codec. Since H.264 became obsolete years ago, you could potentially benefit from switching to something more efficient, such as VP9. Not sure where to start? There's always VLC Player, whose transcoding feature comes with a plethora of presets that cover almost any scenario imaginable.
But again, beware of zooming in too closely. Transcoding generally introduces artifacts, so it's advisable to test your output thoroughly beforehand. Ideally, you should compare your original footage against three distinct representations: original, low-quality, and optimized.
And yes, did you know that certain Android apps can record live TV shows in glorious 8k resolution?! Check out MUO's article detailing how to capture and stream 8k video.
Have you got any tips on squeezing videos down to size? Share your own strategies in the comments section below!
Sometimes we have videos or pictures that take up too much space—and it's not always obvious how to shrink them down without losing quality. You might want to upload an extra-large video to YouTube but don't know where to start when reducing its size. Or maybe you've just downloaded an enormous image from Facebook but need to cut it down before sharing. Here are some simple methods to help you minimize the amount of data you're using when dealing with images and videos.
First off: what does "MB" mean anyway? It stands for megabyte (or mega-byte). A single megabyte is one million bytes, which means 1 billion bits. If a 25mb MP4 movie has been encoded at 4x digital resolution then it will contain roughly 2.5 gigabytes worth of information. That may sound like a lot, but if you consider that most modern cameras capture RAW footage at around 8-bit depth, meaning they use 256 colors instead of millions, this number becomes more manageable. The same goes for HD video—1080p footage contains about 30GB per hour of content.
Now let's move onto the different kinds of media and their respective encoding options. We'll begin with images first.
How do I resize the MB of a JPEG?
JPEGs contain color profiles that dictate whether certain ranges should be treated as shades of red, green, blue, etc., and therefore end up taking up less room than raw rasters. This makes sense because JPEG compression was originally designed to keep these tones intact while still compressing the rest of the visual into smaller sizes. However, there's no way to adjust those settings in post production unless you go back through each frame and manually change the values yourself. Fortunately, tools such as Photoshop make adjusting the compression levels pretty straightforward.
If you only need to alter the dimensions of your image, rather than changing the overall clarity, you can also try resizing it by percentage. Simply open Image & Adjustments & Thumbnail Tool and drag your original image over to Preview Pane. Then right click anywhere within the thumbnail area and select Resize Selected Images By Percentage. This works best if you're planning on cropping the resulting image later, however.
You can also choose between two other resize options under the dropdown menu: Crop To Fit and Canvas Size. They both work similarly, so play around with both until you find something you like.
How do I reduce the MB size of a JPEG file?
Unfortunately, there aren't many tricks available for converting JPGs directly into PNGs, TIFFs, GIFs, or similar. There's nothing inherently wrong with doing this, though, provided you understand that you won't get any additional benefits out of it besides saving disk space. In fact, if you already own a program capable of handling all of these types of formats, you could even opt to convert it straight to the desired format after editing.
The easiest method for shrinking down a JPG, however, is to simply crop it. Open the Layers panel via View & Show/Hide Layer Styles and create a new layer beneath everything else. Select your background layer, double-click it to access the Blending Options window, and set Opacity to 0%. Now simply draw whatever needs cutting away with your selection tool. Once finished, hit Delete Layer Mask on the bottom left corner of said layer. Finally, press Ctrl + N to duplicate your selected layer and turn it black again.
This is essentially creating a masking effect that allows us to hide parts of our image that we'd otherwise see above anything else. As long as you didn't accidentally include text or another element in your selection, you shouldn't notice any changes to the actual quality of your image.
How do you reduce the MB size of a photo in Photos?
Apple's default editor doesn't offer users much control over this process, unfortunately, although third party solutions exist. One option would be to export your entire photo library to Google Drive or Dropbox to perform batch conversions. Afterward, you could download either app individually whenever necessary and edit accordingly. Another solution involves using AppleScript to automate the task.
To accomplish this, open Script Editor, type in the following code, save it somewhere safe, and run it once:
tell application "Photos"
set convertedImages to folder named "Converted"
-- Make sure this folder exists!
make new folder at path catalogs
repeat with iPhotoImageName
from front screen of iPhotoWindowOpen("iTunes", false)
if (((get position of iPhotoImageName) / 1000) mod 60) = 0 then -- Convert every minute
do shell script ("convert -density 50 -resample 100% /Desktop/" & quoted form of iPhotoImageName)
-- Wait five seconds so you don't have to wait forever
For reference purposes, here's the full source code used to produce the results below. Save it wherever you wish and add the following command to launch it:
Next time you import a bunch of photos, you can check out this handy guide detailing the fastest ways to compress high-resolution iPhone pics.
How do I reduce the size of a picture on my phone?
One of the simplest ways to trim down the size of a photo is to use Instagram. All you have to do is visit the website, tap Upload Photo, pick the image you want uploaded, and hit Choose Storage Location. Next, scroll down to the bottom of the page and toggle Enable Reduce File Sizes On Mobile Ads to enable the feature. When ready, hit Send.
Alternatively, you can utilize iOS' built-in functionality to achieve similar effects. Go to Settings & Camera & Auto-Enhance Video Mode, switch Video Quality to High, and disable Motion Detection. For optimal performance, stick to Landscape mode. If you prefer Portrait shots, you can achieve the same result by switching Orientation to Portrait.
As far as downsampling goes, iOS offers no native support for it. Instead, you'll need to rely on apps like ProCam XL ($2), VSCO Cam [No Longer Available], Snapseed (free trial version), or Pixlr Touch Up (free trial). These tools require significantly fewer steps than others, making them easier to navigate and effective enough that none of them deserve further explanation.
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