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  1. #1
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    Any free way to compress MP4 videos?

    Is there any free way to compress MP4 videos? I googled the question, found something called iSkysoft that was advertised as free, downloaded it and tried it. But after the hassle of installing it, figuring out what to do, then starting the program, it said that the output would be only 1/3 of the original unless I purchased the program.

    So is there any program to compress MP4 videos that is actually free and will process the entire file without hassle? I don't do this very often so didn't want to spend much time or any money trying various options that may or may not actually work. Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

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    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    How to compress large video files without losing quality using Handbrake

    Check out the above link and see if what you're looking for.
    It's supposed to be 100% free open source.
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    Thanks CLint, I downloaded Handbrake, it's free, and it does work, so that's great. The instructions in the above link are also very clear and helpful. Unfortunately, the MP4 file did not shrink in size after following the instructions. Since the file is already MP4, maybe it's as compressed as it can get. In any event, I was hoping to be able to reduce its size further. Do you have any other suggestions? If not, thanks anyway.

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    Super Moderator BATcher's Avatar
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    If you try to ZIP the MP4 file, and compare the compressed/uncompressed file sizes you should get an idea of how much compression is possible (I suspect not much). If you are prepared to have some detail removed from the MP4 file (like is possible for JPGs) that's another matter!
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    Thanks BATcher, for your suggestion. I made a ZIP folder and sure enough, it's only 8% smaller so that's not much. In fact, I WOULD be prepared to remove some detail from this video. It's only a talking head in front of a static background. I want to keep the facial expressions and the sound, of course, but nothing else matters very much. I tried running Handbrake at 30 FPS but that didn't help. Any other suggestions? Thanks again .

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    Super Moderator BATcher's Avatar
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    Sadly I don't work in the video area - I'm more of a systems administrator!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rfarmer View Post
    Is there any free way to compress MP4 videos?
    I have successfully used Media Coder - its not what I would call an easy user interface, but I typically manage to get output files some 10% of the (usually from smart phones) originals. Since most videos are already compressed, and mp4 particularly so, then programs like Winzip are not going to help - there is little redundancy in the file. In general. the only way you are going to achieve a reduction in size is to reduce the bit-rate, which necessitates throwing away some of the data. For shaky videos filmed in poor light, you may not notice the loss. For a stable video in good lighting, you will.

    If you can't get anywhere with Handbrake (which I haven't used), you might try this. You will have to learn enough to understand containers and codecs with both packages. Sticking with HB, try reducing the average bitrate (para 7 on the HB web link above).

    Have fun!
    Last edited by mngerhold; 2015-11-07 at 12:31.

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    MP4 is MP4 is MP4. If you want smaller file sizes you will need to re encode the video to another more compressed format thus loosing the Mp4 quality. I have not used Windows Movie Maker in quite some time but it should be able to compress the video to another format.

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    You do understand that MP4 videos are already compressed right? And rather effectively so? MP4 compression is considerably better than MP2 compression and MP2 compression was considered something of a miracle when it was developed. Not so much that it existed, but it was highly compressed, gave decent visual quality and could be implemented on consumer-grade $100 players.

    So why do you want to compress something that is already massively compressed? Is this just to save some more space?

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    Quote Originally Posted by videosilva View Post
    MP4 is MP4 is MP4. If you want smaller file sizes you will need to re encode the video to another more compressed format thus loosing the Mp4 quality. I have not used Windows Movie Maker in quite some time but it should be able to compress the video to another format.
    NOT true https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MPEG-4_Part_14

    also what Bharder saisd
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    Sorry but I've got a bad feeling about this. The requirements of "free, no hassle, quick and easy..." don't seem promising. You are going to have to give on something here.

    Video transcoding is a thing and you can experiment with it. Maybe you can try outputting to H.264 or one of the other formats that is out there. Handbrake is well known and seems to have a good reputation. At the very least you'll have to invest time to work on it.

    Ultimately if you really prioritize space above all other factors, here's what you do. Lower the video resolution. That method is virtually guaranteed to save space. The problem is that most people don't want to do that, they want to save space with no loss of video quality.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rfarmer View Post
    . I tried running Handbrake at 30 FPS but that didn't help. Any other suggestions?
    The issue isn't so much the frame rate, what may help to reduce file size is to re-encode using a lower bit rate for both video ans/or audio. MP4 can be produced in many different quality profiles, some with extraordinarily high bit rates intended for viewing on a big TV. Re-encoding can reduce those rates to something more suitable for, say, an email or a small screen. I use Avidemux an open source project that can be a bit intimidating to use, but will save to whatever bit rates video or audio that you find acceptable. You can also change the container or continue to use MP4 if you wish. It's default is AVI, which is the only editable container. I find that encoding at 700 bps for video and 56 kbps for audio is OK for PC screens, others may prefer more quality. Avidemux allows use of filters that can adjust the image as well which may be needed during the re-encode.

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    Another problem: While cropping out the background can work to shrink file size if, however, the background is static (ie, non-changing) then much of the mp4 compression is removal and copying that background from frame to frame. So removing it would not lead to significant shrinkage of the file.

    8% further compression of an mp4 file by the zip algorithm is remarkable to me! The fact it is negligible to you and no where near meeting your needs says to me your expectations/desires seem unrealistic. You want information but you don't want it to occupy any space.

    The suggestion to try H.264 is a good one. This is a very good compression algorithm for video. But I suspect even it will not suit you. As you have already started, you may be able to gain further reductions by eliminating some output quality during the encoding.
    Last edited by Fascist Nation; 2015-11-13 at 08:21.

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    with storage so cheap......why compress.....compressed?

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    Wow, this is a horse that has been beaten to death. MP4 is to video what MP3 is to audio. Sure, you can probably squeeze a few more bytes out with further higher compression, but why risk losing some quality for such little gain? Accept it that MP4 is good the way it is.

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