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I opened up a avi file in virtualdub and trimmed the clip and clicked "Save as avi" and it saved the trimmed clip but it was 3 times the size of the original clip. How can that be?

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You most likely went from a compressed AVI to an Uncompressed AVI as stated by szeli –  Moab Apr 5 '11 at 2:54
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up vote 4 down vote accepted

it can be due to the codecs involved. different codecs offer different compression rates and quality. when you 'Save as avi' did you check which codec was it configured to use?

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