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What software do you use for encoding video files. Probably with the following specifications:

Format           : Matroska
File size        : around 300 to 600 mb
Duration         : 1h 30m~

Format          : AVC
Format/Info     : Advanced Video Codec
Width           : 720 pixels
Height          : 304 pixels

Format          : AAC
Format/Info     : Advanced Audio Codec
Format profile  : AAC-SBR+PS
Channel(s)      : 2 channels
Resolution      : 16 bits

File size is 300mb to 400mb on average. Long movies may reach up to 600mb

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Mind stating your operating environment? – Doc Jul 5 '11 at 22:48
Hi, I am on a windows box, but I also have a linux box :) – Aivan Monceller Jul 5 '11 at 22:51
up vote 0 down vote accepted

It all depends on the source content. To encode to a certain size, you have to determine the bitrate that you want to use both for the audio and the video.

For 600MB you would need to have a bitrate of less than 910kbps (600MB / 5400 seconds). If you use 128kbps for the audio, that leaves 780kbps for the video. That's really on the edge toward low quality video, even with H.264.

The best codecs to use would be H.264 for video and AAC stereo for audio.

Handbrake is a good multi-purpose converter. If the source is DVD or BluRay you may also want to try RipBot264 which uses the excellent x264 video encoder. There are a number of other tools out there you can use to convert video, but that would require a much longer and more complex response.

Also, you may want to read up on, which is a great resource for video encoding.

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thanks you have a very detailed answer. What if the source content is already encode videos coming from torrents perhaps xvid rips reaching 1.X GBs. What do you recommend in reencoding such files to achieve low file sizes. – Aivan Monceller Jul 5 '11 at 23:02
Re-encoding videos is never a good idea, but if you really want to, then Handbrake is probably the easiest tool to use. If you want the best possible quality even with long encoding times, select the High Profile preset. Select the Source as Video file. In the Video tab, set the Target Size to the size you want, use the Audio tab to set the audio settings and bitrate, then you can optionally add subtitles (nice thing about MKV). – Chris Thompson Jul 5 '11 at 23:09
Oh, make sure you select 2-pass encoding and Turbo first pass in the Video tab. – Chris Thompson Jul 5 '11 at 23:11

Handbrake has decent presets for many popular devices, and I have found that its interface is rather intuitive when you want to change the presets to match a particular requirement such as file size, bitrate, etc.

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Use ffmpeg. It's an extremely powerful transcoding utility. I find it to be the only really decent solution for most of my transcoding needs. Though, I'm not totally sold it'll transcode TO mkv. Still, it's probably worth a careful look.

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