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I paid $59.95 for Vimeo Plus only to find that there is a 1 Gigabyte limit on video size.

I have a 4 GB MP4 video file that I shot with the HD Flip Mino. How do I reduce it to no more than 1 GIG without losing too much quality?

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4 Answers 4

You can try using something such as ffmpeg or mencoder to reencode it with a lower bitrate, e.g.:

Calculate the bitrate you need by dividing 1 GB by the video length in seconds. So, for a video of length 16:40 (1000 seconds), use a bitrate of 1000000 bytes/sec:

ffmpeg -i input.mp4 -b 1000000 output.mp4

Additional options that might be worth considering is setting the Constant Rate Factor, which lowers the average bit rate, but retains better quality. Vary the CRF between around 18 and 24 — the lower, the higher the bitrate.

ffmpeg -i input.mp4 -vcodec libx264 -crf 20 output.mp4
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1000k is better than 1000000 in "ffmpeg -i input.mp4 -b 1000000 output.mp4" – iwill May 7 '13 at 8:47
-b takes the bit rate not the byte rate. If the video must be 1GB and the length is 1000 (one thousand) seconds, then the desired bit rate is approximately 1e9/1000*8 = 8e6 (8,000,000) bits per second (bps). – Jason Jun 4 '14 at 16:12
getting....The encoder 'aac' is experimental but experimental codecs are not enabled, add '-strict -2' if you want to use it. – DroidWorm Narendra Jul 10 at 9:09

You can non-destructively edit the file to clip out portions you don't want (take 1m off the beginning, 30s off the middle, 4m off the end).

Other than that, you're going to have to re-encode the mp4 as a smaller file. Try Handbrake.

  • Decrease the resolution from the Mino's native 1280x720 to something smaller, just preserve the aspect ratio.
  • Decrease the bitrate from the Mino's 9.0Mbps average bitrate down to something smaller

In either case you're losing quality. Try fiddling with either option (or both) and compare the results. Pick whatever looks best and has the right filesize.

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H.264 FTW! – bgw Jul 16 '09 at 1:08

I've done some more research on this and I think the best answer for a Windows user is to use a GUI around ffmpeg. The two best ones I have found so far are WinFF and Super.

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I just downloaded "Super" and regret it more than anything else I've downloaded recently. It's packed with garbage and malware, and even though I declined to install all the junk that it bundled with it, I noticed that those secret programs got installed anyway. On top of all that, the interface to Super seems impossible to understand. I bet it's just a front for spyware. WinFF was fine. – Ryan Mar 28 '13 at 0:55

Use "HandBrake". Import the file. Select "High Profile" and then click on "Start". It can compress 100 MB file to 27 MB or more. (Input file must not be in a already compressed state). If you use Handbrake version 0.9.5 then there is a setting to input File Size you want to compress in. (Upper version of HB does not have this feature).

Sorenson Squeeze is another professional Level tool for this kind of job.

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