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I need to reduce the file size of some of my HD videos, since I am running out of storage space. A lower resolution is acceptable, and other methods are welcome. I would prefer a GUI solution, as I am not familiar with the command line. How can I do this?

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Though this is technically off-topic, I have not voted to close, as this is a beginner question that may prove useful to others looking for a video compression solution. I do suggest that this question be converted to community wiki, though, with a single canonical answer. – bwDraco Nov 26 '12 at 16:17
Anyone asking this question could also possibly benefit from the background information in this answer, which is written pertaining to audio but also applies to video: – allquixotic Nov 26 '12 at 16:38
@DragonLord I've rephrased the question to be less about software and more about the method, as per How do I ask a question that may require recommending software? \@goodboy, please let us know (or edit it yourself) if you feel I have changed the question too much. – Bob Nov 26 '12 at 16:38
@Bob you've actually enhanced the question so that it reflects that disk space is the issue instead of the resolution – good boy Nov 26 '12 at 16:55
up vote 6 down vote accepted

A popular option for video conversion, including recompression to a smaller size, is the open-source HandBrake. HandBrake takes full advantage of multi-core processors and can handle MP4, H.264, and Theora formats. You can also use the VLC media player to convert videos to different formats or resolutions.

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i have used vlc but it requires time equivalent to the length of the video @DragonLord – good boy Nov 26 '12 at 16:48
@goodboy every HD video will take a long time to convert as its a HD and compression will be time consuming so you have to be patient. – avirk Nov 26 '12 at 17:00
Appreciate the handbrake tip. For windows this now appears best-in-class – twobob Feb 29 at 17:59


use mkv as the format guides can be found on the ffmpeg site

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Based on the way the question is written, the OP is probably inexperienced with video processing and should not be asked to use a command-line tool. – bwDraco Nov 26 '12 at 16:01
Also, Matroska (MKV) is merely a container format; it is possible to store extremely high quality, large-size codec data inside an MKV, so that doesn't even begin to address the problem. – allquixotic Nov 26 '12 at 16:35

Miro Video Converter is an easy-to-use GUI application to convert videos to different formats. You can also choose a device (iPhone, Android phones, etc) and select a compatible video format.

You can get it from and the Mac App Store.

It is available for Windows:

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and Mac OS X:

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