I often find in a situation in which I receive very large videos that need to be compressed for being transferred or somehow managed.

I am not expert in the issue, so I found it very useful the use of VLC.

Here is the procedure, which is more a note to self, but will hopefully help people facing the same problem.

Let’s face the easy steps. These are valid both for Windows and Ubuntu, and are focused on the task of reducing the size of an mp4 video (no format conversion). Hoewever, extension to other tasks is simple and I might treat it in future posts.

1) Open VLC
2) From the Media menu, select “Convert/Save”
3) From the the “Convert” popup window click on Add, to select the file you want to downsample (Figure 1)

4) Once you have added the file, the Convert/Save button will become active. Click on it (Figure 2)

5) At this point, you will have the opportunity to check/edit the conversion settings, by clicking on the icon highlighted in red in Figure 3.

6) Click on the Video Codec tab and make sure that the Encoding parameters are as shown in Figure 4. Playing with Bitrate and Frame Rate parameters might be an option, but if you are not expert you might end up with a very low quality video.

7) Click on the Resolution tab. For non-experst (like me) this is the safest way to downsample the size of video. Setting a scale of 0.75 will generally end up in a significant reduction in file size without causing great loss of quality. I use this value often. Lower values will result in smaller files and lower quality. The final choice is up to you. You don’t need to act on other settings. You can click save on the bottom right corner of the window (Figure 5)

8) Now, just select the output file, click start and wait a little bit.


Note: Further details on how to downsample a video in Ubuntu can be found on the always helpful AskUbuntu