How to Resize Videos and Movies Without Losing Quality

by: - Last updated on: September 10th, 2013

The problem that affects both professional and amateur video makers is that the actual size of the video clips is very large. Nowadays, everybody shoots only in high definition and it’s generally known that if you want to obtain a proper video, you have to take more doubles and combine the good parts from each other.

The bad thing is that these  files occupy a lot of space on the hard drive and the edited videos are even larger than the initial ones. Hard drives, cloud storage space and other storage devices are used to store all data, but everything becomes even worse when you want to upload this brand new movie on a video hosting service like YouTube, and it takes ages to load. How about resizing the videos to obtain a small capacity while keeping the quality?

How To Resize Videos Without Losing Quality


Video editing programs are very important for every users in their attempt to make the best video that matches with their vision. Users can use them to make simple operations, like cutting the video into pieces, trimming them with other, arranging the clips across the timeline and much more, and even to do complex ones, like adding effects and filters. Also, they can be used to convert and resize videos to gain a little more free space on your hard drive or to upload them faster on your favorite websites.

Using Avidemux


Avidemux is a free and open-source video editing application which can also be used for post processing and for many other operations. It can do cutting, encoding, filtering operations and more, while using a simple interface which can be simply understood even by beginners. In addition, the program is compatible with almost every operating systems (Windows, Mac OS or Linux) and platform.

It’s demonstrated that with proper customization settings, Avidemux can transform an 8 GB raw video to a 200 MB video, without spotting any noticeable difference between them.

So, don’t dawdle anymore and follow the next guide which explains how you can use this application to resize your videos and in the same time maintain its quality:

  1. Go to Avidemux’s official page and download the program that corresponds with your operating system. Two mirrors are available, select one and start downloading.
  2. Begin the installation and when you are asked which components to install (“Choose Components”), go with what it’s already checked.
  3. When the installation is done, launch the app that can be found in the Avidemux folder from the start menu.
  4. Now, go to the desired video and drag and drop it to the application’s workspace.

Note that if you have more than a video, do the same operation and you should have both videos in the timeline, placed one after another. To check if everything is right, make sure that the timer has increased and now it totalizes both videos.

  1. Look in the left-side of the screen and find the three boxes: Video, Audio and Format. This step is very important so no mistakes are allowed. The first one would be to click on the drop-down menu which is placed under the Video section and choose “MPEG-4 AVC” video codec.
  2. Now, under Audio, select from the drop-menu the “AAC (Faac)” audio codec.
  3. Last but not the least, choose the “MP4” format.
  4. In the upper-side of the screen look for the “Save Video” icon. To be sure, just hover the pointer over the icons and see which icon is for what. Also, you must be very careful what you select, because “Save Project” is not the same thing with “Save Video”.
  5. At this point, the save file prompt pops out and you only have to name the video and select the location where you want to save it. It’s extremely important to manually introduce the MP4 extension, which means that after the name of the reduced video you should write “.mp4”.

Note that this operation can take a while. It all depends on the size of the initial video and the frequency of your computer’s processor. Until the process is done, you should not touch anything on the screen and let the program do its job.

Use Handbrake


Handbrake is open-source and cross-platform video transcoder application which is equipped with a great number of important features. We can remind encoding where users can change the output (bit rate, maximum file size or bit rate), video filtering, batch encoding and more. The program works on Mac, Windows and Linux, which is excellent and completely free.

We have made a quick tutorial where we present how to shrink videos without losing their quality:

  1. First of all download the application that corresponds with your operating system from the official site.
  2. Secondly, launch the program and search for the “Source” button which is placed in the upper left-side of the app.
  3. Browse your files, select the desired video and click “Open”.
  4. Under the “Destination” section, click “Browse” to select the location where you want to save the new file along with its name. Also, be sure that in the output settings the format option is set to “MP4 file”.
  5.  Under the section that is grayer than the rest of the application’s interface, where five buttons are available (Video, Audio, Subtitles, Advanced and Chapters), select “Video”.
  6. Now, go to “Target size (MB)” which is placed under “Quality” and type in the desired file size of the compressed video. It’s very important to know that you have to follow one important rule and that is: never shrink the videos any smaller than half of the original raw file, because for certain the quality will be worse.
  7.  Once you done that, go to the upper side of the app and click “Start” and the application will start compressing the video file.

Convert to FLV format


The FLV format is the de facto standard for online videos which is commonly used by big websites, like YouTube and Hulu. The big advantage for this kind of format is that it can halve the size of a regular video. In order to make this happen, just follow the next simple step-by-step guide:

  1. We suggest using a free application which is called Free Video to Flash Converter that can be downloaded from the DVDVideoSoft official page.
  2. The installation of the application is very simple, just follow the steps and choose where you want to install it. When the installation is complete run the program.
  3. Press on the “Add files” button, browse to your desired video and open it.
  4. Next, pay attention to select the FLV format and not the SWF one. Also, select the destination for the converted video in the “Save to” area.
  5. After, go to the little button with a wand on it and press it to customize the compression settings. To maintain the same quality, select in the “Video bitrate” drop-menu a value that is between 2 MB/s and 4 MB/s and in the “Audio bitrate” choose a value that is around 192 Kb/s. Also, you could drop the 1080p resolution to 720p from the same place, in order to shrink the size of the final video even more.
  6. Now, just press “Convert” and wait until the process is done. You will see that the quality is the same and the size is up to 50% smaller.

Using VirtualDub


VirtualDub is a video capture and video processing application for Windows that operates on AVI movies. It can also be used on Mac OS and Linux by installing and using a special application that permits users to run especially designed apps for Windows, on unix-like operating systems. The application is called Wine and can be downloaded for free from here.

In order to compress your videos without losing quality, read the next guide:

  1. Download and install the application from here. Also, in order to be sure that the application works properly, you need to install K-Lite Codec Mega Pack which can be downloaded from here.
  2. Download and install VirtualDub. Next run the app and open the desired video in it.
  3. Now, go to “Video” and select “Compression”. Also, you can type the CTRL+P combination from your keyboard to do the same thing.
  4. A menu will appear and from its left-side, select “Xvid MPEG-4 Codec” from the video compression list.
  5. Click OK and go to “File” and select “Save as”. Now, VirtualDub will compress the video, but in the same time will maintain the original quality.

Also, you could try other tricks like:

  • Cutting the extra space from the 16:9 videos, if you intend to use for your video a 4:3 aspect. To do this, you can use the movavi or Wondershare Video Editor application.
  • Changing the quality of the video to a lower resolution, because it will save a lot of space on your hard drive. Note that the differences between 1080p and a 720p aren’t so visible and you could do this with just simple steps using a simple converter (Free Video Converter or Online Video Converter which is a completely free and online solution).
  •  Also, trying to convert to other video and other compression formats.

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  1. Dont install K-lite Codec pack, unless you want a bunch of codecs. You can install ffdshow release, possibly the ffdshow-tryouts, just only check the extensions you recognize and or plan to use, and uncheck the rest. However if want to be kind to your video processing environment, you just get the direct xVid vfw codec from the xVid site, the xH.264 VFW ACx codec, and the HUFFYuV codec, you are good.

  2. You need yo update the information for your Avidemux because I have just downloaded it and the left hand column has 4 Boxes NOT 3 the 1st being Video Codec. 2nd is Video Output 3rd is Audio Output and 4th Output Format. My Problem is Video Output Mpeg4 AVC (x264) I assume that is the one you mean. In Audio Output it says select AAC (Faac) However I DON”T have that in the selection list I only have AAC (FCK) or AAC (lav) and in Output Format You say Choose MP4 format I have MP4 muxer and when I play the video I have perfect picture and NO sound at all in Avidemux. How come its all different?