I received 4 .mov files from a client that they want on their mobile website via SlideShowPro. Each original file was between 200 and 400 mb. I've gotten each one down to about 30 mb using transmageddon as described here, but that's still really big for a mobile connection.

Is there any way to shrink them even further? Maybe it's the settings; I used Output Format = MPEG4, Audio = AAC, Video = H264 (which is what is suggested by SlideShowPro.)

6 Answers 6



H264 is a high quality video codec but (as you refer), it makes "heavy" size video files.

I am not sure if your question is related to a GUI or Command Line task. But, assumming that you are using "Transmaggedon" I will write this considering the options for GUI applications.

In my case, I prefer the usage of "Mobile Media Converter" which works pretty fine in 32bit systems (both Ubuntu and MS based systems). And the creators have already released a 64 bit version nowadays.

What you wish is to make smaller size video files. Which can be done by changing the "video bit rate", which will give you the best quality, according to the video bit rate you request. In example: a 40MB video file (uncompressed, AVI) will fit in a 5MB video file (any codec) if you use a 800kbps video bit rate. But -of course- it may harm the quality.

I strongly suggest you to perform some testing using the Mobile Media Converter, which can be reached (.deb) by clicking the next link:


After installing, just drop any video files (preferably small for the test) into the drag and drop area, then open the Advanced options by clicking a small arrow that is placed at the very right of the window, below the "browse" button. "[ ... ]"

Next, click in "Advanced" and you will have all the options that you need in order to transcode your video and make small and good quality transcodification.

Remember: The higher video bit rate is, you will have better quality but the file size will become "heavier".

BTW: You can also transcode videos by using a non linear editing system, such as "Kdenlive" (http://www.kdenlive.org/) or "Openshot" (http://www.openshotvideo.com/) and many more. A non linear editing system will also be useful to edit the video (trim, crop, add text and more).

Good luck!

Here is a screenshot for you to see a few options of Mobile Media Converter in action.

enter image description here

  • Thanks for the very detailed answer. I'll give it a go and see if I can make it work.
    – EmmyS
    Commented Feb 9, 2011 at 23:53
  • @EmmyS Standard H.264 profiles and levels are as good as it gets for wide deployment regarding quality and compatibility. The x264 encoder that most free video programs use does a pretty good job at that. x264 also supports the so called 10-Bit mode that can further reduce bitrate at the same quality, but as with most bitrate saving features, not all decoders in various devices support them. Thus only the options to reduce resolution and/or quality remain.
    – LiveWireBT
    Commented Sep 22, 2013 at 20:22
  • Adjusting the audio bitrate can also have an impact (minimal, true)
    – Elder Geek
    Commented Nov 17, 2015 at 19:24

[EDIT] Comments saying : As of 2017, because of new firefox extension system, this solution is not working anymore [EDIT]

The best way to compress video I found so far is Firefogg.

  • This is a firefox plugin (so it's multi-platform tool as is firefox)
  • It will compress to WebM format (open Source - Web compatible codec)
  • It offers multiple encoding sizes (really convenient to come up with best compression ratio)
  • REALLY efficient compression ratio (at least as much as H264)
  • It's super easy to use and 100% offline

enter image description here

  • Does it work offline? Or does it require the entire video to be uploaded first?
    – reubenjohn
    Commented Oct 13, 2016 at 15:33
  • 1
    @reubenjohn 100% offline
    – SrvfUser
    Commented Oct 13, 2016 at 15:37
  • as of 2017 with newer firefox versions dont support this extension
    – Alex Jones
    Commented May 1, 2017 at 11:00
  • This is no longer working since Firefox moved to new extension framework. Commented Jun 22, 2017 at 15:31

My ultimate recommendation is to use HandBrak. It is cross platform, very much handy and stable. You can do anything with it (resizing, compressing,...)


  • 1
    This does not provide an answer to the question. To critique or request clarification from an author, leave a comment below their post. - From Review
    – Fabby
    Commented Feb 28, 2016 at 20:43
  • 1
    You may claim it is not the desired or best answer for him. But you cannot say it is not an answer for the question. Since I use this app for getting a good compression for my videos for years. Commented Feb 29, 2016 at 7:09
  • 2
    FYI: I did not downvote, but left a message informing you of a delete vote. Please read this on how to write a good answer.
    – Fabby
    Commented Feb 29, 2016 at 8:46
  • Doesn't matter to me if you downvoted or not. Thank you for sharing your comment on my answer. More thanks for the link provided. I will go through it and will try to give better answer in future. Hoping to find the answer to my question in it too. Commented Feb 29, 2016 at 8:56

From a video encoding point of view:

  1. Remove as much unwanted noise as possible trough filtering. Hobbyists wrote a lot of AviSynth filters for different kinds of material years ago. Unfortunately AviSynth is a bit difficult to setup and handle on it's target platform Windows, running Linux makes it even a bit more difficult.

    • Update: A rewrite of AviSynth that runs natively on Linux is now available named VapourSynth. Most of the filters have already been ported and improved or replaced with better alternatives.
  2. Choose a reasonable video resolution and quality level for the target device (even if there are devices with 5 inch 1080p displays out there, it's not necessary to encode with bluray settings or bluray like quality settings) or let the user decide (see YouTube).

  3. Use as less bitrate as possible (e.g. "make your videos starve bitrate") while maintaining the desired quality (modern video encoders support zones, so that you can control the bitrate and quality for manually specified scenes).

You may be asking: Is there a program that will automagically do these things for me?

Well, a program could use a certain set well defined defaults and run algorithms on the results to compute the signal to noise ratio and try to apply a lot of proven methods for the given material, but there is a certain kind of craftsmanship that a program cannot do (today). I don't know if such programs currently exist.

All in all: Video encoding can be quite difficult if you go to deep, because you want to achieve a certain result.

Some folks at video.stackexchange.com may be more of help to you with video related problem like filtering out certain artifacts.


I had same problem with the one of my video that i have recorded with digicam ,, it was more than 400 mb ...

I used winff which can be downloaded very easily from ubuntu software center. it convert my video from 400 mb to only 30 mb. but i notice slight quality loss tough,,,

  • 3
    winff is just a frontend for ffmpeg - might help to say which settings/presets you used Commented May 2, 2013 at 15:31

Handbrake is easiest. Choose the vid for source, then click on "Android" or "iPod" in the preset lists at right side of screen [this changes the geometry, resulting in smaller file for the small phone screen]. Click "Start" on menu.

Choosing "iPod", got a 38mb file reduced to 10mb. good for phone.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .