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Compressing QuickTime Files

written by: Shane Burley•edited by: Rhonda Callow•updated: 4/21/2011

Learn about compressing large QuickTime files into smaller, and more manageable video files.

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    Quicktime Logo, Depending on the purpose of your final movie files you may have to get them small enough for Internet upload or other kinds of distribution. Though programs like Apple’s Compressor do a great job of compressing the video and audio separately, you may need to just compress a QuickTime file so it remains an intact video file. Here is a look at how to compress a QuickTime file internally so you do not have to use an outside program.

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    Using QuickTime

    To compress your QuickTime file, you want to change it from its current QuickTime format to an MPEG-4 format, which is much smaller and has more versatility. Open the movie then go to File in the QuickTime task bar and select Export. When an export menu comes up give it the correct title then go to the export options and select Movie to MPEG-4. Keep the Use section on Default Settings. Just hit save and the export in the MPEG-4 format will begin. This format should be higher quality than other types of compressed files.

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    MPEG Streamclip

    If you are running an Apple machine with the MPEG Streamclip application, this may be your best bet. Open the file in that program and go to File in the task bar and select Export to MPEG-4. From here you can set the exact resolution quality you would like, ranging from 1 to 100 percent. This allows you to determine what quality and size you want the final compressed movie to be in. Here you can also decide how large the image size should be, which also relates to the final bit size of the movie file as well as its resolution. Beyond those you have very detailed options about the compression, including whether or not Interlaced Scaling or any form of image cropping will be used. From MPEG Streamclip you can also export as other types of smaller files, including DV and AVI files.

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    A Smaller File

    Now that you have done this, transferring and uploading the file should run a lot smoother. Depending on how large your file is you should not Compressor Logo, have to do any more compressing, but if you are working with a lengthy feature project you may have to engage in more complete and advanced compression processes. If you want to do a more dramatic compression, or one for something like DVD authoring, you can go ahead and use something like Apple Compressor. This comes along with the Final Cut Studio, but if you are going to be doing a large amount of video compression and conversion you are going to need a full service post-production program like this.

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    Source: author's own experience.

    Photos: Both from, product logos.