As technology evolves, so does our ability to share information. Internet connections are faster and more reliable than ever, but video files are still large compared to audio files or images. Large files can be the cause of slow upload/download speeds. Because of this, compression is an important part of distributing your videos over the internet. This post shows you five ways to reduce video size for faster loading times.
Video Compression Jargon Explained
This subject of compression can be complicated. For most people, the terms related to compression are confusing. But you don’t need a degree in physics to understand enough to edit video like a pro. Below I will present some broad definitions of some important terms.
Compression makes a file smaller. Smaller files equal faster download/upload speeds. There are two categories of compression:
- Losseless – no loss in quality from the original file. Even if there is a loss of information, there is no noticeable difference in quality to the viewer.
- Lossy – a loss in quality in order to achieve a smaller file size. A large amount of information is lost to reduce video file size.
Video encoding is the process of formatting the file for output. All the compression happens during encoding. You can also add filters, subtitles, chapters, and other meta information to the file through encoding.
This is the process of changing one form of digital encoding to another. This typically involves lossy compression. For example, you start with an H.264 file and convert it to MPEG4. When you are preparing video for the web, you will most likely be transcoding the file.
Codec stands for compression/decompression. A codec is a software tool used to compress or decompress a video. Codecs use different compression algorithms to encode files. The codecs used to compress the video file will determine the ratio of quality to file size. There are thousands of different codecs in circulation, many of which are patent protected.
The resolution describes the number of horizontal lines your video file has in each frame. It is displayed in width by height. The smaller the resolution, the smaller your file size. So a resolution of 1366×768 means that there are 768 horizontal lines, each 1366 pixels wide. Below are some common display resolutions for digital devices. The lower the display resolution, the lower the file size.
Common Screen Resolutions: 1920×1080, 1366×768, 1280×1024, 1280×800, and 1024×768.
By Brenda Barron
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