How to Compress a Video File

How to compress a video file on any device

When you want a video-to-text transcription as quickly as possible, then it's a great idea to compress your video files first. Compressing your video files reduces both bandwidth usage and upload time, speeding up the process so that your transcription is with you in no time at all.

Compressing a video is also useful if you want to send your video file via email or upload it to Facebook or Instagram. Not only does it reduce upload time, it means less buffering and a reduced download time for recipients and viewers too!

In this guide we'll walk you through the easiest ways to compress a video file for free on any device, whether you're a Mac or iPhone user or have a Windows or Android device.

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Why do you need to compress a video before transcribing it?

With Transcribe, you can upload an array of file types, including M4V, MP4, MOV and AVI. The maximum file size is 2GB, and the maximum length is 8 hours, but the smaller your video file is, the quicker it'll upload.

Reducing the size of your video file will save you time and guarantee a faster transcription, meaning you can get on with the next steps, whether that's creating subtitles, sharing meeting minutes or organising your lecture notes.

How to compress a video file on Mac

There are a variety of ways to reduce the size of a video file on a Mac, but the easiest has to be with QuickTime Player. As a Mac user, you'll find that QuickTime Player comes pre-installed on your device, and you can use it to compress your video files in two quick and simple steps:

1. Go to 'File' > 'Open File' and select the video you want to compress.

2. Go to 'File' > 'Export As' and select your preferred resolution. Try 1080p or lower for a significantly reduced file size.

It's that simple!

NOTE: You could also choose to download audio only and then transcribe the audio file instead.

How to compress a video file on an iPhone

To compress a video file on your iPhone, you'll need to download a third party app. There are plenty to choose from, but one of the most popular is Video Compress. It's a free app that allows you to compress your videos without affecting quality.

Once you've downloaded and launched the app, here's what to do:

1. Choose the video you want to compress from your library.

2. Click 'Choose Preset' and choose your preferred resolution.

3. Use the slider to adjust bitrate if required.

4. Preview your file (you can watch both the original and the compressed version to compare the two).

5. Go back to the main interface and click 'Continue'. The compressed video will automatically be saved in your photo library.

6. Click 'Finish', or opt to 'Delete Originals' to free up storage space on your iPhone if you no longer need the higher resolution version.

How to compress a video file on Android

Just like on an iPhone, you'll need to download a third party app to compress a video file on your Android device. One of the highest rated is Video Compressor & Converter - a free app that retains the quality of your videos as it reduces the size.

Once you've downloaded and launched the app, here's how it works:

1. The app gives you multiple tools to choose from, but to compress a video file, choose 'Video Compressor'.

2. Select the video you want to compress from your media gallery.

3. On the next screen, you can adjust a range of settings, including the file format, the file size and the resolution.

4. Tap the 'Compress' button at the bottom of the screen, then enter a file name and click 'Start'.

5. Once the video compression process is complete, you can save the file to your gallery or share it via different apps.

How to compress a video file on Windows

Windows 10 and 11 come with an app called Video Editor (formerly Movie Maker), which is a useful tool for compressing videos quickly and easily on your Windows device. Here's what you need to do:

1. Open your video file in Video Editor.

2. Select 'Finish Video' or 'Export' in the top-right corner.

3. Choose an option from the 'Video Quality' dropdown menu to compress your video.

4. Click 'Export' and you're good to go!

Compressing video with an online editor

Websites for editing or converting video files will almost always offer compression options too as part of the export process. So if you'd rather compress your files online than via an app then there are plenty of free websites to choose from, and they'll work on any device! Here are just a few:

As a rule, you'll just need to upload your video, click a button to export or finish, and then choose your desired format, file size and/or resolution.

No matter which method you choose for compressing your video file, once it's ready, simply upload it to Transcribe and your transcription will be with you in a matter of minutes!

Download the Transcribe app or launch the online editor to get started.

Written By Katie Garrett

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From YouTube videos and social media posts to conference calls and lectures, learn how to transcribe video with our helpful step-by-step guide.

11 May 2022 #6