Practical and Simple Tips for Compressing Your Footage for Email

Why would you need to know how to compress a video? Well, the reasons may be different. Whether you want to be able to share your home movies or creative projects with your friends, you wouldn't be happy with the hassle of splitting the videos into smaller clips or paying for a subscription to a cloud service to transfer and host large files. In this short guide, we have several practical tips about how to compress your video without sacrificing the quality.

Archiving Software

Uncompressed video files are often large and can take a long time to upload. This is where compression comes in. You can start off with simple options for reducing a video's size like archiving them. You can use archive software like WinRar and Zipeg, and built-in archivers within Windows or Mac. 

Using an archive software is one of the easiest methods to compress a video file. 

If you’re using Windows, you can download a free version of WinRar. If you are a Mac user, Apple OS X comes with a built-in program called Archive Utility. 

After installing the archive software of your choice, right-click on the video file you want to compress and select the option to compress and email it (via the install email software on your computer). 

Your video will be compressed and attached to the message, and all you need to do is enter the recipient's email address and hit send.

Free Video Compressing Software

Sometimes, the archive software is not enough as your video files (even if they are archived) are still too large. Here is what you can try next.

For Windows users, you can use Windows Movie Maker to compress your video. Import the video file to the program, drag the file to your main timeline, and then go to the File tab and choose "Save Movie File". Choose "Other Settings" bubble, select "Video for broadband" and set the bitrate to around 340 Kbps. This is an ideal bitrate for sending via email. Then, complete the saving process.

If you're using iMovie on your Mac, open a new project and import your video into the Clips tab located on the right. Drag the clip onto the main timeline and go to the Share tab on the top menu. Select "QuickTime", and choose "Compress movie for" with the "Email" or "Web Streaming" option, depending on your desired quality. Before clicking "Share", you can see the estimated video size within the dialog box. Save your work and share your compressed video.

Change the Video Output Settings

Aside from the above methods, there are other things you can try when compressing a video for email. 

Reduce the video's resolution, lower the video bitrate, and remove unnecessary audio tracks. You can also consider the file type that you're using, as some file types are smaller than others. You can try MP4 as your export video format, for example.

You can also use free video compressing software like Handbrake or MPEG Streamclip, which can reduce video file size without compromising the quality of the footage.

Another tip is to consider removing any unnecessary footage to reduce the video's length and file size. Trimming the video also helps maintain the video quality while still reducing the file size.

Remember that when you compress a video, you're reducing the quality of the video. So, it's essential to find a balance between file size and quality. These tips and tricks will help you compress your video without sacrificing too much of the video's quality.