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How can I reduce the size of my files?

If you find you're using more bandwidth than you expect or your viewers are struggling to watch your videos, then it may be a good idea to reduce the size of your files.

Reducing file sizes using the vzaar encoder

The bitrate of the video is directly proportional to the size of the file. On the vzaar uploader or on your Global Settings page you can decide what bitrate to set your videos to be encoded.


Note that if you have already uploaded a video to vzaar you can only change its bitrate by re-uploading and encoding the video at this different bitrate. Changing the bitrate of your videos on the Global Settings page will only effect the videos that you upload to vzaar in the future.

If you wish to re-upload and encode a video but do not want to go through the process of re-embedding the video take a look at our handy replace feature.

Another factor in the equation is the video resolution. If you select a smaller video resolution this should also reduce the video size. On the vzaar uploader (and on the Global Settings page) we have several preset resolutions and bitrates, but you can also manually enter in the number of pixels that you want the video width to be in the "___ pixels wide" box shown above. The height of the video is then calculated automatically, preserving the aspect ratio of the video.

The video quality setting on the Global Settings page can also be set to standard, which will update the video preset settings (Small, Medium, Large, etc.) to have the same resolution but with a smaller bitrate. Switch the audio quality setting to standard if it is isn't already, as this will also reduce the output file size.

You can read more about the video and audio settings here.

Quick tip

When choosing the bitrate setting on the vzaar encoder try to keep it approximately the same size or smaller than the bitrate of your original source video. Increasing the bitrate to a higher value than that of the original will increase the size of the file but will not increase the quality of the video.

The same goes for the video resolution. Try not to choose a larger resolution on the vzaar encoder than that of the video source file.

If you do not know how to find out the original bitrate of your source file please follow these instructions:

On a Windows PC, you can find your video bitrate by right-clicking the file, selecting "Properties" and then clicking the "Details" tab. If you are using Mac OS X the bitrate of a video can be found by right-clicking the file and selecting "Get Info".

Reducing file sizes before using vzaar

You may wish to reduce the file size of your video before uploading the video to vzaar. If this is the case and you are not able to reduce the length of the video, the best thing to do is to encode the video at a lower bitrate. This will also reduce the quality of the video, so it is best to test different bitrates to get the right balance between quality and video size.

Similarly, reducing the video resolution on your video software can also help to reduce the size of the file.

It is important to remember that, with online video streaming, even though a video may have a large bitrate this does not necessarily mean that a viewer's experience is better. Very large files also take longer to load, so the Internet connection of your audience is an important factor to consider.