How to reduce the filesize of iMovie exports.
March 31, 2009 10:51 AM   Subscribe

What bit rate should I store (for general viewing) my iMovie videos at?

I shoot home movies on a Flip Mino HD. I'm no Copolla (as the hardware would suggest) but I enjoy editing my movies together on iMovie, watching them back on my Mac and sharing with friends on YouTube.

The Flip Mino HD is 1280x720 so I export using the Share -> Export using QuickTime option in iMovie. I have been using H.264, with the resolution and frame set to match the source material. Importantly I left the Data Rate set to Automatic and the Compressor Quality set to best.

The results are good, but big. A less than 4 minute clip is resulting in a 681MB MOV file. Now I crunched it down in Handbrake so that I could upload it to YouTube more easily. I set it to restrict the file size to about 10% of the original size (70MB) which equates to a bit rate of something like 2380kbps. I would say there is very little difference in quality between this MP4 file and the original MOV.

I'm happy to save the massive MOVs to DVD or somewhere for archiving, but is there a rule I can use to determine what data rate to export at for general viewing?
posted by Glum to Technology (2 answers total)
It's pretty much personal preference. Most encodes of movies I watch are around 1500kbps, but for personal stuff I go way higher. Storage is getting cheaper and cheaper.
posted by wongcorgi at 11:56 AM on March 31, 2009

Which Version of iMovie? The new version (09) has an optimized size for youtube.

But just in case... youtube's support for HD settings - but no suggestion on bitrate...

An article from Squidoo on youtube settings.
posted by filmgeek at 8:45 PM on March 31, 2009

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