My digital camera stole my hard drive space!
May 17, 2010 12:34 PM   Subscribe

How can I lower the size of a batch of huge videos that my camera took, while minimizing loss of quality?

Over the weekend, I took a lot of HD video at a music festival, using a Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS3 camera. Apparently, I recorded in the highest possible resolution, so that a 3 and a half minute clip is half a gig in size!

I have several dozen such clips, and would like some way to do a batch convert to a more reasonable size, while minimizing quality loss.

Does anyone have any recommendations for batch video recoding software, preferably free (but I'll buy it if I have to, of course)?

I'm running Windows 7.
posted by newfers to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Handbrake will batch/queue videos for processing iirc.
posted by ish__ at 12:42 PM on May 17, 2010

x264 --crf 20 --tune film --preset slow
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 12:43 PM on May 17, 2010 [1 favorite]

handbrake may not take the native files, but it is an excellent and free solution. I'd try that first.

if they need to be converted to mp4 first (and they may very well need to be), my first thought on the free end is VLC, which will re-encode the streams to mp4. I don't know if there's a batch option for convert, but it'll work even if you must do every file individually.
posted by Mayor Curley at 12:53 PM on May 17, 2010

Don't re-encode twice just to be able to use Handbrake. There's no reason to do that.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 12:54 PM on May 17, 2010 [1 favorite]

If Handbrake won't do it in one operation, Auto Gordian Knot should be able to.
posted by Dipsomaniac at 1:00 PM on May 17, 2010

AutoGK is beyond outdated and uses the broken VFW framework which doesn't handle B-frames correctly. Additionally, MPEG-4 ASP like XviD or DivX is inherently less efficient than MPEG-4 AVC like x264; x264 is currently the most efficient lossy video compression available. For a given filesize, x264 will beat anything else in terms of visual quality.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 1:08 PM on May 17, 2010

Hmmm...I use VLC as my default player, yet didn't know that it did re-encoding. Gonna take a look right now.
posted by newfers at 1:26 PM on May 17, 2010

For this sort of task, I'm a big fan of Any Video Converter. It has an clean and intuitive UI, handles batch conversions brilliantly, and is free.
posted by prinado at 1:35 PM on May 17, 2010

Any Video Converter, like the hundreds of other ffmpeg ripoffs made by shady companies, violates the GPL and does not use the most sensible settings when using ffmpeg/mencoder to transcode. I point this out because OP will take an efficiency hit by using it and also because programs of that sort - like SUPER, Mediacoder, etc. - often use other parts of other programs incorrectly and tend to trigger Windows' DEP, etc.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 1:39 PM on May 17, 2010

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