Slideshow + audio under 50mb. possible?
June 12, 2021 3:28 PM   Subscribe

For a project, my bosses want to have a series of video products consisting of slideshows of colour photos + music with spoken words read over them. Each product should be under 50mb. Is this even possible, and if so, what’s best practice for making it happen?
posted by The Last Sockpuppet to Computers & Internet (9 answers total)
It comes down to how many photos, and how much quality/resolution you're willing to give up.

How are you going to present these? Powerpoint? Or when yo say "video products", are these going to be video files?Is there a specific reason they need to be under 50 mb?
posted by jonathanhughes at 3:33 PM on June 12, 2021 [1 favorite]

In addition to what jonathanhughes mentions, length is also going to be a determining factor for filesize. Are these supposed to be a minute long? 10?
posted by juv3nal at 3:44 PM on June 12, 2021 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Between 30-90 seconds in length, they are supposed to be mp4s, we can degrade the quality of the photos and pick photos that look good degraded that way, and the above as well as the file size limit is ex cathedra from a capricious and visionary goddess, I am afraid.
posted by The Last Sockpuppet at 3:57 PM on June 12, 2021

Video size is a factor of many variables, most of which can be tuned to make something fit by giving up quality.
  • Resolution - If you don't need it in full HD (1920x1080), going down to 720p or 480p even can greatly reduce the size of the file.
  • Length - obviously, a longer video is bigger than a shorter one.
  • Codec - some codecs are more efficient than others. Right now H.265/HEVC, AV1 and VP9 are considered the state of the art, though you may be constrained in what codec you can choose depending on what devices/browsers/etc you want the videos to be playable on.
  • Quality - each codec can be configured with various settings like bitrate and overall quality that will affect how much quality is traded for size and/or encoding time. You can encode just about any video down to 50MB by fiddling with the quality settings, but depending on other factors you may end up with a blocky/blurry mess that looks terrible. While there are general rules of thumb for these settings, usually you end up having to experiment with your specific videos to see how things will turn out.

posted by Aleyn at 3:57 PM on June 12, 2021 [3 favorites]

If you're limited to MP4, you'll only be able to use the H.265/HVEC, H.254/AVC, and MPEG-4 Part 2 codecs, so that narrows that parameter down some.
posted by Aleyn at 4:02 PM on June 12, 2021

Best answer: Yes it's possible, I have a video file that's 58 mo on my computer right now, it's 2 minutes 16 seconds long, full hd at that. So for 90 seconds it should be more than fine. I don't know what package you're going to use to create those videos, you can probably export a h264 from that but if you need more fine tuning you can use Shutter encoder. It's a free/donation ware, the UI is not that great but it's pretty simple to use and very powerful. One of its feature that will interest you is that you can set up a file size and it'll figure out the bitrate for video and audio to reach that goal. I'd use H.264 if I were you, H.265 is the future and it's better, but there's a lot of "oldish" devices that will choke a bit with H.265 playback.
posted by SageLeVoid at 4:42 PM on June 12, 2021

If the visionary goddess isn't too technically sharp you could just deliver an mp4 container (file extension) and use a different codec within (unless I'm mistaken).
posted by forthright at 4:58 PM on June 12, 2021

There are many different methods to accomplish this and the "how" will largely depend on your personal preference, how much time you have to learn to edit video, your computer operating system, and if you're limited to free software.

OBS Studio is professional grade software that is free; works on Macs, Windows, and Linux; and doesn't contain ads. You could use OBS to create a screen recording of yourself talking through a slideshow and add the music in afterwards using separate video editing software.

A simple way to do this on Macs: use the built in screen recording software of yourself talking through the slideshow and add the music in afterwards with iMovie.

An easy way to do this on Windows: use PowerPoint to take a screen recording of your entire screen (talking through the PowerPoint) and download the video file afterwards as a separate MP4 file that you can modify with video editing software.
posted by mundo at 5:04 PM on June 12, 2021 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Shutter encoder saved my sanity and whole ass. I owe you a beer, SageLeVoid!
posted by The Last Sockpuppet at 5:16 AM on June 16, 2021

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