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Old 19 Jan 2009, 01:15 AM   #1
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Default Making highly compressed wmv files

Hello All!

I am a bit new to all of this, but I've learned quite a bit already. I can convert videos back and forth with no real problem with a couple of video editors and a couple of conversion programs I have.

One thing I am having some trouble with is getting decent quality wmv files at 640 by 480 at relatively small file sizes. I know it can be done, as various people send me such videos via email. I have seen, for example a 3 minute and 16 second 640 by 480 video that looks quite good with a file size a bit over 5 megabytes. I can't get anything like that much under 20 megs with any tool I have. I understand just enough to know that what I need is a flexible codec, and I need to know how to install it in something I have, or something I need to obtain.

The videos I want to compress are ones I take myself of various social events and such. I already have Flash figured out, so I can do streaming video on my websites, but for people with very slow connections I'd like to offer the alternative of a link to a reasonably small file that they can download and play.

What tools do I need, and what do I need to learn, and where can I learn it?

Any help with this would be much appreciated.

Thanks!

Dave Geyer
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Old 21 Jan 2009, 10:26 AM   #2
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Hi Dave,

Have you tried "Windows Movie Maker" it has a feature that you can select your Output size ... and it should be pretty glitch-free!

BTW, what OS are your running?

G!
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Old 22 Jan 2009, 01:05 PM   #3
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Gonwk,

Thank you for responding and for the suggestion. Yes, I did try WMM, and looked into the feature that you mention. Unfortunately, as you set smaller file sizes, the resolution of the output also shrinks at specific break points. By the time I got down to 5 or 6 megapixels, WMM was going to output a 240 by 180, or some such numbers - my memory is going fast. At any rate, it wasn't 640 by 480 anymore, or even close to it. It makes sense that it works that way if the efficiency of the compression algorythm is a constant.

Trouble is, I've seen at least two examples that I know of (since I started paying attention) that had full VGA resolution, two to over three minute duration, good quality, and file sizes under 6 mp, so I know it can be done. Unfortunately, the examples I cite came to me via those ever present mass emails from friends, forwarded Lord only knows how many times, and I have no way of knowing who originally created them or how!!!

I currently have WMM, Pinnacle, and Cyberlink's Power Director, and I have tried I think all the codecs and permutations that come with them. I also have Blaze and IMToo converters - no help there either.

So, it remains a mystery to me.
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Old 22 Jan 2009, 06:40 PM   #4
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Quote:
By the time I got down to 5 or 6 megapixels
Quote:
and file sizes under 6 mp
Huh ? You surely meant megabytes and MB , right ?

Quote:
I have seen, for example a 3 minute and 16 second 640 by 480 video that looks quite good with a file size a bit over 5 megabytes.
Can you please post more info about this file using Mediainfo ?


Also,you might wish to have a look here:http://forum.videohelp.com/topic244268.html
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Last edited by paglamon; 22 Jan 2009 at 06:49 PM
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Old 26 Jan 2009, 06:04 AM   #5
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Paglamon,

Thank you thank you thank you! You have steered me in the right direction. I can follow the trail of breadcrumbs from here.

Here is the output from mediainfo for the file I described. The secret is
Photo Story 3, and also the Windows Media 9 codecs, which I guess
I will have to learn to configure and use.

Thank you again - very helpful

General
Complete name : C:\_Video\polanskivideo.wmv
Format : Windows Media
File size : 5.19 MiB
Duration : 3mn 16s
Overall bit rate mode : Variable
Overall bit rate : 222 Kbps
Maximum Overall bit rate : 372 Kbps
Publisher : Photo Story 3 for Windows
Genre : Photo Story
Encoded date : UTC 2008-11-16 23:13:14.218
Writing application : Photo Story 3 for Windows 3.0.1115.0
Cover : Y

Video
ID : 2
Format : WVP2
Codec ID : WVP2
Description of the codec : Windows Media Video 9.1 Image
Duration : 3mn 16s
Bit rate mode : Variable
Bit rate : 10.4 Kbps
Width : 640 pixels
Height : 480 pixels
Display aspect ratio : 4/3
Frame rate : 30.000 fps
Resolution : 24 bits
Bits/(Pixel*Frame) : 0.001
Language : en-us

Audio
ID : 1
Format : WMA2
Format profile : L1
Codec ID : 161
Codec ID/Info : Windows Media Audio 2
Description of the codec : Windows Media Audio 9.2 - VBR Quality 75, 44 kHz, stereo 1-pass VBR
Duration : 3mn 16s
Bit rate mode : Variable
Bit rate : 125 Kbps
Channel(s) : 2 channels
Sampling rate : 44.1 KHz
Resolution : 16 bits
Language : en-us
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Old 26 Jan 2009, 03:56 PM   #6
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Well, Photo Story seems to be a slideshow maker...creating a video file from still images. Is the video(you posted mediainfo about) made from still photos ?
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Old 29 Jan 2009, 01:10 AM   #7
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Yes, it was. However, there is another video of a live performance that had similarly impressive performance for its size.

Photo Story 3, by the way, is a wonderful piece of freeware from Microsoft if you want to make a video from stills. It is much more powerful than the similar capabilities built into video editors. The bad news is that they didn't carry it forward to Vista, so it will only work on XP or earlier.

I think that the real piece of information from mediainfo is that the codec is on the Windows Media 9.1 family. I need to learn how to use their codec manager and get these codecs available to my editing software. Now, at least, I know where to begin.
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Old 29 Jan 2009, 01:46 AM   #8
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Quote:
However, there is another video of a live performance that had similarly impressive performance for its size.
Mediainfo ?
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Old 4 Feb 2009, 11:58 AM   #9
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Sorry. You already gave me the answer (Windows Media Encoder), so I stopped looking. Thank you very much!
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