Compress that damn avi

I have a new digital camera and when I record movies with it the avi file size is huge, really huge. I zip it and it’s still huge, but at least it can be downloaded if I put it on the net. However, it would be impossible to send it by e-mail. Any ideas about how I can get it small enough to send by e-mail?- it’s 55sec. but over 7mb. :imp:

Or do I just burn a CD and send it home by mail with whatever other boring movies I can get together?

Use a different format, dvi for example. A 20-minute Seinfeld episode is about 40 megs.

So do the math.

A different format - uh, I don’t have any choices - it’s a dig. cam. not a DV cam.

Can I convert avi into dvi

I’m sure you can. Look for such a tool on or open it up in your movie prog and save as. … tg=dl-2001

Best thing for email & for online is to download the Microsoft Windows Media Encoder. Its free (last time i checked). This can convert to .wmv format… depending on how compressed you make it will affect the quality.

As it is a streaming format, people can start viewing on your website before the whole file finishes downloading…

Here’s the link: … layLang=en


I also forgot to mention that all windows machines have the player installed as standard so no need to worry about format and compatibility. Well unless you select to use a new codec.

Man, my com is pathetic. I am using a TravelMate 515T that is using WIN 98, so I can’t use Media encoder.

Yes, I can run Win 2000 on my notebook but it doesn’t work well with our network, so I have to keep 98. Damn it.

I think, after searching the net for cheap or free options, collecting all the files and burning a CD may be the best option. Perhaps not the most convenient but what else is there?

Yes and then you’ll be able to take a much longer video. At 55 seconds it can only be your last sexual encounter. And who wants to see that?

Get VirtualDub (free, open source, very cool).

Install a compression codec - you probably already have the Microsoft ones, I would also suggest DivX or Xvid. Anyone who wants to play your movie will need the same codec installed. You should also install an MP3 codec. Here Radium is a good choice.

Open VirtualDub. Open your movie. Go to Video:Compression. Select DivX (or Xvid). Go to Audio: Compression. Select MP3 96Kbits/s 44100 kHz stereo. Then go to File: Save AVI. Choose a file name and wait. Compression on a modern computer takes a little longer than the original playing time of the video. … ualdub.htm is a good beginners guide. is an easy place to download what you need. It also has lots of tutorials.

Hope this helps.

Thanks for your advice bobdobba, I found it on google but didn’t try it, but on your recommendation I think I just may.

If don’t want people to have to install strange unstandard programs, you can turn it into a mpeg that will play on anything with an encoder from You can even make a VCD if you set the the right format. Windows Media would be a good second choice, but there are compatabilty issues if they have an older player

I’ve used VirtualDub for a while and agree it is good. However, I’ve found when splitting large AVI files (before making a VCD), the audio and video are often out of sync. You can correct this, but it is tedious and even after it is fixed, it is seldom synchronised throughout.

Soddom: It helps to recompress the audio before splitting it. Set video to direct stream copy and audio to full reprocess. Generally speaking VirtualDub doesn’t like audio it didn’t create.

It’s not an issue for a 55 second movie though.

Try QuickTime 6, based on MPEG-4 (standards based). MS will probably loose out on its proprietary WMA format:

Players exist for both Windows and Mac, although Windows users have to do the free download … but it’s not like its an exotic format. It’s always been the professional standard.

It will just work and Windows and Mac users will be able to play it, and you’ll know that it is encoded in a standard format that will play in most other players in the future, not just Microsoft Media Player.

Would you record your music in Microsoft’s proprietary format. Yes, they’d like you to. They hate MP3 bcause they can’t control it. But you stick with MP3. Why would you record your video with their propreitary codec then?

QuickTime Pro 6 is only 30 bucks.

This is what I usually do:

  1. Convert AVI to smaller movie file type.
  2. I use zip to compress the movie file and split it into 2MB or even smaller.
  3. Send them, one email, one attachment.
  4. Tell them to use zip to decompress the file into 1 big file.

Although sending them in an email is ok, it would be better to post them on web or ftp server.
It is easier to download files by smaller chunks than one big file. You don’t have to start all over again (almost 99% download and ppfffttt) if you get disconnected or power blackout!
Consider the movie file type you want to convert it to. High compression and excellent quality is the holy grail. Right now, pick one and go.
Keep in mind the other end, ppl getting your file. You can go with popular movie file types so they don’t have to scratch their head when they can’t open you movie file.
If they are tech savvy, then find the best/fastest movie file you want to use.

Or you could just write them a letter.

I use Virtual Dub and TMPGenc. From what I gather, they are the best two encoders and I use them both for converting Divx formatted movies so that I can burn them to CD. It’s strange but you can do it woth just one fo these programs, but to get the best results you need both. But if you’re just converting an avi to an MPEG, I think TMPGenc would be all you need. It’s pretty easy to use. You just have to download the codecs. Get DivX and Xvid. You don’t have to do anything with these, other than install them. I think one is free off the internet and the other you’ll have to download off something like


And you might want to try 7-Zip ( ). It’s the best zip program I’ve seen. A couple of days ago I zipped a 30MB image file down to 18MB. Not too shabby. And of course it’s FREE. :smiley:

You can still download version 7.1 (link below), this supports Win98. Also i think this is a good option because you mentioned 55 seconds and digital camera. My guess is you are using a still camera which can record video ? what is the resolution ? most have pretty low resolution. Also if you can only record 55 secs due to the memory limitation again copying to CD seems a waste.

Although we all hate MS, the thing is 99% of people are not tech savvy, it means things like downloading players, installing extra codes, etc. limit the number of people that will ultimately see/download the video. If attaching to an email people will also be able to view simply by double-clicking. If they need a new codec windoze downloads/installs it automatically. … 7856f9ddc3

Thanks guys, you all are legends.

I have got things sorted out at this end but the hickups continue in New Zealand. Get that sheep away from the computer I say. What takes 2 minutes to download on my computer takes 15 mins on my brothers’ in NZ. Yeesh! Why can’t they get DSL? State of the art computers but connections that put them back on the farm with party line telephone calls. Yeee haaaaaw!

Wacking a whole lot of short AVI films together onto one CD doesn’t seem like a bad idea, even the sheep would be able to handle that.

Camera - I have an Epson L-300 still digital camera.