How to Reduce the Size of an AVI File Without Losing Quality

by Elyse James

While AVI files are very common video formats, they are not easily shared or distributed because of their enormous file size. No matter what you do, reducing the file size will result in a lower quality file. However, there are ways of reducing the amount of quality lost when you compress your video files. To reduce the size of an AVI file you will need to use video encoding software.

Open your media encoding program. There are many options for media encoders and many of them come as part of software bundles. Adobe Premiere Pro and Final Cut Pro are two of the most popular encoding programs for PC and Mac computers, respectively.

Add the AVI file you wish to compress by selecting "File" and then choosing to add it to the encoding queue.

Set the format for the queued file. If you exported the file directly from the timeline it was created in, you will be prompted to choose settings upon export. Otherwise, you will have to create your file settings manually.

Change the frame width and height to something smaller than the original file. Changing the size of the video will make the video file size marginally smaller. Make sure the constrain proportions link is selected beside the width and height; otherwise, your video will be distorted.

Change the frame rate so that the rate is smaller than the original file. Adjusting the frame rate can make your file size up to 300 percent smaller. You might have to play around with this setting because not all videos can be set to the smallest frame rates. Also be careful not to set the value too low or the playback will not be very smooth.

Alter the key frame distance, which could be located under an advanced settings tab since it is not a commonly used setting. Enter in a higher number than what appears. Doing so will store fewer frames and reduce the file size.

Choose "OK" and then in the main screen of the encoder, start the queue to convert your video to the new settings. Your output file will be marginally smaller than the original.

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About the Author

Elyse James began writing professionally in 2006 after deciding to pursue a career in journalism. She has written for "The Algonquin Times" as a general assignment reporter and published blogs and articles on Webcitybeat. James holds a Bachelor of Journalism from the University of Ottawa.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera A silver digital video camera - close up image by Werg from Fotolia.com