LaunchPad > How can I convert or compress a video?

Document created by Digital Support on Jan 5, 2018Last modified by Digital Support on Apr 19, 2018
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If you need to convert a video to a compatible format, or you need to reduce the video's file size so you can upload, there are instructions below for both Windows and Mac. (Note: Although we are referencing these third-party programs as tools that should work for you, we cannot provide any support for these products.)

Tip: You can save the hassle of compressing your files by recording at standard definition (360p or 480p) on your device.

How to Convert a Video on Windows Using Shotcut

  1. Download Shotcut.
  2.  Make sure to download either 64-bit Windows installer or 32-bit Windows installer depending on your operating system. These are located under the Current Version heading. (Do not click the big green button that says Start Download because that is an ad for another program.)
  3. Run the .exe file and install the program.
  4. Open Shotcut after it has installed.
  5. Click the Open File button, navigate to your video, select the file, and click Open.
  6. Click the Export button, and change the settings as follows: 

Resolution 720 x 480, Aspect Ratio 16:9, Frames/sec 24, Scan mode Progressive, Field order Bottom field first, Deinterlacer YADIF - temporal + spatial (best), Interpolation Bilinear (good), Parallel processing checked.
  1. Click Export File.
  2. Choose where you would like to save the new file (you should save as a new file and not overwrite the old one).
  3. A menu will open on the right-side of the program that says Jobs. Wait for the file to say Done.
  4. Close the program and upload your newly converted file.

How to convert a video in Windows Movie Maker

Microsoft has discontinued support for MovieMaker, but if you still have it on your computer, follow the steps below.
  1. Open Windows Movie Maker.
  2. Click the Add Videos and Photos button and select your video file.
  3. Next, click the down-arrow part of the Save Movie button at the top right, so that you see a list of save format options.
  4. At the bottom of that list, choose Create custom setting... and enter the following settings:
Setting <New>, Name is blank, Width 720, Height 480, Bit rate 596, Frame rate 24, Audio format 96 kbps, 48 kHz, stereo.
  1. Click Save and then Save again to preserve your settings for future files, then click Close.
  2. Now click the down arrow on the Save Movie button again. Select the settings that you just created. Name your file, choose .mp4 or .wmv as the file type and click Save. Your new video file is now compressed and ready to go in the format you've selected.

How to Convert a Video in QuickTime Player for Mac

QuickTime is included with Apple OSX Mountain Lion. Run software updates on your Mac if you have a previous software version that does not include QuickTime. You can download alternatives to QuickTime Player on CNET.
  1. Double-click your movie file and it should open in QuickTime Player. (If not, open QuickTime Player and choose File > Open File from the menu.)
  2. Choose File > Export… from the menu.
  3. Choose the iPod Touch & iPhone 3GS option.

  1. Name your file, choose a location to save it, and click Save. Your new video file is ready to go in MOV format.

Compressing a Video on iOS

Starting with iOS 8, when you select a video for upload to a website in your mobile browser, your device will automatically compress the video for you prior to upload.

Compressing a Video on Android

If your video is too large or you'd like to compress it for faster upload, your best option is to transfer the video file to your computer and use one of the programs referenced above.

Compressing a Video using Handbrake

Visit the Handbrake website for more info and download links.

Compressing a Video using Freemake Video Converter

Visit the Freemake website for more info and download links. View this YouTube tutorial for more info on how to install and use Freemake (students only need to watch from 0:35 - 2:42 and 5:49 - 7:40).