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Compressing Video Recordings with Handbrake

Before uploading a video recording to a server such as Google Drive or Pearson ePortfolio the recording should be compressed with a conversion tool such as HandBrake, which can reduce the original file size by a substantial 95% yet maintain excellent quality. Uncompressed recordings can take a long time to upload and will quickly use up server storage quota.
Students who would like to compress the video in the Computer Center may use the Macintoshes in the Multimedia Resource Lab. Choose Apple menu > Multimedia > HandBrake to start the application in that lab. You will of course want to copy your compressed video to a CD or DVD for archiving. Secondly, make sure that your video folder is deleted before logging off that computer.
  • It is recommended that you copy the source video to a named folder such as Mark's Videos. 
  • After installing HandBrake on your computer start the application.
  • Click the Source button in the top left menu bar and browse for and open your original uncompressed video from the Mark's Videos folder. The video will have a name something like IMG_010.MOV or VID0063.MP4. 
  • To the right of Destination click the Browse button and locate the Mark's Videos folder. 
  • You will need to rename the new video so it will not overwrite the original. Provide a descriptive name such as teaching_video.mp4.
  • Macintosh: In the top right menu bar click the Toggle Presets button to display the Presets to the right. 
  • Click to choose the Normal Preset under Regular.
  • Macintosh: click the Picture Settings button in the top right menu bar. Windows: click the Picture tab in left window pane. 
  • Refer to the diagram below. 
Handbrake settings: choose Anamorphic = Loose and Keep Aspect Ratio to step down Width
  • Choose Anamorphic = Loose, Keep the Aspect Ratio, and step down the Width in increments of 16 until Width = 640
  • Click the Start button to compress the video, which should take between 5 and 15 minutes depending on the speed of your computer’s processor.
  • Once the compression is complete and you receive the message Your HandBrake queue is done (Macintosh) or Encoding Finished (Windows):
  • Click once on the newly compressed video file and choose File > Get Info (Macintosh) or Right-click and choose Properties (Windows). The size of a 20 minute video should be significantly less than 100 MB. 
  • Double-click the newly compressed video (e.g. teaching_video.mp4). Expand the dimensions of your video size and play your recording to test quality, which should closely match that of the original.  
Attention! If you are using a lab computer make sure to archive the compressed video to your U drive (if there is enough space) or to a CD or DVD and then delete your video folder (e.g. Mark’s Videos) from the desktop, emptying the trash.