Program to compress AVI files

Mark Haney mhaney at
Mon Jul 14 20:03:34 UTC 2008

Paul Smith wrote:
> On Mon, Jul 14, 2008 at 8:39 PM, Mark Haney <mhaney at> wrote:
>>>> Thanks to both. I am talking about encoding to a smaller file size. Any
>>>> ideas?
>>> mencoder would be a good program.
>>> I would suggest first playing it with mplayer and seeing what the current
>>> encoding is, if it is already xvid/divx/x264 encoded you won't
>> I've found mencoder not to be quite as functional as transcode for certain
>> applications.  However, I do agree with Roger, you need to find out the
>> existing codec/aspect ratio before tinkering with the file. Instead of using
>> mplayer, I'd try just using 'file <videoname>', that gives you a good amount
>> of info on the file (just in case the file is on a remote system as mine are
>> sometimes).
>> I do have a couple of standard lines for adjusting video files that I'll be
>> glad to share if you want.  They aren't anything more than typical
>> transcode/mencoder lines with basic options that I"ve saved since I can't
>> always remember the options.
> Thanks to all for all helpful comments.
> The details of my file are:
> $ file example.avi
> example.avi: RIFF (little-endian) data, AVI, 1024 x 768, 30.00 fps,
> video: uncompressed
> $
> Paul

mencoder -ovc xvid -oac mp3lame -vf scale=320:240 -xvidencopts 
fixed_quant=4 -o output.avi input.avi

This is a basic syntax for mencoder that will encode with the Xvid codec 
and scale it down to 320x240.  Adjust to taste and give it a shot.
(I was supposed to include this in my other reply and sent before I 
copied the line in, my bad)

Libenter homines id quod volunt credunt -- Caius Julius Caesar

Mark Haney
Sr. Systems Administrator
ERC Broadband
(828) 350-2415

Call (866) ERC-7110 for after hours support

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