Program to compress AVI files

Robin Laing Robin.Laing at
Tue Jul 15 13:14:21 UTC 2008

Roger Heflin wrote:
> Paul Smith wrote:
>> On Mon, Jul 14, 2008 at 7:54 PM, Mark Haney <mhaney at> 
>> wrote:
>>>> Is there some program to compress AVI files?
>>> Compress?  Video and graphics files tend not to compress well at all. 
>>> Are we
>>> talking ZIP compression?  Or encoding to a smaller file size?
>> Thanks to both. I am talking about encoding to a smaller file size. 
>> Any ideas?
>> Paul
> 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 
> be able to likely improve things much without lowering the resolution or 
> quality.  x264 is supposed to be better than xvid/divx but it is 
> probably not a huge amount, and re-encoding (even on a fast machine) 
> will take anywhere from greater than actual time of the video down to 
> 1/4-1/5 for lower resolution videos.   If it is not already one of the 
> good codecs then just reencoding it with the proper settings will be 
> able to reduce it a fair amount.
> I do a fair amount of re-encoding of various sorts.
>                           Roger

You can use ffmpeg to find out the video details.

ffmpeg -i {input}

You will get some error messages because you have not specified an 
output file.


  movies]$ ffmpeg -i Vista_Beryl.mpg

FFmpeg version UNKNOWN, Copyright (c) 2000-2008 Fabrice Bellard, et al.
   configuration: --prefix=/usr --libdir=/usr/lib64 
--shlibdir=/usr/lib64 --mandir=/usr/share/man 
--incdir=/usr/include/ffmpeg --extra-cflags=-fPIC --enable-libmp3lame 
--enable-libvorbis --enable-libtheora --enable-libfaad --enable-libfaac 
--enable-libgsm --enable-libxvid --enable-libx264 --enable-liba52 
--enable-liba52bin --enable-pp --enable-shared --enable-pthreads 
--enable-gpl --disable-strip
   libavutil version: 49.6.0
   libavcodec version: 51.50.1
   libavformat version: 52.7.0
   libavdevice version: 52.0.0
   built on Feb 14 2008 17:44:05, gcc: 4.1.2 20070925 (Red Hat 4.1.2-33)
Input #0, mpeg, from 'Vista_Beryl.mpg':
   Duration: 00:04:31.9, start: 0.367322, bitrate: 1405 kb/s
     Stream #0.0[0x1e0]: Video: mpeg2video, yuv420p, 720x480 [PAR 8:9 
DAR 4:3], 4000 kb/s, 29.97 tb(r)
     Stream #0.1[0x1c0]: Audio: mp2, 48000 Hz, stereo, 224 kb/s
Must supply at least one output file

Robin Laing

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