in post

February 20, 2021


Video compression

My project today was to edit a downloaded Zoom video and upload it to Vimeo, in the framework of my voluntary work for the Thich Nhat Hanh sangha.


I use OpenShot for video compression. The version in Debian Buster isn't the newest version, but I do have the new version in an AppImage. Unfortunately, the new version crashed today each time I tried to move an imported Zoom video to the video timeline, so I went back to the native Debian version (for MX Linux).

The video as downloaded from Zoom weighed 133 MB - it's a low quality 640 x 380 pixel mp4. But, when exporting after editing, it ended up too large for Vimeo's free 500 MB per week upload framework. I tried a few different formats but couldn't get it down.

I looked online and found that ffmpeg, which I already have installed, can do a better job. So I took the 809 MB mp4 file that OpenShot had given me, and ran the magic command:

ffmpeg -i input.mp4 -vcodec libx265 -crf 28 output.mp4

The result was a nice 53 MB file with no noticeable quality loss.
Apparently this is due to the better compression ratios given by libx265; Openshot seems to handle the exports with libx264, and didn't produce a smaller version even when I manually changed that in the Export options.

Links blog

✭Covid: vaccinated Israelis to enjoy bars and hotels with ‘green pass’ | Israel | The Guardian
Israel is preparing itself to be split in half from next week, with the government creating a new privileged tier in society: the vaccinated.

✭Relationship between Haredim, non-Haredi Jews at breaking point
Pandemic exacerbates long-existing tensions that, according to one expert, can only be quieted through political resolution with leaders abandoning personal and sectoral interests for the good of the country

✭Facebook is gambling Australia can't live without it. Imagine if we prove them wrong
The platform’s own irresponsible and chaotic implementation of its Australian news “ban” appears to have rallied the country – citizens and politicians from across the aisles – and governments from around the world, to support the Australian government’s resolve.

There are other ways to get news.