Sunday, March 11, 2007

AVI to MPEG4 conversion

Given the huge size of AVI files being produced by my digital camera even for 2-3 mins videos (ranging around 45+MB in size), I need to figure out if there are better compression algorithms out there. Looks like MPEG-4 may be a better choice, however my camera (Canon A510) doesn't record in that format.

While I still have to completely understand all the various formats and their pros/cons, I decided to check out conversion utilities available out there. Most of them are substantial $$, mediacoder is freeware and uses a good amount of conversion encoders freely available.

Now to the interesting part - I tried converting a 50MB AVI file to MPEG-4 format and the conversion period started increasing from 600hrs to 1200hrs to 2000+hrs on an intel mobile centrino 1.6GHz processor with 512MB RAM. I just gave up - understandably.

Either I'm missing something, the tool is wrong, estimation is screwed up, or it's just not worth doing it in software.

Anyone done this earlier and has better inputs/insight ?

1 comment:

Nirenjan Krishnan said...

Try to encode it with Theora. The codec is free, as is the encoding app.

The only disadvantage is that the tool is a command line one, but I've noticed that Theora files are comparable in size to MPEG-1 (VCD), given nearly equal quality. Preview mode in Theora brings the file size down to about half of MPEG-1.