Reducing MKV size


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Hi :)

 

I have a couple of files of anime, like this:

 

 

General
Format                                   : Matroska
Format version                     : Version 2
File size                                 : 534 MiB
Duration                                : 22mn 38s
Overall bit rate                      : 3 294 Kbps
Encoded date                       : UTC 2011-05-05 15:39:57
Writing application               : mkvmerge v4.0.0 ('The Stars were mine') built on Jun  6 2010 16:18:42
Writing library                        : libebml v1.0.0 + libmatroska v1.0.0

Video
ID                                                       : 1
Format                                              : AVC
Format/Info                                      : Advanced Video Codec
Format profile                                 : High@L3.1
Format settings, CABAC               : No
Format settings, ReFrames         : 2 frames
Codec ID                                           : V_MPEG4/ISO/AVC
Duration                                            : 22mn 38s
Width                                                 : 1 280 pixels
Height                                                : 720 pixels
Display aspect ratio                        : 16:9
Frame rate mode                            : Constant
Frame rate                                        : 23.976 fps
Color space                                      : YUV
Chroma subsampling                    : 4:2:0
Bit depth                                            : 8 bits
Scan type                                          : Progressive
Language                                         : English
Default                                               : Yes
Forced                                               : No
Color primaries                               : BT.709
Transfer characteristics                 : BT.709
Matrix coefficients                            : BT.709

Audio
ID                                                        : 2
Format                                               : AAC
Format/Info                                       : Advanced Audio Codec
Format profile                                  : LC
Codec ID                                          : A_AAC
Duration                                           : 22mn 38s
Channel(s)                                     : 2 channels
Channel positions                        : Front: L R
Sampling rate                                : 48.0 KHz
Compression mode                     : Lossy
Language                                       : English
Default                                            : Yes
Forced                                            : No

 

 

And I want to reduze the size of them, 500/600MB each 22m file is taking a lot of space.

 

I want to reduce 200 or 300MB on each file (let's say they become files of 250 or 300MB), maintaning the same resolution of 720p, the same container MKV and reducing as much as possible the loss of quality in the conversion.

 

 

Is handbrake a good tool for this?

 

The original Format profile is 3.1, if I change to 4.1 would it be worth it? And should I mantain the status of "High"?

 

 

I'm no expert in codecs, far from it and I'm a bit lost on this since the trial and error on files that will take hours to convert is a bit too much time consuming (I'm not being lazy, just realistic that I'm never going to finish this without some point of start where I reduce the trial and error aproach as much as I can).

 

 

Thank you neowin :)

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Yeah I think Handbrake is your best bet. I wouldn't change the Profile level, all that does is define the spec and set the maximum bitrate. Since you'll be controlling bitrate in Handbrake the achieve the file size you need you don't need to worry about profile level. Changing the profile level is usually only something you have to do to get a file to play in a player that isn't compatible with newer profiles.

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I think it's going to be hard to encode your video at 720p and keep it good quality and under 300 MB.

 

Again I'm no expert on codecs and don't want to sound like I'm one (I don't want seem like one and being rude :) ), but you can easily download mkv files of 200/300MB with great 720p quality with the same duration, I'm not trying to reduce to 50 or 100MB files, but to a more reasonable 300MB

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This is true, best way is to load your MKV into handbrake and give it a go. I don't think HB offers a target bit-rate option anymore, so you will have to experiment with the RF slider ("quality") to get your desired file-size, and that's going to change between each episode depending on how complicated it is to encode.

 

Again, in HB I don't think you can select a profile setting, but this setting will make little difference to your encoding. Certainly increasing the profile would allow the codec to spend more bits on how it encodes your movie, but only if it needs to and that depends on your source. Levels are described well here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H.264/MPEG-4_AVC#Levels if you want to read about them.

 

So in handbrake load your MKV, set the audio tab to pass-through your AAC audio stream (so it doesn't re-encode it), and then set your resolution and frame-rate up to match your source. Use the RF slider to set a quality level (lower number = higher quality) and encode your video and see how it looks at the end :)

 

edit: Yes, some MKVs can be a small file size for 720p, but that's related to the quality of the source material. Dark, low movement, noise-free sources can be encoded to a high quality/low file size no problem. But bright, high movement, noisy source take a higher bit-rate (file-size) to encode to the same quality level. I guess this depends on your source.

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This is true, best way is to load your MKV into handbrake and give it a go. I don't think HB offers a target bit-rate option anymore, so you will have to experiment with the RF slider ("quality") to get your desired file-size, and that's going to change between each episode depending on how complicated it is to encode.

 

Again, in HB I don't think you can select a profile setting, but this setting will make little difference to your encoding. Certainly increasing the profile would allow the codec to spend more bits on how it encodes your movie, but only if it needs to and that depends on your source. Levels are described well here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H.264/MPEG-4_AVC#Levels if you want to read about them.

 

So in handbrake load your MKV, set the audio tab to pass-through your AAC audio stream (so it doesn't re-encode it), and then set your resolution and frame-rate up to match your source. Use the RF slider to set a quality level (lower number = higher quality) and encode your video and see how it looks at the end :)

 

edit: Yes, some MKVs can be a small file size for 720p, but that's related to the quality of the source material. Dark, low movement, noise-free sources can be encoded to a high quality/low file size no problem. But bright, high movement, noisy source take a higher bit-rate (file-size) to encode to the same quality level. I guess this depends on your source.

 

Many thanks for the help :)

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The only options I believe are variable and using animation setting, although you going to get poor quality either way, DVD -> Encode -> Encode = losing quality each time. Might be easier to shop on ebay for the show.

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Handbrake is all you need. It has the best encoder and it's simply finding the right options for your kind of media you need. Since you're encoding anime, use the highest profile you can find. It has a lot of optimisations and that should help a lot to keep the size down without losing much quality. And play with the RF slider, target bitrate or filesize is not a good idea.

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a lot of people that are suggesting HandBrake haven't tried an easier better program that I have had way drastically more success with. Its a progam called FreeMake and is indeed free. Make sure to decline the extra-ware that comes as an option when installing it. its about 27 megs. Find it from their website or download from filehippo.com

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a lot of people that are suggesting HandBrake haven't tried an easier better program that I have had way drastically more success with. Its a progam called FreeMake and is indeed free. Make sure to decline the extra-ware that comes as an option when installing it. its about 27 megs. Find it from their website or download from filehippo.com

 

I dont understand? Handbrake you select the file and save location then press covert what is easier than that! When i instal i don't need to worry about  any extra-ware option to not install.

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I dont understand? Handbrake you select the file and save location then press covert what is easier than that! When i instal i don't need to worry about  any extra-ware option to not install.

 

I edit and convert around 20 movies a week. I have tried dozens of different programs, some good, some complicated, some not easy to understand, some too extravagant, some with horrible ui's, and some with bad results either with video or audio problems. Its been probably a year and a half since using handbrake, but the handbrake I used for about 4 months had an extremely horrible UI which would confuse people that didn't quite know what they were doing. And almost 25% of the time, audio synchronization would not be correct with converting flash to avi or MP4. After trying Freemake, I can't imagine why anyone would use anything else. The program is extremely simple with a very clean and logical UI, has close to 98% success rate (from my usage stats) and can give the user extremely advanced settings if they so should desire to fine tune it. Have you tried FreeMake for comparison?

 

added: downloading the current Handbreak version to see if it has changed since last using it.

 

 

Added: after downloading and installing, I actually was mixing up Handbreak with another converting program. This Handbrake isn't bad and I did like it which is why I did use it for a period of time before switching to FreeMake. But after using Freemake, I defiantly still prefer and recommend Freemake over handbreak. All I can suggest is try it and you may too.

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I edit and convert around 20 movies a week. I have tried dozens of different programs, some good, some complicated, some not easy to understand, some too extravagant, some with horrible ui's, and some with bad results either with video or audio problems. Its been probably a year and a half since using handbrake, but the handbrake I used for about 4 months had an extremely horrible UI which would confuse people that didn't quite know what they were doing. And almost 25% of the time, audio synchronization would not be correct with converting flash to avi or MP4. After trying Freemake, I can't imagine why anyone would use anything else. The program is extremely simple with a very clean and logical UI, has close to 98% success rate (from my usage stats) and can give the user extremely advanced settings if they so should desire to fine tune it. Have you tried FreeMake for comparison?

 

added: downloading the current Handbreak version to see if it has changed since last using it.

 

 

Added: after downloading and installing, I actually was mixing up Handbreak with another converting program. This Handbrake isn't bad and I did like it which is why I did use it for a period of time before switching to FreeMake. But after using Freemake, I defiantly still prefer and recommend Freemake over handbreak. All I can suggest is try it and you may too.

 

Dont convert alot of content. Will take a look at this program. What content i do convert atm handbrake works for me. Will look at your Freemake.

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Have you tried opening them in mkvmerge to see if there's any additional languages in there you could remove?

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