Learning 4 MIN READ

Why You Should Always Compress Your Video Courses

More and more people are feeling frustrated with video uploads and students stuck in limbo waiting for their courses to load.

While video files are getting higher in resolution (quality) internet speeds can’t keep up with the demand. Despite faster internet connections and more bandwidth, online distribution of videos has become a really time-consuming task.

Uploading a large video takes more time, resources and comes with a price-tag. It is frustrating for both sides, and worsens the students’ experience, which can mean losing customers because of a bad first impression or having someone requesting a refund.

But, there are a few solutions that will solve the problem, improve your students’ experience with the course, and save you time!

Shorter Educational Videos

The best solution is to split longer training videos into shorter segments. Short videos (up to six minutes is ideal) are much better suited for e-Learning purposes. So, for example, if you have a very long video that lasts an hour it is better that you split it to six separate ten-minute videos. This way, your learners will be more willing to watch your content, and also you will be more able to easily replace them in the future.

Short videos counter shortened attention-spans and allow a student to absorb the information in short chunks before moving to the next part of your training.

Video Compression

But, apart from segmentation, you should also learn how to compress your videos, whether they last six minutes or longer.

Video compression can save you time while uploading and storing the videos. Shorter video file size also means faster loading time and less buffering for your students.
A good compression software can lower the size of a video by half. But, you may ask:

Would that hurt the quality of the video?

No, if you are using the right software correctly, then you can compress large video files without losing quality and into nearly any format. Here, I am going to use Handbrake.fr, one of the best free tools to compress videos without losing quality.

How to use Handbrake to Compress Video
Download and install the software. When you open it, it immediately asks you to choose the video file you want to compress. In the right side of the tool you can see different presets. What we normally do is choose “Legacy”, “high profile”.

Legacy, High Profile option in Handbrake

For elearning, it’s better to check the “Web optimized” box, because we want to use the videos on the web.

web optimized course videos

Because it takes a different bitrate to reach a given quality level for any given part of any video, the output size is unpredictable and varies from source to source. If you use a reasonably high bitrate, the quality of your video will be very good. An average 2500 is optimal. However, if you appear on the screen talking, we suggest that you use 3000 kbps.

If you choose constant quality you’d better keep RF below 32 for better results.

bitrate quality
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You can leave the rest of the settings as they are. Select “Browse” to choose the file’s destination in your computer.

saving the compressed file

Tip: You can keep the changes that you have made as a profile for the future, so that you don’t have to keep changing them. If you hit the plus icon you can easily create a new preset.

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After that, you can either start the compression or add your project to Queue, open another one and select the last created preset if you want to apply the same settings with your previous videos.

compressing multiple video courses
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You are now ready to hit “Start encode” and wait for the process to finish.

You can compress all the videos you have prepared together at the same time. The time will vary according to the file size.

And that was it!

So simple, and so easy!

Tip: It is a good idea to keep an original higher quality copy of your video as a master version too so you can re-compress the video in the future into any other format that you may need, and always keep backups of your original videos.

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Course Designer & Content Creator at LearnWorlds

Anthea is a Course designer and Content Creator for the LearnWorlds team. She holds years of experience in instructional design and teaching. With a Master of Education (M.Ed.) focused in Modern Teaching Methods & ICT (Information & Communications Technology), she supplements her knowledge with practical experience in E-Learning and Educational Technology.