Will compressing a YouTube video lower the quality?

Will compressing a YouTube video lower the quality?

So, you downloaded a YouTube video because you wanted to watch it later but now you’ve realized that the file is taking up too much space on your hard drive and you’re looking  for a way to make it smaller. 

Well, the answer you’re looking for is compression. While YouTube applies its own compression to videos in order to lower file sizes and make them easier to stream, you could get those file sizes even lower by compressing the videos again yourself. 


 

Can I compress a YouTube video without losing quality?

Unfortunately, video compression is a double-edged sword. The smaller the file size gets, the lower the quality will be. That’s true for all kinds of digital media compression, including audio and image compression.

Even the best compression for YouTube (the one used by Google themselves when you upload a video to their platform) still leads to some odd-looking videos sometimes, especially during scenes with lots of moving vegetation or foliage (which can be very apparent in video game trailers and gameplay videos, for example). 

However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to lower the size of your YouTube videos without compromising on video and image quality. If you use an online YouTube compressor like Flixier, you’ll notice that there are multiple options when it comes to compressing your video: 


 

Flixier video compression options

 

Depending on where you intend to watch the video that you’re trying to compress, one good way to  get file size down while keeping the image quality intact would be to lower the overall resolution.

I know, that sounds counterintuitive, but hear me out: normal compression algorithms work by lowering the bitrate or CRF of your video. A low bitrate or CRF will definitely get the overall file size down, but you also risk introducing all kinds of video artifacts and visual noise into the video. 


Meanwhile, lowering the resolution, even in small amounts, will drastically reduce file size while still keeping the video looking fairly sharp. If you’re watching your videos on a small display like a mobile phone or laptop screen, a downgrade from 4K to 1080p or even 720p is not very noticeable, but a blurry, blotchy video filled with noise definitely is. 


To lower the resolution of your video, just head over to our online YouTube video compressor, drag the file over the video area to upload it and then use the Resolution drop-down list to select a new one. 


If you need to make the video file size even lower, you can choose to play around with the Bitrate or CRF sliders as well. Flixier has a very powerful compression algorithm, so as long as you don’t apply too much compression using the sliders, your video and audio quality should be preserved. 

Results s creen showing an 81.41% reduction in size after compression


After you’re done compressing your YouTube video, you can download it back to your computer, or choose to continue editing it using our online video editor. 


Oh, and we forgot to mention the best part!  Our online compressor is free and entirely cloud-powered, meaning that your videos will be compressed and ready to download in a matter of minutes, all without putting any stress on your computer.


So, what are you waiting for? Open up our online video compressor and start compressing your videos now! 


 

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