Best ratio between final memory size and quality

Hi all the community,

I’ve extracted from rewritable disc high quality MP4 video. What codec do you recomend me in order to have no original quality loss (audio and video) AND the shortest final video memory size ?

For future versions of shortcuts, it will be great if an assistant could automaticaly indicate the best codec for the specific use

I’m on WIN7 pro 64bits.


Hello, I hope this helps,
apologies if I am saying something you already know…

MP4 is a ‘lossy’ format which means that it has already ‘lost’ some of the original quality when it was created.
If you now choose a different format that is ‘lossless’ then it will just create a much bigger file size and that is not good for you

What you could do is load your file into Shotcut and look at the ‘Properties’ and understand what the video file fornat/codec is now and choose a codec that…

  1. Matches the original as closely as possible and then…
  2. Experiment with similar codecs that may reduce the quality (a little) but still give you the file size that you need

Good Luck

Thanks for your advise !

I’ve already sarted this solution, but I have 30 videos to edit…:wink: and an old screen (no color fidelity)

Is there any codec providing no qualityloss and low final memory size ?


I don’t think there is one that can keep quality ‘exactly’ the same and reduce file size. It would be magic :slight_smile:
You can reduce the dimensions of your final video (width and height) and this will allow you to have much smaller file sizes and the quality will still be good although

I think you will have to work each one and find the very best for you.

Good luck


No quality loss and low final file size it’s the Holy Grail of video or audio encoding. You cannot lose something and get it back later with the same original quality.

What I’m suggesting was never tried by me or seen elsewhere while editing with Shotcut and it may needs some knowledge about using mlt files and how to process them.

You can try to do some proxying editing with smaller files. What does this mean?

It means that you start by reenconding all the files with a more confortable resolution and size (maybe with other name stating the small size) for video edition with Shotcut. In the end you will have a mlt file with all the video clip cuts and effects applyed to the smaller files.

What you can try to do next is open the saved mlt project file and change the video file names to the original ones. Then you can open again the mlt file in Shotcut and export the video. For the people who are more tech savvy other option is to use the qmelt command directly.

Disclaimer: I never tested this or seen this elsewhere. I cannot at this time confirm that it will work but in therory this is something that can be done with Shotcut.

Note: You can use HandBrake software to reencode with a smaller resolution.

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Hi, from the tests I made, the “proxying edition” is possible. I just needed to edit the mlt file and pay attention to the export configuration to guarantee that the size of the video was ok. I will try to do a test with a 4K sample since my computers cannot handle this resolution and see if it works ok.

Edit: The test with the 4K video worked. It would be nice if someone else could try to test and see if it also works. Sometimes you think you are doing everything well but some not so obviuous step is missed.

Thanks for all your replies !
Unfortunately I didn’t have enough time to test the 2 methods…

But for my case (VHS colour video) I solve this topic.

To have an equal quality and a low final memory size in the EXPORT panel for all the categories I selected as codec “by default” and quality 100%. Moreover in the video category I choose YADIF temp+spac and Hyper/lanzcos.
It’s magic from a 1.94Gb original memory size we have finaly 1,03Gb !!!


And still a good Quality? Wow. I think im going for this now! :smiley:

You might need to learn the difference between Memory and Storge
See ► The Difference Between Memory and Storage |

You cannot export at 100% IQ and end up with a smaller file size than the source file unless you have removed part of the source file in editing or massively reduced the video resolution…
If you want a smaller file you must increase the compression ratio, which in turn throws away something.
There is no magic, you can’t have it both ways.