Encoding Zoom Recordings with HandBrake

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How (and Why) to Encode Zoom Video Recordings with HandBrake

This video Tech Note explains how to re-encode recordings you get from Zoom using the open source transcoding program HandBrake. Here are the take-aways:

  • Zoom recordings tend to be high quality. They can be unnecessarily large however, particularly if presenter was using a high resolution monitor.

  • Large video files are often not a problem, but there are times when you might want to reencode your Zoom recordings to make them smaller, including:

    • if your video streaming platform (e.g., Vimeo) has upload quotas or charges you for storage
    • you wish to host the videos yourself
    • you wish to deploy videos on mobile devices
    • you wish to archive high quality copies with a minimum of storage costs

  • Aside from optimizing the file size, you may also want to trim off a bit of content from the start or end of the recording, or chop up a lengthy video into shorter pieces.

  • Good resolutions for recordings of presentations include 1080p (1920 x 1080) and 720p (1280 x 720). If the resolution of your Zoom recording is larger than these, your first move should be to reduce the resolution to 1080p or 720p.

  • You can further reduce the size of Zoom recordings using modern encoders with settings that are optimized for presentation material. We have had good results with H.265, animation tune, the same frame rate as source, consant quality 20, and mono audio encoded with AAC at 80 kbps.

  • You can do all of the above with HandBrake!

For details check out the video Tech Note.



This work was supported by the USDA - National Institute of Food and Agriculture (Hatch Project 1015742; Powers).

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