Recommend Video File formats

Posted on 2011-04-24
Last Modified: 2012-05-11

I have created a number of training videos using CamStudio software.  It essentially captures my screen and voice and creates an AVI output.  The problem is that these files take up a ton of space (multiple GB each).  The output is simple screen captures, I would think there is a better format.

I used iWisoft's free video converter and tried two formats on a 323 MB AVI file:

a) converted to MPEG4 - the file nearly doubled (610 MB!) and the audio was extremely choppy and out of synch

b) converted to MOV and the file shrank to 133MB and the audio seemed fine.  The compression is great.  The only drawback is the text in my screen captures of my Excel spreadsheets had a lot of ghosting and was a bit hard to see.

iWisoft has dozens of output options.  Can someone suggest a format that gives better quality than MOV while still giving decent file size reduction?  The final file will be played on my PC.


AVI, MOV, mpeg, video conversion
Question by:MrChip2
    LVL 1

    Assisted Solution

    I think you will be pleased if you chose a profile gennerally referred to as Apple/iTouch - H.264, 640x420 at 30 frames/second it typically has an audio bit rate of 93kbps with 2 channels and an audio sample rate of 48 kHz.  In comparison I have an .avi sized at 473,474 KB converted to a .mv4 sized at 196,443 KB.  It plays nicely even on a large format display and the audio is crisp and clear.

    Author Comment

    Hi dbuggs,

    Thanks for the suggestion.  What software packages will play that format on a Windows PC?  Can Windows Media Player or QuickTime play that format?  Would I need a plug in?

    The nearly 60% reduction in file size sounds great.
    LVL 7

    Accepted Solution

    For screencasting, I recommend to use a codec specifically for this type of task like Windows Media Screen Codec, because they can offer a very good quality and small file sizes.

    Using the Windows Media Screen Codec, I encoded a 420 MB AVI from camtasia, to a 100Mb WMV file (31min screencast)

    Windows Media Files are nice because any Windows computer will play those files, without any necessity to download additional codecs! =]

    The best part, Microsoft is offering the encoder for free in their site:



    Author Comment


    Thanks for the tips.  The 420 - 100 size reduction sounds great!  What software did you use to make the conversion?  Is there a free alternative?

    I just tried using iWisoft Free Video converter to change to WMV, but the file ended up the exact same size.

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