How to Condense QuickTime Video for Email

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How to Condense QuickTime Video for Email
You can send a small QuickTime video by e-mail. (E-mail Concept image by wayne ruston from

Sending a QuickTime video through your e-mail account is possible but it has its limitations. The size and quality of the video have to be reduced in order to make it small enough to send as an e-mail attachment. To condense the video you will need software that is capable of handling the QuickTime format.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Determine the size limitations of e-mail attachments. Most e-mail services such as Yahoo! and Hotmail have attachment size limitations between 10 megabytes and 20 megabytes. Service providers are always increasing these numbers, though, so check with your own e-mail provider to determine the exact limitation. In any case, the size of the QuickTime video must be smaller than this number.

  2. 2

    Install video conversion software on your computer. Most video conversion software is able to work with the QuickTime format, but double-check to make sure. Each program should list the formats it can input and those it can output. QuickTime needs to be on both lists.

    Popular conversion programs include: QuickTime Pro, Adobe Media Encoder, TMPGEnc XPress, Autodesk Cleaner, Canopus ProCoder and AVS Video Converter. Free converters include: MediaCoder and Super. Some of these are available for both PC and Mac, while some are only available for PC.

    The commercial converters tend to provide more options for how files are converted and are updated regularly as new formats and operating systems are created. Once you decide on the best program for you, install it and you are ready to convert.

  3. 3

    Open the source video. For all video conversion programs, you need to select the source video, which is your original QuickTime file. Add the file by simply browsing through your computer to find the file.

  4. 4

    Set target video size. You need to output with video that is small enough to e-mail by changing the size of the video. Many video conversion programs show you the exact size the video is going to be according to the settings you select. Other programs do not, and you have to figure it out through trial and error.

    A common video size that is used on the Apple iPod is 320 pixels by 240 pixels. Anything smaller will be difficult to watch and anything larger might be too large to send. Try a number of sizes until you are satisfied with the quality of the resulting video.

  5. 5

    Set the target video encoding format. Select a codec that compresses the video data into a smaller size. A popular QuickTime video encoding format for condensing files to small sizes is H.264. After selecting the video codec, you need to select the video quality in the "compression settings" window of the program. Choose the highest setting possible while still keeping the video small enough to send. Use trial and error to determine the resulting size of the video.

Tips and warnings

  • Once you determine the ideal settings for condensing your QuickTime video, make sure to save them for the future.

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