Save storage space by compressing your media files in Windows

If you're using an older device or have just swamped it with media files, compression may be a good idea. Though it has an effect on playback quality, for most users, adding to their collection is well worth it.

Streaming can only take you so far. It's nice to carry at least some of our tunes and videos with us in our mobile devices, but most of us have run into space limitations. SD cards can only hold so much, but compressing your files can help you cram more onto your device. Note that higher levels of compression almost always mean lower levels of quality, but most of us won't notice much difference. 

  • First, clear off extraneous files. You may have old pictures, videos, and other detritus that can be better stored on your computer or in the cloud. It's also a good idea to get rid of any apps you don't use, though the memory savings may be negligible. Still, every bit helps! 
  • Compress music files using MP3 Quality Modifier. This app makes it simple to compress music files in batches. Just select the files you want, then select either "portable" or "compromise" (or the brutally honest "very low quality" if you're looking for some seriously tiny files), then let 'er rip. 
  • Compress video files with Windows Movie Maker. Just import your file, then save it. Under "Movie Setting," select "Show more choices" then select an output that looks about right. Remember, a lower number means a smaller file and poorer quality, so you may need to experiment. 

That's it! You may want to try out some files at different levels of compression to see what you can tolerate.

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About the author

    Rob Lightner is a tech and gaming writer based in Seattle. He has reviewed games, gadgets, and technical manuals, written copy for space travel gear, and composed horoscopes for cats.

     

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