3 Multimedia teaching tips: Reducing file sizes of Rich Media content

Inserting Rich Media (Images, Sound, Video) content into documents or presentations will increase the file size of the document. It is recommended that Rich Media elements be optimized prior to insertion into documents to ensure smaller file sizes. It should be noted that viewing Rich Media (Video, Sound, Conferencing) streaming from websites such as  YouTube, Vimeo and Slideshare will still incur data charges when viewed in iKamva.
The following multimedia teaching tips were sent out to the campus community in March 2020
Tip 1. Understanding and optimizing images
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Physical size refers to the space an image occupies on your screen when opened. In some applications you may be able to zoom in and out on an image. In applications such as MS Word or PowerPoint you are able to drag and make images smaller. Both of these practices alter the appearance of the image but not the file size.
File size refers to the number of space that an image occupies on your storage device measured in bytes (KB, MB, GB, TB). To reduce the file size the image needs to be taken into an image editing application. The file size can be reduced by resizing, cropping or reducing image quality.
  • Use an image editing application to optimize images before inserting them into documents
  • Recommended programs: MS Paint, Pixlr and Gimp
See video tutorial for resizing images using Pixlr: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SSLvXDpSMSA
Tip 2. Recording and Optimizing Digital Audio
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Podcasts (Audio files) should be considered when the information being relayed does not rely on visual content and demonstration. Audio files are significantly smaller than video files, however extensive audio recordings can also generate large file sizes. MP3 and M4A are compressed audio formats which are relatively small with acceptable sound quality. Other sound formats such as WAV, AIFF, WMA can be converted to MP3 and M4A using an audio converter.

Recording and reducing audio file sizes can easily be completed with the use of Audacity, free, Open-source software. Audio files should be saved as .mp3 format which will allow most devices (pc, mobile devices and audio players) to playback the sound.

Typical File Sizes from Bit Rate in mp3’s

Below is a list of typical recording bit rates and file sizes:

10-minute recording
64 kbps ~ 5MB
96 kbps ~ 8MB
128 kbps ~ 10MB
30-minute recording
64 kbps ~ 15MB
96 kbps ~ 23MB
128 kbps ~ 30MB
1-hour recording
64 kbps ~ 30MB
96 kbps ~ 45MB
128 kbps ~ 60MB

See video tutorial for recording and editing audio:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nd2OT26Ys_I&list=PLcNoCjyvgBPxUTdpsuqvVXVdu7A73I2Zd

Tip 3. Embedding and Compressing Video content

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Through the advances in cloud computing, videos can now be uploaded to platforms such as YouTube and Vimeo and embedded in other websites (Learning Management Systems, Blogs and Social Media) using embed codes. Unfortunately embedded content is not free to view on Zero rated websites as it is streaming from a different source. Another way of making video more accessible is by compressing it so that the files size is reduced to an extent that makes it easy to share via email or directly embedded on Zero rated websites with file limitations. Handbrake and iWisoft are free and Open-source applications that can be used to compress and convert video content.
See video tutorial for compressing video footage: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m_A7NLci6zo&t=15s
Please contact CIECT’s Multimedia team should you require assistance with optimizing your media content.

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