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Useful tips to avoid mistakes when converting video or audio formats

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Image: VideoBlocks

Video and audio files that you handle may come in a variety of formats, and from time to time you may need to convert them. Typically formats need to be converted for the sake of compatibility with certain devices, or to compress the video or audio files so that their file sizes are smaller.

Unfortunately, there are lots of common mistakes that are made when converting video and audio formats – but the following tips should help you to avoid most of them:

Store the original file and convert copies from it

Unless you are converting between ‘lossless’ formats, every time you convert using ‘lossy’ compression some data will be discarded from your video or audio files. Over time and the more that you convert the same file, its lost data will start to affect its quality.

To prevent that you should make it a policy to store the original file – ideally in a lossless format, but in the original quality if not. If and when you need the file in a different format you can simply convert from the original, and the quality won’t gradually deteriorate.

Do not try to ‘restore’ the quality of a video or audio file by re-converting it

One of the common mistakes people make is to assume they can restore the quality of a video or audio file by converting it back to its original format and adjusting its settings. That never works, and in fact, the video or audio file could end up worse for it.

Once you have converted a video or audio file to a lower quality, you can’t convert it back to a higher quality. As you can imagine that is yet another reason to store the original file – so you always have a high-quality version that you can use.

Optimize each file for the device it will be played on

In order to optimize your audio and video files, you should take into account the device it will be played on. For example, if you’re listening to music using standard desktop speakers, the difference in quality between a ‘lossless’ FLAC file and a ‘lossy’ MP3 file will be negligible, but the file size of the former will be much larger.

Similarly for videos, if you’re going to be watching a 1080p video on a 720p display, it will only be displayed in 720p. By taking that into account you can optimize your video and audio files so they aren’t any larger in size than they need to be.

Overall the tips listed above should help you to avoid most of the common mistakes people tend to make. If you want you can try them out with any video or audio converter, or you could click here to try converting video and audio files online with Convertio.

At the end of the day avoiding the mistakes listed above should help you to optimize your video and audio files while maintaining their quality. Be sure to keep them in mind the next time you convert any file.

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Just another guy who likes to write about tech and gadgets.

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