How-To Geek

How to Shrink Videos to Fit Your Android Phone with VLC


If you want to put a video on your Android phone, you’ll probably need to shrink it down to fit the size of the screen and make it take up less space. There’s lots of conversion software out there, but did you know you can do it with VLC?

There’s a lot more you can do with VLC, for instance,  you can also copy a DVD with VLCtake snapshots of your favorite movie scenes, or you can use it to convert video from one type to another. Before you convert any videos, you need to know the encoding specification of your phone. For example, this is the video encoding specification of Droid X.


Add as many videos as you want, and when you are ready, click the “convert/save” button to adjust their size, or video file type.


Choose “convert” to adjust the video size.


Pick a folder, an appropriate file name, and a video file type under the profile section.


VLC can convert your media files into different video file types. Ogg, mp4, divx, are only some of video file types that VLC supports.


Click the profile button, and specify custom settings that are compatible with your Android specification.


Give the new profile an appropriate name.


Check the settings  under the video and audio, and change them to match the video encoding of your Android. We found that ogg produced smaller videos compare to other file types.


A media file contains a video, an audio stream, or both – and VLC lets you control the media stream that you want to produce. If you are only interested in listening to the music, untick the Video check box under the video codec tab, and select the audio stream under the audio codec tab.


You can reduce the file size even further by lowering the video or audio bitrate, but of course, you’ll get a video with a bad quality.


Once you have confirmed the settings, save the profile, and click the start button.


VLC will enter a streaming mode, and depending on the video, this may take some time. Once the seek bar reaches the end, you should see a new video under the specified destination file folder.


Once you’re done, just hook up your phone to your PC with a USB cable, and copy the file over into the Videos folder.

Download VLC

Zainul spends his time trying to make technology more productive, whether it’s Microsoft Office applications, or learning to use web applications to save time.

  • Published 06/14/11

Comments (16)

  1. Tomer

    thanks a lot,
    I have been searching for solution for that

  2. bkj216

    Wow I didn’t know you could convert videos with VLC. Good to know.

  3. dave

    There are several media servers that use VLC to transcode on the fly, it’s a pretty decent swiss army knife tool. Used both GUI and CLI.

  4. zs

    Good to know.

  5. Rock8000

    Thanks, this is a very useful article.

  6. Ivan Lapis

    been doing and using this for years, :D some converters don’t do well and vlc does it well if you select the appropriate format combinations (yeah, you can mix and match formats) to produce the best quality…

    also, you can use this to download youtube videos… just paste the youtube url to the source field, and then select the format you want to download the video in, and then it will download and convert the video on the fly…

    you can also do the same in streaming videos and music…. need I say more? vlc is so useful.

  7. Anonymous

    Has anyone else gotten this to work? Seems there’s some missing info or something. I’ve tried several times to use VLC to rip or even just transcode videos with (straight video) and on different machines too. Every time I end up with a file that can’t be played on anything – not even with VLC or KM Player. And no, I’m not fiddling with any settings that might result in some sort of non-standard video format either. But if I use something like Handbrake or “Any Video Converter” (yes, that’s it’s name) then straight ripping/transcoding works. But for some reason VLC always fails. So is this a bug or other problem the folks with VLC know about? Cause I’m here to tell you there is definitely a problem!

  8. tanay

    I have been using VLC media player since it’s early days I had know idea of its true capabilities. Thank you.

  9. jon_hill987

    Any way to make it go faster? It is only using 12% of my CPU.

  10. Nota Bad

    VLC Started as a Linux Application, Now Windows users enjoy it too! There’s lots of great Open Source apps around if you only look!

  11. ben lee

    i didnt know VLC can do so much…
    i knew it was a most powerful video player
    but not like this
    dang….already been using it for 5 years and just barely scratched the surface.

  12. Jack

    Handbrake is much better and will work. VLC rarely does conversions well.

  13. Jack

    Here is how I do it for my ZTE Blade with Handbrake (not my method someone else invented this one):-

    I use Handbrake (0.9.4) to convert the video. It is free and can be download from the Handbrake homepage.

    – Run Handbrake

    – Select the iPhone preset. This will give you most of the settings.

    – Click the “Source” button. Select either a video file or the video_ts file of an unencrypted DVD.

    – Click the “Browse” button and set the destination file. You can use either a “mp4” or “mpv” extension.

    Output Settings
    – Set the Container to “MP4 File” and check “Web Optimized”.

    – Check “Keep Aspect Ratio” and set a height of 480. The width should adjust itself but must not exceed 800.

    Video Filters
    – Check the four video filters are “Off”

    – Set Video Codec to “H.264 (x264)”.
    – Set Framerate to “Same as source”.
    – Set the Avg Bitrate to 1500 and check “2-Pass Encoding”.

    – Under the Audio tab select the first track so it reads “Selected Track : 1”.
    – Set the audio codec to “AAC (faac)”
    – Set the Mixdown to “Stereo”
    – Set the sample rate to 48Khz
    – Set the bit rate to 160Kbps

    – Under the Advanced tab ensure “CABAC Entropy Coding” is unchecked.

    – Now click “Start”

    … and wait for your video to encode!

    Notes : You may wish to experiment with lower video bit rates. I have encoded some videos using 1000Kbps and they look ok.

    If you copy your videos to a folder named “video” in the root of your SD card then the videos appear in the standard “Photos” app.

  14. Brian Carr

    vlc is ok i found this one that’s worth a look Hamster Free Video Converter its worth a review

  15. Gv 3f

    Mobile devices are mature and prevalent enough that all this should be done server side. You shouldn’t need a laptop to be able to use your phone.

  16. Frank

    thanks a lot

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