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transcoding flv to mp4


I'm dabbling in transcoding flvs (e.g., from YouTube) to mp4s (for
uploading to a service (Snapfish) which doesn't support flv.  I'm doing
something like this:

ffmpeg -i example.flv example.mp4

I find that the above command line reduces the size of the video to
about a third of the original, but at the cost of egregious degradation
of the video quality.  If I use the 'sameq' option:

ffmpeg -sameq -i example.flv example.mp4

the resulting video seems to retain the quality, but now the file size
is increased by a factor of four (I've only tested one file so far -
the original flv was about 20MB, the first mp4 was about 8MB, and the
second about 80MB).

Why is this, and is there a happy medium, i.e., a way to keep the size
roughly constant, but to retain quality?

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