Finished Multi-Touch Application – File size nightmares!

So I finished our Apple Distinguished School Application yesterday but had my regular last 24 or 48 hours of drama..

This time, it was due to file size.  Submission guidelines said it should be between 250 and 400 MB complete..  so when I finished the size was 1.5 GB..!!!!!

I spent 2 days whining (it was my own mistake) and asking for help and finally got the file size down to 394.3 MB often at 1 to 10 MB at a time.. (resizing, resaving, and editing pictures and videos)

So now that I have slept some, I want to figure out some best practices and I want to reach out to my Ibooks Author Friends to come up with some tips on making the project go better for others next time.

So here is what i have already learned, and honestly its more questions than answer…

  1. Make sure to not do screen shots that are saved as PNG – but edit them down to JPG.
    1. But what is the best resolution?
    2. What is an adequate size? (may even iPhone picture results in a huge picture) – Ibooks author – will mask the clip but not take out the original.
  2. Movies – I took the movies down to iPod touch level using QuickTime – but I really did not gain much space .
    1. What is the optimal movie size for Ibooks author?
    2. What is adequate for iPad and retina displays?
  3. Getting the most bang for your buck – as I deleted stuff – sometimes the file size would even go up with my replacements – I books author optimizes movies -so often a few MB smaller movie in a another format (.mov versus .m4v) could increase file size.   Is there a rule for this?

Apple has a support page for this (Thanks John Shoemaker for this)  but it is pretty vague –

What are some best practices for file management with Ibooks Author..  I don’t want to have to this late night party ever again.

Please comment on this blog so maybe I can make it a resource for others?


One thought on “Finished Multi-Touch Application – File size nightmares!”

  1. Wow, can’t (and can) believe there’s still those file size restrictions in iBooks. :/

    Anyways, one solution I can offer in terms of video is adjusting the bitrate down. Apple always has really high bitrate videos produced with their tools because it makes the videos look awesome but they can be very large space-wise. (This is probably why your adjustment to iPod touch levels didn’t yield much change.)

    I’d use Handbrake ( to adjust the bitrate of your video content. To test, I just changed a 10.1MB video (1080P resolution, 25 frames per second, 4.75Mbit/s bitrate) to a 4.3MB video (720P resolution, 25 frames per second, 2.01Mbit/s bitrate). Yes, you lose some quality and crispness, but you can probably halve the size of videos in your iBook.

    Woah and I just checked (, looks like recommendations for MP4 from Apple are: 480P resolution, 30 frames per second, 2.5Mbit/s bitrate. Meh. Those specifications yielded a 5MB file that looks worse than the one I just did at 720P.

    Let me know if you have any questions. 🙂

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