Simple Nexus 4 software mod allows for improved video recording with almost double the bitrate


Those crafty software tinkerers over on XDA are at it again, this time introducing a simple hack/mod for the Nexus 4 that dramatically improves the device’s video capabilities. All you need is a rooted Nexus 4 (with an unlocked bootloader) and a root file manager application with access to your system partition. After a quick XML edit, the Nexus 4’s default bitrate of 12mbps can be increased all the way up to 20mbps. Nice. The instructions are relatively straight forward and are as follows:

  • Using a file browser (like root explorer/es file explorer etc) go to the /system/etc folder
  • Make sure your system is mounted RW
  • Search for the media_profiles.xml file and open it up in any text editor
  • Once you scroll down you will see the following:
    <EncoderProfile quality="1080p" fileFormat="mp4" duration="30">
                <Video codec="h264"
                       frameRate="30" />
                <Audio codec="aac"
                       channels="1" />
  • Change the bitRate from 12000000 to 20000000
  • Save and reboot.

The jump in quality is said to make for a clearer picture while shooting video, resulting in less noise and artifacts than the default setting. Of course, these newly outputted video files will be a larger in size and, as we all know, the Achilles heel for the Nexus 4 is its lack of storage space. Might have to better manage your media if you plan on using this mod.

The original thread can be found on XDA where the dev responsible has even included a handy zip file for the flashing. As always, make sure you back up your ROM before experimenting with hacks like like this. Let us know how you like the results!


Chris Chavez
I've been obsessed with consumer technology for about as long as I can remember, be it video games, photography, or mobile devices. If you can plug it in, I have to own it. Preparing for the day when Android finally becomes self-aware and I get to welcome our new robot overlords.

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  1. … that’s been on XDA for like a week now

    1. Your point being….? O_o

      1. I was just surprised you hadn’t posted it a while ago if you were going to

        1. I also expect the great Chavez to be all knowing.

    2. So? There are people out there who don’t check XDA regularly, and would not have known about this mod, regardless of whether this was posted when the thread was new. I, for one, had no idea this mod existed until now, and if I’m ever able to get my hands on a Nexus 4, I’ll have this post to thank for informing me.

  2. Can someone please reply to this comment with a link to download the edited XML file? I tried to use Solid Explorer and it deleted the contents of my file. :(

    EDIT: Never mind. I found the flashable .zip on XDA.

  3. Can you change the frame rate too?

    1. I known there were some posts on people trying to change the sound to stereo and higher quality but it didn’t do anything. Frame rate could be interesting at 60 or 48 HFR fps. :p

  4. I really want to adjust mic sensitivity so I can record bands etc. At the moment it just distorts at high volumes, whereas the iPhone works great.

    1. This has been an annoying problem on all the Nexus devices. Let me know if you find a fix.

  5. Will this work for the s3 also?

  6. Or a rooted droid RAZR max

  7. Just a word of caution with this mod. On my galaxy nexus this mod prevented one of the ota update. Think it was 4.1.1. Took a while before I found a thread talking it. So keep a copy of the original as well as the updated xml.

  8. “Simple” huh? As soon as you say “root” it is no longer simple.

    1. It is if its a nexus

  9. Well it is apparent why this was not enabled by default.

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