December 29, 2008
Many of the videos uploaded to Youtube don’t use good video encoding settings and hence don’t look good when viewed. This spoils the viewing experience and can lead to your videos getting a lot less views than they really deserve. However this is a problem that is easily fixed. This article covers the main factors that need to be considered when encoding and uploading video to Youtube. Getting these video encoding factors right could make the difference between a video that gets millions of views and one that gets very few views.
Probably the most important factor or setting is the video file format that you use. You don’t need to understand the technical details of the file format. You just need to make sure that you use one that is accepted by Youtube and provides good quality. There are many video file formats to choose from but some are obviously better than others. Good file formats to use are MPEG4, WMV (Windows Media Video) and MOV (Quicktime). Other formats can be used but these are probably more popular. The main benefit of a good
file format is that it will give you an excellent balance between file size and quality of the video. This means that you will get a better quality video and a smaller file size.
Another important factor to cnsider is the window size of your video. The window size is the physical height and width of your video when it is displayed on your screen. It is better to use smaller window sizes as they result in smaller video file size and are hence faster to upload. This saves time and you are less likely to experience dropped connections and the associated frustration and hair pulling. In addition with good video compression it is also possible to put more video time into a smaller file size. So for example a 20 minute video could be compressed down to a 10 minute video without losing too much of the quality. So make sure to use the right window size.
The video frame rate is another important factor. This is generally shown as fps, or frames per second. This is simply the number of video frames that are displayed on your monitor every second. So 25 fps means that every second 25 frames are displayed. 30 fps is a typical setting.
Bit Rate is the number of bits of information streamed or displayed on your computer every second. This is another important factor. The bit rate should be high enough to display good quality video but not too high that it soaks up all your available bandwidth. 200K upwards is typical.
200K means that 200,000 bits of information are transferred from the video server to your computer every second.
So we have covered four of the main factors in encoding video that will look good on Youtube. There are other factors but these are probably the more important ones. Any decent video editing software, like Sony Vegas, will allow you to change and experiment with all of the above settings so that you a video that looks good on Youtube.