How to upload the right clip on video sharing sites

I frequent a number of video-related forums lately, and this question pops up all the time: what’s the best practice for videos to upload on YouTube and other video sharing sites.

Youtube encodes your video in 320×240 QVGA format and it has a time limit of 10 minutes and 100 MB size per clip. Other sites have similar size or time limitations, but few don’t. Revver re-encodes on 480×360 and Veoh on something close to 500 pixels wide. Here are a few pointers:

1. If your clip is smaller than 10 minutes, you can safely decide to encode it and upload it in VGA 640×480 format. If it’s bigger than 10 minutes, please note that YouTube won’t accept your video. Regardless, if your video is too long select the QVGA exporting size.

2. If your video is widescreen, make sure you use your encoder’s options to create a letterbox. You can choose to not letterbox and instead export using a widescreen size (e.g. 640×360 or 320×180), but depending on the kind of codec you will use, some video sharing sites won’t be 100% compatible recognizing it and they will “stretch” your video vertically making it look ugly. To be on the safe side, learn how to letterbox your videos.

3. If you decided to export in VGA size, use 1024 kbps video bitrate and 64kbps audio. If you went for QVGA, choose 320 kbps video and 64kbps audio.

4. The preferred codec exporting format is mpeg4. Choose either XVid or MP4-Simple profile, with CBR bitrate encoding (VBR bitrate can cause compatibility problems). Avoid WMV, as depending on the encoder used it has A/V sync issues when re-encoded by most video sharing sites.

Useful applications to do the job properly (with letterbox support) is MediaCoder on the PC side and QuickTime Pro on the Mac. FFmpegX won’t letterbox.


ruben wrote on July 27th, 2007 at 10:42 AM PST:

Thanks for some tips. But i am still in vain looking for this info: what is the bitrate that youtube encodes to your uploaded video? Why does youtube not tell us in detail about their so called..please wait, video is being processed!

This is the admin speaking...
Eugenia wrote on July 28th, 2007 at 2:35 AM PST:

You don’t need to know the bitrate that youtube does things. It won’t help you on anything, plus, it’s pretty low bitrate anyway (possibly 256kbps). All you need to do is use my suggested bitrates above and you will be on the safe side..

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