Monday, October 11, 2010

Optimize Video for YouTube

If you have video to be uploaded to YouTube, it's very important to optimize the video before uploading. A well-optimized and high definition video can bring viewers better visual experiences, and may drive more viewers to your video.

(Want to download videos and movies from YouTube for free? You can use Leawo Free YouTube Downloader. It is a free YouTube video downloader that can download and convert videos from YouTube and other websites. You can learn more features of it from its user guide.)

Before start, you can learn more information about Supported video / audio formats for uploading to YouTube.

In general, for best upload results, ensure your video and audio lengths are the same. If you're using an editing package, make sure that the file you upload to YouTube does not have edit lists. You can go to YouTube Uploading Tips for Video Editing Tools on Apple to learn more details.

Now let's begin to learn how to optimize widescreen video for YouTube uploads.

* Video needs to be original!

Original here means video with no decoding or encoding process. As each re-encoding can generally degrade the quality of your video and create some specific problems too, which we'll address below. So the less a video is re-encoded prior to uploading, the better the resulting YouTube video quality.

* Aspect ratio & no letterboxing or pillar-boxing bars

The aspect ratio of the original source video should always be maintained when it's uploaded: Uploaded videos should never include letterboxing or pillarboxing bars.

The YouTube player automatically adds black bars so that videos are displayed correctly without cropping or stretching, whatever the size of the video or the player. For example, the player will automatically add vertical bars (pillarboxing) to 4:3 videos in the new 16:9 widescreen player size. If the player is re-sized (when embedded on another website for example) the same process takes place, so that 16:9 videos are letterboxed (black bars top and bottom) when the player is sized to 4:3, for example. Similarly, anamorphic videos will be automatically letterboxed when shown in either 16:9 or 4:3 sized players. The player can only do this if the native aspect ratio of the video is maintained.

If letterboxing is added to a video before it is uploaded (to create a 4:3 video from a 16:9 master for example), the widescreen player will add pillarbox bars too, resulting in black bars all around the video (windowboxing) and a bad viewing experience (see the diagram below).

How to do it (Click to enlarge the picture)

How not to do it (Click to enlarge the picture)

* High definition is recommend

With new video formats developed and HD supports, YouTube offers the option to view video in high definition, such as 1080p, as long as the video you uploaded to YouTube is in high definition. HD video is the preferred format which results YouTube videos of the highest quality currently available.

* Frame Rate

The video frame rate should be the same as the original where possible - up-sampling from a 24fps original can cause judder artifacts for example. For film sources a 24 fps or 25 fps progressive master yields the best results while videos that have had a re-sampling transfer process applied - such as Telecine pulldown - often result in a lower quality video.

* Testing

Since there is no facility to re-upload videos, it's important to test your audio and video quality are satisfactory before you release your video publicly onto YouTube. Once a video becomes popular, the number of views, user ratings, user comments and other community data, cannot be transferred if another, higher quality version of the same video is uploaded. Make sure you get it right!

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