With one billion viewers every month, YouTube is a distribution channel you don’t want to miss out on. From codecs to bit rates, this in-depth look at the best way to encode your videos for YouTube can help you become a YouTube encoding expert.
Your video production is finally ready for the world to see. You’ve spent hours fine-tuning your edits, dialing in your color grade, and mixing your sound track. When you upload your video to YouTube, you want it looking its best. But what compression settings should you use? Which file format should you export your video to, and what bit rate will give you the highest video quality while still playing back smoothly online?
To answer these questions, it helps to know how YouTube processes your video once it’s been uploaded to its video servers. When you know what’s going on behind the scenes, you’ll understand the best settings to use, and why you should use them.
When you upload your video to YouTube, its video servers kick into action and start transcoding your file into a set of optimized video streams. This allows your video to playback smoothly on everything from mobile phones to desktop computers. The individual video streams range in resolution and video quality from tiny postage stamp sized videos all the way up to 1080p, and even 4k.
The important thing to remember is that anything you upload to YouTube will be transcoded. So you don’t want to upload a highly compressed, low bit rate video. It’s just going to get compressed again. Instead, you always want to upload a high quality video to YouTube.
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