Video Compression; I know, Yawn…

I was delighted to learn today that YouTube is now compressing their video content in H.264. In the past, the Flash compression they have used has such a low data rate (high compression) that it looked horrible. Apparently, since Apple, Inc., now has collaborated with Google, owner of YouTube, to include YouTube content on the AppleTV, Google is going through their content and compressing it using H.264.

For those of you who don’t recall, I did a side-by-side comparison of the difference is visual quality between Flash and H.264 in this post–nothing short of astounding. So, while, I have not yet had the time to explore any YouTube content, now that it is on my AppleTV, I plan to do just that. This could have implications for educators.

For those teachers who read my blog, are you familiar with TeacherTube? I guess they want to be considered YouTube for educators. It has real potential.

I stumbled upon this article on compression settings to improve your YouTube content. As it needs to filed away, I am posting just these steps from the detailed and informative article at Squidoo.

Final Tips For The Hardcore Compressionists

If you got to this stage in the article then you are probably pretty serious about getting the best settings and filters compressing videos for YouTube using QuickTime Pro.

1. Use H.264 codec, the best MPEG4 codec in the market today.

2. Set Quality to Best.

3. Set rate control to 1-pass Constant Bit Rate (CBR). So no Variable Bit Rate, no Multipass. YouTube transcoders prefer CBR.

4. Set key frames to every 30 frames or less. The more key frames the more information your video will have. YouTube transcoders loves keyframes. I usually set key frames every 15 frames in my high motion videos, however keep an eye on the file size.

5. Set data rate to 1000 kbps or more, depending on the running length of your video. By default I use 2000 kbps in my short videos. Again keep an eye on the file size.

6. Set aspect ratio to 320×240. You do not want YouTube to resize your video using a bicubic, bilenear or substandard method. Chances are your compression software uses a better algorithm. For widescreen videos set frame size to 320×180 pixels.

7. Set frame rate to 30 fps.

8. Set audio compression to MP3 or AAC: 44.1 KHz, 64 kbps, 16 bits, monophonic.

9. De-interlace your NTSC or PAL source videos, especially if it’s high motion

10. Apply filters to improve the look of your video: a bright/contrast filter and/or an image sharpening filter.

Remember, all these compression settings are the best compromise between keeping the video smaller than 100MB and keeping as much information as possible from the original video file.

Source: How To Make YouTube Videos Look Great on Squidoo