Take the 2-minute tour ×
Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

What format does YouTube use for compressing videos? I think it's FLV or H.264, but I'm not sure.

Is every video encoded with the same bitrate? Put another way: Does my video load faster if I upload to youtube a video with lower bitrate? (Given the same resolution)

share|improve this question
add comment

closed as off topic by sblair, slhck, Nifle, Mokubai, studiohack Sep 13 '11 at 1:25

Questions on Super User are expected to relate to computer software or computer hardware within the scope defined by the community. Consider editing the question or leaving comments for improvement if you believe the question can be reworded to fit within the scope. Read more about reopening questions here.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

1 Answer

up vote 1 down vote accepted

I think it's FLV or H.264, but I'm not sure.

FLV is a container format. H.264 is a video codec. Those two are not the same. h.264 is typically stored inside an FLV container.1 Therefore, any video you see on YouTube is offered to you as a FLV (Flash Video).2

YouTube by default stores their videos internally as h.264.3 That means any h.264-capable container mentioned in YouTube's supported upload formats is fine. I guess if you upload FLV files, or even WebM-encoded files, they shouldn't be transcoded, but stored as-is.

Does my video load faster if I upload to youtube a video with lower bitrate? (Given the same resolution)

Generally, yes. This assumption only holds true if there are no differences in available bandwidth from YouTube itself – their servers might be overloaded for some videos – and YouTube does not re-encode your videos.

1 – See here for more info: What is a Codec (e.g. DivX?), and how does it differ from a File Format (e.g. MPG)?
2 – unless you use the HTML5 feature, which would serve it without a Flash object
3 – according to Wikipedia

share|improve this answer
add comment

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.