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I want to save space during the actual upload of youtube videos. I.e. I dont want to upload a 150Mb high quality video, when I can upload the same 10 Meg vid as 20 Megs. So, I need to know what is the best format and compression to use before uploading to YouTube?

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closed as off topic by Sathya, Nifle, random Jan 26 '11 at 19:17

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Are you just concerned about file size because of the time it takes to upload with your ISP? –  prestomation Jan 3 '10 at 20:25
@prestormation: Why would that matter? –  Macha Jan 3 '10 at 21:03

3 Answers 3

up vote 6 down vote accepted

YouTube recommends MPEG4 video with MP3 audio for best results.

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not best results. I want LOWEST upload filesize, that will have a decent result. –  coderama Jan 3 '10 at 20:08
That depends on what you consider "decent" as that is a very subjective question, and you didn't say that in your question so I don't know what the neg was for. All supported formats are on the page linked to above. I'd say wmv is a good balance of compression and quality. –  John T Jan 3 '10 at 20:10
‘best’ = lowest size per quality. Most codecs can encode at any old resolution and bitrate, so that's the only metric that's important for you. And yes, MPEG-4 AVC video (aka H.264) is the most efficient mainstream video codec available to you at the moment. MP3 isn't the best audio codec (you could certainly do better with OGG or AAC, and the latter is a good fit for AVC in MP4), but the bandwidth you can save on better audio encoding is relatively small compared to the video. –  bobince Jan 3 '10 at 22:02

It looks like your question is less about the format of the video as the bitrate of the video - which is what determines the final size.

Wikipedia has a scale of suitable video bitrates.

Ultimately this is subjective. Try encoding an excerpt in MP4 and MP3 audio for a few different bitrates and see what is the minimum you can tolerate. 320x240 resolution should be enough.

Tuxradar recommend these ffmpeg encoder settings:

ffmpeg -i MOV0010.mpg -ar 22050 -acodec libmp3lame -ab 32K -r 25 -s 320x240 -vcodec flv throwing-nuts.flv
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imho, mpeg4 using h264 compression is your best bet for file size and a "decent" result.

sounds to me like you have a notion of what decent is. if that is the case, encode your video in all the formats and judge for yourself.

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