Viddler’s video encoding process has recently been revamped. To help you get the most out of Viddler’s high-quality video encoding, we’ve put together this article for you to reference for your video projects.
For novices encoding video can be a daunting task. Fortunately, software tools like Apple’s iMovie and Microsoft’s Windows Movie Maker make it pretty easy to export your video project in a format that will work well on Viddler. If you use Final Cut Express, Final Cut Pro, Adobe Premier, Sony Vegas Pro, or any other professional video editing software – you probably know exactly how you want to encode your video. For you, we’ve jotted down the list of suggested video encoding settings below.
Video encoding for the novice
If you are using a software package like Apple’s iMovie or Microsoft’s Windows Movie Maker – then exporting your videos at the quality those packages suggest will typically give you satisfactory quality here on Viddler.
If you’d like to get the most out of these packages… we suggest using the following steps to get the most out of both of these packages.
Apple’s iMovie ’08 and/or ’06: When exporting your video project from iMovie you can select to “Export using Quicktime.” (example screenshots). This will give you advanced settings to export your video. You will have options to edit nearly every aspect of the final video output, but we suggest only paying attention to a few important ones. These are called format, resolution, video bit-rate, audio bit-rate. To see each of the settings for these, read the suggested video encoding settings below.
If you do not want to deal with any of these advanced settings you may export the movie using iMovie’s “Apple TV” specification. This will result in a video file that might be “good enough” for most uses.
Windows Movie Maker: Unfortunately Windows Movie Maker does not support exporting in any other format besides DV-AVI, and WMP9. While you may upload either of these two file types, you can not use these file types to share via iTunes, on iPods and iPhones, or on Apple TVs and Tivo set-top boxes. These devices only support the Quicktime (.mov) or MPEG-4 (mp4,m4v) video formats.
To convert a Windows Movie Maker project into a Quicktime-compatible file you will need to first export the video as DV-AVI and then convert it into Quicktime using Quicktime itself. The same optimal video encoding settings below apply.
Suggested video encoding settings
The settings we’re going to pay most attention to are format, resolution, video bit-rate, and audio bit-rate. If you require information about any other video settings beyond these, please ask us in the forums.
We recommend uploading video files with the following specifications to get the best video quality in the smallest file size while retaining the ability to share these files via iTunes, etc.
Format: MPEG-4 (.m4v or .mp4)
Resolution: 960 x 540 pixels*
Video bit-rate: 800Kbps
Audio bit-rate: 256Kbps
* Typical HD video is distributed at a specification called 720p which is a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels. However, we recommend a smaller resolution since this will save on both file size and download time. This is not required and you may choose to upload 720p.
Not shooting in HD? If you are not uploading HD or even 16:9 (widescreen) videos, we recommend you upload your video file with a resolution of at least 640×480. If you are using a tape-based video camcorder purchased prior to 2007, please read the “Tips for older video cameras” section below.
This will result in a high-quality Quicktime compatible file that can be used for distribution using the leading software and hardware devices in use today. Viddler will use this file and, by default, encode a Flash video file (.flv) using these settings: Format: Flash video file (.flv), Resolution: 640 pixels wide by the appropriate height based on aspect ratio uploaded (16:9 or 4:3), Video bit-rate: 400Kbps VBR (this is variable, and not exact), Audio bit-rate: 128Kbps.
It is important to note that this is what Viddler’s default encoding settings are for the flash version of the video on Viddler. This does not affect the original file uploaded which can be used for things like downloading, subscription to iTunes, or distribution to other devices and software packages. Whatever file type and settings that you upload is what the downloadable version of your video will be.
If you require higher encoding settings than Viddler’s default you can request an upgrade by becoming a Viddler Partner (which is a revenue sharing program for members that allow advertising to be displayed on their videos) or a Viddler Business Service member.
Tips for older video cameras
Don’t feel bad. It’s OK to use older equipment. We just have a simple tip for you to get the most from your experience. If you have a video camera that records to tape and was made before 2007, then it most likely records interlaced video. Online video does not support interlacing; your video will have lines going through it especially during high motion. To remedy this you just have to deinterlace your video. To deinterlace your video, simply choose the “Deinterlace source video” option when you are exporting your video.
Contributing author: Derek Steen (djsteen).