You want to start uploading to YouTube, but you need to choose a suitable format for your video.
Suddenly you see things like “.mp4” or “.avi”. Confusion sets in.
Do not worry.
I’m here to explain all about the best video format for YouTube.
What is the best video format for YouTube?
According to YouTube, the best quality video format to download in MP4 container. Google recommends using the H.264 video codec and a 16:9 aspect ratio for the best results.
What all of this means is, in almost all cases, the .mp4 file type is the best format for YouTube videos. The H.264 codec is typically used in the MPEG-4 container format, which is further categorized as an .mp4 extension.
Of course, this is just one of the possible YouTube file types that the website allows.
You’re not a fan?
What video formats does YouTube support?
Depending on your preferences, the following video formats for YouTube are also supported:
- HEVC (h265)
What video size should you choose for your YouTube videos?
When it comes to the dimensions of a Youtube Video, the options are literally endless.
To sum up:
It is recommended that content creators use a 16:9 aspect ratio for their uploads. This ensures that your video will fit perfectly on most monitors and video screens – most of them also share the same dimensions.
If you’re not sure what aspect ratio to use, 16:9 is your best bet.
Using 21:9 would make your video appear wider , giving it a sort of cinematic feel.
Another common is 4:3 , which was more common before widescreen displays. This makes the video look more like a square than the other aspect ratios we’ve mentioned.
There’s more where that came from.
The lowest possible YouTube resolution is 144p , while high definition videos are usually uploaded at 1080p . If your file is 16:9 and you want to upload it in high definition, you should try encoding it to 1920 by 1080 pixels.
720p is also considered a good alternative for high quality content. By encoding at 1280 by 720 pixels, your video won’t look as crisp as 1080p, but it will still look nice and crisp. If you want your videos to look professional and high quality, your goal should be 720p and above .
However, YouTube also supports higher dimensions, such as 4K. If you’re looking to upload to the highest possible YouTube video resolution , your target is 2160p. In a typical 16:9 ratio, this translates to 3840 by 2160 pixels. And recently the website also introduced support for 8K resolution at 7680 by 4320 pixels, if you really want to push the boundaries.
Why is it important to choose the right video format?
The best video format for YouTube is the one that best suits the target audience you’re trying to reach.
Let me explain why.
The aspect ratio is important – if you want your content mostly to be viewed on a computer screen or TV , then it would be best to go with 16:9. The screen size also means you’ll have to encode in a higher resolution, as lower quality videos don’t look good on a big screen.
On the other hand, if you want to provide the best experience on smartphones , it would be better to use an aspect ratio suitable for modern mobile screens. Another option is to make your video compatible for viewing in portrait mode using a 9:16 aspect ratio. This ratio keeps the screen dimensions the same as 16:9, but uses portrait mode instead of landscape.
If your target audience is in an area with slow internet speeds, lower quality may actually be a plus. A smaller YouTube video size uses less bandwidth. So if you’re looking to enjoy it, encoding in 720p or even lower quality is a good option.
In addition, an FLV format is more suitable for small file sizes than MP4. This is because FLV specializes in higher compression to make videos playable through web browsers with minimum effort.
On the other hand, if you are looking to create a cinematic experience , like a movie trailer, then try to download with the highest quality possible. Using an MP4 video format is most recommended for the highest quality compression results. H.264 is by far the best codec for YouTube, and the most common, accounting for 92% of streaming formats.
You can also try encoding your video to a different aspect ratio like 21:9, which would make it suitable for widescreen displays.
Why publish content in the right format on social networks?
Why publish content in the right format on social networks?
When you want to stand out from the competition and make yourself known, you know how crucial developing your presence on social networks is. If you want to build an active community and gain followers, producing quality content is a must. For your publications to be relevant, it is important to post videos in the appropriate format, whether on Facebook or Instagram. If you want to know the different formats to favor on social networks, you can go here. In this way, you will put all the chances on your side so that your content is qualitative and the most adapted to the social network in question. If you want to develop your presence on Facebook, you should know that the format will depend on the nature of your post. Indeed, the format is different when you post on the feed, in stories or even sponsored. In the same way, you will also have to adapt the dimensions of your photos and videos on Instagram. On Instagram, the format of stories is 1080 x 1920, while the dimensions to be favored in the feed and sponsored are the square format (600 x 600).
What is the difference between file containers and file codecs?
This is where things get a little technical.
Simply put, a video format consists of a file container and a file codec.
People use the latter to compress or decompress a digital video file . The MP4 format uses the H.264 codec to compress files, which is also the standard YouTube video format.
Thus, the purpose of compressing a file is to make it smaller and faster to transmit.
Once the compressed file is transmitted, it is then decoded in order to make it watchable. A tool that can compress or encode only files is called an encoder. The opposite of this is a decoder, a device that can only decode video files.
Once a video is compressed, it is stored in a file container format , also known as a wrapper or metafile. A file container takes audio and video streams, along with metadata, and combines them into a single media file. This can then be played using media player software.
The file format name usually follows the container name, such as MP4. YouTube uses H.264 codec and MP4 container format for most of its videos.
Helpful Tips for Uploading Video to YouTube
General requirements and type of content
The maximum allowed file size of YouTube video is 256 GB , and the maximum length is 12 hours .
However, if you want to download content longer than 15 minutes, you will need to verify your Google Account . For a channel to monetize their videos, they need at least 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 hours of public viewing.
YouTube’s Community Guidelines also prohibit hateful, violent, or sexual content. The content you post must not be harmful , or promote the sale of illegal goods or services, such as stolen bank accounts and drugs.
Use custom thumbnail and layout
Once you have made sure that you cover all the necessary requirements, you can start downloading.
If you’re not sure, shoot your video in high resolution and 16:9 aspect ratio. Also, make sure to use a YouTube download format. Creating a custom thumbnail and title is also very important to draw attention to your content.
Make your sticker stand out by using bright colors and large text that is visible in a smaller size.
Also, make sure you don’t include offensive, violent, or sexual content in your thumbnail or video title. Avoid using copyrighted content, avoid using copyrighted content, if you don’t want copyright strikes against your channel. If you want to use music in your video, go for a royalty-free track.
Choose the appropriate format
You may remember, out of video formats compatibility for YouTube, MP4 is the most recommended. It is also best to use an H.264 video codec for video compression and an AAC-LC audio codec at 96kHz or 48kHz sample rate.
The frame rate is also important. The most common on YouTube are 30 frames per second , or 60 frames per second. However, it also supports others like 24, 25, 48 and 50 frames per second.
If you want your video to be as smooth as possible, target a higher frame rate.
In terms of throughput, I would recommend:
- SDR Downloads
- 5 Mbps at 720p in standard frame rate (24, 25 or 30 frames per second)
- 7.5 Mbps at 720p in high frame rate (48 frames per second or more)
- HDR Downloads
- 6.5 Mbps at 720p in standard frame rate
- 9.5 Mbps at 720p in high frame rate
Ultimately, the format you should use is the one that best suits the purpose of your video. In most cases, this means using MP4, a 16:9 aspect ratio and a quality of at least 720p or better.
If you want viewers to watch your content on a big screen, consider using content above the YouTube Video Dimensions standard, like 1440p or even 4K.
If your video is better suited for smartphones or targets regions with low internet speeds, you can afford to download at a lower resolution and frame rate.
To maximize your chances of your content being promoted by the YouTube algorithm , you should upload in high quality and avoid showing offensive or violent content anywhere. Using a custom thumbnail is important to attract viewers and get clicks. Pair this with a good headline for the best results.
Also, make sure your video runs at least 24 frames per second and avoid including copyrighted material like music.
So what are you going to download next?