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Quicktime Pro, Finalcut Pro or iMovie settings optimized for YouTube

edited September 2010 in Support
If you are using Quicktime Pro to convert your files for upload to YouTube, there is a little problem...

QuickTime Pro, Finalcut Pro and iMovie save the "indexes" at the END of the file. YouTube really needs these to be at the BEGINNING of the file. See the following two articles from YouTube:

"Getting Started: .MOV / .MP4 / .3GPP files ( http://www.google.com/support/youtube/bin/answer.py?answer=182687 )

MOV /MP4 /3GPP files are index based. Simply put, this means that there is an index in the file that tells us the specific location of where in the file the video and audio frames are present. Without the index, it is almost impossible to know where the data for a specific video or audio frame is. This index is contained in what is called a 'moov' atom in the file.

Now, if the index is at the beginning of the file, it will enable processing of the video as and when successive bytes of the file are uploaded. On the other hand, if the index is at the end, processing the video cannot begin until the entire upload is complete - since the index is needed to interpret the file.

Hence, for MOV / MP4 / 3gpp files, we prefer the "moov" atom in the beginning of the file - also known as "fast start" or a "flattened" MP4 / MOV file. There are tools available on the web to flatten your MOV file. Usually the video editing/export software will have options to create your files with the moov atom in the beginning rather than the end of your file. If you are using Apple editing tools, then see [the following] article on how to produce files with moov atom in the beginning of the file."

"Learn More: File format / editing tips for Apple users ( http://www.google.com/support/youtube/bin/answer.py?&answer=165543 )

If you're a Quicktime Pro, Finalcut Pro, or iMovie user, check out the following tips on how to export your video files and get the best results out of uploading to YouTube and the transcoding of your files. (.mov files are being addressed here)

* QuickTime Pro:
File -> Export -> Export: Movie to QuickTime Movie -> Options
* Finalcut Pro:
File -> Export -> Using Quicktime Conversion -> Options
* iMovie:
File -> Export -> Compress movie for: Expert Settings -> Share -> Export: Movie to QuickTime Movie -> Options

In the Options box:

1. In the Video section select the following:
* Compression Type: H264
* Frame Rate: 30
* Data Rate: Automatic (PC QT Pro has no "Automatic" selection)
(if you choose to restrict the Data Rate, make sure to choose the highest value acceptable to you- more bits = better quality)
* Key Frames: Automatic
* Frame Reording: Unchecked

2. In the Video section click "Size":
Dimensions: Set this to the original size of your video (Note: HD resolutions preferred- 1280x720 or 1920x1080)

3. In the "Prepare for internet Streaming" section:
Select the "Prepare for internet Streaming" and choose "Fast Start" from the drop-down menu.

4. In the Audio section, make sure that the audio codec is AAC. Always use ACC as the preferred audio codec.

5. Once you've made all of these selections, click the "OK" button to save your preferences.

6. Add a title to the video file and click the "Save" button to save your edited version of your movie. Your project will then be exported and be ready to upload to YouTube."

Remember, YouTube accepts many file types besides Flash (FLV):

"Tuning your video formats for Youtube ( http://www.google.com/support/youtube/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=55744 )

There are a wide range of video codec formats, audio codec formats and container formats in use and YouTube supports a very wide variety of them. You can get a quick overview of what may be an issue with your video's formatting by taking a look at the messages, warnings and error messages that we communicate to you while you're uploading your video.
Read on for more detailed information on video file formatting.

Here's the list of some well-known formats which YouTube supports:

* WebM files (Vp8 video codec and Vorbis Audio codec)
* .MPEG4, 3GPP and MOV files - (typically supporting h264 and mpeg4 video codecs and AAC audio codec)
* .AVI (Many cameras output this format - typically the video codec is MJPEG and audio is PCM)
* .MPEGPS (Typically supporting MPEG2 video codec and MP2 audio)
* .WMV
* .FLV (Adobe - FLV1 video codec, MP3 audio)"

I hope that hard-to-find bit from YouTube helps people here.



  • Found this at http://www.google.com/support/forum/p/youtube/thread?tid=3bc2a517524767a9&hl=en

    Suggested "Instructions for advanced Mac users creating .MOV files for YouTube"
    Level 9
    Some of the recommendations in YouTube's "Help articles" for Apple users creating .MOV files contradict guidance given elsewhere or use terms only software developers would be familiar with. I believe the instructions below cover the major do's and don'ts for creating .MOV files that are "YouTube Friendly".

    Instructions for advanced Mac users creating .MOV files for YouTube

    YouTube doesn't support or improperly decodes some of the more advanced features and data types that may be used in .MOV files. When creating .MOV files that will be uploaded to YouTube you can increase the chances your movie will playback properly by conforming your .MOV file to the following specifications:

    Video Track (required)
    - must contain 1 and only 1 Video Track
    - do not use "Frame Reordering"
    - H.264 encoded
    - 23.98, 24, 25, 29.97, 30 are acceptable Frame Rates

    Sound Track (optional)
    - may contain 1 and only 1 Sound Track
    - Sound Track [if present] must be of equal length as Video Track
    - AAC encoded

    "Prepare for Internet Streaming" (required)
    - must be "Fast Start"

    Do not include any other type of "Tracks" other than the 1 required Video Track and 1 optional Sound Track. Do not embed XML, XMP, or EDL data.

    If you are creating a .MOV for a client that may upload the file to YouTube you should explain the importance of not editing the movie in any way since that invalidates the "Fast Start" option. Make sure clients understand that adding or deleting bumpers, bugs, color-bars, credits, black, slates, etc. is considered "editing".

    Sound Track specs addendum:
    - "AAC" encoded with "Constant Bit Rate" option


  • Has anyone tried these tricks with the most recent versions of Quicktime?

  • I was using Handbrake years ago to convert movie files to upload to YouTube. works well for me, except for only outputing mkv and mp4 file.
    convert flv to mp4 on mac, see: http://www.ilikemall.com/how-to/convert-flv-to-mp4-mac.html

    I use the tool but I'm sure there's other stuff out there.
  • You'd better use a professional Video COnverter to transcode movies to MPEG-4 MP4 for uploading to YouTube

  • Technically, iMovie does import MP4 video. However, iMovie only import MP4 files that are encoded with MPEG4/AAC or H.264/AAC data. And yet, MP4 is a video container format that may contain various audio and video codec (and sometimes even subtitle streams included). If the MP4 file is not encoded with iMovie support codec, iMovie will refuse to import this kind of MP4 video.

    In order to successfully import all kinds of MP4 files to iMovie, a recommended solution is to convert iMovie unrecognized MP4 to iMovie supported video format.

    Step by step guide at http://www.idealshare.net/mp4-imovie-solution.html
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