YouTube Video Upload Specifications

YouTube logoIf you help people learn their away around YouTube, you probably are used to repeating a few basic technical specifications. The most common pair of video specs is the basic YouTube maximum size, which is no more than 10 minutes in length, or 100mb in file size.

JULY 29, 2010 UPDATE: Today, YouTube boosted the maximum upload length to fifteen minutes (instead of ten minutes). Furthermore, the video file size can be up to 2GB.

DEC 09, 2010 UPDATE: Today, YouTube announced that they are beginning to roll out the removal of their time limits for uploaded videos. This will be rolled out slowly across user channels. As stated on the YouTube blog: “Starting today, we’ll begin allowing selected users with a history of complying with the YouTube Community Guidelines and our copyright rules to upload videos that are longer than 15 minutes.”

But once you get beyond that, and start considering ways to improve the video display quality (presuming you have a properly exposed original video file with good sound, to begin with), another aspect that will need to be considered is how to gain maximum video quality while YouTube is simultaneously reducing that quality during the video upload process.
Hence, it behooves one to be aware of what YouTube deems as the best video files to use for uploading:

  • WebM files – Vp8 video codec and Vorbis Audio codecs
  • .MPEG4, 3GPP and MOV files – Typically supporting h264, 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
  • .FLV – Adobe-FLV1 video codec, MP3 audio

For more info, here is the link to the YouTube Optimizing your video uploads page.
And if you are of the type of person that needs to know more about those file types and common video formats in general, then check out this post on Popular Digital Video File Formats.
Finally, how long should your video be? Just because you can upload a video to YouTube that is longer than 15 minutes in length, should you? The short answer is “it depends.” For more info, visit What’s the Best Length for an Internet Video?

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