Creating top-notch content on YouTube is not enough to guarantee channel success; you also need to make sure the videos you upload are in the right format. This way, you will increase your odds of getting more likes, views, as well as audience engagement. In this guide, I will walk you through the best YouTube video format for 2022.
What is the Best YouTube Video Format?
The best format for YouTube is MP4 with H.264 video codec and AAC-LC audio codec, and a standard aspect ratio of 16:9.
With this format, you can produce high-quality footage at a smaller file size. Moreover, the platform recommends uploading clips in a format that is close to the original as possible, particularly if it’s a higher resolution or HD.
Although many YouTubers tend to overlook this format requirement, it is very important to adhere to this rule since it affects the quality and visibility of your YouTube videos.
In addition to MP4 format, other file formats supported by YouTube include MOV, MPEG4, AVI, WMV, FLV, WebM, HEVC, ProRes, 3GPP, and DNxHR.
So, if your video format is not in any of the above formats, consider converting it before uploading it to YouTube.
What is the YouTube Video Aspect Ratio/Size/Dimension?
YouTube lets you upload videos of different sizes and dimensions, starting with 240p and as high as 2160p (4K). The smallest dimensions you can upload are 426 x 240p, while on the other end of the spectrum, the largest dimensions of videos you can upload on YouTube are 3840 x 2160p.
But observing the right dimensions is not enough. You still need to consider the length, size, as well as aspect ratio. The right aspect ratio is 16:9, and the maximum allowed size on YouTube is 12GB and a length of 12 hours.
But what if your video is too big for YouTube specifications? Well, if that is the case the platform tends to make a video automatically available in a number of sizes.
This means when a user streams on YouTube, they can choose the suitable size they want to watch.
YouTube’s Recommended Video Upload Settings
YouTube tends to have default upload settings for all videos uploaded via the browser. But you can always change these settings in terms of tags, title, comments, ownership, and many other setting options.
In terms of frame rate, YouTube requires content to be encoded and uploaded in a similar frame rate it was recorded.
The most common frame rates for the platform include 24, 25, 30, 48, 50, and 60 frames per second, although other frame rates can be accepted. Also, interlaced content needs to be deinterlaced before being uploaded.
On a side note, bitrate decides the size of the file and it reflects audio/video quality, demonstrating the amount of information stored per unit of time.
This information includes brightness, color, and voice among others. Bitrate is affected by codec, but there is no limit on maximum or minimum value. However, the larger the bitrate value the high the audio/video quality will be.
How to Convert to a Video Format Compatible with YouTube
I have listed some of the video formats supported by YouTube somewhere in this post, but while it is not exhaustive, I think you should know which formats are not supported. So if you have your file in one of the following video formats, consider converting to an MP4 video format which is the most widely accepted by YouTube. Other video formats are below:
- M4V file format
- DVD files including IFO, VOB, and BUP)
- MP3 file format
- AVG file format
To convert a file video format, you will need a third-party tool. There are plenty of YouTube converters for this purpose and it all depends on your needs.
Some platforms are free others operate on a subscription basis. However, most media players such as VLC can convert M4V files to MP4. Here are some of the best video converters on the market:
- DVD VideoSoft Free Video Converter
- DivX Converter
- Movavi Video Converter
Which is Better for YouTube AVI or MP4?
Both AVI and MP4 are supported by YouTube, however, MP4 is much better because it can easily be compressed without losing its audio or video quality. Nevertheless, AVI tends to have superior output but needs to be compressed to a smaller size, which unfortunately can lead to loss of quality.
Is h264 Good for YouTube?
As you may know, YouTube recommends a YouTube video file format of MP4, although there are also other video formats supported by the platform. However, to show a YouTube video at the highest quality, the platform also recommends the h264 video codec as well as a standard aspect ratio of 16:9.
Which is Better h264 or MP4?
The new video compression standard is h264, which comes with more advanced compression techniques compared to MPEG-4 compression. As a matter of fact, h264 is 1.5 to 2 folds more efficient compared to MPEG-4 encoding.
Q: What FPS is Best for YouTube?
Traditionally, YouTube videos were played at 30 frames per second, but now they have raised the bar and can do it at 60 frames per second (FPS). But the platform now recommends 24 to 60 FPS.
Q: Should I Film in 30 or 60fps?
I would say it depends. Usually, 30fps is recommended for TV productions including drama, news, and documentaries, while 60fps is recommended for sports videos. So, just choose depending on what you are shooting.
Q: Is Higher FPS Better?
Yes, a high fps will always produce smoother visuals.
Q: Should I Film in a 4K or 1080p iPhone?
4K video is the best option. An iPhone can shoot at 720p and 1080p as well as 4K. To obtain the highest video quality, you should go with 4K resolution. But if you care less about video quality and more about how much space your YouTube videos will occupy, consider dropping the resolution down.
Q: Is 1080p Good Enough for YouTube Videos?
Just so you know not all computers can view a 4K YouTube video or any other 4K video. Most computers can play high-definition 1080 video content, thus making 1080 a good option for YouTube channel content.
Q: Is 720p Bad Video Quality?
Not at all, 720p is not a bad quality but it’s only HD video. Whereas 1080 is in full HD video. It all comes down to what you are creating and what you want to do, plus the equipment you are using.