November 14, 2008

YouTube gets HD & quality confusion

Update 12-05-08: YouTube added "watch in HD" for 720p movies.

It seems YouTube does HD at 1280 x 720 now, so you don't have to use Javascript to tile 4 Youtube videos like Mr. Doob (who's also a Pixel Bender). Yesterday there was an interesting Techmeme blog swarm originating from a post on YouTube quality; here's an excerpt:

"I got an email from a YouTube engineer who tells me that format 18 isn't even the highest quality you can get. Check out Dancing Matt in format 22, aka 720p. Furthermore, some videos don't have a format 18 version (if the uploaded movie doesn't have sufficient quality, for instance)."

Sometimes "high quality" is HD H.264 in stereo ("&fmt=22"), or smaller (480x360, 4:3 frame aspect ratio) in H.264 stereo ("&fmt=18") or H.263 mono ("&fmt=06"). Format 22 is not always 1280x720 -- the tag is ignored if there's no HD movie uploaded, as with David Kalb vs LeBron James - Horse (HIGH QUALITY), where format 22 seems like format 06.

YouTube advice is scarce and haphazardly released. Upload advice is simply 640x480, 30 fps, MP4 with a 1 GB limit, though other sizes & formats are allowed. It seems that you should upload the highest resolution possible because YouTube saves the original upload to spin off better copies later apparently.

Download helpers, like KeepVid, Video Download Helper, GreaseMonkey scripts, Better You Tube, Safari's Activity window, etc., seemed to be a bit inconsistent in reading "normal" and the various high quality download options -- or I got confused looking at the metadata for YouTube files read by K-Multimedia Player, VLC, and Media Info (Win & Mac, via Brian Gary's YouTube Encoding: Locked & Reloaded).

Looking at Kottke's movies... it seems there are 4 formats on YouTube this morning for the Where the Hell is Matt? (2008), which has a 16:9 frame aspect ratio. Other formats for videos uploaded at different resolutions, like the download of David Kalb vs LeBron James, fall into the definitions a bit different:

normal quality
(320 x 240 @ 250 Kbps, H.263 video, audio mono 22.5 KHz)
file size = 11,295 KB
320x180, H.263, 344 kbps
MP3, mono, 16 bit, 22 KHz

high quality "&fmt=06"
(320 x 240, H.263 video, mono 16/44.1 at 96 Kbps)
file size = 33,587 KB
480 x 270, H.263, 30 fps, 1024 kbps (total file)
MP3, 96 kbps, mono, 16 bit, 44 KHz

high quality "&fmt=18"
(480 x 360, H.264 video 512 Kbps, stereo 16/44.1 at 128 Kbps)
file size = 20,784 KB
480 x 270, H.264 (3GPP), 29.97 fps, 632 kbps (total file)
AAC LC, 125 kbps, VBR, stereo, 16 bit, 44 KHz
(VLC says the file is mp4a, 29.970029, 44.1)

high quality "&fmt=22"
(1280 x 720, H.264 video, 16/44.1 KHz stereo)
file size = 75,320 KB
1280 x 720, H.264 (3GPP), 30 fps, 2296 kbps (total file)
AAC LC, 232 kbps, VBR, stereo, 16 bit, 44 KHz

high quality "&fmt=18" *B
David Kalb vs LeBron James - Horse (HIGH QUALITY)
file size = 34,691 KB
480 x 270, H.264 (3GPP), 29.966 fps, 629 kbps (total file)
AAC LC, 125 kbps, VBR, stereo, 16 bit, 44 KHz

high quality "&fmt=22" *B
David Kalb vs LeBron James - Horse (HIGH QUALITY)
file size = 18,098 KB
320 x 180, H.263 (Sorenson), 29.966 fps, 328 kbps (total file)
mono, 16 bit/22.050 KHz
flvsource : cdbp

1 comment:

Anonymous said... seems to be available in format 17 which is a very small image