Best Video Setting for YouTube

Settings used from After Effects for YouTube video

Settings used from After Effects for YouTube video

Having just uploaded a video to YouTube, I got a shock over the quality and the time it took to upload. My original file was a .mov Quicktime movie (YouTube suggest .mov and .avi files) that came out at 384MB for 5 minutes! The quality was pretty blurry.

This morning, I opened up After Effects to re-render the video. This time I chose H.264 as my format, scaled to 640 x 480px. For the audio I selected 44.1KHz Mono.

Not only did this reduce my file size down to 21.8MB but the video quality and sound were better.


YouTube seem to compress the uploaded videos using various methods that all affect your final output.

If you have iMovie, After Effects, Windows Movie Maker, Final Cut, Premier Pro or another video editing application, play around with the output settings. I know iMovie has an export directly to YouTube option built in.

These settings worked for me – hope they help you.

One last thing, and this is a quality-improvement hack that I picked up from here.YouTube has added HD playback options if an HD version has been uploaded. If not, try adding this &fmt=18 to the end of the url in the address bar…

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