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Export settings for YouTube, Vimeo et al

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Jason Holmes
Export settings for YouTube, Vimeo et al
on Apr 16, 2017 at 8:37:08 pm

I am new to this film edit world and have finished a video - I'm experimenting with export settings.

It's a music video that I'll be uploading and I note that YouTube recommends H.264 - which is fine except the audio codecs available for this at export do NOT include uncompressed audio.

The music file in my sequence is 24 Bit 44.1 - and I'd like to maintain that at export so that YouTube has the very best file to mess with.

And so, after some digging; I note that by choosing QuickTime as the format and wrapper - and then H.264 as the codec - I'm greeted with the lovely sight of an uncompressed audio option, in the audio panel!

So before I commit to this route; is there anything I've missed - or should be trying? What are other people's export settings for online distribution? Keeping in mind that I'm talking; in relation to the audio being as best as it can be!


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Jon Doughtie
Re: Export settings for YouTube, Vimeo et al
on Apr 17, 2017 at 12:55:52 pm

Your finished produce on YouTube will be comprised of compressed audio and video, so that is the limit of what you can do.

The alternate approach is to compress it yourself to YouTube spec with one of the YouTube presets, so you have full control over the end product, as opposed to YouTube taking that control.

System:
Dell Precision T7600 (x2)
Win 7 64-bit
32GB RAM
Adobe CC 2015.02 (as of 6/2016)
256GB SSD system drive
4 internal media drives RAID 5
Typically cutting short form from HD MP4 and P2 MXF.


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Jason Holmes
Re: Export settings for YouTube, Vimeo et al
on Apr 17, 2017 at 3:38:54 pm

This is the point i was making! There's a lot of misinformation on the web and in my tests and upon speaking with other audio biased video makers (music videos etc) - it's not true that you can upload pre-compressed audio - and that takes care of the job... (takes away the need for YouTube et al to then compress).

YouTube / Vimeo / (all of them!) will compress the video and audio... WHATEVER you upload, no matter the quality - so whilst YouTube might stream audio in AAC - if you export your video with AAC audio - YouTube will be recompressing that audio AGAIN - in other words, YouTube will be compressing the compressed audio (not good) and so the moral here is - upload uncompressed audio! Audio is not as heavy as video footage and so uncompressed audio won't do too much to the file size and upload.

The point you've made seems to be the oft' throught of approach - but I've been informed that the reality is something different. I'm open to hearing other people's views on this - to confirm one way or another. Upon uploading two identical videos - one with AAC audio on export - and another with 24Bit WAV audio... the uncompressed audio version did indeed sound better (slightly).

I think that for normal videos / films; compressed audio will be close enough... but for music / or audio biased films; uncompressed audio on export is preferable.

With this in mind; I'd love to hear from anyone, what their export settings are for delivering to video platforms... anyone have any insight into this?


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Daniel Waldron
Re: Export settings for YouTube, Vimeo et al
on Apr 17, 2017 at 7:21:44 pm

In my experience, Adobe's Quicktime H.264 codec is drastically inferior to the MP4 H.264 codec in terms of video quality. So much so, that I would never recommend using it. If you need uncompressed audio, why not go with a"lossless" codec like ProRes or DNxHD? File size will be huge, but I believe YouTube still accepts these codecs, and you could always set it to upload overnight.


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Jason Holmes
Re: Export settings for YouTube, Vimeo et al
on Apr 17, 2017 at 8:28:34 pm

^ you're not the first person to say to me, to steer clear of the QuickTime H.264. On the two uploads I did; it did look identical to the MP4 H.264 - but I'm certainly hearing a lot about the QuickTime being worse. Excuse my naivety; I'm trying to learn so much in so little time.. but if the codec is H.264 - How much effect can the wrapper have???

I will definitely look at the superior formats and see what the audio options are in those cases. I'm not in front of Premiere right now - but I think I did have a look and whilst they offered higher res or uncompressed audio export; I think I was forced to the 48k standard for the audio - whereas the audio master I have is 44.1 - and again, I'm trying to avoid any conversion; especially by Premiere itself. If I'm forced into a corner in doing a conversion I will use a special audio app like Izotope RX. Reason being is, sample rate conversions can cause spikes and in almost all cases can take audio, subtly, over the ideal gain point. A standalone app offers control over that and I've yet to delve into what premiere might do in this regard.

So far, it seems: H.264 MP4 is superior video vs being forced to use inferior audio OR QuickTime which can be inferior video - but allows uncompressed audio to be a part of the export. Again, the codec is the same, so can the wrapper make so much difference?

I will look, tomorrow, at the other options and see what hey hold. Thank you for your post.


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Daniel Waldron
Re: Export settings for YouTube, Vimeo et al
on Apr 17, 2017 at 9:25:35 pm

I'm guessing Apple has withheld some helpful info from Adobe that keeps them from being able to develop the Quicktime H.264 codec export as well as they would like. That's just an uneducated guess on my part though... I'm probably not technically the most qualified person to say why, but the reality is unfortunately that the format/wrapper does make a difference in final quality.

I just did a quick check in Premiere on my PC and exporting uncompressed AVI allows for uncompressed audio at 44.1. So I would check into that or some alternate high-quality formats.


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Jason Holmes
Re: Export settings for YouTube, Vimeo et al
on Apr 27, 2017 at 6:50:01 pm

Thank you Daniel! I checked into that and did an export - only issue was over 20GB for a three min music video!

I'm still going to choose between standard H264 with AAC audio VS QuickTime H264 with uncompressed audio.

If anyone is interested - I'll post links to both versions on YouTube for comparison...


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