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Start a YouTube Career: A Quick Guide to the Platform's Best Video Formats

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There's no doubt that YouTube is one of the most popular online platforms today. With over one billion active users, it's a great place to share your videos and build an audience. But if you're new to the platform, it can be tricky to figure out what format to use for your videos. This quick-to-follow guide will walk you through the different video formats and how to choose the right one for your content. So whether you're looking to start a career on the platform or want to create better videos for your channel, keep reading!

Understanding Video Formats

  • MP4

MP4 is a digital video format that uses compression to save space without sacrificing quality. It makes these files smaller than other video formats, making them easier to download, edit, and upload. 

Moreover, MP4 videos are playable on various devices, from smartphones to laptops and across different operating systems. As a result, many YouTubers and live stream enthusiasts regard this file type as their go-to choice to create high-quality videos that are easy to share and edit.

  • MOV

MOV is a popular video format often used for storing high-quality video files. Apple develops the format, and it is compatible with Mac and Windows operating systems. These files are typically larger than other video formats, such as MP4, but they can be compressed to save space. 

MOV files are usually encoded using the H.264 codec, providing excellent quality and reasonable file size. This format can also be encoded using the ProRes codec, designed for professional-grade video editing. ProRes codec files are typically much larger than H.264, but they offer better quality and smoother playback.

Not all videos are formatted as MOV. If you need to reformat your content from another to MP4 and vice versa, an MP4 to MOV converter tool will help save you some time.

  • AVI

AVI is another popular video format that many people use. AVI stands for Audio Video Interleave, a multimedia container format that Microsoft developed. This file type can contain audio and video data and is often used for storing movies or TV shows. 

  • WMV

WMV is an acronym for Windows Media Video. It's a compressed video file format developed by Microsoft that works well for streaming over the internet. One thing to note, files with this format are often used to create playable DVD movies on both Mac and Windows devices. Some online video sites also use this file type for their media content. 

  • FLV

FLV is a file format initially developed by Macromedia, a company that Adobe later purchased. This format is used by many websites, including YouTube and Facebook, because of its relatively small, easily downloadable, and streamable capabilities. 

However, FLV files are not compatible with all devices and media players. You must convert the FLV file to another format if you want to watch FLV videos on your TV or another device. Fortunately, there are many free FLV converters available online. Select the file you want to convert, choose the output format, and click convert. 

Best Video Format and Technical Specifications

For the greatest high-quality video uploads, YouTube advises utilizing the MP4 format, so it should be your first choice. There is an alternative to MP4 if you can't or don't want to use it for whatever reason. The MOV format is nearly as good if you need a backup option.

If you can't utilize MP4 or MOV for whatever reason, you should convert your videos to one of those two formats or find another technique to capture them. Other formats won't be able to hold the video and audio quality that you'll need to submit to YouTube.

The video and audio codecs are designed to maintain as much visual and sound integrity as possible while uploading. Follow YouTube's suggestions to have H.264 codec, 15-20mbs, and Audio codec AAC-LC. You should have no problems with video quality loss or audio not matching the video.

Make sure your file, in whatever format, uploads in YouTube's usual aspect ratio of 16:9. Otherwise, you'll end up with a strangely structured movie with black bars along the sides or top. You may lose subscribers if your video doesn't fit properly on their playback screens or they can't make out details.

The maximum file size on YouTube is 128 GB or 12 hours. Try not to jam too much material into one video if you want constant viewers. You'll rarely have an issue with a file being too large to upload to YouTube if you stick to one topic for each video.

Although YouTube offers various formats, the recommended MP4 or MOV is the best way to preserve the quality of your video and audio. YouTube's enhanced suggestion will guarantee that you post the highest possible quality to your channel. High-quality videos are one of the most excellent methods to maintain subscribers and stand out in a sea of other content channels. These are the most acceptable file types to utilize when uploading your films.

Tips Before Starting a YouTube Career

  • Shoot your video in high definition (HD). YouTube recommends using a resolution of at least 1080p. This effort will help your video to look sharp and professional. You'll need a good camera. The best cameras for YouTube videos are ones that can record in full HD or 4K resolution. You'll also want a camera with autofocus and optical image stabilization so your videos look smooth and steady.
  • Edit your video carefully. Remove any unnecessary scenes and ensure that the audio is clear and free of background noise. You'll need some software for editing your videos. Final Cut Pro or Adobe Premiere Pro are reliable and excellent content editing options. For someone new to the game, VEED.IO is always a good recommendation.
  • Use keywords to optimize the video title and description. YouTube uses algorithms to determine which videos to recommend to users, and keywords are essential to this algorithm. Choose keywords relevant to the video topic you think people will be searching for.
  • Engage with audiences by responding to their comments and questions. If people take the time to comment on your content, it shows they're attentive to what you have to say. Responding to their opinions shows that you value their feedback and helps build a community around your channel. 
  • Regularly upload new videos. YouTube favors channels that periodically upload new content, so try to upload at least one new video per week. This endeavor will help to keep people coming back for more, and it will also help you to attract new viewers. 
  • Use annotations and cards to encourage viewers to subscribe to your channel. YouTube allows you to add annotations and cards to your videos, which can be used to promote your channel and encourage viewers to subscribe. 
  • Collaborate with other YouTubers. One of the go-to ways to grow your YouTube account is to collaborate with other YouTubers. It may involve creating a video with another content creator and featuring your content on both of your creative channels. Collaborations can help to introduce your channel to a new audience and can also be a lot of fun to make. 
  • Take advantage of YouTube's live streaming capability. YouTube's live streaming feature allows you to broadcast your video in real-time to all of your subscribers. This system is a great way to interact with your viewers and give them a behind-the-scenes look at your channel. 
  • Use YouTube's analytics tool to track your progress. This tool provides valuable insights into how your videos are performing. You can use this data to adjust your strategy and ensure you make the most of your YouTube channel. 
  • Have patience! Growing a successful YouTube channel takes massive time, effort, and dedication. Don't frown if your videos don't get a lot of views at first. Keep creating quality content, and eventually, your YouTube channel will grow.

The Takeaway

By following these straightforward steps, you'll be on your way to creating high-quality videos that will engage and delight your audience. So there you have it - everything you need to know about the most popular video formats, equipment, and tips for shooting and editing your videos. What are you waiting for? Get started today!

 

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