Tips for Encoding Video for Trackops

If you want to view your videos online, you'll need to follow some guidelines when it comes to preparing your video.  Most video programs out there have the ability to compress video with the following settings:

Video

File Format:

.MP4 (MPEG-4 AVC)

Codec:

H.264

A codec is the format in which your video will be encoded. Different codecs have different features and varying quality. For best results, use H.264.

Frame Rate:

10, 12, 15, 24, 25, or 30 FPS

A lower frame rate will yield a smaller file size, but not as smooth.  If you're video doesn't have much action, you can usually get away with a lower frame rate.

Data Rate:

This setting controls both the visual quality of the video and the file size.  In most editors, this is done in terms of kilobits per second (kbps).  The lower the data rate, the lower the video quality and file size.  Experiment with this value to produce a video suitable for your needs.

Resolution:

640x360 for 16:9 video and 480x360 for 4:3 video.  Anything smaller or larger will automatically be scaled to fit.  If you want better fullscreen quality you can use 1280x720 for 16:9 video and 640x480 for 4:3 video.

Streaming:

By default, encoded video will require the end user to download the entire file before playback is initiated.  To ensure that video starts playing as soon as a buffer has been established, be sure that the Web Optimized or Fast Start setting is enabled in your editing software before encoding your video.  Please note, the name of this feature may vary between different applications.

Audio

Codec:

AAC (Advanced Audio Codec)

AAC will provide you the best results.  If you do not need audio, disabling it altogether will reduce the file size of your final product.

Data rate:

This setting controls overall quality of the audio. This is done in terms of kilobits per second (kbps).  The lower the data rate, the lower the audio quality and file size.  Experiment with this value to produce an audio quality suitable for your needs.

Sample Rate:

44.1 kHz or lower.

Software

Most modern video encoding software will encode to MP4 with the H.264 codec.  If you are unsure if your software has this capability, please contact the software developer for more information.  

If you are looking for a free software program that will convert just about any video to MP4 format, we recommend Handbrake.

 

Additional Resources

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