Chuck's videos make for a great playlist. I found
that you can select and play any of them from the embedded player,
but when opting to play them all in sequence, the first 4 play
followed by a message that to see more it's time to go to the
YouTube site... where you'll also see some advertisements needed to
help Google get income from their investment in YouTube.
Another Playlist... a study of ducks - 5
Let's study YouTube's service with a
short 2:21 video of ducks, the same movie uploaded 5 times...
each a different file type or with different quality settings. My starting
point for each was the same DV-AVI source file from Movie
Two of the 5 were uploaded as WMV files, and the other 3 as
Instead of embedding the playlist in a web page, I'll give
you the link to see it at YouTube. For some reason, the last of the
ducks has taken off... with 600 views in 3 days, while the first
4 uploaded have a combined total of 88 views. I don't know why, maybe
the words 'best WMV' in the title. What the viewers don't
know is it's the worst of the 5 in quality... keep
Play them to see differences in quality (most noticable when viewed
at full screen, something the embedded playlist viewer doesn't
How Do Downloaded Files Compare
to Uploaded Ones?
YouTube converts uploaded files to flash
give it a wmv and it'll convert it to a flash
file... and maybe at a much reduced quality
give it a flash file and it'll keep the file pretty much the
same but use YouTube Metadata
Injector to add some info. The downloaded files are
the same quality but slightly larger than the uploaded
I use the file sizes as the first indicator
of quality... both WMV and flash are highly compressed.
Ducks - this first upload was a wmv file
saved at my usual choice of Video for LAN (768 kbps)... it went up as a 13.8
MB wmv file, and comes down as a 5.9 MB Flash file.
Ducks Again... for this next one, I did
a conversion to a Flash file myself (see below) rather than letting
YouTube do it. With the DV-AVI file as the source, I got close to
the settings of my uploaded wmv file... 25 fps at a 768 kbps bitrate. The
uploaded FLV file was 20.1 MB, and the file that comes down is just
a slightly larger 20.1 MB.
Ducks... at 1000kbps - the first two played
pretty smoothly, so I wanted to see what happens if I upload a higher quality
flash file at 1000 kbps. The uploaded file was 22 MB, not much
bigger than the previous one, and the downloaded file is 22 MB.
We're seeing a pattern of flash flash files going up and coming back at
the same size, indicating YouTube isn't re-rendering them to a default quality
Ducks... at 1600kbps - this is the highest
bitrate setting the Riva FLV encoder goes up to... a 30 MB file up and a 30 MB
file downloaded... the pattern contines.
If it doesn't come down smoothly as it plays, pause the
playing and let the downloading finish. After the download, view it a
full screen and you'll see the highest quality file in
Ducks... best WMV at 60 MB - YouTube's
maximums are a 10 minute video and a 100 MB file size. In Movie Maker
I notched the size of the saved file as high as I could for a 640x480
pixel file. It made a 59.4 MB wmv file. I thought that perhaps
YouTube would reject it as some users say they can't get it to accept
their wmv files, but there was no rejection.
The conversion to flash by YouTube took a bit longer
than usual, and the downloaded file was 6 MB, 10% the size of the
uploaded one. The visual quality was consistent with the smaller
So the best quality going up was tied for the
lowest quality when viewed... the lesson here is to upload what YouTube
likes rather than what we like.... Flash files, not wmv. And make the flash
files at the quality you want.
After uploading it takes some time, minutes to an hour
depending on the file, for YouTube to turn the upload into a downloadable
(viewable) file with link. During that time you can upload more or copy the
file to a playlist, or do whatever else you want.
As both wmv files came back as lower quality flash files,
let's look closer.
When you play a video on YouTube, the
file downloads someplace into a set of automatically created
sub-folders on your hard drive. On my laptop, they are in c:\Documents and
Settings\PapaJohn\Local Settings\Temporary Internet Files\Content.IE5
sub-folders... along with other temporary internet files. They don't all go
into one sub-folder.
The downloaded files are named
get_video, and they are flash files
without the FLV file extension. Just add it.
I watch the files grow in size as the dowloading buffering
happens. When finished, I copy them into the newsletter folder with the uploaded
ones, and rename them to add a FLV extension. With the
extension, double-clicking one opens it in the Riva
, a utility that comes with the Riva FLV
The uploaded duck files started in the folder shown at
the right in this picture (don't look at all the details as the list wasn't
finished when I took the snapshot). The folder also has copies of the files
that came back from YouTube.
I correlated the ones that went up and down, and gave
them numbers to pair them - the 1s, 2s, 3s and 4s are related.
the MetaData Injector
To study the file properties of the downloaded flash files, I
and it's associated GUI.
When you run FLVMDI, it injects meta data (like I injected my
name into the file). I didn't need it to do any injecting, but one of the
options when injecting is to have it make an xml file which shows the file's
Let's check some of the files by looking at the xml files
Checking YouTube File Properties
Here's a section of the xml file for the downloaded
1600 kbps flash file... the video size and data rate are the same
as the file I uploaded.
WMV to Flash by YouTube
This snippet of xml info shows what came back from my first
wmv file upload.
A 640x480 file with a bitrate of 778 kbps went up, and
a flash file of 320x240 at 331 kbps came back.
My 60 MB super duck wmv video went up at 640x480 with
a video bitrate of a high DVD quality... 3276 kbps.
... and came back at the same flash file quality as
the first wmv file... 320x240 with a video bitrate of 340 kbps.
The pumped up extra quality of the uploaded wmv file didn't buy
me anything when viewing it. It just took more time to process.
Make Your Own Flash Files
Here's a snapshot of my usual settings.
Being in a good broadband NTSC environment, I
favor 640x480, 29.97 fps at a video bitrate of
... as seen above, with this tool you can notch the
bitrate up as high as 1600 kbps.
Make YouTube Playlists
When a video is online, you can add it to a playlist, a great
A playlist has a fixed link, so once you've created one
and given the URL to the world, you can delete, add,
or swap videos without effecting the link.
The last one uploaded will appear first in your list of online
videos... a perfect time to assign it to a playlist.
Playlists of 4 or fewer videos will play completely in an
embedded website player. If there's more than 4, as in Chuck's playlist of 7
videos, YouTube gives a message after the 4th one that, to see more, you need to
go to the list in a YouTube page, where you'll get to see some
Tip: I learned by experience to give YouTube the time
it needs to do what you tell it. My first attempts to build playlists
didn't happen quickly enough to suit me, so I told it again and
again, adding the same files over and over. Then maybe 10 to 30
minutes later I found lots of duplicates in the playlists. Each time I told
it to add a video, it did so, but at its own pace, not mine.
It works well if you give it a chance.
Widescreen 16:9 Videos
display as they should... I checked by
uploading a widescreen WMV file...
which plays widescreen in YouTube viewers
saving a widescreen movie to
DV-AVI and running it through the Riva encoder to get a Flash file... the new
file plays as widescreen in the Riva Flash player, and the uploaded FLV file
appears as widescreen to viewers.
I saw a post on Riva's
forums asking when widescreen will be supported... there wasn't a response, but
it seems it already is.