Encoding HD widescreen video for YouTube

Got a video you wanna put on YouTube? This tutorial will talk you through the new (ish) HD and widescreen settings. There’s a text and video version. This will make you both a low-quality and HD version on the ‘Tube.

•    Have a video you wanna upload, in the highest quality you can muster*
•    Get free software MPEG Streamclip (Mac or PC) from www.squared5.com
•    Open the file (you can trim to a selection using the timeline under the video: use I for in and O for out)

mpeg streamclip interface

mpeg streamclip interface

•    Export with these settings:

mp4 container
h.264 codec
1800kbps bitrate
size 1280 x 720 (864 x 486 gives just high-quality)
deinterlace video (not always essential but doesn’t hurt)

160 kbps

NB – if you’re in the US or Japan, you’ll want 30fps if you’ve shot your own video. Europe and (IIRC) Australia is 25fps. Feel free to comment if you’re having trouble and I’ll get back to you.

Prefer AVI? Fine.

Use DivX codec instead of h.264, and mp3 audio istead of MP4 AAC, and you’ll get similar results.

*NB – If your source video’s resolution is less than 1280×720, you’re upscaling it. You can’t polish a turd, and if you’re scaling too much it’ll still look crap. 720×576 (PAL) or 720×480 (NTSC) is the smallest resolution I’d bother with.

Embed BBC iPlayer content

BBC’s iPlayer service is a great, if UK-only service that lets you catch up with any content shown on BBC terrestrial channels from the recent past. (Outside the UK? Try Hotspot Shield’s VPN, or read this guy’s blog)

Wouldn’t it be great if you could embed these shows into your blog?

Well, you can.


Thanks to Ryan at upyourego.com for a much nicer, easier and altogether more professional method of creating the embed. Check it here:


*old method*

All credit to watchification.com for the method and code, and it’s a little hack-sy, but here you go:

<div class="vidembed" align="center">
<div id="
insertPIDhere" class="player">
<embed id="bbc_emp_embed_
insertPIDhere" width="512" height="323" flashvars="domId=insertPIDhere&config_settings_showFullScreenCta=false&playlist=http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/playlist/insertPIDhere&config=http://www.bbc.co.uk/emp/iplayer/config.xml&config_settings_suppressCodec=h264" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" wmode="default" quality="high" bgcolor="#000000" name="bbc_emp_embed_insertPIDhere" style="" src="http://www.bbc.co.uk/emp/9player.swf?revision=7276_7623" type="application/x-shockwave-flash"/>
<script type="text/javascript">
2 var emp = new embeddedMedia.Player();
3 emp.setWidth("512");
4 emp.setHeight("323");emp.setDomId("
7 emp.setConfig("http://www.bbc.co.uk/emp/iplayer/config.xml");
8 emp.write();

Replace the seven pids (programme IDs) in the code (where it says insertPIDhere) from the correct show, and you’re away. PIDs can be found in the URL on the page for the episode you want to embed. For example, http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00gq734/QI_Series_6_Fight_or_Flight/, you’d want b00gq734.

It’s worth noting that the whole reason the BBC doesn’t allow embedding is because programmes expire after a certain time. Something you’d want to bear in mind if using this method.

Free video encoding software for Mac

There’s two great video converters for Macs: Handbrake and MPEG Streamclip.

Handbrake will convert copy-protected DVDs to Xbox 360, iPhone, iPod, PS3, PSP, Apple TV… The list of preset formats goes on.

MPEG Streamclip will handle pretty much anything.

You should also install Perian and Flip4Mac. Perian allows you to view and encode a wondrous variety of formats. Flip4Mac lets Quicktime play Windows Media (WMV).

If you wanna know how to encode something, do a site search or email me.