There are so many codecs for digital movies out there that is becomes really confusing when you are trying to make a small file to place on Youtube, an ftp site or to email to everyone in your address book. By the way, a codec is the formula used to compress and decompress a digital movie. For example, you can compress your video clip using H263, H264, Animation, Sorensen, Cinepak, Animated GIF, DV, DV Stream, MPEG-4, MPEG-2, M4V, FLC, SWF, and on and on.
You could literally test and play with settings and parameters for days and you will eventually drive yourself crazy trying to get the perfect file that is small enough to email but vivid and snappy enough to get you the recognition and accolades you deserve.
Here’s a fool proof, easy way to do it…
Buy Apple’s Quicktime Pro application for around $40 bucks. Then open your big, uncompressed monster of a movie file, then say “EXPORT” in Quicktime Pro and choose “FOR iPOD.”
That’s it. Your file will be tiny and look amazing. Even though you ended up with merely an .M4V file that you could have done that yourself, you would never be able to compete with the genius eggheads at Apple who have spent hundreds of hours in R&D to have the perfect codec settings!
This is also a great file to upload to YouTube. Their upload robot LOVES this file. However, if you want to make it absolutely perfect for YouTube, you should create your original big file at 400×300 pixels, because otherwise YouTube will scale your file and cause it to lose some resolution. I understand that 400×300 is a non-standard aspect ration in computer land, but that’s what YouTube is, so you might as well create your original file that size. Be sure to make the file with those dimensions PRIOR to crunching down with the “EXPORT TO iPOD.”