In my previous post about How to make video that’s optimized for the web, I introduced the need to make web video and screencasts web ready in order to minimize inefficiencies in settings and file bloatedness that contribute to the occasional stuttering and sputtering videos. Your viewers won’t stand for it; they’ll click away. You could lose visitors. Worse, you could lose sales if your videos are part of a marketing campaign.
And, as I mentioned in my last post, while this isn’t really an issue if you host on popular sites like YouTube, making web video and screencasts web ready is an issue if the videos are self-hosted. Good news: there’s an app for that. :)
Handbrake is free software you can use to make web video optimized for self hosting. There are versions for the PC and the Mac.
In the screencast above I’ll show you the absolute minimum settings you need to make in Handbrake in order make sure your self-hosted web videos are compatible with virtually all platforms. Meanwhile, I took the liberty of listing the quicksteps below in case you want to bookmark this page for future reference.
Quicksteps for settings optimizing web video using the free Handbrake software
- Preferences menu. De-select the option for “Use iPod/iTunes friendly (.m4v) file extension for MP4″
- Main window.
- Choose the Source button. Select the video you want to optimize for the web.
- Under Format. Choose “Mp4 file.”
- Choose (enable) the Web Optimized checkbox.
- Main window / Video tab.
- Under Video Codec, choose “H.264″
- Main window / Audio tab.
- Under Bitrate, choose 128.
- Main window / Advanced tab.
- Next to Reference Frames, choose “4.”
- Back to Main window / Video tab.
- In the Quality section, choose Average bitrate. Use the following rules of thumb to set bitrate value:
- For screencasting / screencast recordings: use 600
- For live action videos / “talking heads”: use about 700 to 800
- Enable the checkbox labeled “2-pass encoding”
- Main window:
- In the Destination field, choose the folder where you want your converted (transcoded) file to be stored.
- In the tool bar, choose “Start.”
Does this help? Also, I’m curious, what do you typically do for hosting videos? Do you self-host? Or, do you prefer YouTube, or some other hosting service?
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