YouTube Upload 101: Tips, Specs, Limits, Formats

Posted on by Selin Comment

One of the best YouTube features is the ability to support different video formats for uploading, thus making it easier for users to share their videos. In most cases, YouTube  automatically optimizes your video for online playback. However, some settings will give the best uploading results. Let’s find out which ones.

Several years ago YouTube accepted only a few formats and video had to be under 100 MB and 10 minutes long. Since then the site has changed its rules and now, when YouTube accepts resolutions up to 4K and file sizes of 2 GB, almost all popular formats can be easily uploaded to it. Let’s recall them: WMV, AVI, MOV, 3GP, MPEG, MP4, FLV, SWF, WebM, and MKV (h.264). In case your video camera has another format, you may always convert video to one of these formats with free Freemake Video Converter.

Video converter output formats


It’s recommended to upload videos in HD for quality playback. Use one of the standard aspect ratios: 4:3 or 16:9. When the video is uploaded to the site, YouTube will either leave it as-is (for 16:9) or add vertical black bars (for 4:3). Don’t add horizontal black bars before uploading a video. If you do it, black bars will be all around your video and it will look rather horrible.

Frame Rate

If it’s possible, you’d better keep an original frame rate. Usually videos have the best quality if there frame rate is between 25-30 fps. Some modern cameras give even 2000 fps, but YouTube doesn’t support such a quality yet.


Since bitrate is highly dependent on video codec, there are no recommendations or minimum value. Videos should be better optimized for resolution, aspect ratio and frame rate rather than bitrate.


Most suitable codecs for YouTube are H.264, MPEG-2 or MPEG-4. These codecs are used in most modern videos, so you’ll hardly need to change this parameter.


YouTube states that the best format to use is MP4. It’s not as heavy as AVI and provides better quality than FLV. WMV HD format seems to lose its quality, while 3GP and SWF resolutions are too small.


Audio quality is not less important than video one. Even if your video track is a masterpiece, bad sound will spoil the whole idea. The recommended sound parameters are: MP3 or AAC format, 44.1kHz sampling rate and the higher bitrate possible, but no less than 192 kbps.

Now, when you uploaded your video on YouTube, you can make it public or private, add audio track (in case you don’t have any) and do any other editing.

And don’t forget that you can upload videos, music, and photo slideshows to YouTube without even visiting the site with Freemake Video Converter.

Freemake YouTube upload

  • Categories:
  • Web