Please note: this page is being revised and is currently incomplete.
Digital Juice has produced an excellent video explaining Youtube. View it here. This is provided for information only, as the latest YT parameters are mentioned next.
There is a comprehensive Help section on the Youtube website here.
I also use Vimeo as my video host. The Youtube screen can get messy with ads and other movie links which detracts from the experience. Vimeo, on the other hand, has a clean screen with far less "distractions". It also allows you to password protect your movies. Viewers do not need to have an account with Vimeo; all they need to do is enter the password you give them to view your movies. Neat.
In Youtube's favour though is that it is possible to insert the Youtube player into your web pages wihtout too much of the accompanying adverts.
Quality/Codecs for Youtube
Why don't I use the MEP Youtube export function (File>Internet>Youtube...)? Because it doesn't work for me (MEP 14 can't log me on to Youtube), and also, it appears that you cannot control the encoding parameters for the file that you upload to Youtube.
The latest advice about codecs and quality from Youtube is shown here. Vimeo is similar.
Here is a summary, as I see the situation:
No change from the original eg 24, 25 or 29.97 FPS. Do not do "pulldown".
Maximum file size for Youtube is 2gb and 10 minutes.
The bitrate should be as high as you/your upload time will tolerate! The higher the better, but obviously it's going to take longer to upload.
You have various options for encoding your video for the Internet.
I use the following:
MEP 14 Plus:
Overall, this method results in noticeably lower quality per mg than MEP 15 Plus Flash export. In other word's you need to upload much bigger files to achieve the same standard as MEP 15 Plus Flash files.
MEP 15/16 Plus:
Of interest is the relationship between the file size/bitrate and the end product from Youtube. Increasing the bitrate and therefore filesize does not increase the download time from Youtube. What it does do is increase the quality. So my suggestion is to keep the bitrates high (as high as you can while tolerating the slower upload times). This will maximise the Youtube quality.
MEP 14 Plus:
See this page.
MEP 15 Plus:
Choose File > Export Movie > Video as MPEG 4 (ALT+K). This screen will appear:
In the Presets dropdown list there are numerous profiles that you can use. If you're after HD (1280x720) or PAL, you can use one of these presets:
If you're an NTSC user wanting a non-HD preset, you'll notice there isn't a Flash option for 720x480 normal or HQ. No problem; just use the NTSC preset up the list a little:
As mentioned above, the tradeoff is between the size of your files for uploading verses final quality for viewing, so you need to experiment. Try the lowest option first (Flash ; you might be surprised by how good your video looks.
After you have selected your profile from the dropdown list, make sure the settings displayed are correct, in particular the Aspect Ratio. I have found that the presets, even though you choose 16:9 on the main export screen, do not change (resulting in a 4:3 file, despite what is shown on the main export screen) and this has to be done manually.
Next, click Advanced to check the settings:
Now click "Advanced video settings..." and then the "Main Settings" tab:
When happy, click OK twice to get back to the main export screen:
That's it. Export your movie and then upload it at your leisure.
To enable streaming of MP4 files with web players such as the JWplayer, the "MOOV atom" data has to be put at the start of the file. Do this by, on the Advanced Multiplexer Settings>Settings tab, setting the Atom Reordering dropdown to "MOOV before MDAT".