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Old March 16th, 2008, 03:10 AM   #1
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Youtube's quality boost in action

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Sorry everybody, but I'm changing this post while I still have the opportunity, because apparently something's screwy with the high quality versions of the Youtube videos I had originally posted here (for the record, the regular quality ones still play properly). Until it resolves itself, or I figure out what I did wrong, if anything, it's probably not best to post direct links that can't be altered should something change. They've been replaced with a link to my Youtube account, and if you're the adventurous type, you can find the videos and do what I mention below (add &fmt=18 to the end of a Youtube URL) to try your luck. I was all excited about this, too. At least it was fun while it lasted.

----

Oh, man, this is something else! I hate to toot my own horn (but without a girlfriend, what's a guy going to do? Ha! How many times have I used that joke?), but after sticking my DVC12 entry in my Youtube account, I uploaded my entries from DVC 5 and 6 as well, for the sake of completeness. Sticking with superstitions I'd heard whispered around the internet, I initially uploaded .flv files, thinking I'd avoid at least one color space and/or pixel format conversion. Well, so much for that. They looked great, but this contest came on the heels of Youtube's update to "higher quality" video. If it's available for a video, they now deliver an MP4 version of the file, apparently buried in a Flash track on their page so it still uses the old player interface. I don't know, I'm not a Flash guy. Anyway, the best way to avoid unnecessary conversions now seems to be going straight from DV AVIs or MOVs to an MP4 format, then giving them that as the "master", if you will.

To make a long story just a bit longer, I uploaded the files a second time, this time providing Youtube's system with 640x480 MP4 files with 22Khz MP3 audio, and it worked. The link underneath the video that says "watch this video in higher quality" doesn't seem to show up for my videos, but if you use the trick everyone's talking about, you can force it. Add "&fmt=18" to the end of the video URL, and you are taken to the higher quality version, if one exists (otherwise, you just see the "Loading" thingie).

Let me shut up and give you the results I'm talking about:

http://www.youtube.com/robertcmartens See "No Other" and "That Wouldn't Happen".

You can see the difference right away on the title text, but for the good stuff, in No Other skip to about 1:52 and check the ripples in the pond, and for a real kick, in That Wouldn't Happen skip to 2:40. Try them full screen to really go crazy.

I don't know what to say beyond "I didn't know my camera could do that". Cool, huh?

Last edited by Robert Martens; March 16th, 2008 at 05:43 PM.
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Old March 24th, 2008, 11:51 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Martens View Post
...add &fmt=18 to the end of a Youtube URL
I finally got around to trying this on some of my old standard def videos posted on YouTube. The difference is AMAZING. It's well worth the time it takes to add the code and restart the video. Thanks, Robert!
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Old April 15th, 2008, 10:18 PM   #3
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Does this still work?

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Old April 16th, 2008, 12:24 AM   #4
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Wow! This is incredible! Works great for my clips! I immediately see the difference, especially with dissolve transitions!

I transfer clips from AVI to WMV using a bit rate that equals about 10 minute length = 1 GB using Premiere's encoder and upload the WMV's to youtube that way.
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Old April 16th, 2008, 12:29 AM   #5
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Hey Matt...what settings did you use in Premiere?

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Old April 16th, 2008, 02:49 PM   #6
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Wow!

Incredible difference

I don't know if youtube is planning on releasing everything in the new format, but I looked at my Internet temp files, and the high res format for Daytona was an MPEG-4 file that I could run in quicktime. Makes it trivial to rip video files from youtube. The MPEG-file was 31M as opposed to 16M for the flash player version.

Check how the difference, and then open temporary Internet files, and get a copy of the movie.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r2b4nXXqyG8&fmt=18
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Old April 16th, 2008, 03:43 PM   #7
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Just to update, the problem I ran into up in the first post has indeed resolved itself, and everything works the way it should. Happy days are here again. I hadn't meant to cross post, but this subject came up elsewhere on the boards, so I offered what details I could.

For the record, Dick, you can get the FLVs the same way, if you'd rather not bother with Youtube download sites or programs. I find sorting the Temporary Internet Files by size is easiest, since the videos are usually among the largest things in there. Look for an insanely long filename starting with get_video?video_id= to find Youtube stuff. Copy it to whatever location you like, give it an appropriate name and .flv extension, and view it with whatever program you prefer. VLC is the big one, although random access within Flash video seems unavailable; IrfanView does a better job of that, once you go to the plugins page and install them.
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Old April 16th, 2008, 04:45 PM   #8
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wow, what a difference, thanks for this post.
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Old April 17th, 2008, 02:30 AM   #9
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Apparently you're supposed to be able to automatically enable HQ when it's available for a particular video, so you shouldn't have to enter that code. It's in your account settings, but it didn't work for me. I tested it on videos I know for sure are HQ capable. Don't know why they just don't add a freakin' button for this.
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Old April 17th, 2008, 05:21 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Martens View Post

... give it an appropriate name and .flv extension, and view it with whatever program you prefer. VLC is the big one, although random access within Flash video seems unavailable; IrfanView does a better job of that, once you go to the plugins page and install them.
For what it's worth, RealPlayer also plays FLV files.
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Old April 17th, 2008, 04:26 PM   #11
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It's in your account settings, but it didn't work for me ... Don't know why they just don't add a freakin' button for this.
Same here; I tried setting it to always play high quality, always play low quality, and to choose depending on my connection speed, but it only works for a few videos right now, everything else uses the standard Spark delivery unless I use this string. Hopefully they'll improve that in the coming months. They do have a button for it--a link, actually--that's supposed to show up immediately underneath the clip if a high quality version is available, but for the life of me I can't get it to show up on all videos.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Koehler View Post
For what it's worth, RealPlayer also plays FLV files.
It's been so long since I used RealPlayer, I had no idea. Nice to find out it's actually good for something. Thanks for the heads up!
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Old April 17th, 2008, 05:15 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Robert Martens View Post
They do have a button for it--a link, actually--that's supposed to show up immediately underneath the clip if a high quality version is available, but for the life of me I can't get it to show up on all videos.
I never see that anymore. I used to... but it's gone poof!
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