YouTube Tricks: How To Render In Perfect MP4

I’ll admit that the name of this post is kind of a joke. In Google Analytics (an app we obsess over) I see that people commonly search for “how to render in perfect mp4” only to land on our company website. In reality, that’s not such a bad thing because we really do render in perfect mp4 with a wonderful hardware based encoder (just ask us, we’ll tell you all about it)! Yup, renderin’ perfect is something that we know how to do really well, so why not give the people what they want? So here it is…


First off, I’m taking it that you wanna render your video in mp4 to place it on YouTube, Vimeo or another video hosting service. Keep in mind that these sites change their preferences on what seems like a daily basis. So just because these are the best encoding settings today, doesn’t mean they will be a year from now. Secondly, I’m just gonna assume that your video was produced in HD.

So here are 3 settings that “The YouTubes” LOVE right now:

Keep Your Frame Size Consistent
Why:  Youtube’s HD settings go as high as 1080p. So if your video originates in 1080p, congrats! Upload it full frame. If your video is smaller, don’t try to enlarge it in the encode. If it’s 720p, keep it 720p. 480p to 480p and so on. It will look its best at its original size and accordingly on all smaller sizes.

Encode At Datarate Of 5mb/s For Video
Why: Logically, it makes sense that a higher bitrate video would produce better looking video. However, YouTube is going to transcode whatever you upload to its own max bitrate (about 4mb/s). So encoding at the higher bitrate is just gonna mean larger file which ultimately means a longer upload with (arguably) the same results.

Use A .Mov Or .Mp4
Why: A lot of sites will tell you that your video has to be a MP4. To tell you the truth the file extension MP4 or MOV doesn’t really matter. What matters is that it’s compressed with the H.264 codec which is usually associated with the MP4 extension (Confusing huh?). Whatever you do, please just don’t upload a Windows Media file (.wmv)!