2 very useful YouTube hacks

Do you utilize YouTube to host videos you create and want to share with the world at the best quality? Has someone else created a YouTube video, but you are only interested in a portion of it for your blog or website? Here are 2 tips that help ensure your audience has a better YouTube expereince:

Tip 1. Forcing the browser to use the High Quality version of the video

You may notice just under the lower right coner of the video window, some videos have an option to “Watch In High Quality”. By default, these videos will play as a 320×240 FLV file at 320Kb/s. Check out this sample:


The user could click on this link to “Watch in High Quality” which will reload the video and play the MP4 version , which is 480×360 at 512Kb/s. By adding &fmt=18 to the end of the URL, you’ll make the URL you share with others bring them right to the high quality version. Here’s the same video in the High Quality view:


What else are you gaining besides increased video resolution? The video is compressed with H.264 compression, so you get better video even at the same data rate. You also go from a low fidelity mono audio feed to stereo @ 44.1Khz sample rate.

&fmt=6 increases the resolution from 320×240 to 448×336, Flash 7 video @ 900Kbps; audio @ 44.1KHz 96Kbps Mono CBR.

&fmt=18 increases the resolution to 480×360, H.264 video @ 512Kbps; audio @ 44.1KHz 128Kbps Stereo. Note, the bandwidth may be lower, but it’s utilizing a more efficient compression codec.

UPDATE: &fmt=22 increaes the resolution to 720p HD video if the source was uploaded at a high enough resolution.

Tip 2. Advancing the video to a specific playback point.

If you evern wanted to link to a video in YouTube that was lengthy, but had a very interesting part partway through, there is a hack to allow you to begin playback at a precise time. You can specify the minutes and seconds of the start time like this:

add #t=53s to the end of the URL to start at 53 seconds into it:


add #t=1m57s to the end of the video URL to start playback at 1 minute 57 seconds:


Think of this as bookmarking your video clips! Now you can link to a video, and have an index of the segments included, which link right to that precise moment!


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