2/22/10
1:49 pm

Forum Question: Best video format for iTunes and streaming?

I am trying to encode some of my videos for iTunes (HD & iPhone) and also for streaming to my Tivo. What is the best file format to use for this? And also, what would a reasonable size be for a typical two hour movie? I encoded one and it was like 20gb. That seems a bit much to me.

— Todd Peperkorn

Comments: One Response to “Best video format for iTunes and streaming?”

    2/22/10 @ 1:55 pm

    The best file format is to use the default out of iMovie or QuickTime X. Just share out of iMovie and you get options for: Tiny, Mobile, Medium, Large and HD. Sounds like Medium, Large and HD are what you are looking for.
    It really depends on how you define “best” — it is quality vs. file size. It gets harder to define if you want one file for a range of devices like the iPhone vs. HD TV. For the iPhone, anything bigger than 480×320 in screen size if a waste, of course.
    Check out MPEGStreamClip or FFMpegX — they both have settings that you can adjust to your heart’s content. I use MPEGStreamClip to make smaller video files, sacrificing a little quality.
    As for a 2-hour movie, figure that a DVD holds 4.7 GB of data and can store about that much video at standard def. So 20GB does seem high, but not if you are talking HD.
    All of this really depends on you — only you can decide what you need for your project. Anyone else’s ideas of quality and size will be different.
    I recommend taking a small (30 second) piece of video and encoding it all sorts of different ways. Figure out which one you like best.

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