Making Good Video for the Web

It’s a good idea to set a standards for yourself (and/or your web team) and I would recommend using 320×240 (width by height). This is a decent size and will also allow you to make the videos work on the iPod. Flash video seems the most accessible for most people, as you wont have to worry about codecs, or requiring someone to have Windows Media Player or Quicktime (which is kind of slow to load in browsers). Most people have the Flash Player and now that Unix/Linux support is back, they are not left out either. Although you still might want to export video for Flash 7 (Flash MX 2004) using the Sorenson Spark codec, despite what Adobe says the market numbers are for Flash 8. You can export your video twice and do a version check and show one using that for Flash 7 Players and use the On2 VP6 codec for Flash 8 and above. Flash 8 video (On2 VP6) will look better and be smaller in filesize than Flash 7 video (Sorenson Spark). I’ve seen Flash 8 video exported at low quality still beat Flash 7 video on high quality. At work we tried several methods of what the digital video file should be before exporting it in Flash for it to become a FLV. And what we realized is that using the H.264 codec got the best results in quality and filesize. Its really amazing how we were able to cut our filesizes in half (for the FLVs) and maintain superior video quality. On another note, if you record video in HD format you will always end up with a widescreen version (letterbox) which wont end up being 320×240, they usually end up 320×180 or 320×200.

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