Jun 24, 2015

Posted in Pc Secrets

How file compression helps you watch your favorite YouTube clips

YouTube is by far the most popular website where people can both post and watch amazing clips of any kind. However, the funny clips that are frequently displayed on the site are not shown in their original format, but in a smaller version. Many users are not fully conscious of the fact that they use file compression on a daily basis when they try to access video servers such as YouTube that practically compresses the files after the video was uploaded by its creator. If you want to upload videos to YouTube and get faster uploads, a free video compressor that compresses the file on your computer before it gets uploaded is an excellent way to achieve this. The question is how file compressing actually works to allow you to upload video clips, share them and watch them on any of your devices.

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The issue of size

Whether you want to store or simply access a video, no computer or software supports a so-called raw video unless some professional software is installed. Due to recent advancements in technology, storage capacity of hard disks and flash memory has increased substantially. Modern Internet connections are capable of dealing with uncompressed MP4 just fine. However in many corners of the world, bandwidth is still an issue and internet infrastructure is lacking. Consequently, a number of techniques have been developed by specialists so as to reduce high bit-rates of video files and other large file types so that they can be transmitted properly on any internet connection. It all depends highly on the compression algorithms used, to reduce bandwidth consumption at a still acceptable level of video playback quality. The size of any clip for instance depends on the frame rate, bit rate, resolution and a number of other factors, all of which have to be taken in to consideration when compressing them.

Reducing what is physically present in the video

Compression works by reducing the image data in each frame of the video, which in its turn is done by the use of multiple techniques so as to be able to store and transmit the video efficiently without affecting visible image quality. Each video frame is evaluated and compressed individually with only a few key frames remaining untouched. These serve as points of reference for all frames around them. In this way, video compression techniques employing lossy compression encode files in such a way that only what is absolutely required to decode the video accurately is kept in the file. Modern codecs such as H.264 are able to achieve just that, leading to much faster and more reliable throughput rates when videos are streamed even on slow internet connections. They also lead to smaller files that can be stored more easily, for instance on YouTube’s servers.

Popular compression formats

MPEG is probably the most common type of video format and it is very similar to JPEG, the difference being that the first has efficient coding techniques that are useful for video sequences. MPEG is a universal standard for the representation of visual information and the document defines both the coded representation, as well as the visual data in a compressed form. It’s most modern and commonly used subtype is MP4. YouTube immediately delivers codecs to the computer or other platforms. When you try to upload a clip you may encounter problems due to the file size and the length of time till it is uploaded. Generally, compressed MP4 files upload the fastest.

To conclude, all video contain a sequence of images, audio and metadata. File compression is necessary to upload, download and stream videos more seamlessly. While generally compression is useful as a result of the fact that it improves data storage and transmission, a file size reduction scheme does not necessarily imply the use of expensive hardware. All it takes is to search the web and you can find free of charge video compressors that will allow you to reduce file sizes and post clips fast on social platforms.