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  #1  
08-28-2010, 03:15 PM
waigy waigy is offline
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Hi

I recently started making better quality video and sound recordings of myself playing guitar and singing.

After uploading to youtube the sound is noticeably poorer than it should be.

Obviously my priority is sound quality first, so what is the recommended format and/or bitrate to guarantee the maximum sound quality that youtube can offer?

Here is my latest youtube upload

Here is bitrate viewer results for the video before uploading.



I start with an avi and wave file then export using adobe media encoder as mpeg2
pal, 720x576, 25fps ,lower, quality 4.0
224 kbps, 44.1khz, 16 bit, stereo, mpeg
VBR, 2 pass, min 2.50, target 4.20, max 6.00 mbps

The settings above are intended for fairly small filesize, but decent quality videos that I can keep on my hard drive and view myself (the video quality is not much different from the original AVI and the sound is no different from the original wave).
So I know there's not much chance that these are good settings for uploading directly to youtube.

Cheers
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  #2  
08-28-2010, 03:28 PM
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Just as a quick comment on your video quality, that part looks great. The 360p version, viewed windowed on the webpage, is nice and clean. (Or rather, as clean as is expected from both a high compression format AND as used by a high compression setting used by Youtube.) The 480p version looks terrible embedded in the page, but quite decent when viewed fullscreen.

I did notice audio issue.

It may be a disconnect between the MPEG audio source and the final format used by Youtube (AAC, I would imagine). There's a chance Youtube's encoding system is not decoding the MP2 as well as it should. And I've seen this before, especially from hardware MPEG decoders used in DVD players, which played MP2, but not as cleanly as WAV or AC3 versions on the same disc.

You can always pull down the encoded version from Youtube, using either keepvid.com's free service (which can be hit or miss, and doesn't always work with all videos), or with the $40 payware Replay Media Catcher, and then see what specs Youtube has converted the audio to. How much has it been smushed?

Remember that quite a few frequencies do not compress well at heavy compressions. Something with as much tonal richness as an acoustic guitar, played in what appears to be a recording environment (good acoustics), will be easier to detect flaws from. Unfortunately, Youtube does what it wants -- then again, it's a free service.

My suggestion would be to give it a different audio source. Try an uncompressed PCM WAV. That should multiplex(mux) just fine into a MPEG-2 program stream as you had given it before.

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  #3  
08-28-2010, 03:29 PM
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You're able to embed videos on this site, too, using the youtube bbcode tags, and then inserting the video ID.
For example, this video's ID is D8CYlqWBxn4 -- the ID is always in the URL, after the v= and before the &junk

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  #4  
08-28-2010, 03:36 PM
waigy waigy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by admin View Post
My suggestion would be to give it a different audio source. Try an uncompressed PCM WAV. That should multiplex(mux) just fine into a MPEG-2 program stream as you had given it before.
Hi admin

Thanks for the reply

I'm not sure what you mean by multiplex, I do start with an uncompressed PCM WAV in adobe media encoder.
Can you explain how I do that please?

P.S. Thanks for inserting the vid, I didn't think I could do that.
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  #5  
08-28-2010, 03:47 PM
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Multiplexing is the process by which audio and video are put into a single file.

Audio by itself is referred to as an "elementary stream"
Video by itself is referred to as an "elementary stream"

With an MPEG, audio+video in the same file is usually a "program stream"
Broadcasters (cable, satellite, etc) use "transport streams"

You'll notice these terms used in more professional programs, such as the pro editions of Adobe Premiere, especially when you're in the export settings (Adobe Media Encoder, or AME).

I don't really use AME all that much, because I have the far more advanced MainConcept Reference encoder. I always export to a lossless AVI from Premiere, and then move on the Reference for my final MPEG or H.264 encodes. So I don't recall off-hand if AME will let you export an MPEG file with WAV audio -- some do, some do not.

See if you can export the video again, but with WAV audio this time.

If not, not a big problem, there is an alternative approach.

In fact, the alternate approach may be fastest, as it does not require you to encode the video again. You need TMPGEnc (free) or TMPGEnc Plus ($37), what many would refer to as the "old encoder versions" of the TMPGEnc programs.

We'll simply use the MPEG Tools portion of the program to multiplex a new WAV and drop the MP2, and then save it as a new file that has MPEG video + WAV audio.

Go export the audio only from your project. You're using Premiere, yes?

I'll have to make a quick multiplexing guide here in a few hours for you -- have to run some errands right now before the shops close.

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  #6  
08-28-2010, 04:08 PM
waigy waigy is offline
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hi admin

thanks this is very helpful.

I just tried adobe media encoder, with mpeg2 it does give the option of PCM at 48khz, but when I hit ok it says "audio codec selected is not compatible with this multiplexing mode, please change the selection"

I already have the audio as a wave file from my audio recording/mixing software (16bit 44.1khz) before it goes into adobe premiere.

I've just downloaded TMPGenc free version, but I'm going to have to crash out just now.

I look forward to trying your suggestion in the morning

Thanks again
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  #7  
08-28-2010, 10:54 PM
waigy waigy is offline
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I'm still trying out your suggestions just now, but I've just noticed that my video "Where the calm comes" which I uploaded Oct 2009 has very good sound quality.




I encoded that video using adobe media encoder, but haven't taken note of the encoding settings I used.

Can I find out those settings using the original video that I uploaded to youtube?
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  #8  
08-29-2010, 12:34 AM
waigy waigy is offline
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Answering my own post I just found mediainfo which shows encoding details.

Unbelievably I have 3 backup versions of my video (the one with good youtube sound), but none of them are the version I uploaded to youtube.

In the meantime I've uploaded a test video which is upsized to HD 960 x 720.
It is still an mpg but I saved the sound at the maximum 384kbps/48khz(still haven't sussed how to save a compressed vid with PCM WAV).

I know the quality can change for a while after it has been uploaded, but just now the sound is decent when viewed at 720p.
At 480p the sound is sometimes passable, but sometimes the video is going green and pixelly with glitchy sound.
Like this :



At 360p and 240p the sound is not good.

I'll leave it to simmer on a low heat for a while and see if the quality improves, I uploaded it about an hour ago.

I think the TMPGenc multiplex thing will get better results, still haven't sussed how to swap the audio as you suggested.

Last edited by waigy; 08-29-2010 at 12:46 AM.
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  #9  
08-30-2010, 12:46 AM
waigy waigy is offline
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I'm getting better results with the sound now, but only if played at 480p.

I'm trying a few different codecs/file formats/resolutions etc.

It's taking me an hour to upload my test vids (4minutes long) and I then wait a few hours to make sure it is totally finished processing, would it make any difference to the quality if I upload a shorter vid for testing?

Say 1 minute or 10 seconds even?
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  #10  
08-30-2010, 11:45 PM
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I know I've muxed WAV with MPEG-2 before, generally by accident, but now that I specifically want to do it, I don't recall what program did it. (Maybe one of the Womble programs?) It's not technically accurate to mux WAV+MPEG, but it can be done. It's done all the time in a VOB container, for example. I was off with the TMPGEnc suggestion -- it will deny WAV+MPG in a program/system stream. So nevermind on all of that.

Moving on...

Your issue still points to one of audio decoding, as the most likely culprit. Of course, there's still a chance that's not it.

Have you pulled down copies of the Youtube-encoded versions, and run them through an analyzer like Gspot, to see what format and bitrate is being used for the audio.

I've not had much need to upload content to Youtube in about a year now, so I'm operating from a slight first-hand experience disadvantage. However, the principles remain the same, and I do follow a lot of Youtube-related conversations in various places online. I have seen the decode issue before.

The video being "pixellated" is DEFINITELY a codec related issue. That's a classic codec issue. However, that tends to be a computer-related problem. In other words, your computer is the one with the problem there. But Youtube butchering the video is not outside the realm of possibility.

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  #11  
08-31-2010, 03:58 AM
waigy waigy is offline
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Hi admin

You took your time getting back from the shops, I've been sitting here waiting for you

I've started getting results that I'm reasonably happy with, though it still could be better.

I'm exporting the video from adobe premiere with the added titles and my final mix wave file as the sound.
Saving it using DVpal settings.
Video : 720x576, 25fps ,lower, aspect D1/DVPAL (1.0940), render at maximum depth, 24bit.
Audio : 16 bit, stereo, 44100

This gives me a fully edited lossless video for processing in any other programs.

Then upsizing to 1440x1080 using video enhancer (I was told youtube does better processing at that resolution and upwards) and saving with these settings.
Video : x264/mpeg-4 AVC codec single pass - bitrate based (abr) average bitrate 5012
audio : PCM 354 kbps
I don't have the option in video enhancer to save the sound as aac which would probably be better as youtube uses aac.


For some reason the sound is bad at 360p (listen at 12 seconds), it sounds better at 240p than 360p.
The sound at 480p and up are all decent enough.


The video could do with being de-interlaced, but my first trials with video enhancer's deinterlace filter are causing bad pixelling.
I might experiment with that more at a later date.

I've spent a massive amount of time on this, so I'm making a compromise between getting perfect results and wasting time.

Here is a shortened 1 minute long trial vid using the settings stated above.

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  #12  
08-31-2010, 04:19 AM
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I would still pull down some Youtube encodes and see where the bitrates differ. The smaller versions tend to compress more, both audio and video. It may just be hitting a threshold where this particular tonally-rich content just does not sound as good as most content would.

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  #13  
08-31-2010, 05:47 AM
waigy waigy is offline
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Hi admin

What is the best website/program for downloading the clips as you suggested?
I've used keepvid before, but it doesn't give you the option to download each resolution in it's original format.
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  #14  
08-31-2010, 10:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waigy View Post
Hi admin

What is the best website/program for downloading the clips as you suggested?
I've used keepvid before, but it doesn't give you the option to download each resolution in it's original format.
Just got video downloadhelper add on for firefox.
Works really well.
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  #15  
08-31-2010, 10:38 AM
waigy waigy is offline
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Here's the audio details of the downloaded clips (my 1 minute long test vid)

240p :
Format : MPEG Audio
Format version : Version 2
Format profile : Layer 3
Mode : Joint stereo
Mode extension : MS Stereo
Bit rate mode : Constant
Bit rate : 8 000 bps
Channel(s) : 2 channels
Sampling rate : 22.05 KHz
Bit depth : 16 bits
Stream size : 61.5 KiB (3%)

360p :
Format : AAC
Format version : Version 4
Format profile : LC
Format settings, SBR : Yes
Format settings, PS : No
Bit rate : 54.1 Kbps
Channel(s) : 2 channels
Channel positions : Front: L R
Sampling rate : 44.1 KHz
Bit depth : 16 bits
Stream size : 416 KiB (11%)

480p :
Format : AAC
Format version : Version 4
Format profile : LC
Format settings, SBR : No
Bit rate : 96.7 Kbps
Channel(s) : 2 channels
Channel positions : Front: L R
Sampling rate : 44.1 KHz
Bit depth : 16 bits
Stream size : 744 KiB (11%)

720p :
ID : 2
Format : AAC
Format version : Version 4
Format profile : LC
Format settings, SBR : No
Codec ID : 40
Bit rate mode : Variable
Bit rate : 128 Kbps
Maximum bit rate : 199 Kbps
Channel(s) : 2 channels
Channel positions : Front: L R
Sampling rate : 44.1 KHz
Stream size : 983 KiB (6%)


1080p :
ID : 2
Format : AAC
Format version : Version 4
Format profile : LC
Format settings, SBR : No
Codec ID : 40
Bit rate mode : Variable
Bit rate : 128 Kbps
Maximum bit rate : 199 Kbps
Channel(s) : 2 channels
Channel positions : Front: L R
Sampling rate : 44.1 KHz
Stream size : 983 KiB (10%)


I don't have much experience with aac, I gather the same bitrate in aac is higher quality than the same bitrate in mp3.
I reckon the equivalent of 128 kbps mp3 sound would be ok for me (preferably higher), but going lower than that really hits the high frequency detail.

Also looking at the stream size percentage, if I decrease the bitrate of my video before upload, will youtube give a higher percentage to the audio?
It mentions a maximum bitrate of 199 kbps (720p & 1080p), should I try reducing my video bitrate till I acheive 199 kbps?

Last edited by waigy; 08-31-2010 at 10:52 AM.
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  #16  
08-31-2010, 12:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waigy View Post
Also looking at the stream size percentage, if I decrease the bitrate of my video before upload, will youtube give a higher percentage to the audio?
It mentions a maximum bitrate of 199 kbps (720p & 1080p), should I try reducing my video bitrate till I acheive 199 kbps?
Probably should have wrote 192kbps there instead of 199kbps.

Just uploaded and downloaded a 1 minute test vid at half the video bitrate 2507kbps.
Didn't affect the video quality much and the only difference in the sound details is the stream percentage :
360p was 11% now 14%
1080p was 10% now 4%

Every other detail of the sound was exactly the same for each resolution ie. bitrate/frequency used etc.

Going to try more video bitrate reduction, even if the sound doesn't improve I'll have a smaller file to upload.
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  #17  
08-31-2010, 01:31 PM
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Just tried one at 279kbps (for a laugh)

Not much difference in video quality compared to the original (at high def) and the only difference in the sound details is the stream percentage :
360p was 11% @ 5017kbps 14%@ 2507kbps 20%@279kbps
1080p was 10% @ 5017kbps 4%@ 2507kbps 4%@279kbps

So changing the video birate didn't affect the sound.
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  #18  
08-31-2010, 06:47 PM
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Quote:
Sampling rate : 22.05 KHz
Bit depth : 16 bits
This is closer to a telephone than a musical device. This would account for what you're hearing.

I don't much care for % data -- it's based off a factor that varies from file to file. Therefore the % is useless for comparisons between files. (Side rant: I see a lot of that in reference to DVD Shrink, where people insist anything below X% is good, but the % is based off the source, which is always different, therefore arguments made on % numbers are meaningless and misleading.)

AAC 96kbps is about the same as MP3 at 128kbps, which has long been an acceptable bitrate (at low end) for retaining most quality. (The next bitrate step down, with MP3 or AAC, is obviously compressed.) That can vary on content however, with content like yours being able to betray the compression. Rich acoustics don't compress well. At 192kbps AAC, you're into transparency, and audio should sound the same as your source (unless you have high end audio equipment and dog ears).

I would not bother with 1080p for Youtube. It tends to look like crap, not enough bitrate. You're better sticking to a 720p max.

Default call-up for Youtube is 360p anyway, from what I've observed. So I'd not worry much about 240p. I'd imagine those are being used by crappy little mobile phones anyway, which have speakers so dreadful that audio is butchered regardless of the streamed/source quality.

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  #19  
08-31-2010, 07:18 PM
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I've been uploading 10 second clips with lots of different codec settings.
Just this minute managed to upload a version with no sound recompression during upsizing.
(Tried earlier and youtube failed to process it)

It's the best results I've got overall.
Comparing my best results for uploading aac@320kbps to pcm@1141.2kbps
The only differences are the bit rate of the downloaded vids.

240p
aac 8000bps pcm 59kbps

360p
aac 54.1kbps pcm 95.8kbps

480p
aac 96.7kbps pcm 96.5kbps

720p
aac 128kbps pcm 127kbps

1080p
aac 128kbps pcm 127kbps

So the biggest difference is the 360p, as you say the default resolution, and the setting that has sounded bad in all my trials so far.

I'm going to go for pcm on the audio, but what is a good suggested bitrate for the video?
I'm not too fussy about the video quality, as long as it doesn't have the obvious artifacts that come with overcompression.
Also the video compression settings in my x264 config are a mystery to me eg. single pass bitrate based abr/cqp/crf multipass.
Should I just go for a certain filesize for speed of upload?
Between 100mb and 150mb seems an ok size for me to upload.

Last edited by waigy; 08-31-2010 at 07:27 PM.
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  #20  
08-31-2010, 08:07 PM
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Explaining the intricacies of both H.264, and x264, would take a while.
The easy advice is to just continue doing what looks good.

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