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Encoding specifications for music videos

The features described in this article are available only to partners who use YouTube's Content ID matching system.

The media files you deliver to YouTube for music videos must conform to these specifications.

Audio Profile

Attribute Specification
Codec FLAC
Linear PCM
Sample rate 44.1kHz recommended. Higher sample rates are accepted but not required (for example, 48kHz or 96kHz).
Bit depth 24-bit recommended, 16-bit acceptable
Channels 2 (stereo)

Although it is not recommended, YouTube accepts compressed audio. YouTube transcodes from the delivered format; audio quality is much better when transcoded from a lossless format compared to re-compressing a lossy audio format.

If you must deliver compressed audio, use these specifications:

  • Codec: AAC-LC
  • Sample Rate: 44.1Khz
  • Bit Rate: 320kbps or higher for 2 channels (higher is always better; 256 kbps acceptable)
  • Channels: 2 (stereo)
Video option 1: H.264 Codec

Video Profile

Attribute Specification
Containers .mp4
.mov
Codec H.264
Profile High
Framerate 23.98, 24, 25, 29.97, 30
Bitrate SD (fewer than 720 lines) - 15Mbps
720 lines - 50Mbps
1080 lines - 60Mbps
Resolutions 1.33 (4:3) - 720x480, 1440x1080, 720x576 (PAL)
1.78 (16:9) - 720x404, 720x576 (PAL 16:9), 854x480, 1280x720, 1920x1080
(cropped content that is wider than 1.78 may deviate from these resolutions - see notes about matting for non-standard aspect ratios)
Pixel Aspect Ratio SD: Anamorphic (non-square) pixels will be accepted, but Pixel Aspect Ratio (pasp) flag must be set to 16:9 or 4:3.
HD: Square pixels only (no anamorphic content)
Scan type Progressive
  Native framerate content should be deinterlaced.
  Telecined content should be inverse telecined to original framerate.


Note: Content with blended frames or interlacing artifacts will be rejected.
GOP Structure IBBP (M=3, GOP Length not to exceed ½ of framerate)
Color Space 4:2:2 (preferred)
4:2:0
Matting 16:9 frame size delivered with letterboxing will be accepted. If content contains pillarboxing (black on left and right), windowboxing (black on all sides), or is 4:3 LTBX, then content should be cropped to active pixel area only.
Notes Edit lists are not allowed as these cause loss of A/V sync.
moov atom must be present and at the front of the file.
Video option 2: MPEG-2 Transport Stream

Video Profile

Attribute Specification
Containers MPEG-2 Transport Stream (.mpg, .mpeg, .ts)
Codec MPEG-2
Profile SD: Main@Main
HD: 422@High
Framerate 23.98, 24, 25, 29.97, 30
Bitrate SD (fewer than 720 lines): 50Mbps
HD (720 lines or higher): 80Mbps
Resolutions 1.33 (4:3) - 720x480, 720x576 (PAL only), 1440x1080
1.78 (16:9) - 720x404, 720x576 (PAL 16:9 only with anamorphic flag set), 854x480, 1280x720, 1920x1080
(cropped content that is wider than 1.78 may deviate from these resolutions - see notes about matting for non-standard aspect ratios)
Pixel Aspect Ratio Square pixels only (no anamorphic content).
Scan type Progressive
 Native framerate content should be deinterlaced.
 Telecined content should be inverse telecined to original framerate.

Note: Content with blended frames or interlacing artifacts will be rejected.
GOP Structure IBBP (M=3, GOP Length not to exceed ½ of framerate)
Color Space 4:2:2 (preferred)
If 4:2:2 color space is not available, please use 4:2:0.
Matting 16:9 frame size delivered with letterboxing will be accepted. If content contains pillarboxing (black on left and right), windowboxing (black on all sides), or is 4:3 LTBX, then content should be cropped to active pixel area only.
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