High quality issues

High quality issues

YouTube have done it again: they’ve meddled about with the back end and totally messed things up. This is affecting my videos in a bad way, which some of you may have noticed.

Take a look at my latest video, Relaxation technique. Now, had I uploaded this two weeks ago, you’d be watching it either in high quality, or in normal quality with an option to switch to high quality. For comparison, take a look at 51 things.

Now it’s changed. YouTube claim to have increased the quality of normal quality playback and will only give you the option of high quality if there is a large enough difference between HQ and NQ. In fact, many videos (mine included) now fail even to give you a decent normal quality version, with horrible compression artifacts everywhere.

It appears to be a particular problem with DV source material, and of course DV is what I use as being, ironically, the best quality video there is. In any case, it’s particularly frustrating because YouTube have recently allowed high quality playback in embedded videos… but that doesn’t help when high quality isn’t available in the first place. In effect, YouTube have managed to announce two improvements, but for many people it’s actually got worse.

However, there’s a little trick you can use to get high quality, because an HQ version is actually prepared: it’s just not given as an option. All you need to do is to add the string &fmt=18 to the end of the address. And suddenly you’re watching it in high quality.

So here it is: Relaxation technique (high quality).

So until this issue is fixed, I won’t be embedding any videos directly into this site. Instead, I’ll just give you links to the awful version (for the benefit of people with bandwidth issues) and the high quality version.