YouTube vs Vimeo?

I uploaded my HOWTO videos to both YouTube and Vimeo — the exact same file — and the quality is so much better on Vimeo.  Check out the difference:

  1. Vimeo
  2. YouTube

Why?  Obviously YouTube is compressing it more and making for a fuzzier image.  But they CAN do higher quality, so don’t they?  Well it turns out that YouTube can serve you up a better quality video — they just don’t by default.  

Here’s how:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hSHYw_u5OLY – This is the normal video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hSHYw_u5OLY&fmt=6 – This is the better video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hSHYw_u5OLY&fmt=18 – This is the best video

See what I did? Added a parameter to the end of the url with fmt=6 or fmt=18.

So why isn’t there a user interface to let you choose this — yes I know occasionally you’ll see a link for “view this in high quality”, but only occasionally — or better yet why doesn’t YouTube detect your connection speed and adjust the format appropriately.

I guess saving bandwidth is more important than viewer experience — but if that’s true then people in my position are liable to just move to alternatives like Vimeo!

2 Replies to “YouTube vs Vimeo?”

  1. Oh no doubt that youtube now has better video — I don’t think it was the case back last year when I made that post though, at least not by default uploading the file I was using. 🙂

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