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:
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.
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!