Choosing a Video Format for Internet

on Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Many different video formats are available for the movies you edit on your computer. Each format uses a different codec. (I explain codecs in greater detail in Chapter 13, but a codec, short for compressor/decompressor, is a software tool used for making multimedia files smaller.) Common video file formats include MPEG and AVI, but these two formats are usually not suitable for movies you plan to share online because they have big file sizes. Three other popular formats, however, are perfectly suited to the online world:
  • QuickTime (.QT): Many Windows users and virtually all Macintosh users have the QuickTime Player program from Apple. QuickTime is the only export format available with iMovie. Pinnacle Studio cannot export QuickTime movies, but some more advanced Windows programs like Adobe Premiere can.
  • RealMedia (.RM): This is the format used by the popular RealPlayer, available for Windows and Macintosh systems, among others. Pinnacle Studio can export RealMedia-format video.
  • Windows Movie Video: This format requires Windows Media Player. Almost all Windows users and some Macintosh users already have it. Both Pinnacle Studio and Windows Movie Maker can export Windows Media Video.
Each of these three video formats has strengths and weaknesses. Ultimately the format you choose will probably depend mainly on the editing software you’re using — for example, if you’re using iMovie on a Mac, QuickTime is your only option.