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Problems creating video that looks okay on youtube


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I recently recorded an HD video, Tom Tit Tot Original.mp4, which I've uploaded for the purposes of this thread to Google Drive, here. It is uncompressed so is 3GB.

Using Videopad I then removed a few seconds at the start and end of the video, added a title screen and exported it using MPEG compression, producing a 574k HD file, Tom Tit Tot HD.mp4, which I've uploaded to Google Drive here. I've uploaded the project file, Tom Tit Tot.vpj to Google Drive here.

If I open Tom Tit Tot HD.mp4 on Google Drive, the preview screen that gets displayed before you click Play looks fine.

However, I then uploaded Tom Tit Tot HD.mp4 to youtube, here.  The preview screen that youtube displays before you click Play looks absolutely horrible - blurred and bitmappy in the extreme - as if it were a 140p image, despite the fact that the video itself is very sharp if you play it on youtube in HD.

Can anyone help me get to the bottom of what's causing the preview frame that youtube displays to be so awful - and how to prevent that from happening?

I've noticed that quite a lot of youtube videos display a preview screen that has a much lower res than the resolution of the video that is being previewed, but I haven't seen any other youtube videos with a preview screen that is anywhere near as low resolution or bitmappy as mine is; and I've seen some that have a very sharp preview screen indeed. So I'm presuming that there must be something in my file Tom Tit Tot HD.mp4 that is causing the youtube preview to be so awful and that there must be some way of getting youtube to display a sharp preview screen. Can anyone help?

Also, youtube seems to be picking a frame at random from the middle of the video to use for the preview screen. Is there any way of controlling which frame it uses? The frame that Google Drive uses (which it also has taken from somewhere in the middle of the video) is a much more complementary one than the one that youtube uses.

Many thanks for any help you can give me. It's the first video I've ever put on youtube, so this awful preview screen has been a real shock and disappointment to me.

Dave

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