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One of the best websites that we have available to us is YouTube. You can find a vast amount of content from useful information to cute and funny videos, like kittens. So what if you want to post videos of your own kittens, but don't know the ins and outs of YouTube? Fear no more – after reading this article you will be an expert in everything YouTube.
OK, so expert may be a bit of an exaggeration, but you will definitely have a good grasp on what you need to know and have any doubts cleared from your mind.
Uploading From Your Browser
Before you even start adding videos to YouTube, you must first create an account. To many of you reading that, it may seem like that's a given, but you might be surprised how many "YouTube users" use it without signing in. Creating an account is simple – just log in with your Google credentials (everyone has them right?). If you don't have a Google account, you'll have to create one.
If you're wondering how YouTube and Google are connected, Google bought them quite a while back, but tighter Google integration has occurred more recently.
There are two ways to add files locally on your computer to YouTube:
- Select files to upload to YouTube
- Drag and drop
Once you've chosen the video to upload, the process will start automatically. The time it takes to finish the uploading process depends on the length, size and file type of the video.
But you're not done – there are several other important things to do upon adding the video:
- Change title.
- Add description.
- Add tags.
- Choose video thumbnail.
- Set privacy settings.
- Create a message to send to subscribers (optional).
- Decide whether to share to social networks (optional).
- Choose a category.
Of course all of these are technically "optional" but for the best results I recommend doing all of them. The majority of these settings are straightforward, but what are the privacy settings and why do they matter?
There are three kinds of settings:
- Public – Anyone can search for and view your video.
- Unlisted – Hidden from YouTube and Google search, but viewable by anyone with the link.
- Private – Only people you choose can view, which you can add by name, Google+ circles or by email.
In addition to setting the basic information, there are some advanced settings to explore as well. These are settings that allow you to control comments, ratings, video responses, license and rights, embedding, recording date and location, and 3D options.
Capturing & Uploading Video Via Your Mobile Phone
Our phones are becoming the most common device for recording video these days, so it only makes sense to be able to post those videos directly to YouTube instead of through our computer first. Once you've chosen the video to upload to YouTube, there are a couple of ways to upload it.
If YouTube is integrated into the "Share" option on photos and videos, you can simply tap it and upload that way. If you choose to upload via the YouTube app, tap the Settings button and choose Upload. You can then select where you'd like to add the file from. You are then prompted to enter some information about the video including the title, the account to post it to, a description, tags, privacy settings, and a checkbox for attaching the location to the video. These options may vary by operating system and as more updates are added.
As you noticed, there are fewer options when uploading videos. However, once it's uploaded you can still make any changes that you would like from a computer.
An alternative to getting your mobile videos to your YouTube account and being able to upload them via the web interface (if you're at a computer) would be to send the video to a folder in your Dropbox account, then simply drag and drop that video from the folder into your browser on the YouTube upload page.
Upload From Your Phone Using Your Unique YouTube Email
If you don't have the app or an Android phone, another option is to send the video to a special email address provided with your YouTube account. You can find this by going to your YouTube settings. On the Overview page under Account Settings, which should be selected by default, find Mobile uploads and you will see your email.
NOTE: If you don't see your email address, you'll need to click the Create Mobile Profile button and enter the required information. Then click Create Profile to create an email address.
Upload Your Own Audio Or Photos To YouTube
Something that a lot of people like to do is add music to YouTube. However, if you don't have a means of taking video, how do you get the music in video form? The key is to use a free video editing program on your computer, since YouTube doesn't allow you to add your own music to your videos through their video editing tool.
The process to do this is pretty straightforward. Depending on the program you are using, add the audio file, then add an image (or images). Save the file in a video (not project) format and then upload it.
Alternatively, if you want to create a slideshow of photos and don't care what the audio is, YouTube does have a selection to choose from. This is also accessible via the Upload page – just click on Create slideshow. Then follow the prompts to choose the images and optional audio. Again, if you go this route, you can't add your own audio.
Capture Webcam Video
YouTube allows you to record your video directly on the website with their webcam tool, accessible on the Upload page. On the right side, click Webcam capture and you'll see a page like the one below.
Then just click Allow and you can start recording your video. It isn't fancy, but it is fast and easy to use if video quality isn't of major importance.
Broadcast A Google+ Hangout
Being able to stream your video live is a pretty awesome feature that is made possible by combining Google+ Hangouts and YouTube.
On the Upload page, click the Broadcast button under Google+ hangout and it will start a hangout just like any other time. Just invite whole Circles or individual people to join your Hangout and it will be broadcasted publicly to the world. It will be posted live to your Google+ stream and YouTube Channel for your followers to view.
Touching Up Your Video With The Video Editor
The built-in YouTube Video Editor is pretty impressive. Aside from manually opening the Video Editor, YouTube also makes suggestions for immediate changes upon uploading the video.
For more editing though, you will have to go to the Video Editor, which is accessible on the Upload page.
To edit the video information, enhance the video and add annotations and captions, go to the Video Manager and click Edit on specific videos. There are a vast amount of options available. Here you can also edit the video URL, enhance the video with various filters, and Auto-fix, brightness and stabilization tools. There is even an option under Additional features that allows you to blur all faces in the video.
There are also options to add/replace the video audio with audio from YouTube.
Resolutions & Formats
When uploading videos, it's important to take into consideration the resolution and format the video is in. By default, YouTube uses 16:9 aspect ratio players. Anything other than that will have black bars on the left and right sides (or sometimes on the top and bottom). These black bars allow the video to remain in the same quality and prevent cropping or stretching.
The YouTube help section recommends encoding in the following formats for perfect playback:
- 1080p: 1920×1080
- 720p: 1280×720
- 480p: 854×480
- 360p: 640×360
- 240p: 426×240
Below are a couple of images by YouTube showing how to and how not to do it.
How To Do It:
How Not To Do It:
As far as formats go, there are a wide range that YouTube is compatible with. However, it is good to check before uploading to prevent headache.
YouTube has evolved quite a bit from the modest video website that it used to be and with each modification, it seems to improve. Unfortunately for us, we also have to slightly modify how we use it and get used to those improvements. Hopefully this guide has helped you understand the features and tools that YouTube has to offer.
Now that you know exactly how to upload videos to YouTube, what video project are you going to tackle?
Image Credit: YouTube
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