Just got a new smartphone or camcorder that can capture amazing videos and want to use it to record some of the antics your family gets up to? Before you start recording videos you should think about the formats that you’re going to export them in, as it could make things easier down the line.
Admittedly choosing the ‘right’ format can be fairly convoluted due to the sheer number of different formats out there. That being said, there are ways that you can make it a whole lot easier:
- Intermediate vs. delivery formats
The first way to make it easier to choose a format is to realize there are two broad types of video formats: Intermediate and delivery. Intermediate formats use lossless compression that allows them to be edited more easily and effectively – which is why they are sometimes known as editing or working formats. On the other hand delivery formats are compressed to make it easier to distribute them.
If you want to edit family videos and your camera allows you to record and export videos in intermediate formats, you could consider doing so. However just be warned that the file size of such videos is large, and you will need a powerful computer to edit the video. Most consumer devices export in delivery formats by default. That doesn’t meant that you can’t edit your family videos, but you may have difficulty performing certain tasks.
- Recommended formats of online platforms
In many cases you may want to upload the family videos that you record to online platforms such as YouTube, or social media such as Facebook, Instagram, and so on. If you go down that route you should ideally use the recommended format prescribed by each platform (along with its settings too).
Technically many platforms nowadays support and will allow you to upload videos in a wide range of formats. However if you’re using a format other than the one that is recommended, they may transcode your video internally – which can sometimes have mixed results.
As a rule it is best to avoid that if you can, which is why you should export your video after you record or edit it based on the recommended format of the platform you’re going to be using.
- Best format to store family videos
If you’re thinking about storing lots of the family videos that you record then their file size may very quickly become an issue. That is where using formats with better compression can help.
In most cases you will want to encode and store videos using at least MP4 with H.264, which should compress them decently on its own. However if your devices that you watch the videos on support H.265 (HEVC) you may want to consider using that – as it will reduce the file size even further, sometimes by as much as half.
While technically it is best to not compress too much unless necessary, in a practical sense opting to store family videos using better compression will help you to conserve storage space.
As you record and edit family videos you’re likely to run into numerous formats, and should convert them based on your needs. That can be done using software or online platforms, such as Online Video Converter for example. It will even act as a MOV to MP3 converter online if you want – so you can extract the audio tracks from your family videos.
By choosing the right format for your family videos you’ll find it easier to use them – in any way that you see fit. The ways described above should let you do just that, albeit subject to the limitations of the devices that you’re using.