So you've made your video, and now you need to get it ready for the web. Great! We do have a few specifications and guidelines we recommend following in order to obtain the best performance using our service. However, you can upload pretty much any video and it will work well - these are just best practices. 


Once you've created your video, you should consider compressing it to reduce the file size as much as possible. This will make your upload and download speed of your video much faster. You can use any video editing software you prefer, but we recommend using Handbrake (it’s free and works across Windows, Mac, and Linux). We do have a 2GB limit on the videos you upload, but that does not mean you need to upload a 2GB video. Most of the time you can get the same quality with a smaller video size, which will ultimately give your students a smoother experience.


You can upload files with the following extensions: 3g2, 3gp, 3gpp, 3gpp2, asf, asx, avi, dv, f4p, f4v, flv, mjpeg, mjpg, mkv, mov, movie, mp2, mp3g, mp4, mpe, mpeg, mpg, mpg4, ogg, ogv, ogx, qt, rm, viv, vivo, webm, wm, wmv, wmx, wvx, m4v


That said, mp4 is the most popular and widely supported online video file type across all browsers, so you may consider exporting your video in this format. Not sure which file type is best for you and your students? You can check out Can I Use to find out what file types are best supported by which browsers. 



Ideal file specs for editing and compressing your videos:

Video

Codec: h.264

Resolution: between 640px and 3840px wide

Bitrate: 5,000 - 10,000 kbps. The higher the bit rate the better the quality and the larger the file.

Aspect ratio: Landscape videos are best as portrait videos will not display nicely in most cases. We accept any resolution, though 16:9 works best for courses and landing pages. 

File size: < 2GB. Consider the size of your videos, as this may affect your students viewing them over slower internet connections or on mobile devices. The smaller the better, without sacrificing quality. 


Audio

Codec: AAC (Advanced Audio Codec)

Sample rate: 44.1kHz

Channels: 2-channel Stereo (not surround)



Why are these settings preferable?

After you upload a video we perform encoding on it, creating multiple versions for different use cases and environments (such as mobile devices), and we also get these versions ready to stream on the web.


We have video-type detection and encoding settings (what we call Smart Encoding) so that live-action videos look great, and longer videos that require fine detail (like webinars) will be as efficient a file-size as possible (for smooth playback).


The largest resolution we create is 1080p, or 1920px by 1080px. If you upload any video larger than 1920px wide, we're going to create the following derivatives:


DerivativeBitrate
3840 x 2160p (4K)11,250 kbps
1920 x 1080p3,750 kbps
1280 x 720p2,500 kbps
960 x 540p1,200 kbps
640 x 360p700 kbps
400 x 224p200 kbps


We recommend uploading video at 1920px wide because it is the most efficient approach - your original files won't be taking up extra space in your account, and your uploading/processing times will be as speedy as possible as well.



Frequently Asked Questions

Why do my videos look a lower quality that originally uploaded?

We can support videos with resolutions up to 1080p (1920px by 1080px), so provided that the resolution of the original file uploaded was lower than that, you shouldn't see any degradation of quality upon upload to Thinkific.


That said, our video player does automatically select a quality setting based on the current speed of your internet connection - so if your video looks blurry or lower quality when you're previewing it, then that's most likely why. 


To increase the quality, you're always able to right-click on the video player to switch to a higher resolution.