What’s the Best Video Format for YouTube? (Truth)

Norvan Martin

A lot of people are confused about the AAC and MPEG formats. Both audio formats may come with video files, but they are different. This article will explore the difference between these two file formats, which one is better for YouTube, and why.

MP4 (part of MPEG) is the best video format for YouTube, however, it can be used with the H.256 video codec and AAC audio codec because it produces high-quality videos with small file sizes. In other words, use MP4 for video and AAC for audio on YouTube.

Check out our article on AAC vs MPEG to learn more about these formats/codecs.

What is AAC?

AAC is a newer and higher-quality audio file. It has better sound quality than the MP3 format and is used more often.

AAC is the recommended format for YouTube videos. AAC is the acronym for Advanced Audio Coding, a standard developed to improve the compression efficiency of audio signals.


This standard allows for much more efficient compression and storage of audio than MP3 or WMA. There are a lot of benefits to using this format, including smaller file sizes, high-quality sound, and increased compatibility with different devices.

For example, when uploading an AAC file to YouTube, it will upload as an mp4 video with a resolution of 320×240. The standard YouTube player should also automatically detect it as an AAC file and appropriate settings.

AAC is one of three formats that can encode high-quality audio, specifically with low bitrates. The other two formats are MPEG-1 Audio Layer III (MP3) and Advanced Audio Coding (AAC).

Importance of AAC

AAC is the preferred format for YouTube videos, allowing better sound and video quality. The benefits of the AAC format for YouTube are as follows:

  1. AAC Format is a better-sounding format than MP3.
  2. AAC Format can be streamed on mobile devices because it’s optimized for low bandwidth.
  3. AAC Format provides fewer audio or video sync issues than MP3 Format.
  4. AAC Format allows you to upload files up to 4 GB without limits.
  5. AAC Format is smaller and takes up less bandwidth than MP3 files.
  6. AAC Format saves storage space because you don’t need to store large MP3 files on your phone or computer.
  7. AAC Format uses less data and consumes less battery life, meaning you can use your device longer before recharging it or being forced to turn off your device due to running out of battery power.
  8. The AAC format is supported by most streaming media apps and websites, like Spotify, Vimeo, and Daily Motion, meaning you don’t need an additional app or plugin to get it working with your device.
  9. The file size difference between an MP3 file at 192 Kbps and a 32 Kbps mp3 would be a 64 MB file difference if the same song were converted from one format to the other. If the music were converted back into an MP3 file, the 64 MB file would be restored.
  10. AAC Format allows you to adjust the sound quality of your music to fit your taste.
  11. AAC Format is supported by all Apple products and can be played on an iPhone, iPad, iPod, or Mac computer.


What is MPEG?

There are a lot of different video compression formats, but none are as popular as the MPEG format. One of the most significant advantages of using this compression form is that it can help you save on bandwidth while streamlining your video deliverable.


As a result, many content creators use MPEG instead of other formats because they know they will get better quality and manage data more efficiently.

While it might seem like all you need to know about MPEG for YouTube is how to encode your file, there are quite a few other factors to consider.

For example, to make sure your file plays back smoothly for all viewers, you should ensure that the resolution is between 512 and 1024 pixels wide by 480 or 720 pixels tall.

You should also ensure that your audio has been converted from stereo to 5.1 surround sound to produce a better overall viewer experience.

Importance of MPEG

The benefits of MPEG for YouTube include:

  1. It reduces bandwidth costs
  2. Easy to use for all types of videos
  3. You can get a higher quality video by using MPEG
  4. Enables YouTube to be one of the most popular sites in the world
  5. Allows you to download videos that are set up as MPEG files and play them on any device that supports the playback of MPG files
  6. It allows you to download many videos at once, so you don’t have to wait one at a time when downloading it
  7. It allows you to save videos without taking up much space and also allows you to share with others online
  8. The file size is smaller than mp4 and other file formats, making them easy to upload on YouTube even if they are quite large, such as full-length movies
  9. Can be used seamlessly in live streaming applications like Livestream and Twitch, where it allows your content to be streamed in high quality
  10. Enables better compression ratios compared with MP4 or other formats

AAC or MPEG – Which is Better for YouTube?

MPEG is a video file type that has a variable bitrate. Meaning that the quality changes based on how much information is being processed. It can be a lot of data, which means it takes up more space on your device.

AAC is an audio file type with a fixed bitrate and comes in two different formats – AAC-LC and HE-AAC. The AAC-LC format is the most popular because it provides better sound quality at a smaller file size than HE-AAC does.

Both AAC and MPEG are audio formats that may come with video files, but they are different. AAC is newer and provides better sound quality than the MPEG format.

It is also more widely used as a result. MPEG files can be imported into a computer as a video file, but it is not as common because of the resolution loss in video conversion.

For YouTube videos, AAC is generally better to use because of its higher-quality format. If you want to record an entire YouTube video using AAC, you must make sure your publishing settings are high quality.

This ensures you get all of the benefits of higher-quality audio while still getting the full video that YouTube provides. There are some instances where this may not be possible, though.

For example, suppose you already have an existing library of AVIs in the MPEG format. In that case, converting them to use AAC won’t be possible, at least not without losing some visual clarity or sound quality.

You’ll have to try exporting your project using different settings until you get one that looks good enough for your needs.

Audio Format AAC vs. MPEG Premiere Pro Which is Better?

The AAC format is a file that the MPEG-2 standard has developed. It was developed to encode sound for video and DVDs.

AAC is better for YouTube because it’s more compatible and consumes less bandwidth. It is also considered a more efficient format for encoding audio files. The AAC format can compress audio files by 150 percent without losing any quality, making it perfect for streaming video online.

The AAC format is a standardized, lossy compression for audio data. It’s most commonly associated with Apple products.

On the other hand, MPEG Premiere Pro is a video editing program used by professionals in the post-production, broadcast, and film industries worldwide. It’s the industry standard in HD video formats.

MPEG-2 formats are better for DVD players as they can store more information in less space than other formats like MP3 or AAC. This means you would need fewer discs to store all of your music on a DVD player versus if you stored those same songs as an mp3 file on the DVD player.


The question of which codec is better for YouTube is a difficult one. While AAC (Advanced Audio Coding) and MP3 (MPEG-1 audio layer 3) are popular, each has advantages and disadvantages. If you plan to use your videos on other websites and mobile apps, then AAC might be the best choice. But if your goal is to maximize video quality on YouTube, MP3 is a safe bet.

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Norvan Martin is the founder of BoomSpeaker.com. He is a professional Electronics Engineer and is passionate about home theater systems and AV electronics. BoomSpeaker was created as an online hub to share his knowledge and experiences as it relates to home theaters and home audio electronics. My email: [email protected]  Connect on Pinterest and Linkedin