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I am going to start making Ubuntu tutorial videos again but this time around I will like to know what is the best format for uploading videos to my personal blog or to youtube. In the past I was using xdiv with avi container. But now I want the communities experience with this and I am looking for:

  1. The best or most recommended/used program to edit videos that comes with Ubuntu or has a PPA for Ubuntu.

  2. The best codec that has a very good quality but at the same time makes the video's size smaller. As point 1, it should come with Ubuntu or have a PPA for it. This is a tough one for me since I am looking for a good one that shows good quality and good size. It has always been difficult for me to find the ideal one.

  3. The best format or container for this type of videos. I get confused between ogv, mp4, mpg and which one offers better stuff.

In all 3 cases the software should be open source and I will be using/recommending Firefox and Chrome for the websites, so it will be limited to the technology that this 2 browsers can work with (NOT IE friendly).

The videos, if this help in some way will be captured with gtkrecordmydesktop since I find it, it delivers the best quality with several I have tested. If I am wrong please, with all do respect correct me. After the video is made I will start using the editor and codecs asked in the 3 questions above.

What I will be capturing is most of the time the desktop but also some screens of Virtualbox for showing 11.10 and 12.04 installation procedures. Apart from this some games running in Wine and some games running natively will also be showed (0 AD, UFO:AI..). I do not know if this will affect what codec will be recommended but I put this here as a bonus just in case.

Any help will be appreciated. Thank you.

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Firefox and Chrome both support WebM out of the box nowadays, so you could add that format to your list to get even more confused. – elmicha Jan 21 '12 at 10:44
up vote 2 down vote accepted

I also use gtk-recordMyDesktop for recording screencasts with audio and it already meets most of your requirements.

The result of recordmydesktop is an Ogg Theora file (for example screencast.ogv). I usually do not have to edit it and just put it on a website. The HTML code for embedding the video looks like this:

<video src="screencast.ogv" width="800" height="600" controls>Video is not supported by your browser</video>

This way the video can be displayed on the client browser without any plugins if they have at least Firefox 3 according to Wikipedia but I have only tested it with Firefox >= 8. I do not know if this works with Chrome and/or Youtube, sorry.

We use it for tutorial purposes in our company and I often record the screen of VirtualBox or a remote desktop session. It even works with low quality settings of 30 or 40 for video, capturing 7 frames per second. With this setting I get a filesize of about 1 MB for 1 minute of audio/video.

It works out of the box on Ubuntu 11.10 after installing gtk-recordmydesktop.

share|improve this answer
Just to ask, do you use the file as it comes from recordmydesktop after it finishes or do you apply anything else to compress it. I ask since many of the tutorials I have done in the past are huge, around 100MB to 300MB which is pretty big for a video that lasts about 20 to 25 minutes. – Luis Alvarado Jan 25 '12 at 15:21
No, I don't add any post-processing to the output file from gtk-recordmydesktop. I just recorded a two-minute test screencast of surfing some pages with Firefox and a login to an RDP server and its OGV output file has a size of 2.7 MB. I used the settings as described in my answer – oddfellow Jan 26 '12 at 9:55
Got it thanks oddfellow. You sure are an odd fellow ^^. – Luis Alvarado Jan 26 '12 at 14:13

I've used XVidCap Screen Capture and the quality is excellent, REALLY close to what I was seeing on my screen during the capture. Its default settings are DivX codec (in an MPEG file) and MP3 audio. The video quality is set to 90%. The resulting files are really small (something like 15Mb for multiple minutes of recording at 1600*900).

If you want to use opensource codecs, there is OGG for audio and XVid for video. Notice, however, that when you upload to a website like youtube, the format doesn't really matter, as long as it's readable by youtube. Youtube will convert your video to its own chosen format (which is FLV afaik). Therefore, you should be focussing on quality and maybe size (depending on your upload speed).

Oddfellow mentionned above how to embed your video using HTML. Allow me to add two notes to that:

  1. It means you'll be hosting the video. I'm not sure if your blog allows you to do that, but hosting videos (especially multiple ones), consumes fairly much server bandwidth. If you have a hosting provider (free or paid), be sure to check the available bandwidth, and also make sure your host isn't too slow (or people will be getting lag during playback).

  2. The code shown by Oddfellow is HTML5, the next generation of HTML which allows, among others, video embedding. Although you stated explicitely you will only support the most recent firefox and chrome, I would not recommend depending on HTML5 just yet. It's still unsupported by many browsers. And while the tag is supported by Chrome and FF, AFAIK, there isn't one single browser that completely supports the whole HTML5 specification.

That said, you might be much better off simply uploading to youtube, and embedding the youtube video's into your website. It's really easy: once uploaded, on the youtube video page, there's an embed button that gives you the HTML code which you'll have to insert into your website.

Upload your videos with at least a 1080p resolution and youtube will give you a great quality when 1080p is selected: perfect for Ubuntu tutorial videos!

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