YouTube Hack: See YouTube Videos in High Quality

Here's a little tip for serious YouTubers. As you probably noticed, many YouTube videos have two download links: for FLV and a high quality MP4 version. But did you know that most videos can also be viewed online in high quality?

Here's how to do it:

Here is video clip with the following URL: youtube.com/watch?v=WhwbxEfy7fg

All you need to do is add the parameter "&fmt=6" or "&fmt=18". Fmt=18 plays back the video in FLV format with a bitrate of ~900Kbps compared to the default of 200Kpbs. If you have a slow connection this playback will result in a longer delay before your video starts playing. Want to see for yourself what this looks like? Click on the following link in which I simply added a "&fmt=6" for the link:


Notice how the text is sooo much sharper (the Hulu logo and overlay text at the beginning of the video). Also, the audio is streamed in stereo! For more information on the format differences visit Jimmy Ruska's blog entry.

Note: To accomplish this in the embedded version, you will need to use the following URL: <truncated embed video url> + "&ap=%2526fmt%3D18". By truncated I mean anything before the first "&" parameter. So the embed code YouTube suggests:

<object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/WhwbxEfy7fg&hl=en&fs=1"><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/WhwbxEfy7fg&hl=en&fs=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>

needs to be replaced with:

<object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/WhwbxEfy7fg&ap=%2526fmt%3D18"><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/WhwbxEfy7fg&ap=%2526fmt%3D18" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>

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