A question we get asked every so often is “Why are my audio and video out of sync on YouTube?” Well, I’m here to help answer that question for you.

Maybe it’s you (or your computer)

At 12 Stars Media, we never run into this issue, as we always use a standard YouTube-friendly format. I’ll talk about what format we use in just a moment, but first I want to talk about ensuring it’s not an issue with the computer you’re using. Quite a few people have problems playing any YouTube video on their computer. This could be do to the version of Flash you’re using or your internet browser. So, before trying to figure out what format you should or shouldn’t use, you should update your Flash and/or try using a different internet browser.

Video formats

YouTube has a page for supported and unsupported formats, but honestly, it’s not very helpful and I wouldn’t trust it. It’s hard to say a certain format will work and another won’t, as there are quite a few components that go into a video format. But, I can tell you we at 12 Stars Media use the following format for nearly every video we upload to YouTube:

YouTube Audio Out of Sync Video Settings:

  • Resolution: 1280×720
  • Wrapper: .mp4
  • Codec: h.264
  • Bitrate: 5mbps
  • Frame Rate: 29.97
  • Field Order: Progressive

Audio Settings:

  • Codec: AAC
  • Bitrate: 320kbps

Just about any video editing program that has come out recently has a “YouTube” preset that should look similar to the settings above. If not, you’ll need to adjust the export settings manually.

Some additional formats that usually work well with YouTube:

  • .mov
  • .wmv
  • .mpeg
  • .3gpp

Here are some formats I would avoid uploading to YouTube:

  • .avi
  • .flv
  • .swf

Convert it!

Don’t have a video editing program? Try using a video converter, such as Any Video Converter (Windows-only.) I’ve used Any Video Converter for quite some time now and it’s worked incredibly well – especially for a free program!

I know a lot of Mac users prefer HandBrake for converting video. Though, I have no personal experience with it, so your results may vary.

If you still have questions feel free to post it in the comments section and I’ll do my best to answer.

Thanks to John Fisher for the idea for this post!