iTunes Video Encode Rate

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by terryblyth, Mar 31, 2008.

  1. terryblyth macrumors regular

    Jan 19, 2008
    Walton-on-Thames, UK
    Hi guys,

    Does anybody know the rate that iTunes use in their video store?

    I've been ripping some DVDs onto my hard drive using Handbrake, but the quality doesn't seem to be nearly as good as the ones I've bought from iTunes (Lost, etc.) - especially for the file-size.

    My Handbrake settings have been using MP4 Video (not AVC, h264 etc) with an average bitrate of 1500kbps.

    I'm particularly interested as an episode of Lost through iTunes weighs in at around 360 Megabytes compared to just over a gig for 90 minutes on my rips.
  2. killmoms macrumors 68040


    Jun 23, 2003
    Washington, DC
    First off, they're using H.264, which provides a sizable quality increase. They're also encoding from lossless broadcast-quality master media, not end-consumer compressed sources like DVD.
  3. J@ffa macrumors 6502a


    Jul 21, 2002
    Behind you!
    I don't have any iTMS-purchased movies, but a TV episode (free, I hasten to add!) has a bitrate of 1485kbps and a music video at 1623kbps. If you've got any purchased movies, you can find out what bitrate they are by getting info on the files in iTunes.

    The reason, though, for the disparity between your file sizes and Apple's is that to my knowledge all of their content is H.264 encoded. You're using MP4, which is faster and no worse quality wise but a lot less compressed. The banner benefit of encoding H.264 video is smaller file sizes at the same, or better, quality. Try encoding a file at 1500kbps with H.264 and then MP4 and compare the difference in size. Maybe just encode one chapter, it'll make comparisons a lot quicker and allow you to experiment with different shows a bit. Lost can be pretty action-packed and features colour-rich scenery and could do with a higher bitrate perhaps, whereas a horror flick with mostly nighttime scenes could be fine to watch at a lower bitrate.
  4. terryblyth thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 19, 2008
    Walton-on-Thames, UK
    Ahh, that makes sense about the lossless source. Thanks for that killmoms :)

    That said, I've tried using h.264 and I didn't notice any great increase in quality. It's particularly noticeable with colour shading that tends to become blocky. What I did notice however was the massive increase in encode time!

    Are there any tips to even keep the quality similar to what it I have now but by reducing the file-size?

    J@ffa, I've tried both and the difference in file-size was actually negligible (0.1MB). Which was why I wondered if there was something else to tweak.

Share This Page