Prepare videos for upload

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Our main video help page is located here.

Video Upload

Our video feature accepts videos in just about any video format, including .mov, .AVI, most Mpeg formats, h.264, .m4a, and .m4v. All users can upload up to 20 minutes for each video in full HD (1920x1080). The maximum file size allowed for any video is 3GB.

We recommend using our HTML5 drag-and-drop uploader in Chrome for best results when uploading videos.

We can't convert your videos as fast as we can prepare still images for display, so it could be a while before a video is visible in your gallery.

Video Playback

Playing SmugMug videos requires Adobe Flash Player.

Playback Hardware Requirements

Due to the different playback sizes and thousands of hardware configurations, we can't tell you what exactly you'll need. Running applications and background processes can cause degradation, so be sure to shut down any unneeded applications if problems occur.

Most any computer from the past two to three years will be able to play the HD display size. Those using older computers should select smaller sizes as needed.

Network Requirements

Most broadband internet connections will be able to handle HD playback.  

For slow connections, you may see stops or stutters as the video loads. Check the status bar to see if the playback marker is catching up to the load indicator. If it is, pause the video to allow the video to finish loading. Also, turn off any other unneeded applications that may be using the network connection.  

If problems continue, try a smaller display size. 

SmugMug Video Display Tech Specs

Size Video  Audio 
Full HD  1920X1080 7.2Mbps H.264 Baseline Profile  128kbps 48KHz stereo AAC-LC
Hi-Def 1280x720 3.2Mbps H.264 Baseline Profile 128kbps 48KHz stereo AAC-LC
Mid-Def 960x540 1.8Mbps H.264 Baseline Profile 128kbps 48KHz stereo AAC-LC
iPod/DVD 640x480 1.2Mbps H.264 Baseline Profile 128kbps 48KHz stereo AAC-LC
Web 320x240 512Kbps H.264 Baseline Profile  40kbps 22KHz mono AAC-LC
  • Video resolutions are maximums based on width. Different aspect ratios can result in smaller height resolutions to preserve aspect ratio. 
  • The iPod/DVD and Web display copies are mathematically more square than larger versions. 
  • Native is displayed as an option if the video's natural/original resolution does not exactly match one of our predefined display sizes.

Here's a graphical representation of the display sizes and aspect ratios (not actual size).  Click on this image to download a larger version. 

Converting Video Format

Converting your videos isn't typically needed unless you're having issues with the format, codec, or the size of the video. We recommend you try uploading your video or a small sample to see if you have problems before trying the following conversion process.

If you do need to convert your video, we recommend a .mov file with the h.264 video codec. Audio should be AAC 128kbps (stereo or mono only, no surround sound).

You may use any video software you'd like as long as it's capable of outputting the above settings. MPEG StreamClip (PC and Mac) is one we recommend that's free.

Note: On Windows you may need to install the Quicktime player for the h.264 codec to show up in MPEG Streamclip.

Convert Using MPEG StreamClip

Open MPEG StreamClip and drag your video file into the main window of the MPEG Streamclip application.

In MPEG Streamclip, choose File > Export to Quicktime. You'll see this:

Choose Compression: H.264 for the setting.

FYI: Check the "Limit Data Rate" button, which will override the quality slider. This is important, otherwise you'll  create an unnecessarily bloated file that will slow down or stall your upload.

Be sure to input the data rate as follows depending on the resolution size of your video:

  • Full HD (1080p) 1920x1080: 8.0 Mbps
  • Hi-Def(720p) 1280x720: 3.2Mbps
  • Mid-Def 960x540: 1.8Mbps
  • iPod/DVD 640x480: 1.2Mbps
  • Web 320x240: 512Kbps

Leave the "Frame Size" setting at "unscaled" unless you want to change the size of your video. The application defaults to leaving the video at whatever resolution your video already is.

Note: If your video is Progressive (i.e., 1080p,720p, or 480p) deselect the "interlaced" checkbox.

Make sure you use the following settings for Sound: MPEG-4 AAC, Stereo, Auto HZ, 128kbps.

Click the Make Movie button at the bottom right and, when it's finished, you'll have a video file ready for SmugMug!

Upload to SmugMug

Now upload the .mov file to SmugMug by dragging your video into the uploader box and give us a few minutes to process the file. (We recommend using Google Chrome.)

 When it's done processing, you're all set to show off, share, or sell!

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