Since its launch in 2005, YouTube has grown to become the most popular website for users to stream or share video. The site reportedly streams 4 billion videos to its users everyday, with 48 hours of content being uploaded every minute. Initially hosting user created content, the site has diversified, signing deals with television channels to host their catch up services, such as the UK's Channel 4 service 4oD. The site has also introduced advertising to videos, reaping profits for its owners Google and the uploaders of popular videos. People are able to connect to YouTube through a variety of different methods, including through a desktop computer, a mobile phone app or through a smart TV. Individuals or businesses can create a channel on YouTube to allow them to share content with other users easily.
YouTube allows users to upload video in most of the common formats, including MP4, AVI, MOV, OGG, MKV, WMV, 3GP and DIVX. YouTube provides a range of different video formats, and resolutions to enable it to be optimised for different devices. For example, videos are encoded in 3GP for mobile phones. YouTube supports high definition video and can support up to 4096x3072 pixels, also known as 4K resolution. The site also has a flash and HTML5 version with the latter not requiring a plugin to play video content. Users are able to change the quality of the video they are watching on the fly whilst viewing video. The maximum quality of the video is obviously dictated by the quality of the original source material uploaded by the user. Audio encoding is in either Vorbis, MP3 or AAC format.
The MOV file format is most commonly associated with Apple and the QuickTime video clip. The file format was developed by Apple as was QuickTime Player, it is compatible with both the Microsoft and MacOS platforms. MOV files are capable of storing two or more tracks which can be video, audio, text, graphics or effects. This flexibility makes this file format very popular for music and video editing.
MOV files use a proprietary compression algorithm and each track that is held within the file is made up of an encoded media stream or a reference to a media stream that is located in another file - this allows the embedding of existing media. QuickTime player which was developed and created by Apple allows a user to open and play .MOV files and later version of QuickTime Player, such as QuickTime Pro allows the user to edit and export .MOV files.
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