What Does YouTube Video Processing Mean? (+ how to speed up delays)

If you’ve recently decided to join the 38 million active channels on youtube as a content creator, you might be looking forward to putting your first video out there! YouTube videos are a great way to share your content since your target audience is already freely surfing the video platform; they need to be directed to your video! 

Now that you’ve added your video to YouTube, you might notice that YouTube will start “processing” the video. Unfortunately, video processing on YouTube can be quite time-consuming and might not go to completion at all, which can be incredibly frustrating for content creators such as yourselves. 

Here we’ll be discussing what YouTube means when it says that your video is processing, how much time it takes for Youtube to process videos, and how you can speed up delays in video processing. 

What Does Video Processing Mean On YouTube?

When YouTube states that it is processing your video, it essentially means your video is being re-encoded. The videos you create are usually encoded using one of several codecs, such as H.264 or MPEG-2/MPEG-4. Codecs compress your video and make it compatible with your media players so that it can be stored and played on your device. 

The same concept applies to YouTube. Since they cater to audiences worldwide that share and view the platform from all kinds of devices, they must re-encode all files and align them with a unified standard compatible with their media player. Therefore, YouTube will take in videos encoded with a wide range of video formats during uploading, including AVIm FLV, MOV, MPEG4, WMV, etc., and re-encode them using different codecs will allow playback at different resolutions. 

How Does YouTube Process Videos?

But how does video processing work? We’ll break it down for you: 

When you upload your video to youtube, youtube will first analyze your video’s frame rate and resolution; then, it will create a mezzanine, a high-quality copy of your video. It will then break down your video into 5-second bits and process each part to compress it. Once compressed, the pieces are rejoined to form a new video output. The exact process applies to a single video multiple times, so your video is available in several resolutions (360p, 480p, 720p, 1080p) and conforms to YouTube’s video standards. 

Factors That Influence Your Video Processing Speed 

Now that you know how video processing works on YouTube, we move on to processing time. The processing time is usually influenced by several factors: the internet speed, the file size you upload, and the frame rate/bitrate. 

Your internet speed will directly influence your file’s upload speed. If you have a slow or unstable internet connection, your video will take a lot more time to upload, mainly if you’re uploading a high-quality digital video. 

Next, your file size and duration are directly proportional to your speed limit. In other words, a heavier format and a longer video duration can lead to longer processing times. 

Finally, you have your frame rate and bitrate. The higher the framerate of your video, the more time it will take to upload. For instance, if your video is 60 fps, it will take much longer to upload than 48 fps. Similarly, if your video bitrate is higher (the number of video bits being uploaded per second), then your video will take longer to upload and process. 

According to YouTube, the recommended video bitrates for a 1080p 4K upload are 8 Mbps for a smaller frame rate (24, 25, 30) or 12 Mbps for a higher frame rate (48, 50, 60). So if we assume that you have an internet upload speed of 20 Mbps, and you’re looking to upload a 1-minute 1080p video at 30 fps, it can take you 30 seconds; if the video is 5 minutes long, it may take 2-3 minutes and so on. 

How To Speed Up YouTube Video Processing Speeds

There are several ways you can speed up video processing on YouTube. For instance, 

  1. Get a faster internet connection; this is a quick fix to help speed up your video uploading instantly. 
  2. Convert your videos into smaller formats. Some formats, such as MOV, render much larger files that consume a lot of time for uploading and processing. Instead, you should opt for YouTube-recommended formats such as MP4 or FLV. 
  3. Terminate any unnecessary tasks/processes running in the background that might slow down your computer’s processing speed. This can be done via the Task Manager. 
  4. Use the latest updated browser to upload your YouTube video. YouTube itself generally recommends using Google Chrome or Firefox to upload your videos. 
  5. Upload videos saved in the same frame rate they were shot in. If you render a 30 fps video into a 60 fps video, you’re just doubling the size of your file with no changes to how your video looks. This way, you can avoid unnecessary lag during your YouTube video processing since larger file sizes take longer to upload and process. Alternatively, you can cut down your videos by removing unnecessary parts or cutting them into segments for upload. 

Why Does My Video Look Blurry After Uploading?

After your videos take up a significant amount of time to upload and process, it can be frustrating if your videos happen to turn out blurry. There are two reasons why your videos might appear blurry. 

One, you might be using a slow internet connection. When you play videos on YouTube, the playback quality automatically drops if your internet connection slows down. This is done, so your video does not buffer while viewing. By upgrading to a better internet connection, you’ll automatically see your videos available in HD. 

Two, YouTube processes videos, so they are presented in several resolutions, i.e., 360p, 480p, 720p, and 1080p. After uploading, it is normal for your videos to appear blurry because YouTube tends to process low-resolution versions before HD versions. Give your video at least 30 additional minutes of processing, and you should see the HD version of your video appear.