video on the web
You'll need to make two major decisions about how to present your audio and / or video on the web:
Format: Do you want to present your media in Real, QuickTime, or Windows Media format? Each format has its own strengths and weaknesses. We use QuickTime at the J-School because of its high quality, wide compatibility, and low cost (free). Because all Macs support QuickTime creation and playback natively, and because iMovie and Final Cut Pro generate QuickTime by default, QuickTime is an especially convenient choice if most of your media is generated on Macintosh computers, as it is in many media production environments. The choice of format you use for a given project will probably be determined by the publication you're working for. Be sure to find out in what format media is expected before you enter the final phases of production.
Compression Methods: Once you've chosen a format, you'll need to decide how much to compress your audio or video. The more you compress, the smaller the file sizes will be and the easier it will be for modem users to access your media over a slow connection. However, more compression means throwing away more data (bits). Therefore, high compression means low fidelity and vice versa. Ideally, plan to deliver two files: A high-quality, high-bandwidth version for cable/DSL users and a low-quality, low-bandwidth version for modem users, although this is not always possible. Again, this decision will likely be determined by the publication you're working for. It is even possible that they'll want to receive the edited but uncompressed (raw) media files from you so they can compress it themselves.
Deciding exactly what parameters to use when exporting compressed audio and video is as much an art as a science, and depends on many factors. Both iMovie and Final Cut Pro come with "default" export options, which let you use a canned "set" of export parameters for high, low, and medium bandwidth users. Both programs also let you override the defaults to choose codecs, dimensions, bitrates, and framerates manually. The examples shown in this tutorial demonstrate the export options the J-School has decided on, but are by no means to be taken as gospel -- we recommend that you experiment with export options and perform your own filesize vs. quality comparisons.