YouTube: Secret Higher Quality Action

At the rate this little tip has been circulating the interw3b, it won’t be considered “secret” for long. In preparation for what I hope is a global upgrade of all their content, YouTube has already converted many of their videos to a higher-quality 480×360 version.


Try this: When viewing a movie on YouTube, add &fmt=18 to the end of the URL. In addition to slight video improvement, you should also notice increased audio quality. Notice I use the word “slight.” I hope YouTube goes further than this humble baby step towards something more like Vimeo’s level of quality.

There’s also a Firefox extension that supports higher-quality YouTube playback (among a list of other enhancements).

For the full scoop, including tips on embedding high-quality YouTube clips, check out this Wired post.

About the author

Justin Cone


Together with Carlos El Asmar, Justin co-founded Motionographer, F5 and The Motion Awards. He currently lives in Austin, Texas with is wife, son and fluffball of a dog.

Before taking on Motionographer full-time, Justin worked in various capacities at Psyop, NBC-Universal, Apple, Adobe and SCAD.

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  • Thanks for the tip justine..

  • keaf

    There’s no need to do this anymore.
    In your accont setings there’s a Video Playback Quality.
    You can change it to high and youtube will always play a better version when available.