theimagefile allows you to upload videos to your collections. Traditionally these were most commonly short-duration, moderate-size free-to-view clips, like a 4-minute 500MB wedding montage added to a wedding gallery. theimagefile would always transcode uploaded video into a common format (first Flash, then h264 MP4/AAC) that all visitors could watch from their browser, and theimagefile would compress the video as needed to make it small enough to stream to most viewers without buffering.
During 2020 and 2021, we’ve seen an evolution in the types of uploaded videos — many are now several gigabytes in size and quite long (i.e. an hour-long 3GB recorded Zoom meeting). Professional videographers are now uploading hundreds of high-resolution client videos for download by their clients. In these scenarios, neither the publisher nor viewer wants to wait an hour for our transcoding queue, and they don’t want to watch a compressed version of the video in the browser, but rather want to download the original directly to their device to save and then play. The h264/h265 MP4 format is now standard for publishers and browsers, so our transcoding is not necessary (and our overworked transcoding queue has been bogged down at times by the sheer volume of massive video files).
With that in mind, we’ve made some updates for videos uploaded after July 25, 2021:
- Video files larger than 500MB are considered “best for download” and so we will not create a compressed, web-size transcoded version. Your clients will see a screenshot of the opening scene, and will see a download link if you’ve enabled free downloads, but there won’t be an option to play the video within the page.
- Video files smaller than 500MB will be treated the same as before, with compressed web-sized videos generated by the transcoding queue within an hour or so after upload.
- If you upload MP4 video files already encoded in h264 or h265, with AAC audio, and you add “isnativemp4” to the filename or keywords, then the original uploaded video will be used as the web-sized version, and transcoding will be skipped, and file size limits will be ignored (but, if you want visitors watching from the page, you’ll need to make the files fairly compressed).