How to convert your video to the right format for faster upload?

Before uploading videos to the platform, convert large video files to mp4 format with the following settings:

  • Video encoder: H.264 or AVC codec

  • Audio encoder: AAC or mp4a codec

  • Maximum resolution: 1280 x 720 pixels

Handbrake is a tool you can use to convert your videos:

Download and install the converter from the Handbrake website



Video files uploaded to OpenLearning are checked to ensure that the video and audio are encoded in a way that is suitable to be delivered over the internet. 

It is recommended that video files fit the following criteria prior to upload:

  • Videos are exported as mp4 files
  • The H.264/AVC codec is used for video compression

  • The AAC/mp4a codec is used for audio compression

  • The video has a maximum resolution of 1280 pixels in width and 720 pixels in height

A video file meeting these criteria will be uploaded to OpenLearning as quickly as possible without incurring any further processing delay. 

In some parts of the platform where learners are prompted to share video files, the learner can still choose to continue the upload by selecting "Convert my video". However, this may involve a slow upload of an unnecessarily large file (if your video is unoptimised) and the video will not be made available immediately, as further processing (transcoding) is required after the file upload has been completed.

To avoid slow uploads and transcoding delays, video files can be prepared in the recommended format prior to upload. This can be done by:

  • exporting the video from your video editing software in the appropriate format, or

  • using a desktop application (such as the free tool “Handbrake”) to convert the video.

  • Download Handbrake from https://handbrake.fr/ and install.

  • Open Handbrake, and immediately you would be prompted to choose the video to convert (otherwise select the “Open Source” button on the toolbar).

  • Select the video file to convert.

  • Choose the “General > Fast 720p30” as the preset.

  • Choose “MP4 File” as the format.

  • In the “Save As” field, the type file name for the converted video file. For example: “output.mp4”. (Select the “Browse” button to choose a different location to save the converted video file.)

  • Press the “Start” button to begin the conversion.

  • Upload the converted mp4 file to OpenLearning.

For further information on using Handbrake, refer to the Handbrake quick start guide: https://handbrake.fr/docs/en/1.3.0/introduction/quick-start.html

Supported H.264/AVC video codecs:

Maximum resolution: 1280x720 pixels (also called 720p, HD ready, or standard HD)

Codec name

Used for

Denoted as

(where xx is the AVC level)

H.264 Baseline

Older devices


H.264 Main

Standard Definition video


H.264 High

High Definition video 


Supported AAC/mp4a audio codecs:

Codec name

Used for

Denoted as

High-Efficiency AAC (AAC-HE)

Low-bandwidth connections


Low-Complexity AAC (AAC-LC)

High-quality audio and general purpose use


5 replies

    • Customer Success & Onboarding Team Leader at OpenLearning
    • Alenka_Prezelj
    • 2 yrs ago
    • Reported - view

    If the above instructions are too technical for you, you may try this simplified version:


    Step 1: Install Handbrake and start it.


    Step 2: Choose Open a single file.

     Step 3: Find and open your video file.


    Step 4: Tick Web optimised.


    Step 5: Click on Start encode.

    Step 6: The encoding process might take a while - depending on the size of the video and the speed of your computer. When done, it will be saved in the default folder located at the bottom of the screen as Save as.

    for example: 

     To open that folder and find the encoded file, you can click Browse.

    • Customer Success & Onboarding Team Leader at OpenLearning
    • Alenka_Prezelj
    • 4 yrs ago
    • Reported - view

    Hi team, our users are having trouble following these instructions.(too technical etc)

      • fazni_susila
      • 4 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Alenka Prezelj ..exactly should be more idiot proof

      • Customer Success & Onboarding Team Leader at OpenLearning
      • Alenka_Prezelj
      • 4 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      fazni susila Hi Fazni, our team is working on changing this process. Please stay tuned! :)

    • Waluyo_Adi_Siswanto
    • 4 yrs ago
    • Reported - view

    Thank you for the information using Handbrake, very useful. Now I always use Handbrake before uploading to openlearning page. Save to the default m4v, never have any problems uploading video.

Content aside

  • 2 yrs agoLast active
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