Exporting Video for Uploading to Nico Nico Douga

Nico Nico Douga and is the Japanese equivalent of YouTube. If you want to reach out to potential viewers in Japan, you can consider uploading to this web sharing site. Unfortunately, unless you know Japanese, you won’t be able to make use of one of the most interesting features of the site&mdash’;viewers can add comments directly onto the video and these scroll across the video as it is being played.

You need to register and sign in before you can even begin watching video channels. You can refer to this illustrated English-language guide: asiajin.com/blog/2010/12/31/english-guide-for-nico-nico-douga-part-1-how-to-register-2/ for step-by-step instructions.

If you are using a browser that automatically translates web pages (I use Chrome mainly, but sometimes use Explorer). It will make your uploading a lot easier. Once you are logged in, you can find a ‘post video’ command in the toolbar at the top of the web-page (the third command from the right). Uploading is a straightforward task, but the limitations regarding file size, format and bitrate are very restrictive, especially for free users.

Free vs. Premium Membership

There are two categories of users ‘Free’ and ‘Premium’. Premium members pay a monthly fee (the equivalent of several USD per month) and can enjoy more benefits and fewer restrictions. You can find out about how to become a premium member here: ex.nicovideo.jp/help/premium/index.html and here Nico Nico Guide II : Getting a Paid Account

I recommend starting off as a free user and exploring the site and its functions before deciding whether or not to upgrade.

Video Format: Export Settings

  • Format: MPEG4 (i.e., with an .mp4 extension) are preferred, though common formats like AVI, MPEG2, WMV and DivX may also be accepted  (I usually upload H.264 video in an .mp4 container).
  • Encoding method: Constant bitrate (CBR) is preferred.
  • Bitrate: This is  a big restriction, especially for free users. The maximum rate bit rate accepted for videos uploaded by free users is 600 kbps (I normally upload HD video to YouTube at around 5000 kbps and standard definition video at 1,000 to 2,000 kbps, so this restriction came as a bit of a shock).  The 600 kbps limit refers to the total bitrate (audio and video). Therefore, if you want relatively good sound quality (e.g., mp3 at 192 kbps), you are looking at encoding your video with a bit rate of 400 kbps. Premium members can upload files with any bitrate as long as the total file size is less than 100 MB
  • Total file size: Free users have a limit of 40MB  while premium users can upload files that are up to 100 MB
  • Resolution (frame width and height): Free users cannot upload video with a resolution greater than 800×600 (Edit May 2014: This is now increased to 1280×720, the bitrate limit hasn’t been relaxed, so you might want to just stick with the lower resolutions) while premium users can upload any resolution, including HD (but bear in mind, if you have a 100 MB limit, high quality HD videos can’t be more than a couple of minutes long). The normal resolution of the Nico Nico Douga video player is: 512 x 384 (4:3 mode), 640 x 384 and 640 x 360 (Widescreen 16:9 mode). As a free user, I just export my video at one of those settings (unlike in YouTube, it is normal for there to be a black bar on all four sides of an uploaded widescreen video).
  • Pixel Aspect Ratio: I would recommend square pixels (1:1).
  • TV Standard and Frame Rate: As Nico Nico Douga is a strictly Japanese site, it is probably best to use the country’s TV standard (NTSC) and it’s corresponding frame rate (29.97 fps).

My export settings (for free user) are shown. My videos posted on the site are music videos, so I keep a fairly high audio bit rate. If audio quality is not that important, you can decrease that and increase the video bit rate slightly. The settings for frame width and height are for widescreen (16:9) video. If I were uploading video with a standard 4:3 aspect ratio, I would probably go for 640 x 480 or 512 x 384.

Premiere Pro Export Settings (for Nico Nico Douga)

My Nico Nico Douga Page

Once you are signed in, visit me at: www.nicovideo.jp/user/22961819

My Other Articles on Video Editing




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19 thoughts on “Exporting Video for Uploading to Nico Nico Douga

  1. Thank you for posting your settings! Nico always gave me grief when it came to uploading since I”m a free user and I had no idea how to get H264 files to upload on there without getting a ton of errors.

  2. how good is the quality when you do this?
    I am attempting to upload in higher quality, with a free account ( and i’m not too great with encoding in the first place… )

  3. @Jalya. I think the quality is fine (much better than I had expected). It’s more or less like viewing a YouTube video at the 480 or 360 settings.

  4. Pingback: Exporting Video for YouTube: Pixel Aspect Ratio Basics | Longzijun

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  7. Hey, thanks for all the info concerning uploading to nico nico douga.

    I have one problem though, for some reason once I upload a video, the (sound) quality drops immensely. I have tried many many things to fix this but none of it worked. I tried downloading the uploaded video with a third party program and according to the properties it only has a bit rate of 66 kbps.. which is ridiculous. Any ideas on how to fix this or do you need any more information on what I tried?

  8. I’m using a free (version) video encoder called VideoPad Video Editor, so I can’t export in .mp4 unless I buy it so I did it in .avi instead. I have a premium account so have no bitrate restrictions.

    These are my settings:

  9. The avi format is likely the problem. It is not a preferred format for uploading. Maybe you can switch to using Format Factory–a free software for changing video formats.

  10. Thank you so much! This program works wonders! I’ve actually tried encoding it into .mp4 before with another program, but that program was rather limited and wouldn’t let me change anything manually. I’ve spent hours trying to find a solution so I’m super thankful for this!

  11. I’m a free user on NicoNico Douga as well, and I’m trying upload videos from Youtube to there, but it keeps telling that the bitrate and resolution exceeds the limit. How do I lower the bitrate and resolution on the video?

  12. I’m wondering if you can post videos through the mobile app besides computer or PC. Can you do that, or does it not let you?

  13. Not really, they have something called a creative Endorsement Programme in which copyright holders allow third party content and some, like Nintendo, will reward (with cash) videos that they like and that are very well received.

    Therefore, it is possible to earn money, but only in some special circumstances.

  14. Thank you for your reply. So I guess won’t have as much original content as Youtube. For example, the top 10 list type of video probably wont make any money.

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