Can I upload a video without transcoding?

Usually all video files that are uploaded to MediaLab will be transcoded to create a format that has been web optimized. The formats that are created automatically depend on the client but usually include a default MP4 profile for online playback. In specific scenarios it may be desirable to skip the transcoding, for instance if the source files are large and only need to be passed through MediaLab for downloading or an automated workflow. To upload files to MediaLab without transcoding, there are several ways to do so.

Please note that, when transcoding is skipped, the file will still be processed to create thumbnails and extract technical meta-data. These options can not be skipped.

Pull profile

If you set-up a pull profile, for example an FTP or UDP profile, you have the option to check the "No transcoding" option. This will import the source files but won't add them to the video queue for transcoding. As a consequence the video can not be played back online, but can still be shared easily to provide download access to the source file. The source file can also be pushed to another destination and if an automated workflow has been set up, it will still be triggered.

If you wish to create a playable version later, you can do so by heading to the "File" > "Re-create" menu and add the file to the transcoding queue.

Web optimized version

If the source video meets certain criteria, we will skip the transcoding and use the source file for online playback. The requirements for the source file are:

  • Container: MP4
  • Video codec: H264
  • Bitrate: max 1.5 Mbit/s
  • Resolution: max 1080p
  • Web optimized

If the uploaded video meets the criteria above it will be available as soon as the upload is complete and no additional transcoding will be done. You can of course still create more formats if you wish, including a mobile optimized format. Feel free to contact our support team if you have questions about specific videos.


When files are uploaded to our API, you can pass the parameter no_transcode to the API endpoint. This will disable automatic transcoding for the uploaded file. See the Upload API documentation for more details.