What is MP4 Format?
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What is MP4 Format?

Last updated on January 5, 2016 by

MP4 – Description

MP4, less known as MPEG-4 Part 14 and MPEG-4 AVC (Advanced Video Coding), is a container format allowing a combination of digital audio and video defined by MPEG as well as other data like still images and subtitles to be held in one single file. It is designed to contain synchronized media information in a flexible format for the purpose of interchanging, managing and editing multimedia files.

MP4 files can be streamed over the Internet thus it is the mainstream format for storing digital audio and video streams in many video websites though the Flash video has already been introduced into this field. This is because MP4 can provide high quality output, equal to that of DVD at the compression ratio of 4MB per min. Currently, this file format can be accepted by over 90 percentages of smart devices.

Filename Extension: MPEG-4 Part 14/MP4

Category: Multimedia File

Standard: ISO/IEC 14496-14

Developer: ISO

MP4 – Special Features

  • MP4 format is identical to Apple’s MOV container format. The International Organization of Standardization approved the MPEG-4 format specification was created on the basis of the MOV file specification released in 2001 but it formally specifies support to other MPEG-4 features and IOD(Initial Object Descriptors).
  • The standard extension for MPEG-4 Part 14 files is MP4 but the MPEG-4 files generally have other extensions involved in the “MP4 family”: M4A and M4P. MPEG-4 files with unencrypted audio-only streams use M4A extension and with encrypted by FairPlay DRM audios as were sold through the iTunes Store have M4P accordingly.
  • Different from most container formats, MP4 is able to store other data including subtitles, still images, object descriptors and scene descriptions.

MP4 – Advantages

  • MP4 file format gives quality output close to the original DVD video quality. And videos in this type can be downloaded from websites quickly and easily with available high-speed broadband connection.
  • As aforementioned, MP4 allows for streaming via the Internet, which indicates the content can be viewed in real time. Most websites use the MP4 technology to incorporate short video clips on the pages for business advertising and promotion via the web.
  • MP4 has large hardware support. As a standard video format, modern digital devices and gadgets support to play it smoothly.
  • The MP4 technology is expandable. It can be adapted to create the basis for developing new technologies included in the “MP4 family”.

MOV & MP4 – Difference

Both MOV and MP4 format are file containers usually used for saving video files. The MOV format was originally developed by Apple Inc. as a format for its QuickTime movies. MOV displayed advantages in everyday use, for example, providing better video quality, ability to improve sound and image quality, but it suffers hindrance from its proprietary nature as well. The MP4 format which was created based on the MOV file type and their both specifications were essentially identical at first was later developed as the standard format in multimedia industry.

Since they both use the same MPEG-4 format to compress data, they are mostly interchangeable in an Apple environment. File conversion from MOV to MP4 and vice versa requires no need for recoding video. But if you perform the conversion on a non-Apple operating system, you might come into problems. As MP4 has become the industry standard, it gains greater support in different platforms than Apple’s MOV. People are more likely to find wider compatibilities with MP4 rather than MOV.

Summary

  • Both MOV and MP4 file format are container formats for storing multimedia files.
  • The development of MP4 is on the basis of MOV format.
  • MP4 is the standard file format and has more support than MOV.

How can we benefit from MP4 files?

i

Convert SWF to MP4 – Standing for Small Web Format, SWF is Adobe Flash file format created by Macromedia for helping users to watch animated vector grahpics and multimedia on the web. However, most players and devices including iPhone, iPad, iPod, Xbox, PSP, QuickTime, Windows Media Player cannot natively support SWF format, it’s advisable to convert SWF to MP4 for SWF video playback without any trouble.

ii

Convert ISO to MP4 – ISO is actually an image file that contains lots of VOB video files on a standard CD. ISO files cannot be accepted by media players since it is not a video file. If you plan to watch ISO files on your smartphone, tablet or laptop, get it converted to MP4 file type with an appropriate tool.

iii

Convert TS to MP4 – TS (Transport stream) is a standard format which uses MPEG-2 technology for file transmission and data storage. It is usually used in broadcast system such HDTV and is also a video stream file format for storing videos on DVDs. To enjoy videos in TS format on more players and hand-held devices, converting it to MP4 format is a very great way to let you watch them conveniently.

iv

Convert ASF to MP4 – ASF, whose full name is Advanced Streaming Format, is developed especially for streaming media by Microsoft Corporation. Windows Media Audio and Windows Media Video are the two common media contained in an ASF file. This kind of file can also store ID3 tags of MP3 files including title, album, artist, and genre or metadata of a video track. If you find some ASF files on the internet but want to play them on your mobile phones, it is advisable to convert them to MP4.

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Posted by: Apowersoft on to Video Converter. Last updated on January 5, 2016

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