[Answered] Difference Between MOV and MP4 and Which One to Choose

If you have no idea when it comes to MOV VS. MP4, this post is here to guide you. The two formats are the standard video formats, mostly used for making short films, ads, etc. While they have the same purpose, you might wonder which one is best, considering the file size, compatibility, and quality. Continue reading as we cover the importance of MP4 and MOV and how to use them effectively.

MP4 vs MOV

Part 1. MOV VS. MP4: What Are They

This part will explain the basic details of MOV and MP4. You will learn the two formats' similarities, as well as differences regarding compatibility, quality, and others.

What is MOV

MOV is also known as the QuickTime file format. This is because Apple created the file format as one of the encoding requirements and compression specifications. MOV can store multitrack data, such as video, sound, and text, in one file. Additionally, the format is widely supported by Apple devices, including iPhone and Mac. These gadgets provide excellent MOV playback via default media players.

What is MP4

MP4, on the other hand, was developed and released by the International Organization for Standardization in October 2001. It is used as a digital container format to store video, audio, still images, and subtitles. Since it is widely popular, MP4 can be played on various devices and platforms, including portable movie players, phones, computers, and even on the Internet. When it is encoded, MP4 is compressed to a smaller file size, so transferring or editing a video file is rather quicker.

Part 2. MOV VS. MP4: Main Differences

After getting a basic picture of what MP4 is and what MOV stands for, let’s move on. The table below compares these two formats and shows the differences between MOV and MP4 in compression, file size, device compatibility, and more.

Category MOV MP4
Compression Algorithm Lossy Lossy
Streaming Support Yes Yes
File Size Large Small
Device and Platform Support Apple devices Almost all platforms and devices

Compression Algorithm

Both MP4 and MOV use the same lossy compression algorithm. This means the file’s video and audio data is not reduced. Any MP4 file uses H.264 or MPEG-4 codec, while MOV only uses MPEG-4 codec as the compression technique.

Streaming Support

In this category, MOV and MP4 are supported for streaming. However, MP4 is more recommended as a streaming protocol for its wide compatibility.

File Size

Although the two formats use almost the same compression technique, MP4 only becomes a smaller file size with lossless quality, while MOV remains a large file size.

Device and Platform Support

As you may know, MOV is mainly used for exporting videos to Apple devices. It is recommended for video editing on Mac or watching on QuickTime. MP4 is universally supported, so you can use it on any device or platform.

Part 3. MOV VS. MP4: Which One to Choose

The video formats play a vital role in storing media data. But since they have differences, it is important to know when it is the right time to use them. For example:

Part 4. How to Convert Between MP4 and MOV

Is it possible to convert MP4 to MOV? With Aiseesoft Video Converter Ultimate, yes, it is possible. The desktop tool is powered with new AI technology, maintaining the original quality even after converting a video. On the other hand, it provides advanced output settings to let the user decide the video encoder, bitrate, frame rate, and others. This is also helpful in balancing the video quality and file size. The best part is the other solutions you can find within Aiseesoft Video Converter Ultimate, as it is capable of video editing, enhancing, trimming, merging, and more.

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  • A lightweight converter for MP4 to MOV and vice versa.
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Step 1.
Click the Download button and install the software. Run the application and click the Add File button to upload the file from the folder. Upload more files if needed. Click the Open button to continue.
Aiseesoft Video Converter Ultimate Download Add
Step 2.
Choose the output format from the Format menu beside the uploaded files. When you pick the format, you can create a new output profile by clicking the Custom Profile icon. Edit the codec, frame rate, resolution, quality, and other settings. Click the Create New button to save.
Aiseesoft Format Custom Profile
Step 3.
After editing the output profile, click the Convert All button and wait until the conversion finishes. The converted files are saved from the default Aiseesoft folder, but you can change the location folder from the Save To tab.
Aiseesoft Convert All MP4 to MOV

Part 5. FAQs about MOV VS. MP4

Is MP4 or MOV better for Premiere Pro?

Choosing an output format depends on your preference. For example, if you want high-quality video editing, it is best to lean towards the MOV format. Or, if you need the video to be accessible on any platform, the MP4 format is recommended.

What are the advantages of a .MOV file?

MOV is a simple video format. It offers smooth playback and an attractive design and helps users edit videos with higher standards. Furthermore, you can dissect the file format and edit it without rewriting its code, unlike other formats that require it.

What can you do with a .MOV file?

You can use the MOV file format to store audio, video, and text data through various tracks. It also allows you to point the tracks to data stored somewhere else in another file. All in all, MOV is also a great video format for storing media data.


Eventually, you will need to learn about MOV VS. MP4 to differentiate their uses, and we hope this article helps you. It will make you understand which video file format to use for editing, exporting, and other activities. On the other hand, you can convert videos between the formats we talked about by using Aiseesoft Video Converter Ultimate. The software is available on Windows and Mac, or you can download the free version to try it.

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