MP4 is MPEG-4 Part 14, a file format which is defined by MPEG (Moving Picture Expert Group). As a container format, MP4 is a format not only to store video and audio, but also store subtitle and still image. More importantly, it also contains metadata. MP4 format uses the latest compression method and is most commonly used to store video and audio.
MP4 file is suitable for streaming recorded or real time videos through the Internet. It is widely used for streaming video websites, such as Youtube or Facebook.
MP4 is a single standard covering the whole digital media workflow, it is increasingly important for digital media with portable devices, such as iPhone, iPad or iPod. Compared to other files, such as MKV, AVI or other video file not supported by portal devices, you can choose to convert MKV to MP4, AVI to MP4 vs M4V or other video to MP4 before saving them to your portable devices.
Some versions of Windows Media Player might not include MP4 codec pack. The easiest way to solve the problem is to go online and search for MP4 codec, after that, the version Windows Media Player can become a a MP4 Player.You can download H.264 codec for playing MP4 video.
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MP3 and MP4 sound similar, you might take for granted that MP4 is the successor of MP3. Actually MP3 is MPEG-1 Audio Layer 3, which is limited to the method of compression and can only store audio files. MP4 is a container format which combines multimedia tracks in a single file. You can convert MP4 to MP3, and then the original MP4 file can be used for MP3 devices.
Another confusing format to MP4 is M4V, which is a format developed by Apple. It is widely used in iTunes Store, iPhone, iPad and iPod. While MP4 is more suitable for online use because it adopts the advantages of previous MPEG versions and has its own advantages.
1. M4V is also based on MPEG-4, but it uses AVC video compression.
2. M4V can also be seen as MP4 but the default player of the former is an iTunes Player while the latter uses QuickTime Player or other players.
3. Usually M4V is protected by Apple's DRM copyright protection.