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MP4 Wiki: What is MP4, History, Features and Usage of MP4

by Brian Fisher

Part 1. What is MP4

While most of us watch or create movies each and every day, only a select few take their time to check the format. There are different formats for each operating systems, but some of them, such as the MP4 can be used on multiple platforms, which makes them a lot easier to distribute and use.

MP4 is a digital multimedia format which is capable of storing both video and audio. On top of that, it can also integrate other data as well, such as still images and subtitles, but also for more advanced content as well such as 3D graphics, menus and user interaction. This makes it a portable container format that brings multiple abilities such as as streaming or playback.

The MP4 format is based upon the Quicktime File format. Even more, it's almost identical, but it does come with support for other MPEG features as well as descriptors. While this is mainly a multimedia format, you can easily embed numerous types of data by using private streams. In this case, a separate hint track will be created specifically for this purpose. MP4 files can also contain metadata as a standard, which is really important.

There are different types of MP4, each one with its own extension. First of all, we have MPEG-4 files that are brought in the .mp4 extension, then we have MPEG files that contain only audio, which are stored in .m4a. The MPEG-4 visual bistreams are encoded in the m4v extension, which is also a type of MP4. You can even find an instance of MP4 in the .3GP and .3G2 formats as well.

Part 2. The History of MP4

As stated earlier, the MP4 container format is based on the Apple Quicktime format, also known as .MOV. This format was first used back in 2001 as the ISO/IEC 14496-1:2001 standard, which was changed a few years later, in 2003 to the ISO/IEC 14496-14:2003 standard.

Due to the fact that both MP4 and MOV formats use the same MPEG-4 formats, they can easily work together in a QuickTime environment. However, MP4 is a highly more popular than MOV due tot he fact that it's distributed on other types of platforms as well, not only Macs. These include Windows, Linux and a multitude of mobile devices as well. You can find it on a PSP for example, but also on video players and Blu-Ray players as well. A small difference was introduced recently by the MOV format through the use of multichannel audio, whereas MP4 still lacks support for that, at least for the time being.

Part 3. Features of MP4

First of all, the MP4 files are an open standard that can be used by everyone. They bring complete support for lots of operating systems, which makes the format very reliable and easy to distribute, something that's quite unique in the world of video and audio formats.

Furthermore, it has a high degree of compression and it produces files with smaller size when compared to other formats. What's great is that the reduced file size isn't immediately translate in quality loss, as the format retains almost the same quality as the original, it only reduces the file size tremendously, making it the perfect choice for those times when you need to compress something and you are on the go.

The MP4 format is also great at capturing high motion content without giving any sense of motion blur, making it perfect for any type of video recording. What's more, it's also supported in most video related applications you can find. It's also a standard format that's supported on most sites that bring video support and it's highly regarded as the best video format for the internet, although it's use quite heavily outside the browser as well.

The reduced file size brings a lot of benefits to the table, benefits that you can easily take into account when choosing a new video format, as that feature alone makes MP4 very portable and easy to use/distribute. If you look for a format that works and looks the same in all the video players you can find out there and on all the operating systems and platforms you can find, then MP4 is surely the right choice for you.

Part 4. The Usage of MP4

Due to the fact that MP4 is highly related to the MOV format, you can basically run this type of files on any Mac based computer without an issue. From videos to commercials and other types of video content, you can also find MP4 on lots of websites, due to the fact that it's a format which doesn't take that much storage space, and that is surely essential when you create a video especially for the web.

Speaking of which, MP4 is even used on Linux, the open platform, and there are quite a lot of open source players that bring complete support for this format. One of the main platforms you can find MP4 on still remains windows, and here you can find a plethora of video players and converters that take advantage of this wonderful format as well.

One of its main uses though still remain the MP4 players. While people enjoyed the MP3 players quite a lot when they first appeared due to the fact that they could listen their own music without any problem, the need for a portable device that also supports video came into play quite fast. That's why the MP4 players appeared, and they are a device capable of running MP4 videos at a small resolution that suits the display of the device, while also being able to provide MP4 support as well. This is why these players are a great multimedia platform and, even though they have been available for quite a lot of years now, they still remain on the market with a steady amount of sales. You can also find numerous other uses for MP4 as well, such as DVD players or other devices that allow you to play video content.

Part 5. Recommend the Best MP4 Converter

MP4 is a widely used video format; it is used on the Internet and also on mobile devices. The best MP4 converter is UniConverter. This tool is ideal for converting MP4 because it works at high speed and does not compromise the quality of the video. If you record something on you mobile device, you can convert it into DVD or many other formats. You can also use this tool to convert video from many other formats to MP4 so you can send them over the Internet or share them on mobile devices.

Get the Best MP4 Video Converter- UniConverter

  • Compatible with 150+ formats - UniConverter works with more than 150 video and audio formats, of which MP4 is one of them.
  • Fast conversion speeds – this is a tool that will convert your MP4 at speeds of up to 90X.
  • No loss in Quality – the quality of your MP4 files will be kept intact.
  • Edit your video – you can edit the video before you finally convert it. You can also record from streaming sites to add more pizzazz to your work.
  • Burn to DVD – you can finally bruin your videos to a DVD disc.
  • Compatible with macOS 10.15 Catalina, 10.14 Mojave, 10.13 High Sierra, 10.12 Sierra, 10.11 El Capitan, 10.10 Yosemite, 10.9 Mavericks, 10.8 Mountain Lion and 10.7 Lion.
3,981,454 people have downloaded it

Below is the video tutorial on how to convert video to MP4 or convert MP4 to other video format for your reference.

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This tutorial introduces 3 viable solutions to convert MOV to WMV in Mac and Windows 10 by using the helpful MOV to WMV converters.

Brian Fisher

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