Expose What is MP4 and the Features and Usage of MP4

Brittany Garcia

November 08, 2023 10:24Updated by to Convert Video, MP4

MP4 is the most common video format used everywhere in daily life, especially for mobile videos. But do you know what is MP4 ? What's the difference between MP4 and other formats? Why some MP4 videos can't be played through the default video player on Windows/Mac? Have you known about the codec contained in MP4 files?

This article will introduce MP4 from its features, advantages, disadvantages, and common usage. And you will learn more about what is MP4, why should you use MP4 as the DVD format, and so on.

What is MP4

Part 1. What is MP4? A Brief Introduction to MP4

MP4, also called MPEG-4 Part 14, is a multimedia container format that can contain videos, audio, subtitles, and images. And it's also a streaming format that can spread on the Internet. Thus, it's also used on video/audio meetings, television broadcasting, CD-ROM, etc. Thus, the files are encoded in different formats in MP4 videos. Here are the main codecs supported by the MP4 container:

Operating System Features
Video codec H.264/AVC
  • High coding efficiency; High quality;
  • Using mixed coding structure
  • Higher coding efficiency than H.264
  • Content-based interactivity;
  • Efficient compression
  • Suitable for Google Chrome
Audio codec AAC
  • Increased compression rate;
  • High sound quality;
  • Support multi-channel
  • Lossless
  • Scalable lossless coding
  • Improve the subjective quality of speech;
  • Reduce noise
  • Small size;
  • Suitable for portable devices
  • Lossless coding for Apple Devices
Subtitle codec MPEG-4 timing text
DVD subtitle

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Part 2. What are the Features of MP4: Advantages and Disadvantages

Although the codecs included in MP4 has different features, here is a general summary of the features of MP4.

1. Easy to spread. MP4 is an open standard format that is supported by almost all the operating systems, including Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, etc. Actually, MP4 is improved from MOV format that is designed for Apple devices and MP4 is suitable for more devices now. Thus, people always save videos in MP4 format for easy sending and playing.

2. High compression rate. Most of the video codecs included in MP4 files have a very high compression rate, which makes the size smaller. But with improved compression methods, it can also keep relatively high quality.

Small size: The most commonly-used H.264 codec has a very high compression rate that can reach 102:1. And the improved H.265/HEVC will even reduce more 39%-44% size than H.264 with the same quality. Moreover, H.265 can support videos in 4K and 8k resolution. But at the same time, it needs video players with a better decoder to play.

High quality: Low bitrate of MP4 videos makes a small size. But it can keep a high resolution to keep the quality. Thus, it's also suitable for saving movies, Blu-ray files, etc.

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Advantages and Disadvantages of MP4 Format

According to the mention features of MP4, you have known that MP4 format has a small size with high quality. And it's suitable for downloading, uploading, and sending since it is supported by most devices and social platforms. It can even give output quality close to the original DVD files. Thus, MP4 is also the best format for ripping DVDs.

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Of course, MP4 is not a perfect format. It is hard to be edited through video editors and it's prone to privacy. Moreover, MP4 is also a lossy compression format, which can't maintain the original quality completely.

Part 3. Common Usage of MP4 Format

MP4 format benefits people in various ways in daily life, and you can find MP4 files everywhere.

MP4 is compatible with almost all devices, and many social platforms take it as the default format to upload and download.

However, if you are an Apple user, MOV is obviously better than MP4 for you. That's because MOV files are safer and more efficient than MP4.

All in all, MP4 is not versatile in any field, but it is easy to be converted to other formats through Blu-ray Master Free Online Video Converter. This online tool is a powerful online video converter to convert MP4 format and any other format to MP4, MOV, AVI, MKV, etc.

Part 4. FAQs of MP4 Format

Wrapping up

What is MP4? You must have learned a lot about it through this article. It's commonly used on different devices, and platforms because of its high compatibility. And MP4 format is also has a small size after the lossy compression.

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