.MP4 File Extension
MPEG-4 Video File
|Developer||Moving Picture Experts Group|
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What is an MP4 file?
An MP4 file is a multimedia file that stores a movie or video clip and may also contain subtitles, images, and metadata. It is one of the most common formats used for distributing video online, whether it be streaming or sharing videos.
MP4 is short for "MPEG-4 Part 14," and is a container format that can store video, audio, subtitle, and image data in separate tracks. Each track, or data stream, may be encoded with different codecs:
- Video data - May be encoded in various codecs, such as MPEG-4 Part 10 (H.264/AVC), MPEG-H Part 2 (H.265/HEVC), and MPEG-4 Part 2.
- Audio data - Primarily compressed with AAC compression, which is the same type of audio compression utilized in .AAC files.
- Subtitle data - Primarily saved in the MPEG-4 Streaming text format, which is also known as MPEG-4 Part 17 and MPEG-4 Timed Text (MP4TT).
- Metadata - May be saved in various standards, including the Extensible Metadata Platform (XMP) format.
Popularity of MP4 files
Much of the MP4 format's popularity can be attributed to the Apple iTunes Store since the format was used for distributing much of the media downloaded from the store. Now, the MP4 format is commonly used for distributing video online and is supported by a wide range of video programs and various hardware devices.
How do I open an MP4 file?
Most popular media players can play MP4 files. Microsoft Movies & TV (Windows), Microsoft Windows Media Player (Windows), Apple QuickTime Player (macOS), MPlayer (multiplatform), and VLC media player (multiplatform) are popular applications for playing MP4 files.
iOS and Android users can play MP4 files in the OS's default video players by double-tapping the files. Users looking for more advanced playback options can play MP4s in VLC for iOS or VLC for Android.
You can convert MP4 files to other video formats with various applications including HandBrake (cross-platform).