May 25, 2022

AVI vs. MP4: Which Video Format Is the Best

8 min

11 645

To convert a video, follow these simple steps:

  1. Download and launch Movavi Video Converter.
  2. Download and launch Movavi Video Converter.
  3. Add your video to the program.
  4. Choose the output format.
  5. Convert the video.

Interested in the AVI vs. MP4 difference? Here, you’ll find an MP4 versus AVI comparison and will learn to convert AVI to MP4 or convert MP4 to AVI.

Comparison parameter

AVI

MP4

Developer

Microsoft

The Moving Picture Experts Group

Pros

High-quality audio fidelity; can be used to make playable DVDs.
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Works across multiple platforms; can integrate with 3D graphics and menus.
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Cons

Can be quite large if uncompressed; compression beyond certain limits may lead to a decline in quality.
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Codec compatibility issues may result in audio drifting out of sync with video; lossy format.
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Video codecs

H.263, VC-1, MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, DivX, Xvid

MPEG-2, MPEG-4, H.264, H.265/HEVC, WMV/VC-1, Real Video, Theora, MVC, VP8, and VP9

Audio codecs

AAC, WMA, MP3, FLAC, AMR, others

AAC, ALAC

Compatible devices

Microsoft devices, Mac OS X (with extra software)

Windows, Mac, Android, iPhone, iPad, etc.

Supported media players

Windows-based media players

Almost all media players

Best for

TV, master files

Social media platforms and browsers

If you need to change the format of your files, use Movavi Video Converter. The app supports over 180 media formats and can convert video, audio, and images. The conversion speed is remarkably high, thanks to the SuperSpeed technology. The converter also includes editing tools and lets you trim and crop your video, adjust color parameters, apply filters, add subtitles, and more. Check it out today!

MP4 vs. AVI: Comparison

If you’re wondering: “Is AVI better than MP4” or “What is the difference between AVI and MP4?”, have a look at the detailed comparison below.

What is AVI?

AVI stands for Audio Video Interleave, a multimedia container developed by Microsoft in 1992. This format enjoys full compatibility with Windows-based players and other programs with related codecs. AVI files carry both audio and video data, saved with the .avi extension.

Pros

Cons

  • High-quality audio fidelity
  • Can be used to make playable DVDs
  • Does not need special hardware or software to run
  • Supported by many codecs to achieve the desired AVI audio output format
  • Suitable for promos, short movies, and ads because of its familiar format and compression capabilities
  • Best for master files since it's good at maintaining its quality over time
  • Can be quite large compared to other file formats if uncompressed, forcing you to trade disk space with quality
  • Compression beyond certain limits may lead to a decline in quality
  • Does not support user interactivity
  • Doesn't natively support incorporating soft subs

What is MP4?

Short for MPEG-4 Part 14, this multimedia container was developed by the Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG). Most MP4 files save with .mp4 extension though some come with .m4a or m4p file extensions.

Pros

Cons

  • Works across multiple platforms, thus, easier to distribute and use
  • Can contain metadata and Extensible Meta Data Platform, including subtitles
  • Can integrate with 3D graphics and menus, and other user-navigation options
  • More versatile compared to AVI
  • Possible for a high degree of compression to produce smaller sizes suitable for streaming audio-video files on online platforms
  • Supported by many open-source media players, such as VLC, which provides complete support for MP4; it even works on Linux operating systems
  • Codec compatibility issues may result in audio drifting out of sync with video
  • Editing requires lots of computing power since both audio and video in this format are in a single file
  • Lossy format – a higher degree of compression may cause a flop in the audio and video quality of the output
  • Prone to illegal distribution of copyrighted content due to its popularity and portability

Quality

Let’s have a look at the AVI vs. MP4 quality. Both AVI and MP4 are video wrapper formats, but AVI uses the DivX codec while MP4 works with the MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 codec. This implies that AVI has better quality compared to its MP4 counterpart. However, the quality difference between MP4 and AVI may not be quite apparent to the naked eye since both are available in HD.

Compression

Since it uses less compression to store video and audio files, AVI files occupy much more space compared to MP4 files. You can create MP4 without compression as well, but it generally takes less space compared to AVI. MP4 also uses the AAC compression algorithm for its audio, while H.264 or MPEG-4 technique applies to its video output.

File size

When it comes to file sizes, AVI files are considerably larger than MP4. But you can compress AVI files to make them smaller or convert them to other formats such as FLV or even MP4. MP4, on the other hand, is a lossy video container occupying less space than its AVI counterpart.

How to convert files

If you wish to convert your videos to another format, use Movavi Video Converter. This easy-to-use app lets you convert files in just a few clicks as well as edit and compress them.

Download Movavi Video Converter for your PC or Mac and follow the steps below.

  1. Install and launch the app.
  2. Go to Add Media in the upper-left corner and select Add video. Pick the files you want to convert.
  3. Now, select the output format. Open the Video tab and pick the format you need.
  4. Optional: To edit your video, click the Edit button and use the necessary tools to make changes.
  5. When everything is set, click Convert.

Summary

So, should you choose MP4 or AVI? Well, the MP4 vs. AVI debate doesn't provide a clear winner. Both formats have their strengths and weaknesses, and they could be a deal-breaker. While AVI seems to be the better media container for quality, it uses very large file sizes; hence, may require compression to smaller file formats. MP4, on the other hand, uses smaller file sizes and works with almost all media players but has an inferior video output quality compared to AVI. However, use the AVI file format for TV production and a bit of YouTube and MP4 for everything else.

Ben Jacklin

Ben is a writer from the UK with qualifications in Media and Music Technology, he specializes in software reviews and tutorials. Ben has been blogging about media and tech subjects since he was a teenager from his base in the East of England.

Frequently asked questions

Is MP4 lossy or lossless?

MP4 is a lossless media container since its compression has no effect on the quality of its video and audio output. However, it can also become lossy if compression goes beyond a certain degree.

Is AVI or MP4 better for YouTube?

When comparing AVI vs. MP4 for YouTube videos, we should say that both formats are suitable for YouTube. But MP4 does a much better job since it can be compressed without losing its video and audio quality. AVI has a better output resolution but has to be compressed to a smaller file size, which leads to a loss of quality.

How do you fix AVI playback errors in Windows Media Player?

  1. Try a different media player, and if the problem persists, update your Windows Media Player and be sure to tick the checkbox for AVI files.
  2. You have updated the Windows Media Player, but the AVI video still does not play? Install the K-Lite Codec Pack, and it should play the files now.
  3. If the previous options don’t work, try converting your file to a widely supported format, such as MP4. But even the conversion may fail, signifying that your AVI files may be corrupt or broken. If this is the case, you may consider re-downloading the files if you had extracted them from online platforms.

AVI vs. MP4: Which has the best quality?

The video quality is better in AVI files. AVI uses codecs that provide better video quality than the codecs used in MP4 files.

AVI vs. MP4 file size: Which is better?

While AVI files have better quality, they also occupy more disk space than MP4s. MP4 files use compression algorithms that provide good quality at relatively small file sizes.