MP4 vs. MOV: Key differences
Difference between MOV and MP4
.mov, .qt (QuickTime)
At video format level
International Organization for Standardization
Large file size
Almost all devices
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MOV or MP4 – How to choose the most suitable file format
How to convert MOV to MP4 or MP4 to MOV
Frequently asked questions
What is the difference between MP4 and MOV?
MOV files are usually high bitrate files, they open natively on a number of devices but were originally made for Mac, and specifically QuickTime. MOV is a file container with a video file as well as data within. The file sizes are normally pretty large. Comparing MP4 vs. MOV files, MP4 is often preferred for streaming or cross-platform use due to the fact that it has been made with an international standardized method that a majority of devices can recognize. The format also makes it suitable for streaming as the bitrate is often lower thanks to lossy compression.
Which is better – MOV or MP4?
When considering whether MP4 or MOV is better, you should think about the specific use you have in mind. Both container files, MOV and MP4, use MPEG-4 compression. MOV generally has better quality due to the fact that they have not been compressed as heavily. Purely judging based on file quality, MOV is often better, but not always. MP4 is more widely used, and it is also usually more efficient when it comes to file size. This means that you can use MP4 files for streaming, uploading, and downloading. When speed is a consideration, smaller MP4 files might be a better option.
Is MOV or MP4 better for Youtube?
Should you choose MOV or MP4 for YouTube? YouTube’s own recommendation is that you use MP4 file formats with H. 264 video codec and AAC audio codec. This gives you a balance between a high-quality file, but also a file size that is not too demanding. YouTube supports many different video files, including MOV, MPEG4, AVI, WMV, MPEG PS, FLV, 3GPP, and WebM. Even though YouTube’s recommendations are useful, both MOV and MP4 file formats can carry high-quality video in HD formats that look fantastic when uploaded to YouTube. Because the website can recognize both, you can upload either file format to good effect.
Can I rename MOV to MP4?
In some scenarios, you can make a change by renaming the file. For instance, because of the fact that MP4 is a subset of QuickTime, you can change the MOV file just by renaming and changing the extension from MOV to MP4. Sometimes, changing the file extension manually by changing the text is enough. However, this does not always work. It depends on the settings of the file format. To ensure capability, it is a good idea to use conversion software. This can ensure that the file works properly and that no data is lost in the transfer.
Is MP4 a video?
The MP4 format is a container file that stores more than just a video. It gets its name from the MPEG-4 video file within but also stores more data, including still images, audio, chapters, and subtitles. MPEG-4 is the video itself, but MP4 is a video format. MPEG-4 is the same video that is enclosed within a MOV file, too, meaning that it can be opened within QuickTime player. When you open up an MP4, it will play as a video automatically. However, far more data is stored within the file.
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