Edited by Ben Jacklin
October 21, 2020
How to Use VLC to Convert MOV to MP4
MP4 must be one of the most widely used video formats to date. No wonder: MP4 can preserve relatively good quality in videos with quite small file sizes and is supported on a large variety of devices. If you want to change your MOV files to MP4, you might think you need a professional converter. But in fact, you might already have the program you need on your PC or Mac – VLC, one of the most popular media players. Haven’t installed the VLC player yet? Time to fix that! Download the appropriate version of the program for free using the link below.
What is VLC? VLC media player is an open-source cross-platform freeware created by the VideoLAN developers. VLC supports a large variety of multimedia file formats. But why use VLC for MOV files conversion? This might seem unusual, but this program happens to have a built-in conversion tool. To some extent, VLC can even be used as a video editor and a video converter! Below we’ve gathered some technical information concerning the supported operational systems and file formats.
Supported operating systems: Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, and others.
Container format: MPEG-2, 3GP, MP4, FLV, VOB, RM, Raw DV, SVCD, QuickTime File Format, VCD, DVB, MXF, Matroska(MKV), DVR-MS, DVD-Video, PSV, PS, TS, ES, ASF, AVI, DVD-Video.
Video file formats: MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, MJPEG, Real Video, ProRes, DNxHD, Sorenson, VC-1, Cinepak, DV, Theora, VP9, VP8, VP7, VP6, VP5, Dirac, H.263, H.264, WMV, HuffYUV.
How to Convert MOV to MP4 in VLC on a Windows PC
Have a computer running Windows 10? MOV is probably not the most friendly format for a Windows PC. But if you have VLC, .mov videos can be easily converted with the help of this software. Follow these instructions to learn how to use VLC to convert MOV to MP4 on a PC.
1. Import Your MOV File
First, launch VLC for Windows. Open the Media menu, then select the Convert/Save option.
In the new window that appears, click the Add button and import your MOV file.
2. Convert MOV to MP4
Click the Convert/Save button. In the Profile drop-down menu, select Video – H.264 + MP3 (MP4). Specify the output folder and the file name (you’d want to change the file extension to “.mp4” manually, as the program doesn’t do that), click Save, then Start. Once the process is complete, you will find the new video in the specified export folder.
This is it! Now you know how to convert MOV to MP4 in VLC on your Windows computer.
How to Use VLC Media Player to Convert MOV to MP4 on a Mac
Although MOV is an Apple-friendly file format, Mac users might want to convert their files to MP4, too. To make VLC media player convert MOV to MP4 on a Macintosh, follow the instructions below.
1. Import Your File
Click File and select the Convert/Stream option. In the Convert & Stream window that opens, click the Open media button and import the .mov file you want to convert to MP4. Alternatively, you can simply drag and drop your file directly to the VLC window.
2. Convert Your MOV Video to MP4
In the Choose Profile section, select Video – H.264 + MP3 (MP4) as the output format.
Finally, click the Save as File button, specify the file name and destination for your .mp4 file, and click Save. You’ll find the converted file in the specified folder.
This is how you can convert MOV to MP4 VLC on a Mac. In fact, you can use these instructions to convert with VLC any media file to MP4. Read on to learn some useful VLC MOV-to-MP4 conversion tips that you don’t want to miss if you want to become an advanced VLC user!
VLC Conversion Tips
We’ve already described how you can convert .mov to .mp4 with VLC on a Mac and PC, but there is actually much more to it. VLC also offers features that advanced users can take advantage of to tweak their conversion settings. Here are some tips on using advanced features provided by the VLC developers.
- If you want VLC to play the output video during the conversion process, select the Display the output option.
- If you want to convert videos of interlaced formats (1080i and 720i), enable the Deinterlace option.
- If you have files with data streams in different containers, you can use the Dump raw input option. Once this option is enabled, VLC will package all data streams into one file without reprocessing the data itself.
VLC has other features you might find useful:
- Playback of corrupted, incomplete, and unfinished files
- Access to ISO files, even on operating systems that don’t support ISO images
- Video filters and effects: distortion, rotation, trimming, mirroring, and more
- Logo overlays
- Video-to-ASCII conversion
- Live streaming
- Display of a video as the desktop wallpaper (on Windows PCs only)
- Screencasting (desktop recording only)
You can tell by now that VLC is no ordinary media player. When it comes to converting from MOV to MP4, VLC might come in very handy. Still, it wasn’t created to serve as a converter, so sometimes, it’s good to have an alternative program. If for some reason you couldn’t use VLC player, MOV files can be converted with another program designed specifically for media conversion.
VLC Fails to Convert to MP4? Try VLC Alternative!
If you tried to put into practice our step-by-step guide on how to use VLC to convert MP4 to MOV, but something went wrong, you can always use an alternative .mov-to-.mp4 converter. Movavi Video Converter supports a large number of media formats and can process your files in no time.
Movavi Video Converter is a powerful tool that has numerous advantageous features:
- Support of more than 180 formats
- No quality loss conversion
- Compression tool
- Support of HD videos
- Video-editing tool
- Conversion of audio and images
- Possibility to search for subtitles and add them to videos
- Batch conversion
- Sound level adjustment
- Device-targeted conversion
You can learn more about the Movavi tool for fast-speed file conversion using the link below.
To convert your MOV file to MP4, follow these steps:
- Install Movavi Video Converter: launch the installation file and follow the instructions on the screen.
- Import your files to the program: click Add Media, then Add Video, and select the MOV file you want to convert to MP4.
- Select MP4 as the target format: open the Video tab, select MP4, and choose a preset.
- Save the result: click Save to in the bottom of the program window and specify the output folder. Finally, hit the Convert button to start transforming your MOV file to MP4.
It’s as simple as that. Now you know that if for some reason you couldn’t use VLC to convert to MP4, you can always do it with Movavi Video Converter.
|Feature||VLC media player||Movavi Video Converter|
|Versions for both Windows and Mac|
|Output options for specific devices|
As you can see from the table above, VLC media player and Movavi Video Converter have a lot in common: they are ad-free, can be installed on both Windows and Mac, and can convert video and audio files. However, these programs were initially meant to be used for different purposes. VLC’s primary task is media playback, whereas Movavi Video Converter was designed for media file conversion. Still, both programs can perform more than you would expect.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, VLC plays MOV files without problems. However, there might be some issues concerning the older MOV files encoded with the Apple QuickTime codec. VLC player might not support these files if you try to open them on Windows. VLC plays .mov files encoded with the H.264 video and AAC audio codecs.
There can be several reasons why this happened. If you tried to convert MOV to MP4 in VLC, and there is no sound in the converted video, something must have gone wrong in the process or the conversion settings were incorrect from the start. Check the list of the most frequent reasons for this issue.
- The Keep original audio track option is enabled. Open the Media menu, select Convert/Save if you are a Windows user and Convert/Stream if you use a Mac. Click Add and select the file you want to convert. Click Convert/Save (or Convert/Stream), and in the window that appears, click the Edit selected profile button. In a new window that opens, select the Audio codec tab and ensure that the Keep original audio track option is not enabled.
- Incompatibility. Some containers just can’t hold specific formats. For example, you can’t convert a video to MP4 with a PCM audio stream.
- No sound in the original video. Check if there is actually a sound stream in the initial video file.
If you want to use VLC to convert MP4 to MOV, follow the appropriate instructions.
For Windows users:
- Launch VLC, open the Media menu, and click Convert/Save. In the window that appears, click Add and import your MP4 file.
- Click Convert/Save and, in the window that opens, click the Edit selected profile button. On the Encapsulation tab, select MP4/MOV. Proceed to the Video codec tab, check the Video box, and select the MPEG-4 codec. Then open the Audio codec tab, check the Audio box, and make sure the MPEG Audio codec is selected. Name the new profile, and click Create.
- Specify the output folder and the file name (change the file extension to .mov manually), click Save, then Start. Once the process is complete, you will find the new video in the specified output folder.
For Mac users:
- Click File and select the Convert/Stream option. In the window that appears, click Open media and import your MP4 file.
- In the Choose Profile section, click Customize. On the Encapsulation tab, select MP4/MOV. Proceed to the Video codec tab, check the Video box, and select the MPEG-4 codec from the drop-down menu in the Codec section. Then open the Audio codec tab, check the Audio box, and make sure the MPEG Audio codec is selected. Click Apply.
- Finally, click the Save as File button, hit Browse, specify the file name and destination, and click Save twice. You’ll find the converted video in the specified folder.
Typically, it does, but not always. MP4 is a lossy file format, but MOV files can be encoded with a variety of codecs, lossy or lossless. So if two videos, one in MOV and the other in MP4, are both encoded with lossy codecs, and other encoding parameters are identical, the videos will look the same.
It really depends on your goal. MOV is the QuickTime format created by Apple. If you’re planning to watch or edit videos on an Apple device, it makes more sense to use the MOV format. MP4 was developed by the International Organization for Standardization and is a universal video file format supported by a large variety of devices, so you can use MP4 videos for any purpose on any device.
The recommended file format for a YouTube video is MP4 with the video stream encoded with H.264, and the audio stream encoded with AAC. However, the platform also supports other file formats such as MOV, AVI, WMV, MPEG4, WebM, FLV, and other.
Movavi Video Converter
The ideal way to get your media in the format you need!
- Convert video, audio, DVDs, and image files
- Enjoy lightning-fast conversion without quality loss
- Improve quality, adjust sound, trim and join files before converting
- Save video and audio clips for easy mobile access