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What Exactly Is MP4?


You know most of the time you find yourself downloading all kinds of stuff, including mp4s, mp3s and the like, but what about the technical end of it. What is MP4?

Mp4s or rather the term mpeg-4 was developed by ISO (International Organization for Standardization). It is a format specific for multimedia, the most common uses are for digital audio and video, and it is a certain type of container that holds all this information. It can contain other data as well such as subtitles and still images. You should also note that mpeg-4 is identical to QuickTime MOV format. In fact any kind of data can be inserted into MP4.

MP4 is getting more and more popular. In fact, it is now very popular to people who use the latest iPod players and PSP owners. This type of file compression is now providing a way to store DVD quality movies at a very small size. This type of file compression is known as the MPEG4 format.

Because most users may get confused at the initial concept of what MP4 is, it is what is in the MP4 that is even more confusing since the extension has been used primarily for music tunes and not movies. Therefore, what is stored in an MP4 is more than you can imagine for the most part. In addition, those other extensions have been used for MP4s, (which is audio from an iTunes store), to m4a (which includes such things as chapter markers, images, and hyperlinks). In addition, of course m4b (which has the ability to work with IPODs, where m4a files cannot. So most of the time when you find a file with the extension of mp4 or m4v, then they have both the audio and video aspects.

Let us not forget of course that they can contain codecs as well. Therefore, as you can see there is much to learn about what MP4 is, so let's summarize;

MP4 Can include and contain audio, video and also still images (like pictures), and all kinds of other data, making it a diverse file to use.

MP4 can contain other types of competing technology e.g. ogg, vob, ratdvd, divx media format, Matroska (mkv) and others to name a few.

In addition, how about some of the compatible hardware or software that mp4s can work with? Such as in software: Amarok, Banshee music player, 3ivx, foobar2000, GOM player, iTunes, Media player classic, QuickTime player, Realplayer, VLC media player, and so forth, as for hardware: Kiss 1600, Apple iPod, PSP (playstation portable), Playstation 3, Xbox 360, Nokia.

Therefore, to answer the question what MP4 is, well, it is technology at its best!

Indeed, the MP4 technology can now make entertainment much more convenient than ever before. So, next time you think of downloading your favorite movies to your computer to transfer to your portable multimedia device, try thinking of MP4. Just make sure that your multimedia devices are capable of reading the MP4 format.

Submitted by:

Sandra Stammberger

Sandra Stammberger owns and operates http://www.mp4pros.com MP4





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