Any video clip that we stream on our mobile, computer, television, or tablet has a unique video file format. A Video File Format is used to store digital video files on a computer system. The video is often saved using lossy compression to minimize the file size. We must learn how each file format works if we want our videos to perform well on any platform. A video format for web development, for example, would be different from the format we use for social media. There are eight common video file formats: MOV, WMV, FLV, AVCHD, WebM, and MKV. The other two are AVI and MP4, which we will be going to tackle in this article. Here, we will be able to know about the differences between these two formats, and we will answer the question regarding "which is better AVI or MP4?"
AVI vs MP4: Definition and Characteristics
1. AVI Format vs. MP4 Format
Before we go through a deeper understanding of the differences between AVI and MP4, let's have a look first at their definitions. Here, we will explain AVI Format vs MP4 Format, including who developed each format, and what unique characteristics they have.
- AVI- an abbreviation for Audio Video Interleave. It is a multimedia container format developed by Microsoft as part of its Video for Windows technology in November 1992. So, the AVI format is completely compatible with Windows players and other applications that use the associated codecs. AVI files can comprise both audio and video data in a file container that allows synchronous audio-with-video playback. AVI files saved with the filename extension .avi. Since it was designed for Windows, it lacks certain functionality that newer containers, such as MPEG or MP4, have. Regardless, it is one of the most common and frequently used video formats by users.
- MP4 - an abbreviation for MPEG-4 Part 14. It was one of the first digital video file formats, introduced in 2001 by Moving Picture Experts Group. MP4 is supported by the broad majority of digital platforms and devices. MP4 files can contain audio, video, still images, and text. It also provides high-quality video while retaining minimal file sizes. Although .mp4 is the only official file extension for MPEG-4 Part 14 files, many have other extensions, most notably .m4a and .m4p. M4A (audio only) files are mostly compressed in lossy Advanced Audio Coding (AAC), but they can also be in Apple Lossless format (ALAC). MP4 files are usually compressed using the MPEG-4, H.264/AVC, H.265/HEVC, and AAC audio codecs.
2. AVI vs MP4 Quality
The resulting video quality is still an essential factor to consider. So, when it comes to the quality, which is better, AVI or MP4? Well, both AVI and MP4 are video wrapper formats. AVI is associated with the DivX codec, while MP4 uses MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 codec. The generated AVI file can provide a high-quality output file since intact AVI can save the alpha channel. As for MP4 files, can use various compression codecs for encoding, ensuring an outstanding quality of performance efficiency. To the bare eyes, there is no discernible distinction between the AVI and MP4 videos. However, in terms of quality, AVI will be marginally higher than MP4.
3. AVI vs MP4 File Size
The AVI video format compresses data more efficiently than MP4 or other video formats such as MPEG or MOV. As a result, file sizes are huge, averaging about 2-3 GB per minute of video. It would be a problem for users who have limited storage space. However, AVI files can be compressed to make them smaller by converting them to other formats such as MOV, FLV, or even MP4. On the other hand, MP4 is a lossy video format that takes up less storage space than AVI. Hence, the resulting output file size of MP4 is slightly smaller than AVI.
4. Is AVI better than MP4?
Well, AVI and MP4 both have their own set of advantages and disadvantages that could or could not be a deal-breaker. When comparing AVI and MP4, we can refer to their video and audio codecs rather than the media container itself. Although AVI appears to be the better media container in terms of quality, it uses very large file sizes, thus, requiring compression to smaller file formats. MP4, on the other hand, has smaller file sizes and is compatible with almost all media players but has lower video output quality than AVI. We should point out that MP4 has a higher quality in terms of the exact size, and MP4 is more compatible with most devices.
AVI vs MP4: Comparison Chart
|AVI vs MP4||MP4||AVI|
|Supported Codecs||MPEG-4, MPEG-1, MPEG-2, H.264/AVC, H.265/HEVC, MV, WMV/VC-1, Real Video, Theora, VP8, VP9||DivX, XviD|
|Supported Media Players||Almost all media players||Windows-based players|
|Compatible Devices||Almost all devices||Microsoft devices, as well as game consoles (not supported by all Apple devices)|
|Bes For||Social media platforms and browsers uploads.||TV and master files.|
|Advantages||Works on various platforms; can provide metadata and Extensible Meta Data Platform, including subtitles; can interface with 3D graphics and menus, and is flexible.||High audio adherence. It can be used to create a playable DVD. It does not require any special hardware or software to run. A wide range of codecs supports AVI.|
|Disdvantages||Uncompressed, it can be very large; compression within certain limits can result in a loss of quality; it does not allow user interactivity. It is not reliable for supporting softsubs.||Codec compatibility problems can cause audio to drift out of sync with video; editing takes a lot of processing power because both audio and video in this format are in a single file, a lossy format.|
How to Convert AVI to MP4/MP4 to AVI
Although both AVI and MP4 are common video formats, MP4 still has greater flexibility than AVI, as previously stated about the difference between AVI and MP4. AVI is most often found in Windows-based video players or other applications that support similar codecs. Many portable devices and video streaming platforms do not support the AVI format due to its huge file size. In this case, we would need to convert AVI to MP4. So, we suggest using Acethinker Video Master.
Acethinker Video Master is one of the most accessible converter that never failed to amaze users. This tool has a multi-functional converter that allows users to convert MP4 to AVI files and vice-versa with ease. Like what we have mentioned, converting a video file into another format is the best thing to do if you want to compress the file size. Also, when you want your file to be compatible with the platform where you want to upload the video. Other than that, Acethinker Video Master does not only limit users with that. It will also allow you to convert one file format into any other format because almost all common video and audio formats are well supported, such as MOV, WMV, FLV, MKV, and more. In addition, you can transform HD videos without losing their original quality.
Supported OS: Windows 7, 8, 10, Vista, and Windows XP (SP2 or later) | Mac OS X 10.7 and above (including macOS Catalina and macOS Mojave).
To learn how to convert AVI to MP4 and vice-versa using Acethinker Video Master, follow the easy steps given below:
Step 1 Download and Install the Tool
First and foremost, you must save the tool on your computer by clicking one of the Download buttons given above. Choose an installer based on your computer OS. Then, start installing it on your computer, follow the installation instructions. Once installed, launch Acethinker Video Master.
Step 2 Import Video File to Convert
Next, navigate to the Converter tab. Here, click on the Add File button located at the upper left corner of the tool’s interface. Locate the video file you want to convert and hit Open to import.
Step 3 Convert The Video File
Then, click on the drop-down menu beside Convert All to. On the list of video formats, choose AVI (choose MP4 if the video file you are converting is in AVI file format). Select the output quality you prefer and hit on the Convert All to start the conversion.
Step 3 Check the Converted Video File
Once the conversion has been completed, click on the Folder icon located at the lower center part of the tool’s interface. It will direct you to the output folder of the video you have converted. Here, check if the video was completely converted into AVI file format.