M4V VS MP4 Comparison: The Pros And Cons Of Both Formats

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m4v vs mp4 featureM4V and MP4 are two popular video formats. Different devices and platforms can accept both formats. Most videos you see are likely on MP4 or M4V, which is how popular they are. You may be confused about which format to select when uploading or saving videos. You may have questions about the quality and file size of the formats. The formats have fundamental differences that are helpful to know if you will use them. This article provides everything you need to know about M4V and MP4. Read below for more about the difference M4V vs MP4.

Comparison Chart Between M4V and MP4

File Format Quality File Size Compatibility File Extension
M4V M4V has the same quality as MP4, but it is better for repeated saving. M4V can take up more storage than MP4. M4V is an Apple-specific format, but there is software that other users can use to read M4V. .m4v
MP4 MP4 is of good quality, especially because of its size, but "re-saving" affects its quality. MP4 can have the same size as M4V if it uses H.264 codec. However, MP4 has a HEVC codec that can save space. MP4 is a universal format that most platforms and devices can read. .mp4

M4V vs MP4: What are they?

M4V: What is it?

M4V is Apple's version of MP4. Its intended purpose is to encode Apple's iTunes. M4V is special because Apple's DRM copy protection protects it. This special protection can prevent illegal copies of the media from spreading.

MP4: What is it?

MP4, also called "MPEG-4 Part 14," is a container format for audio and videos. MP4 is regarded as a universal file format for its flexibility and compatibility.

m4v vs mp4 meaning

M4V vs MP4: What are the differences?

File Size: Generally speaking, both formats are the same except for their codecs. M4V only has H. 264, while MP4 has H.264 and HEVC. Creating a file type with H.264 requires more data to process, leading to more file size. HEVC is credited to be generally better than the standard H.264. It saves more storage and can perform better. You can only make M4V files with H.264, while MP4 is the most common container for HEVC. MP4 has the upper hand in terms of M4V vs MP4 file size difference.

Quality: M4V and MP4 have negligible differences quality-wise. M4V has a slight edge over MP4 in terms of quality. Apple's DRM protects M4V. This DRM protection helps protect M4V files from illegal distribution. DRM makes M4V a lossless format that does not lose quality even after repeated saving. MP4 is a lossy format, removing bits of data when saving. Lossy files lose quality after repeated saving. In the case of M4V vs MP4 quality, both have their use.

Codecs: Codecs are responsible for compressing and decompressing files to save storage. A smaller file means an easier distribution. M4V and MP4 have the same codecs for audio: MP3, AAC, AC-3. All these codecs are widely compatible with devices, especially MP3. In terms of video codecs, they both use H.264, but MP4 can also use HEVC. HEVC is credited to be better than H.264 because it saves more storage and can bring better quality. Codecs-wise, MP4 is better since users can use it as a container for HEVC.

Compatibility: MP4 has better compatibility than M4V. MP4 is a universal format, meaning you can access it on many devices. M4V is an Apple-specific format meant for iTunes and other Apple products. That said, some apps allow conversion or file playing for M4V.

what are the differences

If you decided to use MP4 format over M4V, here are the best MP4 player that you can try.

How To Convert M4V to MP4 And Vice-Versa

You need a converter app if you want to convert M4V to MP4 or any file. VidElement is a file converter app that allows you to convert any files quickly. You can convert M4V to MP4, MOV, and more. The app is also a great software for converting audio files. You can convert files to MP3, AAC, AC3, and more. VidElement allows for great flexibility when it comes to quality. You can convert in high, low, and the same quality as the original files. The best part of the app is the customization. Users can customize frame rates, encoders, resolution, and more. For a simple guide on using VidElement, read more below.

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Step 1 Download and Install VidElement

To access the AceThinker VidElement download page, click the provided link. To download the application, click the "Free Download" icon. After opening the program, you can read the brief tutorial to familiarize yourself.

videlement interface

Step 2 Select M4V or MP4 to Convert Files

Select the + icon to include more files for conversion. After importing your file, select an output file format by clicking the "File Format" icon. To change your settings, click the "Custom Profile" icon.

videlement file formats

Step 3 Check your Converted Files

You can click the "Converted" tab after fully converting your files. To find the file you saved, you may use your file explorer. You can rename the file stored on the app to make it easier to see in your Explorer.

videlement converted files

If you have a Mac and interested in converting YouTube videos to MP4. Check the best YouTube to MP4 converter Mac to convert any YouTube to MP4 anytime.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Which has better quality, M4V or MP4?

They generally have the same quality with little to no difference. However, M4V is a lossless format, meaning repeated saving does not affect quality. MP4 is a lossy format that can lose quality after repeated saving. Both have their place, so assess your situation and choose based on it.


Does M4V have a smaller file size than MP4?

They can have the same file if they use the H.264 codec. H.264 codec uses quite a bit of storage but has good quality. However, MP4 does have a HEVC codec that saves storage. Depending on the codecs, they have the same size, but MP4 has a slight edge if HEVC is used.


Is M4V to MP4 conversion possible?

Yes, you can use a file conversion service to convert your files. You can also convert MP4 to M4V.



The article gives you a detailed comparison of the M4V vs MP4 format. It is important to know their differences when deciding which to choose. M4V is a lossless format that allows for repeated saving. Lossless formats are good for editing since they allow revisions and corrections. M4V has a big drawback in that it is an Apple-only product for the most part. If you want to M4V files on Windows, for example, you have to convert them. MP4 is a lossy format that movies bits of data to save storage. Its quality is not affected by the file deletion of lossy format. However, repeated saving lowers the quality. If you are editing on an Apple product, M4V is better for its lossless format. If you are sharing, however, MP4 is better.

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