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MPEG-4 vs. MP4: What is the Difference

Elaine Keith
Elaine Keith

Being a big fan of audio and video editing software, she always wants to share her skills with friends like you. That’s why she is here to help you. Do not hesitate to ask her if you are confused with our products.

Question: "I heard a lot about MPEG-4 and MP4, and always think they are the same thing. Just for confirmation. Are MPEG-4 and MP4 the same thing? If not, what is the difference between them?"

Answer: MPEG4 file format is NOT equals to MP4. The following paragraph will give you the best and detailed explanation.

MPEG-4 vs. MP4

What is MPEG-4?

MPEG-4 is one of the latest (audio and video) compression method standardized by MPEG group, designed especially for low-bandwidth (less than 1.5MBit/sec bitrate) video/audio encoding purposes.

MPEG-4 group has standardized several new layers - most important ones are h263+ (which is used widely in mobile phones, named as 3GP) and h.264 (often also called as AVC). DivX and XviD are probably the best-known MPEG-4 video encoders by now.

Media Container Formats for MPEG-4: MP4, AVI, Matroska, MXF, Ogg and QuickTime.

What is MP4?

MP4 is an abbreviated term for MPEG-4 Part 14 (not for MPEG4). MP4 is both a video file extension (.mp4) and a video format. It is a container format which can be used to store both video and audio data.

MP4 (.mp4) contains MP4 video format (.mpeg4/.h264 video codec) and audio format (mp3, aac, etc.) and subtitle.

MPEG-4 vs MP4

Long story short, although MPEG-4 and MP4 look alike, both of them can contain h.264 video. However, MPEG-4 and MP4 are not the same thing.

MPEG-4 is a compression method while MP4 is a container format. What’s more, MP4 is one of the media container format for MPEG-4.

How to Convert Any Video to MP4?

There is no denying that MP4 is one of the most popular video formats nowadays. Almost all media players support MP4 container/format (MPEG-4). And this is the reason why we need to convert many other media formats to MP4 in many cases.

Video Converter Ultimate is an all-round professional video converter which can convert videos to 159 formats easily. These 159 formats include MP4 as well as MPEG-4 video (AVI, MKV, MXF, OGG and QuickTime). It can also directly output videos for iPhone, Samsung, Sony, Xbox, PSP, Archos, Roku etc.

Convert Video to Any Format

More Features of Video Converter Ultimate:

  • Burn videos to ISO files, DVD discs, or DVD folders

  • Basic editing function: merge multiple videos into one, trim videos, crop videos, add subtitle and watermark, etc.

  • Download video from YouTube, Facebook, Yahoo, Vimeo and others

  • Stream videos from PC to TV wirelessly

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