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An .mp4 file is an MPEG-4 multimedia container file that can store video, audio, subtitles, and metadata. MP4 files are one of the most common file types used to stream and distribute video on the Internet. They contain multiple data streams for different types of content — video encoded using AVC or HEVC compression, audio encoded using AAC compression, accompanied by subtitle text and metadata. It is an industry-standard format developed by the Moving Pictures Experts Group (MPEG).

Windows Media Player, Apple QuickTime Player, and VLC are some of the most common media players used for MP4 video, and they can also be played within web browsers. Since the MP4 format is a container format, they can be converted to other video container formats without necessarily re-encoding their video and audio. AVI (.avi) and Matroska (.mkv) are the other two most-common video container formats that support AVC and HEVC video. Converting to other container formats, like WebM (.webm) or Ogg (.ogg), require the video to be re-encoded in another format, which will reduce image quality by applying lossy compression to an already-compressed video.

Converting to MP4

The popularity of the MP4 container format means that most media players can handle MP4 files, making it a great choice for video storage and sharing. Video already encoded using AVC, HEVC, or MPEG-2 compression can be re-packaged into an MP4 container without re-encoding the video. Converting video from another codec format will apply lossy compression to a video that was already compressed, which will reduce video quality.

About File Helper

File Helper is a free web-based file utility that can open MPEG-4 Video Container files and over 150 other file formats directly in your web browser. It displays file properties, including metadata, and image EXIF data, along with information about the corresponding file type. File Helper can also view and convert images to several common formats. Have an unknown file or a file without an extension? No problem — File Helper can identify over 15,000 file types.

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