Science & Tech
April 25, 2019

MOV vs. MP4 – Which Format is Best?

If you handle video files regularly, you’ve undoubtedly run into both MOV and MP4 files. Both of these formats are very popular, and are widely-used by videos of different kinds.

However if you are exporting a video or converting its format, you may want to know which is the best format to use. The simple answer to that is: Either – because both are very similar to one another.

Similarities Between MOV and MP4

The MOV format is a container that was developed by Apple to use in conjunction with its QuickTime player. At the time it was developed it was very advanced, and provided a wide range of advantages such as using the concept of tracks to store data.

While MOV was popular, it did have issues because of the fact that it was proprietary. That (in no small part) was the reason why MP4 was created.

Essentially the MP4 format is a container that was developed as an industry standard based on the MOV format. It uses the concept of tracks to store video data as well, and shares many other features in common.

Because they are both containers that are so similar to one another, MOV and MP4 can often be used interchangeably. The file size, compression, quality and other factors all depend on the codec that is being used.

Right now the codec that regularly to be used with both MOV and MP4 videos is H.264, though some videos may use the older MPEG-4 codec, or the newer H.265 (HEVC) codec.

Due to the similarities between both MOV and MP4 it is normally relatively easy to convert between them.

“Which to Use?”

If you really need to make a choice between MOV to MP4, you could base it on how the files are going to be viewed.

Typically MOV is regarded as a good and high-quality video format for Apple devices, including Macs, iPhones, and iPads. On the other hand MP4 is regarded as a good format for non-Apple devices and for online streaming.

Some platforms may prefer certain formats as well, such as YouTube that prefers MP4.

Regardless of the choice that you make, you can use Online Video Converter to switch between them if need be. It can be easily used as a MOV to MP4 converter free that is web-based and does not have any file size limitation.

Suffice to say that should ensure that if you encounter a platform that prefers either MOV or MP4, you can convert your videos between them and not face any issues. That should make choosing between them a lot easier, as you can essentially pick either one that you prefer at the moment.

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