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Comparing MOV and MP4 File Formats

In the world of various video file formats, it is confusing to decide which format will better suit your needs! Well, MOV and MP4 are 2 commonly used container formats. And, both the video file formats host lossy video data. So does the file size, quality, and other features matter when it comes to MOV and MP4 comparison?

Well, if you are not someone who is too keen on the file formats, then it’s hard to tell the differences or similarities between the 2 file formats. We are here to help you out with it. Here’s a detailed report describing the comparison between .mov and .mp4 file formats, and which one will suit your requirements.

MOV: MOV was developed by Apple as a file format for QuickTime. It is also a container format for saving video, graphics, animation, virtual reality content. It is mostly used on Apple systems. This multimedia format uses a proprietary compression algorithm developed by Apple.

MP4: MP4 video file format is based on QuickTime MOV. It is a container format used to store various audio and video data, graphics, and subtitles. MP4 is the industry standard developed by MPEG (Moving Picture Experts Group) for streaming over the Internet, which uses MPEG-4 compression.

Now let’s see the Differences between the 2 formats:

Quality – Since both MOV and MP4 are container formats, the difference in quality depends on the codec in the format. The video quality remains the same because both .mov and .mp4 container formats use the same MPEG-4 formats, including same lossy compression. Thus, in an Apple environment, both MOV and MP4 are interchangeable.

Compatibility – MOV is developed by Apple, so it is compatible with all Mac devices. It is also compatible with Windows platform. So QuickTime player, Real Player, Windows Media player support .mov format. Still, MP4 fares better than MOV as it is supported by most media players, including DVD players, mobile phones, online streaming, and so on.

Size of File – We need to look into the quality and compression degree to compare .mov and .mp4 file sizes. When comparing a MOV and MP4 file with the same compression settings, output file size of MOV can be larger than MP4. Here, smaller size means faster download / upload, and stream speed. Thus, MP4 is a better choice compared to MOV when it comes to size and speed.

Additional Information: Now that you know the differences between the 2 file formats, you can choose which one to use depending on your requirements. There are times when your .mov or .mp4 files are bound to get corrupted. Under such a situation, you can repair corrupted MP4 file / MOV file easily with this Video Repair tool.

So which is the best option?

If you are a Mac user, then MOV is a safe choice, however, you might face issues with MOV format outside of QuickTime. On the other hand, MP4 runs on most operating systems and non-Apple devices. You can use it to share video files over the Internet. Overall, MP4 and MOV are only containers, and they do not affect the quality of videos. It is up to the codec to decide.