M4V VS. MP4: Detailed Comparison and Conversion between M4V and MP4 Formats

Lynn Hu Lynn Hu
Nov 01, 2021 (Updated: Oct 31, 2022)Filed to: Knowledge

I've started ripping some DVDs to .mp4 extension, but I found they can’t be played on QuickTime. Then I changed the extension to .m4v, which plays fine in QuickTime/iTunes. What gives? What's the difference between MP4 and M4V?

-From MacRumors

MP4 and M4V are two commonly used formats in daily life. They are very similar, but also have differences in the video quality, compatibility, and codecs included in them, which cause the mentioned problem. To choose the optimal format to play videos on your computer and mobiles, you should keep reading this article and learn more about the differences between M4V and MP4.

M4V VS. MP4: What Are the Differences between M4V and MP4 Formats

Before comparing M4V and MP4 formats, you should know about the definitions of the M4V and MP4 formats. Get to know their features in the following.

1.What is the M4V format?

M4V, also called Podcast format in Apple devices, is a standard container format created by Apple. Actually, it is a special format of MP4 designed for playing videos on Apple devices, including iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple TV, etc. All the movies, videos, and music MV you download from iTunes are saved in M4V format.

2.What is the MP4 format?

MP4 is a widely used container format in daily life. That’s because the MP4 format is recognized by most media players, devices, and even online players. Whether you want to upload videos on the Internet or save movies on your computer/mobiles, MP4 is the primary choice. Just like M4V, MP4 also supports saving multiple video, audio, and subtitle files.

3.M4V VS. MP4: Differences between M4V and MP4

According to the definition of M4V and MP4 formats, they have differences in usage and compatibility. What about the codecs and video quality? The following table will give you an intuitive comparison between M4V and MP4 formats.

Container FormatM4VMP4
DeveloperAppleMPEG: Moving Pictures Expert Group
Video CodecsH.264H.264, HEVC/H.265, MPEG-4
Audio CodecAAC, AC3, MP3AAC, AC3, MP3
CompatibilityEasy to play on any Apple device. Some professional media players also support it.Can be played on almost all media players and devices, including the default players on computers and mobiles.
UsagesFor downloading protected videos from iTunes.For saving videos on all devices and playing them on any player.
Pros· Provide DRM protection to protect the copyright.· Relatively fewer file sizes with high quality than MP4.· Easy to spread and share videos on the Internet.· Able to be edited by any video editor.
Cons· Less compatibility.· Larger file sizes than M4V

M4V VS. MP4: How to Convert between M4V and MP4 for Better Playback

Video Converter is a kind of versatile software that supports converting videos to any format easily. With customized settings, you can change the detailed codec and keep the high quality as well.

Ultimate Way to Convert between M4V and MP4 for Compatibility

Free Download

100% Secure

Free Download

100% Secure

Step 1.Free download and launch Video Converter on your Windows/Mac. After the main interface pop up, click the "Add Files" button or the "Plus" icon to add the desired M4V or MP4 video files.

Add Files to Convert

Step 2.To convert videos between M4V and MP4 formats, you need to click the "Convert All to" menu and choose the desired formats in the "Video" list. As for the resolution, you can choose the "Same as Source" option to keep the original quality or any other resolution you like. Furthermore, clicking the "Custom Profile" button will help you change the codec, quality, and frame rate of the videos.

Choose The Desired MP4 Format

Step 3.After going back to the main interface, you should click the "Save to" menu to select the desired storage path. And then, click the "Convert All" button in the low-right corner to start converting between M4V and MP4.

Start Converting Between M4V MP4

FAQs about M4V and MP4 Video Formats


This article has made an overall introduction to two commonly used formats - M4V and MP4. They are similar to each other, but there also exist differences, including compatibility, supported codecs, and usages. For having a better viewing experience on different devices, you can also convert between M4V and MP4 formats through Video Converter. If you still have problems, feel free to contact us.

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