What is a MP4 file?

MP4 is an abbreviated term for MPEG-4 Part 14. It may also be referred to as MPEG-4 AVC (Advanced Video Coding). This format for working with video files was first introduced in 1998. The MPEG refers to Motion Pictures Expert Group, a working group of authorities established in 1988 by Hiroshi Yasuda and Leonardo Chiariglione to set standards for audio and video compression and transmission. Since the first MPEG meeting in May 1988, MPEG has grown to include approximately 350 members per meeting from various industries, universities and research institutions.

MP4, first published in 1998, was designed to encompass all the features that were part of earlier releases of MPEG files and add a few more that would prove helpful with the advancing online technology. MP4 is a container format, allowing a combination of audio, video, subtitles such as closed captioning, and still images to be held in a single file. It also allows for advanced content such as 3D graphics, menus, and user interactivity.

Because it requires a relatively low amount of bandwidth, the introduction of MP4 made it possible for the audience to continue growing by providing quicker, faster, and higher quality broadcast media for the average user, particularly as advancing technology made it possible to create more powerful desktop and laptop systems with larger hard drives and commanding more power.

There are all sorts of ways to enjoy the benefits of MP4. First, online consumers can enjoy all sorts of recorded video and audio, whether professional or amateur. Also, these recordings can be saved to a hard drive for later copying or transcription of archival materials. Some sites that use this streaming application also make it possible for users to send a copy of the recording via the Internet directly to a friend or acquaintance.

Software compatible with MP4 includes 3ivx, ALLPlayer, Amarok, Audacious Media Player, Augen Prizm, Banshee Music Player, Dell MediaDirect, Exaile, foobar2000, GOM Player, iTunes, iPods (all versions), jetAudio, J.River Media Jukebox, J.River Media Center, The KMPlayer, KSP Sound Player, Media Player Classic, Music Player Daemon, MPlayer, Nero Burning ROM (Nero ShowTime), Nintendo DSi Sound, Nokia PC Suite, Photo Channel (Wii), Playstation Portable XMB, QuickTime Player, RealPlayer, Rhythmbox, Songbird (software), VLC Media Player, Winamp, Windows Media Player 12, XBMC Media Center, Xine, Zoom Player, and Zune.