M4V VS MP4, The Differences Between M4V and MP4

While both of these formats are very similar to one another, they do have differences that affect their practicality as well as user-friendliness. Both of these formats are interchangeable, in case of unprotected files with an .m4v extension, they can be rewritten into .mp4 and the files would function as they normally would. So why would some people choose one over the other? Let’s find it out. As many of us might know, both MP4 and M4V files are container format files that are usually used to store audio, video and even subtitle files. MP4 stands for MPEG-4 Part 14, as part of the MPEG-4 series of file types. As previously mentioned, M4V file extension can be renamed with an .mp4 extension, provided that the original M4V file is not copy-protected. Files with an .m4v extension are usually under the copyright protection FairPlay DRM, placed by the developers of M4V. This can be better through this comparison form.

Part 1. M4V VS MP4, The Differences Between M4V and MP4

File Extension M4V MP4
Developer Developed by Apple, M4V container format is protected with Apple’s DRM copy technology. TV episodes, movies, and music videos, in Apple’s iTunes Store are encoded in M4V extension. Only the accounts that have made official purchases on computers authorized by iTunes can access protected M4V files. MP4 file extension is developed by the International Standardization Organization (ISO) meant to be used with almost any media player and device, as most media players are supported.
History M4V is also based on the MPEG file format, but it employs the use of AVC video compression. M4V files can only be used on authorized iTunes computers, and it is the default file format for iTunes media player. M4V files gained popularity along with the emergence of the many Apple products. Part of ISO’s base media file format, MP4 or MPEG-4 (Moving Picture Expert Group-4) is a developed form of QuickTime file format. This container format can support Initial Object Descriptors along with other MPEG functions. MP4 file format was first released in 1999 and has since been improved and upgraded a few times until its re-release in 2003, as ISO established the final version as well as the version that is currently in use by large parts of the world. MP4’s latest enhancement is its splitting loading speed.
Popularity Developed by Apple, M4V files are commonly more popular among users of Apple’s products, like the Mac computer, iPod and iPad. Since this type of file extension is usually copyright protected, it is favored by licensed users of the many Apple products. Multiple MP4 files can be saved and compacted into one singular file, which is the reason it is best known for its easy-saving function. This type of container format is also easier to be copied, moved and uploaded, making it accessible to wide users of mobile devices.
Data streams On the iOS devices, Apple has developed the Apple Lossless Audio Codec (ALAC) for playback exclusively on iTunes and QuickTime, reserved for files with .m4v extension. ALAC can be used to compressed data and reduce the size of audio files without any loss of information. Making use of private streams, MP4’s streaming information are burned into a separate track, separately included. The official available codecs of MP4 container format are listed on their registration authority website covering all the compatible media players and devices that can be used. MPEG-4 parts 10 and 2, Advanced Audio Coding and Audio Lossless as well as MPEG-4 Timed Text are the codecs that support additional data streams.
Metadata Basically means “data of the data”, metadata is the descriptive and structural data that can explain a number of details of the data itself, like how the data was created, what the purposes of the data are along with information on the creator or author of the data. This info are kept and managed in a database of data, called the metadata registry or metadata repository. It is easiest to read metadata when it comes in text document form. Since MP4 and M4V are basically the same type of container format, there is no different extension file to store the metadata specifically for each type. Both use the metadata registry or repository that may contain Extensible Metadata Platform or also known as XMP metadata.
Pros 1 –M4V files are protected by DRM technology.
2 –Files are recognized by consoles like X-Box 360.
1 –Multiple MP4 files are easier to save.
2 –Large or separate files can be saved into one single movie file.
3 – MP4 files are more user friendly in terms of copying, moving and uploading.
Cons 1 –Copying and moving are only for licensed users, since M4V files are protected.
2 – Ripping from DVD would require additional applications like WinX DVD Ripperp.
3 - Usage is limited to Apple products only.
1 – Highest resolution for MP4 is 1440x1080/30p (16:9).
2 – Audio channel is only available on 2 channels/48 kHz (sampled frequency).
3 – Uses MPEG-4 AAC LC audio codec, which is a low complexity codec.
Used by Fans of Apple products, and people who prefer copy-protected files than those that are not. Almost everyone due to its simple working nature and easy access to multiple functions.
Related links 1. Why Does HandBrake Save DVD to M4V not MP4 Video File
2. M4V and MP4
3. Differences Between MP4 and M4V
1. Differences Between MP4 and M4V
2. M4V and MP4
3. Why Does HandBrake Save DVD to M4V not MP4 Video File

Part 2. How to Download and Play MP4/M4V

MP4 and M4V are two widely-used formats, sometimes you probably want to download or play videos in either of the two formats. If so, we would like to recommend you all-in-one tool which can download online videos, convert videos and play videos in 150+ formats - iTube Studio.

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  • This Vimeo embedded video downloader equips with a video recorder which allows to capture from any online site.
  • It holds a Private Mode to fully protect your video downloading information with a password.

How to download MP4 and M4V using iTube Studio?

If you are looking forward to downloading MP4 or M4V video file using iTube Studio, then please follow the steps below:

Step 1 With iTube Studio installed, find your MP4 or M4V file to download.

Download and install iTube Studio with the above given download link, and then launch it. After that, open your browser and find the MP4 or M4V file that you want to download from the website, like YouTube, Vimeo and so on.

download mp4

Step 2 Download the MP4 or M4V video

Once you have chosen the video that you want to download, copy the URL of the video from the browser address bar and then go to iTube Studio window, and tap the "+ Paste URL" button, the software will automatically detect the video and start downloading it. After the video has been downloaded, you can find it in the "Downloaded" library.

download mp4

Step 3Play the MP4 or M4V video

Generally speaking, if no special settings, the downloaded video is MP4 format by default. You can click the "Play" icon of the video to play the MP4 video. If you want to convert the MP4 video to be M4V, just add the video to Convert list, then click the "Convert" button beside the video and choose M4V as the target format, then click "OK" to start the conversion.

download mp4

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