MPEG-4 Part 14 or MP4 is a container format for storing audio and video, as well as for other data such as images and subtitles. Furthermore, based on the QuickTime or MOV format, it is a standard specified as part of the MPEG-4 compression method.
The Pros: Advantages and Applications of MP4 Format
Nonetheless, mainstream operating systems for computers and consumer electronic devices, as well as software media players, support the MP4 format. It is also a widely-used format for capturing and compressing audio-video data from DVDs and Blue-Ray discs, recording similar video via devices such as smartphones, as well as for streaming video over the Internet.
Below are the specific pros and uses of the format:
• One of the key advantages of the MP4 format is that it can be used on multiple platforms, thus making it easier to use and distribute.
• It has a high degree of compression while producing smaller file sizes, thereby making it ideal for video streaming or compressing high definition audio-video files.
• Support for metadata means that the file can be integrated with 3D graphics, menus or user navigation options, and other user interaction features.
• There are a lot of open-source players such as VLC Media Player that provide complete support for this format. It is even used on Linux operating systems.
• It is also versatile. Files that only contain audio are coded with the m4a extension, and MPEG-4 visual bitstreams are encoded in the m4v extension.
The Cons: Disadvantages and Limitations of MP4 Format
Note that the format is a container. What this means is that instead of storing the ode for the file, it stores the data. Furthermore, a specific MP4 file iso dependent on specific codecs because it does not have a native way of handling the involved coding.
A possible limitation is that there are hundreds of codecs available. A media player must be able to run a specific set of codecs to run a particular MP4 file. However, because the container format has become widely used, widely-supported codecs have become somehow standards.
The following are other drawbacks of the format:
• Audio can drift out of sync with the video in some cases because of issues with codecs or codec-player compatibility.
• Because a single file can contain audio and video, as well as different metadata, playback or editing can require a lot of computing resources.
• It is still a lossy format. A higher degree of compression and smaller file size would result in losses in audio and video quality.
• The popularity of MP4 format, coupled with its portability, has also enabled the illegal distribution of copyrighted audio-video files.