Similarities and Differences Between MP3 and MP4

A Look at Two Confusing File Formats

Similarities and Differences Between MP3 and MP4
Photo by David Amsler / Flickr

Almost everyone knows about the MP3 music file. Even your grandparents are probably familiar with the file type on some level. On the other hand, not many people are familiar with MP4 format. While the formats share two letters, they're actually quite a bit different. MP3 files are for audio while MP4 files are video files. Still, there are other similarities as well. An MP3 stands for MPEG-1 Audio Layer 3 while MP4 stands for MPEG-4 Part 14, which is actually a video file.

Similarities Between MP3 and MP4

First, let's take a look at the similarities between the MP3 and MP4 file formats.

MPEG Format - As you can see from the first two letters in their names, both file types are based on the MPEG standard for compression of data.

High Quality - Both MP3s and MP4s are known for being able to store data in a way that makes it easy for the media to be replayed at high quality.

Small Sizes - Compared to a lot of other audio and video formats, MP3 and MP4 files are a lot smaller in file size while still maintaining quality levels.

Difference Between MP3 and MP4

Here's a closer look at how the two file types are different.

MP3 Created - The first MP3 codec was able to store an audio file in less space thanks to the lossy compression used. The smaller the file size the more horrible the quality, but because this can be adjusted, people are able to find a comfortable compromise.

MP4 Created - The MP4 file format was created in order to have an easy way to download or stream audio and video on the Internet. Based primarily on Apple's MOV file format, it's come a long way since it was first introduced.

Audio / Video - Of course, as already mentioned, an MP3 is for audio content while the MP4 format is for videos. This is a big difference that confuses some people who think that the MP4 is just a better version of the MP3.

Now That You Know

If you want to find a good MP4 player, there are quite a few good ones online. If you look around, you may even be able to find a free MP4 player. Watching videos in this format is really noticeable if you care at all about quality. On top of that, the smaller file size you usually find with MP4 files is another big benefit that has led to its popularity.

And as for MP3 files, you can hardly click a link on the Internet without running into software that will help you create or listen to MP3 files. This is one of the reasons the file format has gained so much popularity since it was first introduced. That and the smaller file sizes for complete songs.

Author Bio: Adam Prattler is a content writer. Recently he wrote an article ‘we buy any house fast’. It became very famous on the social media.
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