Filed Under: Multimedia, Reviews

MP4 vs. MOV – Which Should Be Your Choice?


Written by Jack Lin

Affiliate Disclaimer: If you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no additional cost to you!

As of today, there are plenty of different video file formats that support different types of devices and players. Basically, choosing a video file format depends on the requirement of the individual user and the file type used.

Both MOV and MP4 files are very common video file formats used across the globe these days. If you need to make a comparison between MP4 vs. MOV, this is a must-read article for you.

Both of these file formats have one thing in common; they use lossy compression on the videos. As a result of lossy compression, the compressed video will be significantly lighter compared to the original.

Also, compression is irreversible. That means you cannot decompress files in any of these formats. In addition to that, both of these formats cause slight quality loss when compressed.

MOV vs. MP4 – Which Option is Better?

As a matter of fact, MOV is a very popular file format which is introduced by Apple. MOV is developed to be compatible with Apple’s QuickTime Movie Player. It is also used to save videos and movies pretty often.

MOV has an advanced algorithm which is also introduced by Apple. As of now, it is compatible with various versions of Mac and Windows operating systems. As per the algorithm, MOV utilizes a track system to store data of the respective files.

A trach is a small unit that holds a specific type of data relevant to the media file. Then, these tracks will be stored in the multimedia container file. In a single container, there are numerous tracks.

Each track holds a specific type of data that is meant to perform a specific type of task. For instance, some tracks hold textual data while others will hold video. Likewise, there are different tracks for audio and other data as well.

Also, these tracks have a hierarchy. In addition to that, there is a digitally-encoded media stream in a special file format. Assume that there is a digitally-encoded media stream is present within some other file. In that case, it will create a data reference to the respective media stream.

In fact, the MOV format is associated with several advantages. As a result, this respective file format has become a very popular choice among users across the globe. Nevertheless, there are some proprietary issues linked to the MOV format.

Read more about an easy way to MOV Repair if needed.

When it comes to MP4 format, it is developed later on based on the standards of the MOV format. In fact, MP4 is slightly different compared to MOV because of the minor modifications done to it. These modifications are mainly related to data tagging information.

As of today, it has developed into an industry standard. There are indeed some identical characteristics associated with these two formats. As a result, you can use MPEG-4 format in both the MOV and MP4 file container formats.

Indeed, MOV was initially introduced for QuickTime Player. MP4 started to use the same algorithm to compress the videos in a lossy manner. These file formats are mostly interchangeable within a QuickTime-only platform.

MOV format files can also be converted into MP4 files. You also can do the exact opposite thing (converting MP4 into MOV). This is so possible when it comes to an Apple-based platform.

Nevertheless, if you have to work on a platform that is not Apple, you will experience a hard time.

About MP4 Format

MP4 is currently treated as an industry standard. This format is supported by pretty much all operating systems other than Apple. There is no shortage of media players available for all operating systems, and these players work with MP4.

In addition to that, MP4 formats are highly compatible with pretty much all hand-held devices. For instance, it works with gaming devices, video players, etc. Moreover, this format is perfectly compatible with other hardware devices such as Sony PSP and DVD players.

When it comes to the software side, MP4 comprises most DirectShow/Video, particularly that supports codecs packs for Windows. When it comes to the MPEG-4 format, the QuickTime file format (which is also known as MOV) comes with standards. The International Organization of Standardization standardizes it.

Back in the year 2001, the QuickTime file format started to reach the industry. As a matter of fact, the MPEG-4 file format specification was created based on the QuickTime player’s algorithm.

Then, later in the same year, specifications related to MPEG-4 underwent a revision. It was revised depending on the specifications that were published back in 1999. Moreover, based on these specifications, the MP4 file format was introduced too.

As a result of the advancements introduced to the technology and based on the new requirements, the MP4 format was revised. In fact, this took place back in 2003. This is the year when the first revision took place for the MP4 file format.

In fact, it was replaced by Part 14 of MPEG-4. MP4 can also be used as a special foundation for other multimedia files as well. For instance, files like 3GP, Motion JPEG 2000, and other formats use MP4 format as their base.

To get a detailed description of all these aspects, you may visit the MP4RA website. It comprises all the official information and registered extensions for ISO Base Media files. In fact, MP4RA is the registration authority website that displays all these details.

Well, What is the Best Option if You Compare MP4 vs. MOV?

In this MP4 vs. MOV comparison, we should mention that MOV and MP4 don’t influence much on the quality. That means encoded video qualities will not be significantly affected by choosing one format over the other.

In fact, both of these formats act just like containers. If you have come to a point where you should choose between MOV vs. MP4, the answer is simple. As long as you know the area of application, you can pick the best option.

Let’s make it simple!

First of all, you should determine on which platform the output video will be played. Then, you can choose between MOV vs. MP4. If not, you can even go for a totally different format. In that case, you should convert the video into the desired format.

So, it comes down to the point of selecting MOV for Mac. That is because MOV is pretty safe and efficient on Mac platforms.

Here Are Some Notable Characteristics of MOV.

  • MOV files are recognized to be a high-quality format that can store and share digital data.
  • You might realize that players like QuickTime Player and Windows Media Player support the MOV format perfectly. Other than that, there can be various other players that are compatible with the MOV format.
  • MOV files combine several audio files and video files individually to provide the output you are expecting.
  • It is usable in professional applications and then isolates the elements. This can be done during the playback or even during the editing of the file.
  • In general, MOV files come with better quality, and their size can be heavier than the others.
  • The length and compression technique utilized will determine the size of every MOV file.
  • If you cannot run a MOV video file, the reason behind it would be a corrupted file. In that case, however, MOV files are repairable through an easy process.

If You Are Using Different Devices Other Than Apple, MP4 is a Way Better Option

  • MP4 supports multiple data bits.
  • These files are compatible even with low-bandwidth connections. As a result, you can transfer those files within a slower connection as well.
  • MP4 files are supported across different devices and players. For instance, it supports Apple QuickTime 6 and newer versions as well.
  • The MP4 format is meant to store the format MPEG-4. Therefore, you will require fewer resources is contrary, unlike the other video file formats.
  • MP4 files utilize the latest codec version, H264, and thereby enhance the Hi-Res contents.
  • The flexibility in the way the data is stored with MP4 files is very high.
  • MP4 files utilize the AVC (Advanced Video Coding) technology with AAC (Apple’s Advanced Audio Coding). Through this, they provide an improved audio container format.
  • Compared to DVD files, the MP4 video format provides much better output.
  • You can use good video repair software to fix MP4 files (if any).


1. Is MP4 better than MOV? Better is subjective. MP4 is more compatible and has smaller file sizes, while MOV may offer slightly superior quality, especially for high-definition videos.

2. Can I play MOV files on non-Apple devices? Yes, though MOV is tailored for Apple, it can still be played on non-Apple devices with suitable software.

3. How can I convert MOV files to MP4? There are several online tools and software applications available for converting MOV files to MP4.

4. Are there any quality losses when converting MOV to MP4? While conversion generally tries to preserve quality, minor losses may occur due to compression, especially if the original MOV file is of high definition.

5. Which format is better for uploading videos to the internet? Generally, MP4 is a better choice due to its wide compatibility and smaller file sizes.

The Bottom Line

When it comes to choosing between MP4 vs. MOV, they are the best video formats trusted by millions. This file format is used across the globe.

In fact, choosing between MOV vs. MP4 is a very difficult task. If you really want to know the better option, please go through the above paragraph once again.

In a nutshell, choosing a format should be done based on the platform you are going to use. Other than that, both of these file formats are good.

Also, they use lossy compression technology so they cannot be decompressed after a compression process. That’s basically it!


Pangu FRP Bypass

Pangu FRP Bypass Tool: Reviews and Overview for Easy Factory Reset

If you want to use the Pangu FRP bypass tool, we strongly suggest you read several reviews. Reading those reviews will ...
How To Stop Getting Emails From Reddit

Halt the Flood: Stop Getting Emails from Reddit Today

“Can someone please tell me how to stop getting emails from Reddit? My inbox gets flooded with their emails and ...
How to Change Language on Fortnite

How to Change Language on Fortnite With No Trouble?

Learning how to change the language on Fortnite is handy for any user. The process is not that difficult if you ...