What's an MP4?

An MP4, also called MPEG-4, is the most commonly used digital format for videographic files. MPEG is an acronym for the Moving Pictures Experts Group, who first developed this standard for digital video in 2001. It uses the digital file extension *.mp4.


MP4 Portability

The MP4 is a great format for digital video because of it's compression. It's possible to store an hour of 720p resolution video using only one gigabyte (GB) of data storage. The MP4 is recognized as a non-proprietary video format by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). This means the user can play MP4 video on any device.

MP4 Efficiency

Just like Hulu, Netflix, and Disney Plus streaming services, MP4 videos have immediate playback. There is no need to download the entire video before it starts to play. Because of this efficiency, MP4 video has proliferated dramatically since it's creation. It's possible to store hundreds of hours of MP4 video to a single flash drive the size of your thumb. 


MP4 Quality

Millions of MP4 files are created every day as people capture personal movies of their lives. It's the perfect format for sharing video memories with family and friends.  The MP4 can be captured or converted to a variety of sizes, to include full 1080p high definition (HD).  Frame rates can be as high as 60 frames per second (FPS), far exceeding the viewing experience of the digital video disc (DVD).


MP4 Resiliency

The MP4 digital video file is extremely resilient and moves across the world at the speed of light. As digital data, it can be copied and stored in multiple locations, further increasing it's life expectancy to what one might consider indelible.  Thanks to the MP4, there's now a worldwide race to save old video stuck on aging physical media like 8mm reels, VHS cassettes, and even old DVDs.



Written by Geoff Weber

Leave a comment

More stories

Unearthing the Iconic JVC HR-VP48U VHS Tape Player: The Ultimate Throwback Experience

The JVC HR-VP48U VCR is a classic VHS player first introduced in the 1990s. They're still used, but convert the VHS tapes to digital before they go bad.

Unlocking Memories: A Guide to Salvaging Home Movies from Scratched DVDs

Rescue home movies from failing YesVideo DVDs. Get tips on buffing the discs & transferring the content to the cloud. Finally, your treasures will be safe!