MP4 is a container format in which audio, video and text can be stored.

This format was provided by the MPEG (Moving Picture Experts Group) for the MPEG-4 standard.

This uses the codec 264/MPEG-4 AVC, which can be used both lossless and lossy. Like most newer container formats, it is also suitable for Internet streaming. 

Although the official file extension for this file type is MP4, other extensions are often used to specify the file type (for example, m4a or m4r for audio files, where Apple uses m4r as the extension for ringtones).

The following formats are supported in mp4:

Audio: MPEG-2/4 (HE)-AAC, MPEG-1/2 Layers I, II, III (MP3), AC-3, Apple Lossless, ALS, SLS, Vorbis(with private objectTypeIndication) 

Video: HEVC/MPEG-H Part 2/H.265, MPEG-2 Part 2, MPEG-4 ASP, H.264/MPEG-4 AVC, H.263, VC-1, Dirac

Pictures: JPEG, PNG

Text: BIFS 

With the standardized H.264-codec MP4 is suitable for archiving if it has not been converted or has been converted lossless.

It should be noted, that this codec is protected by patent.


- very common

- Container for Video, Audi, Picture and Text


- The standardized codec is protected by patent