What is the M4V video format? What is MP4? What is the difference between MP4 and M4V? And do you know how to convert M4V to MP4 or MP4 to M4V? In this post, MiniTool will give you the information about M4V vs MP4 and tell you how to convert them.

There are plenty of video file formats such as MKV, FLV, VOB, OGG, AVI, WebM, WMV, MP4, M4V, and so on. M4V and MP4 are the two very similar video file formats but there are some differences between them. In this post, you can know what they are, the difference between them as well as how to convert M4V to MP4 or MP4 to M4V.

Related post: M4A to MP4 – How to Convert M4A to MP4 for Free

What Is M4V?

To begin with, what is M4V? As a video container format developed by Apple, M4V is very similar to MP4 format. The main difference is that you can choose to protect M4V files through DRM copy protection.

Apple encodes video files in its iTunes Store using M4V. And using Apple’s FairPlay copy protection can prevent unauthorized copying of M4V files. M4V files protected by FairPlay can only be played on computers authorized with the account used to purchase the video. In QuickTime, M4V video using FairPlay DRM is identified as “AVCO Media”.

If the file extension is changed from “.m4v” to “.mp4”, some video players can also recognize and play M4V files. M4V files with a handbrake can also be played on PlayStation 3 with full Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound support.

To learn more detailed information about M4V, it is recommended to read this post – What M4V Refers to and How to Open It Successfully.

What Is MP4?

Then, what is MP4? MP4 can also be called MPEG-4 Part 14, which is a digital multimedia container format. It is often used to store video and audio, but you can also use it to store other data such as subtitles and still images.

Similar to most modern container formats, it allows access to the Internet. The only official file extension for MPEG-4 Part 14 files is .mp4. MPEG-4 Part 14 (formally ISO/IEC 14496-14: 2003) is a standard designated as part of MPEG-4.

Sometimes, portable media players advertise as “MP4 players”. Although some are just MP3 players, they also play AMV videos or some other video formats without having to play MPEG-4 Part 14 format.

To learn more detailed information about MP4, it is recommended to read this post – What Is MP4 and What Are the Differences Between It and MP3.

M4V VS MP4: What Is the Difference Between Them?

After getting some basic information about M4V and MP4, now let’s know the information about M4V vs MP4.

M4V VS MP4: Encoding Method

From a technical point of view, the comparison between M4V vs MP4 mainly comes down to the codec used. Although MP4 files can accommodate MPEG-4, HEVC, or H.264, M4V files always adopt the H.264 codec. Regardless of the aspect, there is almost no difference in quality, but there may be differences in size because files encoded using the H.264 codec tend to be larger.

M4V VS MP4: Compatibility

Speaking of M4V vs MP4, you should know that the main difference between them is related to compatibility. MP4 files can run on almost any type of device, including Windows PC, Mac, iPhone, Android devices, game consoles, etc. What’s more, most media players can recognize MP4 files and play them without problems.

On the contrary, M4V files are more restricted. These files are only for Apple devices and will open in iTunes by default, although QuickTime Player also supports them.

M4V VS MP4: Popularity

If you strictly discuss which file format is the most popular and widely used, then there is no comparison between M4V vs MP4. MP4 has been around for a long time. It is the format of choice for many users on all platforms and is widely used for uploading, sharing, and streaming on the Internet. MP4 is more user-friendly for copying, saving, transmitting, and playing back on mobile devices.

And M4V is becoming more and more popular in the wave of Apple products such as iPhone, iPad, Mac computers, and so on. Since this file extension is often copy-protected, many Apple fans like to keep the M4V format. But it definitely cannot be compared with MP4.

M4V VS MP4: Developer and Application

When talking about M4V vs MP4, another thing you need to compare it their developer and application. M4V (.m4v) is developed by Apple Inc. and is specially designed for iPhone, iTunes Store, iPod, and other Apple products.

However, MP4 (.mp4) is developed by Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG), which can be used by most media players and devices. Due to its powerful compression capability and low bandwidth requirements, it is one of the most popular video formats on the Internet.

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MP4 VS M4V: Which One to Choose?

After reading the above part, you should know the difference between MP4 and M4V. Then you may want to know which one you should choose.

If you are using an Apple product…

M4V is more suitable for Apple devices to save digital information. Retaining the M4V extension will ensure that your video content is protected so that it cannot be copied or edited.

In addition, saving video files in the M4V extension can also make certain features (such as AC3, chapters, and soft subtitles) run smoothly. For example, Apple TV needs the M4V file extension to know how to handle AC3 audio tracks in MP4 containers. What’s more, if the extension of a file containing AC3 is changed from M4V to MP4, the file will not be playable on the iPhone or iPad.

If you are using a non-Apple device…

MP4 is a better choice. Compared with M4V, MP4 essentially has better cross-platform compatibility. It has been accepted for a long time because it is easy to copy, transfer, and playback on many platforms including Android and Windows. In addition, even if the MP4 file is damaged, you can use some video repair software to easily repair inaccessible videos.

How to Convert M4V to MP4 or MP4 to M4V?

After you have got some basic information about MP4 vs M4V, then you should know the difference between them. So how to convert M4V to MP4 or MP4 to M4V? This part will offer you some online converters to do that.

Convert M4V to MP4

1. CloudConvert

CloudConvert is a powerful and online M4V to MP4 converter. You can find different converters to convert archive, audio, video, image, document, and so on. It is trusted by a large number of people since 2012. Now let’s see how to convert M4V to MP4 with it:

Step 1: Go to the CloudConvert website and then click the Select File option to choose your M4V file.

Step 2: Choose the MP4 option from the drop-down menu next to the Convert to option.

Step 3: Click the Convert button to begin the conversion.

convert M4V to MP4

Main Features

  • It supports you upload files from your computer, Google Drive, Dropbox, and OneDrive, or you can upload your files by URL.
  • It supports to convert more than 200 formats.
  • Your data is protected.
  • It allows you to edit the output video.

Related post: How to Convert MTS to MP4 for Free with Different Methods

2. FreeConvert

Another online M4V to MP4 converter that you can use is FreeConvert. There is no need to download and install any software. You can use this converter to convert document, image, audio, video, and eBook. Besides, you can also find other useful tools such as the video compressor, PDF compressors, and so on. It is very easy to use.

interface of FreeConvert

Main Features

  • It allows you to convert files up to 1GB.
  • It allows you to convert files up to 20 files at a time.
  • It allows you to upload files from your local computer or by URL.
  • Your files will be deleted after 6 hours automatically.

3. MiniTool Video Converter

You can also use MiniTool Video Converter to convert M4V to MP4 offline. This converter allows you to convert a large number of video and audio files. Besides, you can also use this converter to download videos and audio from YouTube.

MiniTool Video ConverterClick to Download100%Clean & Safe

Follow the instructions below to convert M4V to MP4:

Step 1: Download and launch the MiniTool Video Converter at first.

Step 2: In the Video Convert page, click Add Files to choose the M4V files as source files.

Step 3: Choose MP4 as the output format from the drop-down menu next to Convert all files to.

Step 4: Click the Convert button to begin the conversion. If you have several files that you want to convert, click Convert All.

convert M4V to MP4 using MiniTool Video Converter

Main Features

  • It enables you to perform batch video conversion at once.
  • It is free and there are no ads.
  • It allows you to change some parameters for the output video and audio format.

Convert MP4 to M4V via Convertio

Speaking of converting MP4 to M4V, it is recommended to use Convertio. It is a free online MP4 to M4V converter. You can find several effective tools on this website such as MP3 cutter, slideshow maker, and so on. Now let’s see how to convert MP4 to M4V with this converter:

Step 1: Go to the Convertio website and then click Choose Files to upload your MP4 files.

Step 2: Then choose M4V as the output format from the drop-down menu.

Step 3: Click the Convert button to begin converting MP4 to M4V.

convert MP4 to M4V via Convertio

Main Features

  • It aims to complete the conversions in under 1-2 minutes.
  • It allows you to upload files from your local computer, Google Drive, and Dropbox or by entering the URL.
  • It supports more than 25,600 different conversions among more than 300 different file formats.
  • It will delete your uploaded and converted files automatically after 24 hours.
  • You need to sign up if you want to convert files up to 100 MB.

The End

To sum up, this post has given all the information about M4V vs MP4. M4V or MP4? After reading this post, you should know which file format is suitable for you. What’s more, if you want to convert M4V to MP4 or MP4 to M4V, then you can try the converters mentioned above.

If you have any other good converters or have any confusion about this post, leave a comment below or send an email to [email protected] and we will reply to you as soon.


Are MP4 and M4V the same?

Developed by Apple, M4V is a video container format, which is very similar to the MP4 format. However, you can choose to protect M4V files through DRM copy protection. MP4 is an abbreviation of MPEG-4 Part 14. It is a universal video container format for storing video, audio, subtitles, and images.

In fact, M4V is a derivative of the MP4 video format, so they are very similar in many ways, but there are subtle differences.

Can I play M4V on my Samsung Smart TV?

Obviously, you cannot play iTunes videos on Samsung Smart TV because the video purchased or rented from the iTunes Store is in M4V format with DRM protection. If you want to play iTunes videos on the TV, the only way is to get rid of the DRM protection in iTunes videos and then convert them to MP4.

Can I just rename M4V to MP4?

In two cases, renaming does not work:

  1. .m4v is used as an extension of the original MPEG-4 Part 2 video bitstream. This file must be multiplexed into the .mp4 container.
  2. When M4V comes from iTunes, .m4v files may be protected by Apple’s DRM. And you cannot convert the file itself because the file is protected by copyright and can only be played with iTunes on the computer where it was purchased.

Can VLC media player convert M4V to MP4?

Of course, you can. You can convert M4V to MP4 using VLC media player with the steps below:

  1. Install VLC Media Player and launch it.
  2. Click Media and then choose Convert / Save….
  3. Click Add… to upload the file and then click Convert / Save.
  4. Check the Profile and then click Browse to choose a destination folder. Click Start.

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