MPEG-4 (ISO 14496) is a broad Open Standard developed by the Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG), a working group of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) which also did the well known MPEG-1 (MP3, VCD) and MPEG-2 (DVD, SVCD) Standards, standardizing all sorts of audio/video compression formats and much more.
By its nature the MPEG-4 Standard doesn't aim at standardizing one potential product (eg. something comparable to DVD) but covers a broad range of Sub-Standards, which Product Providers can choose from to follow, according to what they need for their product.
The MPEG-4 Standard, as mentioned, is divided into many different sub-standards, where for our users on Sharewareguide.net the following parts might be of major interest:
- ISO 14496-2 (Video), e.g. Advanced Simple Profile (ASP), as followed by XviD, DivX5, 3ivx...
- ISO 14496-10 (Video), Advanced Video Coding (AVC), also known as H.264
- ISO 14496-14 (Container), MP4 container format (uses the .mp4 extension).
A container format allows you to combine different multimedia streams (most of the time audio and video) into one single file.
Multimedia containers are for example the well known AVI (.avi), MPEG (.mpg, .mpeg), Matroska (.mkv, .mka), OGM (.ogm), Quicktime (.mov) or Realmedia (.rm, .rmvb).
MP4 is the global file extension for the official container format defined in the MPEG-4 standard (ISO 14496-14)
MP4 is streamable and supports all kinds of multimedia content (multiple audio-, video-, subtitlestreams, pictures, variable-framerates, -bitrates, -samplerates...) and advanced content (officially called "Rich Media" or "BIFS") like 2D and 3D animated graphics, user interactivity, DVD-like menus... - next to nothing handled by the often used AVI.
- .mp4: only official extension, for both audio and video files (and advanced content)
- .m4v: .mp4 files with the WRONG extension introduced by Apple for video+audio files, .m4v can be safely renamed to .mp4 (.m4v is used in Apple iTunes and iPod)
- .m4a: introduced by apple for aac/alac audio-only files, m4a can safely be renamed to .mp4
Other related extensions:
- .m4p: DRM protected files sold in iTunes, using the DRM sheme developed by apple
- .m4e: renamed .sdp files used by Envivio for streaming
- .m4v, .mp4v, .cmp, .divx, .xvid: video-only, raw mpeg-4 video streams (not inside MP4)
- .3gp, .3g2: used by mobile phones, stores content not defined in .mp4 too (H.263, AMR)
Some powerful MP4 Converter software:
MP4 Converter software for Windows:
Aimersoft MP4 Converter Suite: includes DVD to MP4 Converter and MP4 Video Converter. As a DVD to MP4 Converter, it can help you convert DVD to MP4 with very flexible options including subtitle selection, audio track selection, and language selection and so on. As a MP4 Video Converter, it can convert most video formats such as AVI, WMV, DivX, XviD, MPG, MPEG, DAT, RM, RMVB, MOV and ASF to MP4 for MP4 players like Archos AV500, Archos AV700, Archos GMini402, iRiver PMP-100, Creative Zen Vision, iPod, PSP, etc.
ImTOO DVD to MP4 Suite: a discount pack with powerful functions which consists of ImTOO DVD to MP4 Converter and ImTOO MP4 Video Converter.The MP4 Video Converter can convert video and audio formats to MP4 and MP3 while the DVD to MP4 Converter can rip DVDs to mp4, mp3 and m4a for iPod, PSP etc directly.
Aimersoft MP4 Video Converter: supports all common video format such as Divx, XviD, MPG, MPEG, DAT, RM, RMVB, MOV, ASF and so on. Let you easily enjoy video on Sandisk, Archos AV500, Archos AV700, Archos GMini402, iRiver PMP-100, Creative Zen Vision, PMP and other MP4 players.
WinXMedia AVI/WMV MP4 Converter: powerful and easy-to-use MP4 video/M4A adudio converter. With it, you can convert various video files to MP4 video and M4A audio files and play them in your MP4 player. Its' operation is simple, intuitive and very easy.
Allok MPEG4 Converter: help you convert AVI to MPEG4 video and MPEG to MPEG4 easily and fast. And it can also help you convert almost all video formats, e.g. DivX, XviD, AVI, WMV, MPG, MPEG, MP4, M4V, FLV, 3GP, ASF, RM, RMVB, MOV, MOD, ASX, MKV, OGM, SVCD, VCD, VOB to MPEG4 Video format for for your iPod, Apple TV, Sony PSP, PS3, Zune, Xbox 360, Acrchos AV400, Archos AV500, Archos AV700, Archos Gmini402, iRiver PMP-100, Creative Zen Vision, etc.
WinAVI 3GP/MP4/PSP/iPod Video Converter: the software for MP4/3GP file conversion of portable video device such as iPod/PSP, It can convert almost all video formats, for e.g., DivX, XviD, MOV, rm, rmvb, MPEG, VOB, DVD, WMV, AVI to iPod/PSP or other portable video device, MP4 player or smart phone.
Aimersoft DVD to MP4 Converter: helps you convert DVD to MP4 (MPEG-4), H.264, DVD to DivX video for all MP4 players like Archos AV500, Archos AV700, Archos GMini402, iRiver PMP-100, Creative Zen Vision, iPod, PSP, etc. With Aimersoft DVD to MP4 Converter, you can rip DVD to MP4 with great stabilization, it provides super fast speed for ripping DVD to MP4 format.
iSofter DVD to mp4 Converter: fast, easy to use DVD to MP4 ripper which helps you rip DVD, convert DVD to MP4, AVI, MPEG4, DivX, XviD video format with excellent quality. The output movie is playable on most portable media player (MP4 player) such as Archos AV500, Archos AV700, Archos Gmini402, iRiver PMP-100, Creative Zen Vision, PSP, iPod, etc.
YASA DVD to MP4 Converter: can rip DVD Video both video and audio streams of dvd video into MP4 and other various video formats. A large number of video formats are supported including MP4 AVI MPEG WMV DivX RM MOV PSP Video iPod Video MPEG-1 MPEG-2 MPEG-4 ASF 3GPP 3GPP2 VCD SVCD and so on; It can rip DVD Video into Audio formats including MP3 MP2 WMA WAV AC3 M4A OGG etc.
Xilisoft DVD to MP4 Converter: powerful DVD ripper, which can help you converting DVD to MP4 and DivX video format, and converting audio formats to MP3, AAC, and M4A. So easy to use and fast to convert!
MP4 Converter software for Mac OS x:
MP4 Converter for Mac: can converter almost all popular video and audio files like AVI, MPEG, 3GP, MOV, MP4, WAV, WMA, M4A, AAC, MP3, MP2, 3G2, AC3 to MP4 video and audio formats directly like MP4, AVI, M4A, AAC and MP3. It supports many fashionable devices as iPod, PSP, Apple TV, Archos, iRiver, Creative Zen, PS3, etc. It features versatile functions and various settings.
DVD to MP4 Converter for Mac: powerful DVD Ripper software which enables you to rip DVD to AVI, MPEG, DIVX, MP4, MP4 AVC, etc video formats and MP3, AAC, M4A audio formats. With this excellent software, you will have more option of playing your favorite DVDs Different with other DVD to MP4 ripping software, DVD to MP4 Converter for Mac is designed specially for Mac users. It allows you to convert DVD to MP4 with easy operation, fast conversion speed and high quality output.
For more information, please see MPEG-4(MP4) Event.