Mp4 stands for MPEG (Moving Picture Experts Group)-4, which is a modern compression for audio and video files. There are also many types of mp4; these “parts” range from one to twenty. Whenever someone is referring to mp4, they are probably talking about mp4 part 2, so that is the part I will be talking about. The original idea was to make a compression that used a minimal bit-rate, but as larger companies used mp4 the bit-rate increased until now mp4 is used for high quality. The compression does decrease the screen resolution, which effectively decreases the amount of memory used. With this in mind, mp4 is used in many programs, devices, and websites.
The most popular programs that use mp4 are Quicktime and itunes, and the most popular devices are music/video players, computers, and cell phones. Quicktime is a media player that plays music videos and movies via mp4 and itunes transfers mp3 and mp4 files to ipods. Music/video players use mp4 files because they have small screens and mp4 provides the best quality music videos and movies for their size. Computers are mainly transfer devices, but they can play mp4 files. Most people use avi files instead because mp4 movies are too small for their computer screens. Cell phones have only lately tried mp4 files. Due to the protection that is encrypted on the mp4 files it has been difficult for programmers to create a transfer program for cell phone devices, but I have been able to successfully use mp4 music videos on my Blackberry Smartphone.
A major benefit is the small amount of memory it takes to store a mp4 file compared to other video file types. Most three hour movies take up 400 MB with mp4 while an avi file would use 700 MB. This is because of the screen resolution. Mp4 files are formatted for smaller screens so they use less memory. This is very appealing to music/video players because they have very limited memory. The latest ipod nano (3rd Generation) comes in 4GB and 8GB memory. I have a 8 GB, so if I used mp4 files instead of avi files I would be able to have 20 movies. But if I used avi files I would only be able to have 11 movies.
Mp4 is also used to stream or upload videos to major websites. One of the most common video websites is Youtube. People use mp4 because the uploading time is directly proportional to the memory of the file being uploading. When you upload a mp4 file, it takes about half the time as an avi file. Also, again mp4 files have better quality when the resolution is small. Youtube videos only use a portion of your computer screen, so mp4 would also be the better quality video in the situation.
Mp4 is a modern compression for audio and video files. There are also many types of mp4, called “parts”, and I talked about the most common part, mp4 part 2. The mp4 developers’ original idea was to make a compression that used a minimal bit-rate, but as larger companies used mp4 the bit-rate increased until now mp4 is used for high quality. I talked about how the compression decreases the screen resolution, which effectively decreases the amount of memory used. Now you can understand why mp4 is used in many programs, devices, and websites.