What is M4V Format
M4V is a video format and file extension extremely resembling traditional and common MP4 (MPEG-4 Part 14). M4V video file format is developed by Apple Inc., who uses it to flag as a video file and attach it to iTunes, by encoding TV episodes, movies, and music videos in the iTunes Store under official DRM copy protection.
In more direct words, M4V is the copy-protected Apple video using FairPlay DRM copyright protection that requires purchase from iTunes. The M4V file format is based on the MPEG-4 AVC video compression, which is a global media standard with the aim to provide optimized video podcasts for the iPod.
Differences between M4V and MP4 (M4V vs. MP4)
Generally, M4V is of standard video format, compared with hi def video format - MOV (for 720p or above on Apple TV). But the resolution specifications of M4V and MP4 are the same. Any difference between M4V and MP4 more than just the file extension name?
Slightly differing MP4, M4V allows to store chapter information and deal with AC3 (Dolby Digital) audio file. QuickTime player cannot play a MP4 file with AC3 audio and chapters. AC3 is not directly compatible with and recognizable by MP4 container.
The Specific Use of M4V
What Devices Use M4V? M4V file format is generally used by iPhone, iPod, PlayStation Portable, etc. Nowadays, Apple's products like the iPod, iPhone, and iTunes Store, are booming rapidly, so M4V files are becoming more commonly used. It is used as the default video conversion format in the software HandBrake (WHY?) and Air Video Server dwelled on Macintosh.
How to Play M4V Video
In most cases, M4V video file can be directly played, on Windows OS computer, by:
* Apple QuickTime Player
* Media Player Classic
* Nero Showtime
* DivX Plus Player
On Android devices, user can also download some multi-format media player apps on Android to play .m4v file, including MX Player, HD Player and so on.
However, some unprotected M4V files may only be recognized and played by other video players by changing the file extension from '.m4v' to '.mp4'.
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