Forgive my ignorance. I plan to download some music online, but some songs come with MP3 extension while some are MP4, which makes me feel extremely confused. So, can anyone tell me what the differences between MP3 and MP4 are, to help me decide which download link I should click?
It is a difficult job to tell the difference between two file formats (for example, MP3 and MP4) for non-tech-savvy people. To answer your question - "what're the differences between MP3 and MP4", I have made a wide range of search and have compiled the major differences in the following section.
● MP3 vs MP4: type of format
MP3 (original name: MPEG-1 Audio Layer 3) is an audio coding format while MP4 (original name: MPEG-4 Part 14) is a digital multimedia container format.
● MP3 vs MP4: functions and features
MP3 is used for storing, transferring and playing audio files only on digital audio players. MP3 files can deliver near-CD quality. Nowadays, MP3 has become the most popular audio format because it can hugely compress the data without damaging quality.
Superior to the audio-specific MP3 format, MP4 can be used for handling digital audio, digital video, text and also image. It allows streaming over the internet, just like other modern container formats.
● MP3 vs MP4: extended from different formats
MP3 is extended from MP2, while MP4 is extended from Apple QuickTime .mov and MPEG-4 Part 12.
● MP3 vs MP4: quality and file size
Although MP3 applies a form of lossy data compression, the audio quality remains virtually the same. And compared with MP4, MP3 has smaller file size. So, if you want to listen to music only on MP3 player and don't want to store files with large file size, pick up MP3. If your favorite music is in MP4, don't worry, because you can convert MP4 to MP3 with ease. If you have enough space on your devices, you can try MP4. Thus, you can not only enjoy music, but also watch video.
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1. MP3 ≠ MPEG-3 and MP4 ≠ MPEG-4, So don't confuse "MP3 vs MP4" with "MPEG-3 vs MPEG-4".
2. MP4 files are not just for video. Actually, they are multimedia. MP4 can be used for audio, video and other media.
In conclusion: According to the analysis above, there are essential differences between MP3 and MP4. MP3 files are mainly audio files, whereas MP4 files are for multiple digital files. Obviously, it is an unfair debate whether the MP4 is better than the MP3 or whether MP3 has an advantage over MP4.