Since I'm so blind to video formats, I often ask my friends about which format is better when I use some DVD rippers like WinX DVD Ripper Platinum to rip my movie DVDs. And some suggest me to rip DVD to MP4 file while some to H.264 video. I'm really so confused about it, please tell me what's the difference between MP4 and H.264??? Thanks a million!
MP4 - a container format, full name is MPEG-4 Part 14, written as .mp4
MP4 is undoubtedly the most popular video format at present, because it allows a combination of audio, video, subtitles and images to be held in the one single file. Moreover, it can be played on nearly all devices, leaving other formats like AVI, WMV, MOV far behind; it can be shared on many online video sites like YouTube. It is compressed with MPEG-4 video encoding and AAC audio compression. >> Detailed definition of MP4
H.264 - a video codec
H.264, currently one of the frequently-used video codecs, is a popular compression for HD video. Since H.264 can achieve high quality video in relatively low bitrates, it's commonly used in AVCHD camcorders, HDTV, Blu-ray, and HD DVD. MP4(.mp4) is one of the H.264 encoded video formats. >> Detailed definition of H.264
From the respective definition above, we can easily see that MP4 is a file container format, while H.264 is actually a video compression codec that requires a video container to host the encoded video. They are different things, not even with the same property. In most cases, H.264 encoded files are MP4 files and they can also be AVI or MKV ones.
When you use WinX DVD Ripper Platinum, it's easy to find out that this software often recommend you to rip DVD to videos with MPEG4 codec, but not H.264 codec. The main reason is that ripping DVD to MPEG4 is faster than to H.264, but the video quality is on the contrary.
In brief, when choosing the output video format or codec either in ripping DVDs or converting vides, taking a few seconds to figure it out what you want, faster speed or higher quality.
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