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.
In most cases, M4V video file can be directly played, on Windows OS computer, by:
WinX MediaTrans features converting and deocoding (iTunes) M4V files to MP4 (H.264) format with removal of DRM protection for flawlessly playing or editing on any device/player. Thanks to hardware acceleration, it can deliver the fastest conversion speed and keep virtually lossless quality of resulting file.
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What Devices Use M4V? M4V file format is generally used by iPhone, 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. However, some unprotected M4V files may only be recognized and played by other video players by changing the file extension from '.m4v' to '.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.
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Related External Source
M4V[wiki]: The M4V file format is a video container format developed by Apple and is very similar to the MP4 format...
iTunes_Store[wiki]: iTunes Store, originally the iTunes Music Store, is a software-based online digital media store operated by Apple Inc...
Dolby_Digital[wiki]: Dolby Digital is the name for audio compression technologies developed by Dolby Laboratories...
Graduated from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, she employs herself in IT related content creation (since 2013) and happens to perfectly combine her major (computer & science) and her gusto (writing). She's seasoned at offering video audio conversion workarounds and always passionate about new trends, from hot HEVC, 4K to the new AV1 codec.
How to Convert M4V to MP4 on Windows 10 or macOS Mojave?