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Why Does HandBrake Save DVD to M4V not MP4 Video File?

It answers why HandBrake saves DVD to M4V, but not MP4 file format and suggests the best solution to cope with this HandBrake DVD ripping error.

Q: I've started becoming more familiar with using HandBrake to rip DVD on my computer (running macOS). But found that HandBrake occasionally defaults the destination file to be in the file extension of M4V (.m4v) instead of MP4 when I tried to convert DVD to Apple TV. Why? How can I open M4V file with general video players?

If you invovle in the same trouble as the above question, read on to find out why Handbrake saves DVD as M4V not MP4 file, how to slove HandBrake saving DVD as M4V issue with the best HandBrake Alternative.

Handbrake Rips DVD

What is M4V Format?

M4V file extension is an MPEG-4 Video file. It is open in iTunes by default. An m4v file is more likely to have video ID3 style tags embedded. But mp4, m4a and m4v are all variations of the exact same file type in the long run.

Why Does Handbrake Save Video as M4V

Why does Handbrake save video as M4V instead of commonly seen MP4 file? Indeed, M4V is barely more an Apple thing than HandBrake. M4V format is developed by Apple and encrypted by the same with DRM copy technology. That is to say, M4V files have copyright protection from Apple, which forbids the access (especially from competitors like Android) for commercial purpose. For example, M4V file cannot be read on Samsung Galaxy Note.

HandBrake automatically uses the extension M4V in case of audio (AC3), SRT subtitles or have chapter markers enabled. As a matter fact, there is basically no mentionable difference between MP4 and M4V.

Check tutorial on how to use Handbrake properly >>

rip DVD to MP4 with handbrake

Rip DVD or Convert Video to MP4 with Best HandBrake Alternative!

WinX DVD Ripper Platinum - Best HandBrake DVD Ripper alternative to rip any (copy protected) DVDs to MP4 on Windows 10/8/7/Vista, macOS Big Sur and lower.

Disclaimer: Digiarty Software doesn't advocate ripping copy protected DVDs or downloading online videos for commercial purpose & suggests referring to related laws in your country before doing so.

How to Open and Play HandBrake M4V File?

Apple TV needs the .m4v file extension to know how to deal with the AC3 in the mp4 container. Chapters and AC3 audio can only be seen by QuickTime if you change the file extension from .mp4 to .m4v. QuickTime or any QT-based app cannot play a MP4 file with these features enabled, unless it has the extension ".m4v". So you should not change to MP4 the extension of a file if it is as M4V containing a3c audio. That's why the Apple TV preset changes it in the destination field.

The simplest way to open and play M4V file is to change the file extension back and forth between M4V and MP4. That is, HandBrake M4V to MP4, or HandBrake MP4 to M4V.

To the file extension from M4V to MP4 is the simplest but not an omnipotent way to play HandBrakde M4V file. In order to solve HandBrake Saving DVD as M4V issue flawlessly, the following solutions highly recommended.

1. Play M4V files by Apple QuickTime Player, Windows Media Player Classic, VLC media player, MPlayer, RealPlayer and all-in-one video/audio player 5KPlayer;

2. Convert M4V to MP4, AVI, WMV, MOV, FLV, etc using HD video converter;

3. Find the best HandBrake alternative (such as WinX DVD Ripper Platinum for Windows and WinX DVD Ripper for Mac) to rip DVD to MP4/H.264, AVI, MPEG, WMV, etc directly. They can also convert DVD for movie playback on all iPhone, iPad, iTouch, iTunes, and any other popular Android and Windows devices. They also support ripping DVD to ISO, MPEG2, MP3, JPEG, or converting DVD ISO to AVI, MP4, and so on. In addition, WinX DVD Ripper Platium/for Mac fully supports Disney and Sony protected DVDs, and can select the correct main movie title by default during ripping.

Related External Source from Wiki:

1. HandBrake - HandBrake is a free and open-source transcoder for digital video files, originally developed in 2003 by Eric Petit (a.k.a. "titer" from his SVN repository username) to make ripping a film from a DVD to a data storage device easier. Since then, it has undergone many changes and revisions...
2. M4V - The M4V file format is a video container format developed by Apple and is very similar to the MP4 format...


 author -Kistent Waung

Kistent Waung twitter icon

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.

Home > DVD > Rip to MP4 > Why HandBrake Saves DVD to M4V not MP4


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