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What Is MOV Video Format

MOV is an MPEG-4 video container and also a common multimedia format using a proprietary compression algorithm developed by Apple Computer. It is mainly used in Apple's QuickTime for saving movies and other video files, compatible with both Macintosh and Windows platforms. Some DVCPRO (HD) files are also MOV ones and cameras such as Canon EOS series also use MOV to record videos.

MOV file format

Advantage and Disadvantage of MOV Format

The format specifies a multimedia container file that contains one or more tracks, each of which stores a particular type of data - audio, video, effects, or text (e.g. subtitles).

Each track either contains a digitally-encoded media stream (using a specific format) or a data reference to the media stream located in another file. Tracks are maintained in a hierarchical data structure consisting of objects called atoms. An atom can be a parent to other atoms or it can contain media or edit data, but it cannot do both.

What's the Difference between MOV and MP4?

Since both MOV and MP4 containers can use the same MPEG-4 formats, they are mostly interchangeable in a QuickTime-only environment. MP4, being an international standard, has more supports, which is especially true on hardware devices like PSP & DVD players. Compability with software goes well for most DirectShow / Video for Windows codec packsinclude an MP4 parser, but not one for QTFF. Considering the wide compatibility of MP4 format, many users choose to convert MOV to MP4 format.

The International Organization for Standardization approved the QuickTime (.mov) as the basis of the MPEG-4 file format. The MPEG-4 file format specification was created on the basis of the QuickTime format specification published in 2001. The MP4 (.mp4) file format was published in 2001 as the revision of the MPEG-4 Part 1: Systems specification published in 1999.

MOV vs MP4

In 2003, the first version of MP4 format was revised and replaced by MPEG-4 Part 14: MP4 file format. The MP4 file format was generalized into the ISO Base Media File Format ISO/IEC 14496-12:2004, which defines a general structure for time-based media files.

It in turn is used as the basis for other multimedia file formats (for example 3GP, Motion JPEG 2000). A list of all registered extensions for ISO Base Media File Format is published on the official registration authority website www.mp4ra.org. This registration authority for code-points in "MP4 Family" files is Apple Computer Inc.

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If you still have question on MOV and converting DVD/video to MOV, please feel free to Mail Us >>

Related External Source

.mov[wiki] - The format specifies a multimedia container file that contains one or more tracks, each of which stores a particular type of data: audio, video, effects, or text (e.g. for subtitles)...


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.


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