Winxvideo AI

Home > Video > Knowledge Center > m4v vs mp4

Updated by Donna Peng - Contact Authoremail icon

M4V vs MP4 Comparison: Difference Between MP4 and M4V

Q: Apple devices and mobiles only support MP4, M4V, MOV video formats, then when I rip my movie DVD to my iPhone 6S/6, iPad with a DVD ripper or want to play other videos like M2TS, AVCHD, MKV videos (not compatible with Apple devices) recorded by HD Camcorders on iPhone, which video format should I choose to rip/convert to, M4V or MP4? M4V vs MP4? Which one is better? What's the exact difference between M4V and MP4?

It's easy to confuse M4V with MP4. If you want to figure out these questions, you come to the right place. This post mainly focuses on M4V vs MP4 comparison and tells you the clear definitions of M4V and MP4, as well as the differences between MP4 and M4V.

Part 1. M4V vs MP4: Definition

What is M4V?

M4V: M4V is a video container format especially developed by Apple for encoding videos, movies, music videos, etc. in its iTunes store. Usually the M4V video files you purchased or rented from iTunes are protected by Apple's FairPlay DRM copy protection aiming to restrict copying or piracy, which means the protected M4V videos can only be watched on iPhone, iPad, iPod, etc. but not on non-Apple devices like Android. However, DRM-removed M4V files may be recognized and played by other video players by changing the file extension from .m4v to .mp4.

What is MP4?

MP4: MP4 is short for MPEG-4 Part 14. It is a universal video container format used to store video, audio, subtitles and images. Due to its good compression and compatibility, it allows streaming over the Internet and playing on most media players and devices.

Part 2. M4V vs MP4: Differences Between MP4 and M4V

Actually, M4V is the derivation of MP4 video format, so they are very similar in many ways while with subtle differences.

1. M4V vs MP4 – Developer and Application

M4V (.m4v) is developed by Apple Inc. and it is specifically designed for Apple products such as the iPhone, iTunes store, iPod, etc. while MP4 (.mp4) is developed by Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG) and it can be played by most media players and devices. It is one of most popular video format streaming on the Internet thanks to its great compression and low-bandwidth requirement.

2. M4V vs MP4 – Video Audio Codec

  • MP4: MPEG-4/H.264 (AAC)/H.265 (HEVC)
  • M4V: H.264 (AAC/AC3)

The MP4 container can hold either MPEG-4, H.264 or HEVC video codec but the M4V container can use exclusively H.264 video codec. MP4 video encoded with HEVC codec is at half bit rate and half size of that encoded with H.264, while keeping the same quality.

3. M4V vs MP4 – Compatibility

Originally, M4V can only be played on a computer through iTunes and its usage is limited to Apple products only, while MP4 is much more universal and it can be recognized and played by almost all media players and devices.

4. M4V vs MP4 – Popularity

M4V becomes more and more popular with the wave of Apple products like iPhone, iPad, Mac computer, etc. Since this type of file extension is often copy-protected, many Apple fans favor to stay in M4V format. While MP4 is widely used for uploading, sharing and streaming on the Internet. It is more user-friendly to copy, save, transfer and playback on mobile devices.


1. MP4 vs M4V. There's no saying which video format is better. Since MP4 is more compatible and user-friendly, it is advisable to rip DVD movie to MP4 or convert video to MP4 format. But if you are an Apple addict, you can choose M4V as your video format. Choosing which video format is depending on you and your specific needs.

2. Through side-by-side m4v mp4 comparison, now we know that there is no essential difference between MP4 and M4V. If the DRM protection of the M4V video file is removed, the MP4 and M4V video is the same. If you'd like to convert DRM-free M4V video to MP4 file for wide playback on other players and mobile devices, then you may need the help of a professional video converter – Winxvideo AI, which can help you easily convert M4V to MP4 or convert MP4 to M4V. This versatile video converter can flawlessly convert almost any video from one format to another at lightning speed.

Part 3. How to Convert (DRM) M4V to MP4 with Original Quality on Windows (10) PC

if the iTunes M4V movies/videos are DRM protected, then normal video converters in market even the most powerful Winxvideo AI cannot convert DRM M4V to MP4. However, there is an easy way out.

WinX MediaTrans, a professional DRM removal tool, can easily release DRM from iTunes M4V movies and convert iTunes DRM M4V to MP4 format, so as to play iTunes movies on non-Apple devices with no limit. You can also use WinX MediaTrans as a best iTunes alternative for Windows (10) to help you transfer music, videos, photos, eBooks, ringtones and more between PC and iPhone iPad iPod at No.1 fast speed, without data loss. This software can auto convert almost any video to MP4 for iPhone iPad with its built-in video convert function.

Free download and install WinX MediaTrans on Windows and follow the 3 simple steps below to easily convert (DRM) M4V to MP4.

Step 1: Launch the M4V MP4 converter.

Open WinX MediaTrans and connect your iPhone/iPad with Windows (10) PC.

Step 2: Select the DRM M4V movies/videos.

Click "Video Manager" button on the main UI. Then choose the DRM M4V videos and click "Export".

Convert DRM M4V to MP4

Step 3: Start converting M4V to DRM-free MP4.

In the pop-up window, click "Decode" to instantly convert iTunes M4V files to plain MP4 stored to computer with original quality.

Still have trouble about converting videos to/from MP4/M4V? Please feel free to Email Us >>

Part 4. People Also Ask - MP4 vs M4V

Which is better, MP4 or M4V?

MP4 has broader support and is widely used for sharing, uploading, and streaming. M4V is preferred by Apple devices and Apple software. In terms of video format compatibility, MP4 format is better.

Can I just change M4V to MP4?

Handbrake outputs MP4 video files with file file extension .m4v when you pass-through AC3 audio. There's no difference between .mp4 and .m4v. .mp4 and .m4v video files are the same. If the M4V video is not encrypted, you can just change or rename the file extension to MP4. If the source video encrypted, you have to decrypt the video first.

Are MP4 files smaller than M4V?

MP4 and M4V are video container format and don't affect video file size. There won't be much difference in MP4 and M4V video file size. The size depends on what contains inside, such as video and audio codec, bit rate, frame rate, resolution, etc.

Part 5. MP4 vs M4V Related External Source from Wiki

M4V: The M4V file format is a video container format developed by Apple and is very similar to the MP4 format. But M4V files may optionally be protected by DRM copy protection.

MP4 (MPEG-4 Part 14): The only official filename extension for MPEG-4 Part 14 files is .mp4, but many have other extensions, most commonly .m4a and .m4p. M4A (audio only) is often compressed using AAC encoding (lossy), but can also be in Apple Lossless format.

Attention: We do suggest you respect the copyright content online and abide by the copyright laws in your country. Disabling DRM of purchased movies, music is a big no-no. We do not advocate any piracy or dissemination.


author - Donna Peng

Donna Peng twitter icon

Donna Peng's fascination with multimedia began at an early age - shortly after she licked the physical disc and then she's been obsessed ever since. Her decade-long career at Digiarty after the graduation has seen her unmatched expertise in the field of DVD, digital video, software and anything related to home theatre. She is currently fascinated with photography.

Home > Video > Convert MP4 > M4V vs MP4