You may have an eye for editing awe-inspiring videos. However, all your effort will come to waste if people do not have a great viewing experience when they come across your work. It’s not enough to learn how to convert AVI to MP4. You should also know how to select the ideal and compatible video format for the platform you’re going to upload your material to.
When you choose the right video format, you can get the highest quality and ensure that the size of the medial file won’t be compressed. There are plenty of video format types out there, and you’re likely overwhelmed with the options.
This article guides you in selecting the suitable video format for storing, uploading, or streaming your videos.
What Are the Advantages of Having Different Video Formats?
Technology has transformed how we create videos over the years. These days, producing high-quality films has become easier. Anyone can edit the clips and render them in a widely supported format. With a lot of people accessing the Internet, the demand and expectation for stunning videos have become high.
So, you may wonder why a single video format has not emerged as the standard in the industry.
Well, despite the existence of numerous video formats, the most popular types have slightly varying traits and applications. Certain video formats are more useful than others in particular situations.
For instance, some are more popular because of their technical features, compatibility, or even wide distribution. Meanwhile, others are in demand because they are not difficult to use. Some of the most popular video formats are:
Short for Matroska video, MKV is a free and open container for audio and several subtitle tracks. Since it’s in an open-source format, it doesn’t have a patent and anyone can use and access it for free. In 2014, Windows announced its plans provide technical support for this video format. As a result, MKV got even more popular.
One of the great things about MKV is that it allows a single file to contain several videos, images, and audio. Moreover, as an open-source project, this format supports various codecs.
It can be difficult to stream MKV files, which is why a lot of people are converting them to MP4 format. Many consider it to be more complicated than MP4 or AVI files.
There are several reasons why AVI has been around for a long time. It was designed with versatility in mind, allowing compatibility with Windows, macOS, Linux, and various web browsers. Users can even store audio and video data easily for playback purposes, which is why many don’t bother learning how to convert AVI to MP4.
Even though AVI is one of the oldest video file formats, it continues to be widely supported. One of the reasons behind this is that right from the start, it was the default format for most of the world’s popular camera brands.
Since it is supported by various computer operating systems, people also widely use it. AVI codecs may compress the file size, but the process minimally sacrifices the video quality. For this reason, other people stay away from converting AVI to MP4.
If uncompressed, AVI files can be very large in size. What’s more, in order to retrieve and play the file, you’ll need the same codec you used to compress it. Now, if you’re planning to upload videos on YouTube, AVI is not the ideal video format because the platform recommends using MP4 files instead. In this case, you may need to learn how to convert AVI to MP4.
Developed by the Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG), MP4 is a video file format that stores digitally-encoded video and audio files. MP4 was primarily developed as a file container for storing low-data audio and video files for streaming across the Internet. So, you may notice that most digital platforms and devices support MP4. Indeed, it has earned the reputation for being a universal file format. It’s not surprising why people want to learn how to convert AVI to MP4.
Whether you’re using VLC, iTunes, Windows Media Player, or even GOM Player, you can expect support for MP4 files. Besides, being the recommended video format by YouTube makes it a popular option. What’s more, you can easily integrate various closed caption formats for convenient subtitling.
If you’re planning to stream videos over the Internet, then MP4 is the ideal format. As we’ve mentioned, the compression does little to affect the quality of the video. In many ways, it can even match DVD-like quality. It’s also worth noting that MP4 supports 3D designs, making it suitable for developing presentations. So, this may be the best scenario for converting AVI to MP4.
One of the disadvantages of the MP4 file format has to do with how you can edit this type of file. Many users have said that imported MP4 files usually cause their video editing software to crash. So, while it is the most widely used video format, it may not be ideal for editing.
Now, you might ask, “Should I convert AVI to MP4?” Well, for a long time, both have been the most widely used video file format. In terms of quality, MP4 is slightly better than AVI. The latter is an older file container, while the former comes with several modern features.
Also referred to as QuickTime File Format (QTFF), MOV also stores video and audio files. Like MP4 files, an MPEG-4 codec compresses or encodes an MOV video. This file format can store video, audio, graphics, animation, 3D designs, subtitles, and text. Some of the programs that support MOV include QuickTime, VLC player, iTunes, Windows Media Player, and even Elmedia Player.
One of the main advantages of MOV is its simple design. Its attractive and intuitive features make it easy for new users to edit their videos on a professional level. What’s more, it’s compatible with other codecs, making it the ideal format for sharing files across the web.
The main disadvantage of MOV files is that their quality is so high that they take up so much space. Compared to other video formats like AVI, MOV files are larger in size. Naturally, it is not the preferred option when it’s pitted against other types of files like MP4.
WEBM is the Google-recommended format for uploading videos online. It was designed as a royalty-free video format for HTML5. What’s more, it allows users to integrate their videos directly into their site’s plugins. Popular web browsers like Edge, Chrome, Firefox, and Explorer support it. When you load sites with WEBM videos, there would be little to no lags.
Since WEBM is an open-source file format, it is free to use. Since it’s compatible with HTML5 and most web browsers, it is popularly used on platforms like Wikimedia and YouTube. While WEBM is ideal for online streaming, it is editable via tools like Corel VideoStudio.
Unfortunately, WEBM’s popularity is quickly declining and it’s failing to keep up with the performance improvements of various platforms. What’s more, a lot of portable devices do not support this video format.
FLV, short for Flash Video, is among the most popular video formats on the Internet. It was developed as a proprietary file by Macromedia, but it is now under Adobe. You’ll commonly find FLV files around the web, especially on Google Video and YouTube.
What’s great about the FLV file format is that it allows interactive content and animation on websites. During the height of its popularity, Flash was even used as the format for basic online games.
In recent years, FLV has become less popular. As such, many platforms have ceased support for it. Moreover, it can be time-consuming and expensive to create FLV content.
AVCHD is a video file format that was first introduced by Blu-Ray. It is commonly used for recording and editing high-quality videos. After all, it can support 1080p clips with 50 to 60 fps rates. Professionals in the film industry prefer this format for processing videos. So, it’s not a typical option for common consumers.
High-end products manufactured by Sony, Canon, and Hitachi support AVCHD. What’s more, this file format can handle 3D videos.
While AVCHD is the preferred option for those looking for high technical features, it does not offer the same support as MP4. You’ll also be surprised to know that it cannot handle 4K videos. Aside from those, when you try to transfer your files from your camera to your computer, the process can be slow. Despite that, it remains the ideal format for professional video editing software.
These days, it’s not uncommon for people to share videos online. As such, many users look for ways to upload files without taking up a lot of disk space and bandwidth. This is also the reason why video streaming has become popular. During the process, a user’s computer downloads only a part of the file. It begins to play the file while the process continues. So, they won’t have to wait before the download is complete for them to start their viewing experience.
One of the most popular file formats for online video streaming is WMV, short for Windows Media Video. It is also the ideal video format for anyone using Microsoft products. So, if you need to embed videos on PowerPoint, WMV has the codec for it.
Because WMV drastically shrinks the size of video files, it can be conveniently shared through emails. Also, the world’s most popular OS, Windows, frequently store video files in this format. Several programs even prefer it for short animations.
However, the main drawback with WMV is the file compression significantly affects the quality of the video. Moreover, since the format was designed for Windows, other operating systems rarely support it.
Which Video Format Should You Choose?
When selecting the format for your videos, you need to consider how you’ll use them. So, before you convert AVI to MP4, here are some factors to remember:
For Publishing Content Online
- If your internet speed does not support the highest bit rate, it’s not the ideal option.
- MP4 files are perfect for platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. So, social media is the ideal reason for converting AVI to MP4. Now. if you’re uploading on YouTube, you can go for heavier formats like AVI, MOV, or WMV.
For Storage and Recording
- A lossless video format that does not require compression and yet retains data is the ideal option for this.
- If you’re a professional who works on HD videos, opt for AVCHD and MKV to get the best quality for your output.
For Post Production
- Remember that video and audio streams will be compressed into a file container. The codec within that container will transcribe the streams for playback on media players.
- For editing, the best options for video formats would be MP4, MOV, MKV, and WMV. In this case, it’s best to convert AVI to MP4.
Taking the one-size-fits-all approach is not ideal when you’re selecting the ideal video file format. You need to consider your software, technical specifications, and distribution channels. Besides, you need to think about the browser or device where your videos will be viewed. So, perform your due diligence about the various video formats available. This way, you can make an informed decision.