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WMV vs MP4: What's the Difference?
WMV vs MP4: What's the Difference?

WMV vs MP4: What's the Difference?

by Stephanie Farley
6 Jun 2023
1,281 views

Are you confused about the difference between WMV and MP4 when it comes to video files? Don't worry - you're not alone!

In this article, we'll learn all about WMV vs MP4 battle and explain the differences between the two video formats. This way you can make an informed decision about which format is best for you. So let's dive in.

WMV vs MP4 - What is a WMV file?

WMV (Windows Media Video) is a popular video format developed by Microsoft and used mainly for internet streaming. It is primarily associated with streaming on Windows and Xbox, but can also be streamed on other platforms. The main advantage of WMV files are their small file size, which makes them ideal for streaming video over the Internet.

The WMV file format was first released in 1999 and has gone through various iterations since then. Its development began with the Windows Media Player 7, which was released in 2000 and featured native support for WMV files. Since then, the format has been updated to take advantage of the ever-increasing bandwidth available online and to offer more efficient codecs for encoding video streams. Furthermore, since Windows Media Player 9 Series, it also supports digital resolution up to 4K UHD.

Benefits of WMV format

WMV has many advantages compared to other media formats, including:

  • Smaller file size. WMV files are typically much smaller videos than videos of other formats, making them great for streaming media online;
  • Universal compatibility. WMV videos can be streamed directly from Windows and Xbox platforms, as well as most other media players;
  • High quality video. WMV supports digital resolutions up to 4K, giving viewers access to high quality videos;
  • Digital rights management. This format contains built-in features to secure and protect copyrighted content;
  • Wide range of codecs. The format offers various codecs for encoding and decoding audio and video streams.

MP4 vs WMV - What is an MP4 file?

MP4, also known as MPEG-4, is a multimedia format widely used to store audio along with video. It was developed by the Moving Pictures Experts Group (MPEG), a working group of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) tasked with the development of audiovisual and multimedia systems.

This video format is the most popular for storing digital audio and video content, as it compresses data better than other formats, while retaining high quality. Many file types can be stored in MP4 files, including audio tracks, subtitles, images, and full length movies. Additionally, these files can be opened on any device, allowing users to stream them over the internet or play them offline.

Because of its growing popularity, many hardware and software manufacturers have adopted MP4 as their preferred multimedia format. Therefore, video camera manufacturers now save their media in MP4, and media players offer support for these files out of the box.

Benefits of MP4 format

The advantages of the MP4 file format include:

  • High quality data, with better compression than alternative formats;
  • MP4 can store a variety of streams, such as audio tracks, subtitles, images, and movies.
  • MP4 is usually the go-to multimedia format for most devices and software packages;
  • The file sizes are small while maintaining a high quality of data.

WMV vs MP4 - Main Difference

When it comes to digital video formats, WMV and MP4 are very commonly used. Though both deliver quality visuals, there are a few key distinctions that can help you decide which one is best for your needs.

The main difference between these two is their encoding - while WMV is a Windows Media Video format, MP4 is an MPEG-4 format. This means WMV files are compressed more efficiently, making them smaller in size than MP4 files for videos of equal quality.

WMV files also offer superior playback quality compared to MP4, especially on low bandwidth connections.

However, as for compatibility with various devices and platforms, MP4 wins hands-down. That is because of its native support in the majority of operating systems and multimedia devices. The robustness and universality that MP4 offers make it the go-to choice for most people.

Which is better: MP4 vs WMV?

WMV (Windows Media Video) is more compact and lightweight, making it the ideal choice for streaming online. It’s also less taxing on hardware than MP4, giving it an edge in terms of compatibility. On the downside, WMV doesn’t have support for subtitles or advanced features like chapter markers or menus. However, that might not be important depending on your purposes.

MP4 is a much more versatile format and can accommodate more features such as surround sound audio tracks, subtitles and chapter markers. While this makes it great for mastering complex media projects, its larger file size can make streaming over the web a challenge.

Ultimately, what matters most is what specifically you need out of your video files. Fortunately, there’s no rule against using one or both formats. Just weigh the pros and cons to choose the one that fits best with your goals!

Should I convert WMV to MP4?

We all know that digital videos are incredibly popular online. What many people don’t realize is that different video file types often come with distinct advantages and disadvantages.

One of the most commonly possessed file formats is WMV (Windows Media Video), however this format doesn’t always have the best compatibility. If you need to view or put your video on an Apple device such as an iPhone or iPad, you may need to convert WMV into the more widely-used MP4 format.

MP4 files are generally smaller in size while still offering a great combination of quality and convenience. This makes them well-suited for storage and sharing online.

How to convert WMV to MP4?

By learning how to turn your WMV to MP4, you can create high-quality videos that can be easily viewed on any type of device. Plus, making the conversion yourself is actually really easy!

With Video Candy’s free online platform, the task is made simple and straightforward. Not only can it save you time by avoiding installing a desktop software, but also give you access to your converted video from any browser. Here’s how:

  1. Open the WMV to MP4 converter in your browser.
  2. Select the video file from your computer or drag and drop it directly into the service window.
  3. The conversion will start automatically.
  4. On successful completion, all that’s left is for you to download your new MP4 file on your PC or device of choice!

That's it - no software downloads or complicated steps required.

How to convert WMV to MP4

WMV vs MP4 - Conclusion

In conclusion, the topic of this article are two very popular video formats. The main WMV versus MP4 difference is the way they manage audio and video information. With WMV files being more efficient than their MP4 counterparts in this regard. Deciding which format is best for you will depend on a number of factors, such as your device's OS and the purpose for which you are using the video.

While both formats provide high-quality visuals, one may be a better choice if multimedia efficiency is important whereas the other is compatible with almost all devices and applications. It's always important to pay attention to file size when choosing an appropriate video format. So make sure it fits well within your storage capacity.

What else can you with your media

  • Compress your videos to make them easier to store and share.
  • Create funny and creative GIFs from your media files.
  • Find out how MP4 differs from MOV format.
  • Check the comparison of MP4 and MKV media formats.

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