What is MOV
MOV is an Apple’s offspring developed for QuickTime Movie player. It uses a lossy compression standard in order to reduce the file size at the cost of the quality lost. At the same time, the quality still remains good enough, especially in comparison with other formats.
- MOV files are easily editable.
- MOV can contain different multimedia content, i.e. video, audio, and subtitles.
- Designed for iOS and macOS, it’s not compatible with Windows natively.
- The compression influences the quality.
What is MP4
MP4 (the full name — MPEG-4 Part 14) is a half-brother of MOV: it is created according to the same standards and principles, but it is supported by a larger scale of operating systems.
MP4 is one of the most popular formats: when you record a video on your smartphone, usually it is the default extension for your shootings, this video type is used on streaming platforms and throughover the Internet.
There are some specific pros and cons:
- Supported by most platforms and devices.
- High compressions, decent quality.
- MP4 files are not as easy to edit as MOV.
- The image quality may not be the best.
Difference between MP4 and MOV
As we have already pointed out, those two multimedia containers have a lot in common. Let’s focus on their differences now and try to understand if MOV is better than MP4 or vice versa.
- Standard format. Both formats follow ISO and MPEG-4 compression method, they just have different extensions: .mov and .mp4.
- Compatibility. While MOV was designed for iOS and Mac, MP4 is compatible with all the devices.
- Quality to size ratio. MOV provides better quality at the cost of size. MP4 acts the other way: the files themselves are more compact, but their quality is lower. So, is MP4 smaller than MOV? Yes, but not drastically.
Which format to choose
It depends on your aims and an area of application. Both formats are multimedia containers, so both file types can provide high quality video with several audiotracks and subtitles. But, as we have already said, MOV is created for Apple devices while MP4 is more widely accepted. On the other hand, MOV assures a slightly higher image quality.
Decide what format is better for you and convert MOV to MP4 or vice versa if it’s needed.