10 Major Differences Between MP3 And MP4 Format

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What Is MP3 Format?

MP3 (MPEG-1 Audio Layer-3) is a standard technology and format for compressing a sound sequence into a very small file (about one-twelfth the size of the original file) while preserving the original level of sound quality when it is played.  

Compression is a common technique for all types of files, whether it is audio, video or images to reduce the amount of storage they take up. Although all compression doesn’t come without some drawbacks, while you’re gaining much needed hard drive space, you lose some quality of sound when converting from a lossless file format.

MP3 provides near CD quality audio. It is one of the most common music files. It is not an MPEG 3 but uses the audio compression found in layer III in MPEG 1 or 2 video files, the audio stream layer. The name MPEG is derived from the Moving Picture Experts Group and was created by the Fraunhofer Institute in Germany in 1991. Sound quality varies by such settings as bit rate (fixed or variable), sample rate, joint or normal stereo. MP3 has a proposed replacement in MP3pro with better sound for a given file size.

Although MP3 is typically the most popular file format, there other file formats that can be played on MP3 players. While most MP3 players can support multiple formats, not all players support the same formats. Some of the file formats that can be played on multiple players include:

  • VQF– Vector Quantization Format
  • MIDI-Music Instrument Digital Interface
  • WAV– Waveform Audio
  • WMA-Windows Media Audio

What You Need To Know About MP3 Format

  1. MP3 is an acronym for MPEG-1 Audio Layer 3 format.
  2. The MP3 format was developed by a group of engineers from Philips, IRT, CCETT, Fraunhofer society and MPEG (Moving Pictures Expert Group).
  3. MP3 is an audio coding format used for compressing audio files in order to store or transfer them over the internet.
  4. It was released in 1994.
  5. ISO standards are ISO/IEC 11172-3, ISO/IEC 13818-3.
  6. MP3 players allow you to play songs, listen to radio, record or replay recordings along with some LCD color effects.
  7. MP3 can handle only one type of media which is an audio file.
  8. Uses lossy compression algorithm.
  9. It is an extension of MP2.
  10. Virtually all music players support MP3 files.

What Is MP4 Format?

MP4 is a digital multimedia container format, usually used to store digital audio and digital video alongside subtitles and images and allow their streaming on the internet. MP4 is an abbreviation for MPEG-4 Part 14, also referred to as MPEG-4 AVC where AVC stands for Advanced Video Coding and MPEG refers to Motion Picture Expert Group. The MPEG is responsible for defining the digital audio and video industry standards.

MP4 files are usually seen when you download a video from the internet or use a DVD ripping program to save a DVD to your computer.  MP4 is considered a digital multimedia container format (essentially a file containing a bunch of data that has been compressed) which requires a low amount of bandwidth.

MP4 was developed by the International Organization for Standardization and is based on the ISO/IEC 14496-12:2004 standard, which in turn is based on the QuickTime file format. Its structure is almost identical to the QuickTime file format, but with some added features.

The MP4 file format history is basically defined by its two versions. The MP4 file format version 1 was released in 2001 under the ISO/IEC 14496-1:2001 standard whereas Version 2 appeared in 2003 under the ISO/IEC 14496-14:2003. According to ISO documents of 2003, these versions are identified as MP41 and MP42 respectively. 

MP4 files are supported by default on many mobile devices like Apple’s iPad, iPod touch and iPhone as well as Android devices. This means that you don’t need to install an app just to play MP4 videos you receive over text or email or open in web pages.

What You Need To Know About MP4 Format

  1. MP4 is an acronym for MPEG-4 Part-14
  2. The MP4 format has been developed by the ISO (International Organization for Standardization) technical program.
  3. MP4 is a digital multimedia container format, usually used to store digital audio and digital video alongside subtitles and images and allow their streaming on the internet.
  4. It was released in 2003.
  5. ISO standard is ISO/IEC 14496-14.
  6. MP4 players have a 65000 0r 256000 color display that allow you to replay audio, video, pictures, recordings, web browsing and instant messaging.
  7. MP4 can handle a number of media such as audio, image, video and text.
  8. Uses AAC (Advanced Audio Coding) and AVC (Advanced Video Coding) technology.
  9. It is an extension of Apple’s Quicktime Technology.
  10. It’s only iPods and iphones support MP4 files.

Major Differences Between MP3 And MP4 Format In Tabular Form

BASIS OF COMPARISON MP3 FORMAT MP4 FORMAT
Acronym For MP3 is an acronym for MPEG-1 Audio Layer 3 format.   MP4 is an acronym for MPEG-4 Part-14  
Development The MP3 format was developed by a group of engineers from Philips, IRT, CCETT, Fraunhofer society and MPEG (Moving Pictures Expert Group).   The MP4 format has been developed by the ISO (International Organization for Standardization) technical program.  
Description MP3 is an audio coding format used for compressing audio files in order to store or transfer them over the internet.   MP4 is a digital multimedia container format, usually used to store digital audio and digital video alongside subtitles and images and allow their streaming on the internet.  
Year Of Release It was released in 1994.   It was released in 2003.  
ISO Standard ISO standards are ISO/IEC 11172-3, ISO/IEC 13818-3.   ISO standard is ISO/IEC 14496-14.  
MP3/MP4 Player MP3 players allow you to play songs, listen to radio, record or replay recordings along with some LCD color effects.   MP4 players have a 65000 0r 256000 color display that allow you to replay audio, video, pictures, recordings, web browsing and instant messaging.  
Capability MP3 can handle only one type of media which is an audio file.   MP4 can handle a number of media such as audio, image, video and text.  
Compression Technology Uses lossy compression algorithm.   Uses AAC (Advanced Audio Coding) and AVC (Advanced Video Coding) technology.  
Extension It is an extension of MP2.   It is an extension of Apple’s Quicktime Technology.  
Application Virtually all music players support MP3 files.   It’s only iPods and iphones support MP4 files.  

Main Difference

The main difference Between MP3 and MP4 is that, the MP3 format only handles audio whereas MP4 format handles audio, video, text and images.