The trend of video marketing has inspired marketers to create videos for their brands. However, they often neglect a crucial factor in delivering content to potential customers: choosing the appropriate video file format.
But with the presence of various video file formats, it is observed that many professionals cannot decide which video type is most suitable for them and how to do the video editing.
And if you are also wondering the same, then you need not fret! Today, we will try to see the 8 general video file formats, describing their pros and cons and when and where they can be of greatest use.
8 Types of Video File Formats
Did you know that Microsoft created the AVI format in 1992, which has been a trusted production standard for a while now? With its ability to handle high-quality and large file sizes, AVI (Audio Video Interleave) has been compatible with various media players that came before and after its introduction.
While AVI may not be ideal for streaming due to its heavy video compression, it’s perfect for watching videos on platforms like YouTube and TV.
- One of the primary advantages of the AVI format is its versatility. AVI files can contain audio and video data and can be compressed using a variety of audio and video codecs, including MPEG-4, Xvid, and DivX. This makes these files compatible with various media players and editing software.
- Its ability to support many audio and subtitle tracks. This allows users to create videos with different language options and audio commentary. Additionally, AVIs can be edited without losing quality, making them an ideal format for post-production work.
- One limitation is its file size. Because AVI files can contain uncompressed video data, they can be very large, making them difficult to share over the internet or store on devices with limited storage capacity.
- It lacks support for newer video technologies, such as high-definition video and 3D video. However, many modern media players and editing software have added support for these technologies through other file formats, such as MP4 and MKV.
Device type – Smart TV, laptops, phones.
Platform type – Every web browser on Windows, Mac and Linux machines. Video hosting platforms like Youtube.
The MP4 small is for the smaller appealing title of MPEG-4, an especially popular video file type motivated by the QuickTime File Format. It was first introduced in 2001 as an evolution of the MPEG-4 standard and gained popularity due to its versatility and ability to compress large files while maintaining good quality.
In fact, the MP4 format was grabbed by the iTunes plan, which was possibly the Apple company’s greatest in terms of worldwide fame. Moreover, compared to others, it offers a lower definition that can be posted on Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram.
- One of the main advantages of the MP4 video format is its compatibility with a wide range of devices, operating systems, and media players. This means that users can easily share and play MP4 files on different platforms without needing to convert them to other formats.
- MP4 files can be played on smartphones, tablets, computers, gaming consoles, and even on some TVs. Thus, MP4s are a universal file.
- Along with audio and video data, MP4 files can contain subtitles and still images. Still, images can be used for creating thumbnail previews of the video or displaying album art.
- MP4 files can be quite large, especially for high-quality videos. This can be a problem for users with limited storage space or slow internet connections.
- MP4 is a lossy compression format, meaning that some image and sound quality is lost during the compression process. While the loss may be imperceptible to most users, it can be noticeable to those with a trained eye or ear.
- Some MP4 files may be encrypted with Digital Rights Management (DRM) technology, which can restrict their use and distribution. This can be problematic for users who want to use or share the files in ways that are not permitted by the DRM restrictions.
Device type – Xbox 360, TVs, DVD players, smartphones, tablets, and computers.
Platform type – Almost every web browser onWindows, iOS, and Linux
Move on from slow-loading videos on your website, and look no further than WEBM! This format for web is backed by industry powerhouse Google. WEBM is ideal for embedding videos onto your personal or business website.
- Not only does WEBM provide seamless integration with HTML descriptions, but it also boasts relatively small file sizes. This means your videos will load faster and stream smoother, upgrading how websites have been designed for years.
- One of the main benefits of the WebM format is its high compression level. This means videos can be streamed more easily, even over slower internet connections, without sacrificing quality. This makes it an ideal format for web-based video content, such as online tutorials, marketing videos, and other media types.
- Also, WebM supports various resolutions and frame rates. It can handle video up to 4K resolution, making it a good choice for high-quality video content. It also supports various audio codecs, including Opus, which provides high-quality audio at low bitrates.
- While most modern web browsers support WebM, some older browsers may not support the format, which can lead to compatibility issues.
- WebM files can be larger than other popular video formats such as MP4 or AVI. This can concern users with limited storage space or bandwidth limitations.
- Encoding WebM video files can be more complex than other video formats, which may require specialized software and expertise.
Device type – Smartphones, tablets, and smart TVs.
Platform type – Modern web browsers (Chrome, Firefox, and Safari). Also, some popular video hosting services (YouTube and Vimeo)
AVCHD – sounds like a secret code of a top-secret mission. Well, it’s actually short for Advanced Video Coding High Definition, a video format developed by tech giants Sony and Panasonic.
- Not only does AVCHD offer top-notch video quality, but it also allows for easy compression without sacrificing any beautiful image definition. This makes it easy to share videos online, and it also makes it easier to store and manage large files.
- The format is compatible with many popular editing video software applications, including Adobe Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro, and Sony Vegas Pro.
- AVCHD supports a maximum resolution of 1920 x 1080, which is known as Full HD. The format is designed for high-definition camcorders and other digital video cameras.
- AVCHD also supports a range of video frame rates, including 24, 25, 50, and 60 frames per second. This makes it ideal for capturing fast-paced action sequences and creating slow-motion effects.
- One of the drawbacks of the AVCHD format is that it requires a significant amount of processing power to decode the video, which can cause playback issues on older or less powerful machines.
- AVCHD files have a complex file structure, making them difficult to work with. The file structure includes multiple files and folders, which can be confusing if you’re unfamiliar.
- AVCHD files require a lot of processing power to edit and playback. This can be a problem if you have an older computer or if you’re working with a large number of files.
Device type – DVD media, hard disk drives, memory cards, and camcorders
Platform type – Windows and Linux
FLV stands for Flash Video Format. The FLV (Flash Video) file format is popular for online streaming and distribution. Developed by Adobe Systems, FLV is optimized for delivery over the Internet. It is also compatible with a wide range of video players and platforms.
- FLV files can be encoded in various codecs, including H.264, VP6, and Sorenson Spark. But, while using this format, you must understand that iOS devices do not support it but are commonly used to stream videos on the YouTube platform.
- They offer several advantages for online video streaming, including fast loading times, smooth playback, and efficient compression.
- Since Adobe discontinued Flash Player in 2020, many browsers and devices no longer support FLV files. This can make it challenging to play or share FLV videos.
- FLV files can be used to deliver malware or viruses, compromising your device’s security. This is because FLV files can contain code to execute on your device.
- FLV files may not be compatible with some video players or editing software, which can limit their usefulness.
- FLV is a relatively simple file format that doesn’t support advanced features such as 3D video or interactive elements.
Device type – PC
Platform type – Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, Unix-based and video content on YouTube, Vimeo, and other video-sharing sites.
The MOV and QuickTime video container format appeared by Apple, particularly with the intention of using it by those looking to edit videos. The movies created can be divided into many tracks that accept the storehouse of different varieties of detail.
- If you plan to share this video format on Facebook, YouTube, and TV viewing, you can proceed.
- One of the advantages of MOV over other video formats is its ability to support alpha channels, which are used for transparency effects in the video. This makes it an ideal format for animations and visual effects work, where transparency is often required.
- It can also be converted to other formats using various software tools.
- In recent years, the popularity of the MOV format has declined with the rise of other formats, such as MP4. As they offer better compatibility across different devices and platforms.
- Some video-sharing platforms may not support MOV files, limiting your ability to share your video content with others.
- Due to their larger file sizes, MOV files may not be the best option for streaming videos over the internet, as they may take longer to load or buffer.
Device type – iphones, iPads, and Macbook.
Platform type – Mac OS and iOS, Windows(newer versions without third-party plugins), and Linux.
WMV (Windows Media Video) is a video format that Microsoft developed. It is designed to be used with their Windows Media Player software. But it can also be played on other media players such as VLC, RealPlayer, and QuickTime.
To create a WMV file, you can use various video editing software, such as Windows Movie Maker, Adobe Premiere Pro, or Final Cut Pro. Once your video has been edited and exported as a WMV file, you can upload it to a website, share it via email or social media, or play it on your computer or device using a media player.
- WMV files use a variety of video codecs, including Windows Media Video 7, 8, 9, and 9 Advanced Profile (also known as VC-1).
- These files can also use a range of audio codecs, including Windows Media Audio, which offers high-quality audio at low bitrates.
- One of the key advantages is their small file size. They are designed to be highly compressed. This makes them ideal for streaming over the internet or using portable devices with limited storage capacity.
- In recent years, WMV has faced competition from other video formats, such as MP4 and AVI. But, WMV remains popular for many users, particularly those using Microsoft Windows operating systems.
- WMV files can be protected with Digital Rights Management (DRM) technology, which restricts how the files can be used or shared.
- WMV files can be vulnerable to security risks, such as malware or viruses, which can be embedded in the file. This can pose a risk to both the user and their device.
Device type – PC
Platform type – Windows Operating System
MKV (Matroska Video) is a popular container format for digital video files. It was first introduced in 2002 and has become popular due to its ability to store several audio, video, and subtitle tracks in a single file.
- One of the major advantages is its flexibility and open-source nature. This makes it a popular choice for storing high-quality visual content, including movies, TV shows, and other forms of digital media.
- Another advantage of the MKV format is its support for advanced features such as chapters, many language tracks, and subtitles. This makes it easy to create a single file with all the necessary components for a complete viewing experience without managing various files.
- Also, MKV files are often smaller than other formats, thanks to their efficient compression methods. This makes sharing and transferring large files easier over the Internet without compromising quality.
- One potential downside to using the MKV format is that it may not be compatible with all media players or devices. But, many popular media players such as VLC, Kodi, and Plex support the format, and most modern devices can play MKV files without issue.
- Some streaming services may not support the MKV format, making it difficult to stream your videos online.
- The MKV format does not support all the metadata options available in other formats, which can be a problem if you need to add detailed information about your videos, such as camera settings or location data.
Device type – Smartphones, tablets, laptops, and smart TV
Platform type – Operating Systems ( Windows, Mac, Android, iOS)
Ready to choose the suitable Video File Format?
Video file formats are an essential aspect of the editing video process in 2023, and choosing the right one can make a significant difference in your workflow. The eight video file formats mentioned in this blog are all popular and widely used in the industry.
By understanding the strengths and weaknesses of each format, you can make informed decisions about which format to use for your specific project requirements. At last, selecting the right video file format can help you save time and optimize your workflow.
Indeed, choosing the right type of video is not a cakewalk, but with hope, the above points will help you make the right choice. Still have any thoughts, feel free to contact us.
Editor: Vaishnavi Jain