Various kind of video file formats and it’s utility?

Video file formats

When you want to edit and uploading a video, one question you will surely encounter that which best video format should you choose to export? Because there are a huge amount of video formats available. Obviously, it's a daunting task of choosing the right one for your project. But not to worry about that; today we’ve put together the best video file formats to help you can figure out easily.

Before checking out the list, let's take a basic concept about video file format to understand file formats better.

So, what is video file format?

A video file format is a type of file format for storing digital video data on a computer system. A video is almost always stored in compressed form to reduce the file size. A video file normally consists of a container that containing video data in a video coding format alongside audio data in an audio coding format. The container can also contain synchronization information, subtitles, and metadata such as title. The coded video and audio inside a video file container are called the essence. A program which can decode video or audio is called a codec; playing or encoding a video file will sometimes require the user to install a codec library corresponding to the type of video and audio coding used in the file.

A good design can dictate a file extension that enables the user to derive which program will open the file from the file extension. Some video file formats, such as WebM (.webm), Windows Media Video (.wmv), and Ogg Video (.ogv) can only contain a few well-defined subtypes of video and audio coding formats, making it relatively easy to know which codec will play the file. And some most common container types like AVI (.avi) and QuickTime (.mov) can contain video and audio in almost any format and be making it very hard for the end user to use the file extension to derive which codec or program to use to play the files.

The types of video file format

Flash Video Format (.flv)

Flash video is playable within Flash movies files, which are supported by practically every browser on every platform. Flash video is compact, using compression from On2, and supports both progressive and streaming downloads.

AVI Format (.avi)

The AVI format, which stands for audio video interleave, was developed by Microsoft. It stores data that can be encoded in a number of different codec’s and can contain both audio and video data. The AVI format usually uses less compression than some similar formats and is a very popular format amongst internet users. AVI files most commonly contain M-JPEG, or DivX codec, but can also contain almost any format. The AVI format is supported by almost all computers using Windows and can be played on various players.

Matroska (.mkv)

First introduced in 2002, the Matroska format is both free and open standard, which has helped it to stay relevant over the years. MKVs can contain virtually all kinds of video and audio codecs, plus multiple subtitle tracks and DVD menus and chapters, making it the most flexible format currently available. And while Matroska popularity has been on the rise, it isn’t universally supported yet.

Advanced Video Coding, High Definition (AVCHD)

AVCHD is a very popular container for data compressed with h.264 - it comes to us through a collaboration between Sony and Panasonic as a format for digital camcorders. It's a file-based format, meaning that it's meant to be stored and played back on disks or other storage devices such as compact flash drives or SD cards. It supports both standard definition and a variety of high definition variants from 720 to 1080p in a variety of frame rates including 60 frames per second, 24p native as well as 3D modes. It's an extraordinarily robust container format that includes not just things like subtitles, but menu navigation and slideshows with audio.

Motion Picture Experts Group (.MPEG)

MPEG was developed by the Motion Picture Experts Group. This international group was established in 1988 to develop standards for digital audio and video formats. However, they’re just one of many groups looking to standardize and develop new technologies for digital video.

MPEG-1 (.mpg, .mp2, .mpeg, .mpe, .mpv)

MPEG-1 is a standard for lossy compression of video and audio. It is designed to compress VHS-quality raw digital video and CD audio down to 1.5 Mbit/s (26:1 and 6:1 compression ratios respectively) without excessive quality loss, making video CDs, digital cable/satellite TV and digital audio broadcasting (DAB) possible. It was established in 1988 by the initiative of Hiroshi Yasuda (Nippon Telegraph and Telephone) and Leonardo Chiariglione. Today, MPEG-1 has become the most widely compatible lossy audio/video format in the world and is used in a large number of products and technologies. Perhaps the best-known part of the MPEG-1 standard is the MP3 audio format it introduced.

MPEG-2 (.mpg, .mpeg, .m2v)

MPEG-2 is the format used to encode video for commercial DVDs. It’s not necessarily more effective than MPEG-1 at compressing video for Internet usage, nor was it really designed to be. MPEG-2 was designed specifically to compress video at very high-quality settings using storage media with a great deal of space available, such as optical disks. Just as MPEG-1 introduced the MP3 audio format, MPEG-2 also makes available audio enhancements. These include multi-channel audio (such as Dolby Digital) and AAC (Advanced Audio Coding).

MP4 (.mp4, .m4p, .m4v)

MP4 is an abbreviated term for MPEG-4 Part 14, a standard developed by the Motion Pictures Expert Group who was responsible for setting industry standards regarding digital audio and video, and is commonly used for sharing video files on the Web. First introduced in 1998, the MPEG-4 video format uses separate compression for audio and video tracks; the video is compressed with MPEG-4 or H.264 video encoding, and audio is compressed using AAC compression. The MP4 file format is also another great file sharing format for the Web, MP4 file sizes are relatively small but the quality remains high even after compression. The MP4 standard is also becoming more popular than FLV for online video sharing, as it compatible with both online and mobile browsers and also supported by the new HTML5.

WEBM (.webm)

A WebM file is a compressed video saved in the WebM format, an open, high-quality video standard. It stores video compressed using VP8 technology and audio compressed using Ogg Vorbis compression. WebM files are commonly used for delivering online videos using the HTML5 tag. It released in 2010. The WebM container format is based on the Matroska container, which stores Matroska video in .MKV files. Most major Web browsers will support WebM as part of HTML5 video delivery. WebM is an alternative to the patented h.264 and MPEG4 standards and is suitable for commercial and non-commercial applications.

OGG (.ogg)

OGG files are an open-source alternative to MPG files and are used for high-quality videos to be streamed via the internet. Though OGG files are used for streaming, they are higher in quality than WEBM files - meaning they will take longer to be delivered to the end-user. Due to OGG files being open sourced, they can be used in a variety of applications, including GPS receivers and media players for both desktop and portable.

VOB (.vob)

VOB (Video Object) is the container format in DVD-Video media. VOB can contain digital video, digital audio, subtitles, DVD menus and navigation contents multiplexed together into a stream form. Files in VOB format may be encrypted. The VOB format is based on the MPEG program stream format, but with additional limitations and specifications in the private streams. The MPEG program stream has provisions for non-standard data in the form of so-called private streams. VOB files are a very strict subset of the MPEG program stream standard.

WMV (.wmv)

Developed by Microsoft, WMV was originally designed for web streaming applications, as a competitor to Real Video, but it can now cater to more specialized content. WMV files are the tiniest video files over the Web, as their file size decreases significantly after compression, which results in poor video quality. However, one advantage of this small file size is that it is probably the only video file format that allows users to upload and share their videos through the e-mail system. Being a Microsoft software, the Windows Media Player is the main application that is used to play WMV files on all Microsoft’s Windows operating systems, but there are also WMV players available for free for the Macintosh operating system.

MOV (.mov)

A MOV file is a common multimedia container file format developed by Apple and compatible with both Macintosh and Windows platforms. It is a Quicktime Movie file. It may contain multiple tracks that store different types of media data and is often used for saving movies and other video files. MOV files commonly use the MPEG-4 codec for compression. MOV files may contain video, audio, timecode, and text tracks, which can be used to store and synchronize different types of media. Each media track may be encoded using one of several different codecs. In order to play a MOV file, an application must be able to recognize the specific codec(s) used in the file. You can convert MOV files to more standard media file formats with various media applications.

DAT (.dat)

A DAT file is a generic data file created by a specific application. It may contain data in binary or text format (text-based DAT files can be viewed in a text editor). DAT files are typically accessed only by the application that created them. Many programs create, open, or reference DAT files. Additionally, many DAT files are only used for application support and are not meant to be opened manually by the user.

3GP (.3gp)

The 3gp format is both an audio and video format that was designed as a multimedia format for transmitting audio and video files between 3G cell phones and the internet. This video container format developed by the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP). It is most commonly used to capture video from your cell phone and place it online.

3GP2 (.3g2)

Multimedia video and audio file created in the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) format; developed for transmitting multimedia files over the Internet, especially on mobile devices; more commonly seen with the .3GP extension.

Advanced Streaming Format (.asf)

ASF is a subset of the WMV format and was developed by Microsoft. It is intended for streaming and is used to support playback from digital media and HTTP servers, and to support storage devices such as hard disks. It can be compressed using a variety of video codecs. The most common files types that are contained within an ASF file are Windows Media Audio, and Windows Media video.

AMV (.amv, .mtv)

AMV is a proprietary video file format, produced for MP4 players, as well as S1 MP3 players with video playback. There are now two different MTV formats: the older one for the Actions chip, and a newer one for Ali's M5661 chip. This format for Ali one was ALIAVI.

MXF(.mxf )

Material eXchange Format (MXF) is a container format for professional digital video and audio media defined by a set of SMPTE standards. A typical example of its use is for delivering advertisements to TV stations.



Lastly, new containers and codecs will continue to be produced that will allow for larger amounts of data to be delivered more quickly and with additional data streams. There will never be a final format for the video you delivering, there will always be some options that are superior to others. Good organizational skills and regular migrating to new formats will make your video advanced as technology changes.

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