MOV is an abbreviation used for ‘QuickTime Movie’ and is a multimedia container file format which has been developed by Apple Inc. The specific file format is created in association with the media player software named as “QuickTime player” launched by the same company. The file format can contain various information include video, audio, it can contain text along with the meta data information and some other types of multimedia content.

MP4 on the other hand stands for ‘MPEG-4 Part-14’. It is also a multimedia container file format commonly known as MPEG-4. The file format is developed by Moving Pictures Expert Group (MPEG) and the sole purpose for the design of this file format was to have one platform to store multimedia content in a smart manner. These types of files are also used to store audio, video, text in the form of captions or subtitles along with images. Since the MP4 files are compatible with a vast number of devices and multimedia players, it makes them extremely popular among the users of android and other systems. However, on the other hand, MOV is specifically designed by Apple Inc. and it compatible mainly with the Apple devices and not any other. If someone wishes to access the data stored in MOV file format, they are required to change the format of the file to MP4 in order to access the information.  

Before we go into the details of the conversion, let us understand each of the formats in a little more depth:

MOV & MP4 File Formats

MOV and MP4 files as we now understand, both contain multimedia information or data in a digital form, especially when it comes to video conversion. The types of content which is contained by these files is as follows:

    1. Video: Both the file formats contain video streams which are encoded in various codecs including H.264, MPEG-4, HEVC (H.265) along with a few others. The range of these video types can be normal also known as standard definition to high definition having a clear / more visible pictures. The video quality can be in the 4k resolution as well which is considered to be the highest quality of video available nowadays.
    2. Audio: the MOV and Mp4 files contain audio data as well which is encoded in the codecs like AAC, MP3, PCM and a few others. The audio streams are available in various sound formats including mono, stereo or surround.
    3. Subtitles or Captions: The data in these file format can include the text-based subtitles or closed captions. This allows people from different linguistics background to be able to catered and facilitated.
  • Metadata: Important information of the file including the creation date, the name of the author, the copyright details are all added as the metadata information in the MOV and MP4 file formats.
  • Chapter Markers: These files also include chapter markers to facilitate the user to be able to navigate through the video stream
  • Still Images: Both of these file formats can include images apart from the video files as well. The images are stored in the form of a video in combination with text or captions.
  • Text tracks: Sometimes the audio in these file formats accompanied by images also contain text tracks which can also be called as lyrics or annotations.
  • Timecode Information: Some professional videographers or video editors use the timecode information to synchronize the audio and video tracks while compiling the final track.

Conversion from MOV to MP4 file format

Wondering how to change the MOV to MP4 file format? There are two solutions that can be used to convert or change an MOV file to MP4 format:

Solution 1: Online Conversion

  • Search for a suitable online file conversion
  • Upload your MOV file by clicking on the designated area
  • Choose the output format to be MP4
  • Click on ‘start conversion’ or ‘convert’

At this stage, you would be able to see a progression bar showing that your file is being uploaded on the website. 

  • Once its uploaded, the conversion will start and as soon as your file is converted, you will be provided a link / button to download your converted video / file.

Solution 2: VLC Media Player

  • Download the VLC media player on your device if you do not have it already installed.
  • Open the VLC media player 
  • Click on the ‘Media’ tab in the menu and select ‘Convert/ Save’
  • Click on the ‘Add’ button to select the MOV file you wish to convert
  • Once selected, click the ‘Convert’ button
  • Choose the output format to be MP4
  • Select the destination folder on your device by clicking on the ‘Browse’ button
  • Click ‘Start’ for the conversion process to start

You would be able to see the progression bar. Once it is complete.

  • Open the destination folder you chose earlier and play your file to see if it is converted.

The conversion process might seem a little complicated to you at first but once you get a hang of it, you can easily do it. If you are using an Apple device, you are not required to convert the file as the MOV file is supported and can be easily opened using the QuickTime media player. However; if you are using any other device, you would have to go through the conversion process to extract the content contained in the file.