Videos have certainly come a long way since magnetic tapes were in use. Videos are a great way to include information on your website or content piece. In a research, 97% of marketers said that video has helped them increase user understanding of their service or product.
But, before you go for a digital video for your website or blog, it’s imperative to know which video format is the best.
A video format or video file format is used to store digital video data on a computer system. A typical video file consists of two parts when stored as a digital format – a codec and a container. Codec is used to decompress or compress any video file to optimize them. A container is basically a collection of files that store information about a digital file. As such, a single file is a combination of both audio and video data. This allows audio with video playback.
Different file formats are designed to do different things. Hence, one size doesn’t fit all. So, how to choose the most appropriate video format for your digital video?
We will simplify this decision for you by covering the top 5 common video formats to help you chose the one that suits your need.
Top 6 video file formats
1. Audio Video Interleave (AVI)
AVI is one of the oldest video file formats developed by Microsoft. It was launched in November 1992. Its simple architecture makes it ideal for different systems like Windows, Linux, Macintosh etc.
It works as a container to hold different types of videos and audios. It can be used to create and compress videos using several codex like DivX and XviD.
When it comes to converting AVI files, some media viewers allow you to save AVI file in a different format. However, we recommend using a designated video file converter to switch to other formats.
Some of the advantages include the availability of a number of codecs to achieve desired compression ratio, high-quality audio fidelity, ability to run on all Microsoft and non-Microsoft operating systems etc. While, lack of user interactivity, large size and chances of loss of video quality when compressed beyond a limit, are some of the disadvantages.
2. WMV (Windows Media Video)
It is also a popular format based on Microsoft Advanced Systems Format (ASF) container format and can be compressed using Windows media compression. It is commonly used to store video files in Windows. The user can see the file while downloading videos from the internet or while sharing videos via a USB device.
It contains large quantities of video and audio files in smaller storage spaces. It makes them ideal for streaming any video over the internet. Microsoft even claims that WMV has 2x compression ratio than MPEG-4. It can easily work on the web using Google Drive.
As it is proprietary to Microsoft, it is not compatible with most of the operating systems.
3. FLV (Flash Video)
Flash videos have been around from a long now. A file with a .FLV extension uses Adobe Flash Player to transmit videos over the internet. It has been a standard format used across all videos found on YouTube, Hulu and similar video platforms.
It produces good quality video streams due to the high rate of compression being used. However, it might be expensive in terms of resource and time consumption.
How to convert an FLV file?
Operating systems like iOS do not support Adobe Flash and hence can’t play FLV files. Users can convert FLV files to other formats using several free file converters available in the market like Freemake video converter or Any Video Converter.
MOV video file is a popular multimedia format used to store and play back movies with sound. It used a proprietary compression algorithm developed by Apple Computer. However, this does not limit its usage to Macintosh operating systems, it can be used in Windows and other types of computing systems too. It acts as a container file that includes one or more tracks to store audio, video, image, effects etc. Its simple design and easy editing make it popular among video file formats. As compared to .avi, .mov can better support interleaving of extra videos/audios and subtitle tracks.
Mov was originally developed by Apple and hence specifically suited Mac devices. Users who wanted to play MOV files on their Windows computer had to either use a QuickTime Player or convert them to a compatible format. However, now the things have changed as Windows has started supporting the MOV files. So, users does not need to convert at all. But, if you want to extract an audio track from a MOV file you will have to convert MOV to MP3. You can do so by using various MOV to MP3 converters like SuperSpeed Video Converter or use any free converter.
MP4 file format, popularly known as MPEG-4 Part 14 or MPEG-4 Advanced Video Coding, is a multimedia format that is used for storing audio and video files. It can also be used for video streaming. It acts as a container that holds digitally encoded audio and video file. It can hold images and subtitles too apart from audio and video.
It promotes less loss of quality by using a higher degree of compression. High-quality videos translate to better experience and viewing quality for the users. A separate hint track is used to encode streaming details. As compared to other formats, MP4 supports a wider distribution with the ability to run majorly on all media players and different sound card drivers.
We hope this will help you select the right video format for your website or a project.