PeachyPixx Productions

Which Video Format Should You Export?

Have you ever uploaded a movie file to your social media just to realise it took too long to buffer and play? Or worse, you receive an error message informing you that the video format is incompatible.

How is this possible? It’s actually more common than you think.

MP4, MOV, MKV, AVI… so many different file extensions! Which one is the right one?

Photo by Wahid Khene on Unsplash

Here’s a beginner’s guide to help you. 

Firstly, MP4 and MOV are just two types of digital file storage format used for storing compressed videos and other associated data for playing the video. They both encode your video files with the MPEG-4 codec. 

MP4 is a more international standard for videos and is compatible with streaming protocols on most streaming platforms. It is highly compressed, resulting in smaller file sizes. MOV, on the other hand, is a proprietary Apple file format for QuickTime. MOV files are often higher in quality and larger in size, and better for video editing on a Mac.

So which one should you use?

Because MOV files provide high-quality playback, it is recommended that you use this format for editing in a professional environment. MP4 files are recommended for web and social media due to its smaller file size and high quality video outputs.

But… What about YouTube?

If you are uploading a video for YouTube, take note of its recommendations for uploading a video. YouTube prefers MP4 files with videos encoded in H.264 codec and audio is AAC stereo. It also supports 4K videos at up to 3840px x 2160px. It is best to upload your videos at the highest possible resolution so that it works across a range of devices.

The right choice of videos depends on what your end goal is. For high-quality professional videos, use MOV. For social networks, choose MP4. In any case, there is no one format to use. The choice is yours.