Video File Types – MOV vs FLV vs MP4 vs 3GP


Determine which video files are best for each situation to build efficient websites and use the correct file extension. Increase functionality and efficiency of projects by learning about video file types. Here are some advantages to popular video files.

Video File Types – .mov

MOV files were developed by Apple and have a lot of advantages. One of the benefits of .mov is it’s high in quality. For film purists and creators wishing to create long digital movies, .mov’s quality maintenance is crucial. Working with .mov ensures the optimal version of a video is sustained. Though .mov is affiliated with Apple, the files are opened with Windows via Quicktime Player.

Some issues with .mov are the lack of support across media players. A lot of users will have to download new software to playback a .mov. They’re also massive files, which will require more hard drive space and could slow down older hardware.

An MOV video file is specifically for a niche group of users, particularly ones concerned mainly with video quality. Though lesser-used in general, they have strong value to a minority of users.

A screenshot of the MOV file type logo.
The right video file type makes everything run smoothly in a project.

Video File Types – .flv

FLV is an Adobe Flash video file which is the most popular video file type on the internet. The massive following of .flv comes from its capability to function optimally within the most popular browsers. Because of this, prevalent video sites such as YouTube use .flv as a standard. Another reason the flv video type is used so often is it works on multiple video formats including advertisements.

A downfall to .flv is the potential to slow a website with a lot of .flv files on it, especially to visitors with slower internet access. Though this is a concern, internet access progressively increases so it will become less of a bother in the future.

Video File Types – .mp4

The MP4 video file is high quality but it doesn’t perform any task optimally. .mp4 are small file sizes, which makes them perfect for storage in a video asset management system. Even with such a small size, they boast amazing video quality as well. Due to strong browser compatibility, they’re decent for sharing videos.

It’s ironic that .mp4 are a standard among most cameras and video cameras, due to the fact they’re incredibly off-putting to filmmakers. .mp4 do not have good editing features, and thus fail to satisfy one of their potential user bases.

A screenshot of the MP4 file logo.
MP4 video files maintain high quality despite their small size.

Video File Types – .3gp

The 3GP video file is a file extension from the Third Generation Partnership Project. It’s opened by numerous programs, and it saves disk space and data very well. The obvious use for it is mobile devices, which don’t like high data usage to transfer video files among one another. It has a stranglehold on text message video files, keeping it relevant despite some weaknesses.

The problem with .3gp is the nasty compression issues that plague the video files. Users wishing to maintain quality of a video file will be shocked to see the final result post-compression. Though this is a necessary weakness for the time being, it seems important to point it out.

Ensure success on future projects by understanding the differences between video file types. Boost the functionality of your tasks with advantages of certain file extensions.

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