Difference between MP3 and MP4

MP3 is a format used for compressing the audio files in order to store them or transfer them on the internet. The MP4 format is a format usually used for multimedia. Let us find exactly what the difference between MP3 and MP4 format is.

Different Definition

MP3 format, short for MPEG-1 Audio Layer 3, a revolutionary digital audio format, is developed by Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft and Thompson Multimedia in the late 1980s and brought to the mainstream through the Internet in 1997. It is a common audio format for consumer audio storage, as well as a standard encoding for the transfer and playback of music on digital audio players. MP3 is a near-CD quality file format for sound files and is very popular for music on the web. As an audio-specific format, MP3 becomes more popular when people use it to swap music online because of its powerful compression.

MP4, a container format that can combine different multimedia tracks into a single file, was developed by MPEG (Motion Pictures Experts Group), an international organization that develops and manages publishing standards for digital audio and video. MP4 files support text and graphics. More advanced MP4 files will contain streams for 2D and 3D animation and user interactivity (such as DVD menus) MPEG-4, the video compression standard behind MP4 files, is an open standard that is publicly available for developing software or hardware. All files encoded in an MPEG-4 standard are associated with the extension “.mp4”.

Different File Types

One of the major differences between MP3 and MP4 is that these two are different file type as well as technology for audio files. The technology for MP3 is similar to the MPEG-3 or Moving Picture Experts Group 3 technology while the technology for MP4 is similar to the MPEG-4 or Moving Picture Experts Group-4 technology.

Different Media Capabilities

Another difference between MP3 and MP4 is that they have different media capabilities. MP3 can handle only one type of media, which is an audio file. That is, only audio files can be stored in MP3 format. MP4 can handle a number of media, such as audio, image, video, text, all of which can be stored in MP4 format. This is why any device capable of storing and executing MP4 will provide more functionalities than any device made for MP3.

Due to the capability of delivering audio and video at the same time, MP4 devices can offer a wide range of interesting features, such as web browsing, email, instant messaging, video and music download, Bluetooth wireless technology, digital camera and others. Also game capability and multiple language options are features that made MP4 devices so popular. Other features, such as voice recording, enabled MP4 devices to be used for professional purposes, besides entertainment.

Different Player Devices

Generally, devices made for MP3 are called the MP3 player and are simply an audio file player while devices made for MP4, which are called the MP4 player, are audio and video file players. As a music player device, MP4 may offer a 7-band equalizer which will allow the user to change the sound category according to the music style. These sound categories are Pop, Jazz, Rock, Soft, Classic and DBB. Also MP4 player device will support various format files such as MP3, AMV, ASF, WAV, WMA, WMV and others. As far as the supporting video formats are concerned this device proves to be able to convert file in the AVI, MPEG, and Windows media format into the AMV through the use of software. What’s more, MP3 and MP4 use different kind of codec as well. MP3 uses perpetual coding methods. MP4 uses the AVC or Audio Video Codec.

Different Compressing Technology

MP3 is a compressing technology and can decrease the file size of audio files without decreasing the quality. MP4 is also a compressing technology, which serves as an advantage of MP4. Along with compressing the audio files, MP4 can also compress the video files and make them take less space than video files compressed with other conventional technologies. It is interesting to note that MP3 and MP4 were developed by different organizations.

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