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Difference Between MP4 and FLV

MP4 vs FLV

FLV and MP4 are two file formats that are used in storing and streaming videos. But what most people do not know is that these are only containers and are actually not directly responsible with respect to the quality of the video. The main difference between MP4 and FLV is their popularity in certain areas. FLV has gained widespread use in video streaming and is used by websites like Youtube, Hulu, and others. In comparison, MP4 is used widely by portable devices like smartphones, media players, and such.

When comparing one to the other, it is clear to see that MP4 is superior to FLV in many ways. For starters, MP4 supports menus just like in DVDs while FLV doesn’t. MP4 also supports captioning or subtitles, so MP4 videos can have multiple subtitles and you can choose from any of them. FLV doesn’t support subtitles and they are often encoded to the video and are not changeable. Another DVD feature that MP4 has and FLV doesn’t is chaptering. Chapters break-up a video into smaller segments in order to help the viewer pick-up where he left off in case he has to do something else while watching the video. All these features are great tools that can be used when authoring an MP4 video but are often left unused because most people do not really author videos. They simply convert from one format to another.

Although quality difference isn’t the fault of the container, in the case of H.264 video it can be. FLV is not fully compatible with H.264, thus limiting its usefulness. Compatibility with H.264 cannot be fixed so Adobe has begun moving away from FLV to the newer F4V format. MP4 has no problems with using the H.264 encoding scheme. The same is also true for AAC, an audio encoder often used in tandem with H.264.

FLV and MP4 are merely containers and you just need to have the right players with the ability to recognize the container you are using. If it is not compatible, then you need to find software capable of converting one to the other.

Summary:

1.FLV is more popular in video streaming while MP4 is more popular in portable devices
2.MP4 supports menus while FLV doesn’t
3.MP4 supports subtitles while FLV doesn’t
4.MP4 supports chapters while FLV doesn’t
5.MP4 is fully compatible with H.264 while FLV isn’t


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