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MP4 VS AVI: Comparison Between MP4 and AVI

MP4 or AVI? Which is better? what are the differences? I want to convert a .mkv file into one of these formats. Which one provides the best video/audio? Would you go for MP4 or AVI?

Once troubled, go for Google. Well, typing the words "MP4 VS AVI" on Google, you will get thousands of search results, among which how many answers actually benefit you. If you find the very answer you're looking for, then congratulations! But provided the fragmentary replies don't give you clear orientation, then here I will aid you to figure out the differences between MP4 and AVI and on earth which one is better for you.

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What is MP4

MP4 is the official filename extension for MPEG-4 Part 14 in essence. And MPEG-4 Part 14 is a standard specified as a part of MPEG-4, which is a method of defining compression of audio and visual digital data and introduced by the Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG) in late 1998. MP4 is a multimedia container format most commonly applied to store digital video and audio streams, especially those defined by MPEG, but also used to reserve other data such as subtitles and still images.

What is AVI

AVI (Audio Video Interleave) is also a multimedia container format as part of its Video for Windows tech introduced by Microsoft in 1992 in reprisal for the MOV file format, developed by Apple computers. AVI files can contain both audio and video data in a file container able to support synchronous audio-with-video playback.

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Differences Between MP4 and AVI

Container format

Proprietor /Developer

Video formats Supported

Audio formats Supported

Streaming Supported

Media Player Supported

Portable Devices Supported

Codecs Supported



MPEG-2 Part 2, MPEG-4 ASP, H.264/MPEG-4 AVC, H.263, VC-1, Dirac, others

MPEG-2/4 (HE)-AAC, MPEG-1/2 Layers I, II, III (MP3), AC-3, Apple Lossless, ALS, SLS, Vorbis, others

MP4 can be used for compression of AV data for web, applied for streaming media, for CD distribution, for voice broadcast television applications, as well as be streamed over the internet.

Almost all the media players

All the portable devices like Apple, Android, Sony, Microsoft devices

AVC MPEG-4 and H.264 video codecs



Almost anything through

Almost anything through ACM; Vorbis is problematic


Usually playable on Windows-based media players like Windows Media Player

Compatible with Microsoft devices, game console including Xbox, PS3, PSP, and part of Android devices, but unworkable with Apple devices

DivX, Xvid, Cinepak, Indeo, DV and Motion JPEG


Both MP4 and AVI are container files basically wrappers for formatted video files. The main difference between MP4 and AVI comes not from the formats itself, but from the types of codecs used within the files. Each video file will differ purely on the basis of which codec is used. Hence, no matter two MP4 files or two AVI files can either be similar if they are utilizing the same codec, or they can be categorically different, if they are using different codecs.

More video formats comparison: MP4 vs MKV; MP4 vs AVCHD; MKV vs AVI, H265 VS H264, 4K vs 1080p; AAC vs AC3;

When ripping DVD, which will give you better video quality, MP4 or AVI?

If file size doesn't matter too much, MP4 is the better choice for your DVD ripping with better quality reserved. And the world-renowned MacX DVD Ripper Pro comes out as a strong performer to help you rip and copy DVD to MP4 format with zero quality loss thanks to its High Quality Engine, no matter homemade DVDs or commercial encrypted DVDs. 36X faster speed guaranteed!

Similarities Between MP4 and AVI

Compare MP4 with AVI, and we find out their differences in multiple aspects, but meanwhile we also see something in common.

Quality: Though encoded and decoded by different codecs, alongside a form of lossy compression that loses some of the video data when the file is compressed, both MP4 and AVI can maintain the best possible quality compared with other video files. No wonder both are regarded as the most commonly used container formats that almost anyone who has preferred high quality video has made contact with these two container file formats at some point.

Size: Owing to minimal compression features to ensure the highest possible quality, both MP4 and AVI are apt to correspondingly larger in size than other video formats like FLV and WMV. Yet, their file size doesn't cause any bother when transferring them to your portable devices. So if choosing the file format with optimal quality and proper size, MP4 and AVI are definitely the top on your priority list.

Compatibility: As the above list shows, both MP4 and AVI have wild compatibility with media players and mobile devices. They can be played on a helluva lot of smartphones, game consoles and kept in storage devices for eternal save. Hence, for watching video on the portable device with sharp yet crisp image, what else is better than MP4 and AVI?

For Your Reference:


Through brief comparison between MP4 and AVI, I wish you have more clear understanding about the two container formats. They all have their pros and cons. And it's mentionable that in general MP4 is the prime choice as MP4 is friendly with almost all the mobile devices, and the H.264 video codec frequently used with the MP4 container is thought to be one of the highest-quality video standards available. Which one on earth fits your bill relying upon your specific demand.

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