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WebM VS MP4 Comparison in Quality, Size, Compatibility

In a world where technology never stops evolving, we are offered with more and more options. While we are helplessly left scratching our heads when it comes to choose from the pretty confusing options. It's no surprise that users have trouble figuring out the similarities and differences between WebM and MP4. Here we make a detailed comparison of WebM and MP4 to help you decide which format comes in better quality and suitable size.

Compare WebM to MP4
Compare WebM to MP4

What is WebM?

WebM, a video format from Google, is designed for the web (one of the video standard supported in HTML5). WebM files consist of video streams compressed with the VP8 or VP9 video codec, audio streams compressed with the Vorbis or Opus audio codecs, and WebVTT text tracks. The WebM file structure is based on the Matroska media container.

What is MP4?

MPEG-4 Part 14 or MP4 is one of the most commonly-used container format that is able to host any number of video, audio, subtitles, images, chapters in a single file. It also allows for advanced content such as 3D graphics, menus and user interactivity. Similar to container format WebM or MKV, it is able to be streamed over the Internet.

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Part 1. Similarities and Differences Between MP4 and WebM

MP4 vs WebM: Quality

The most concerned factor for a video format is how a video with that format looks like. Compare WebM quality with MP4, which is better? As a matter of fact, for the video quality of WebM vs MP4, it all comes down to the codecs. Generally, the output of the MP4 format is extremely high quality, as crisp and clear as that of a DVD.

WebM also comes in high quality. But comparing MP4 in quality, WebM is a little bit inferior. Take the two codecs of each format for example, in the vp8 vs h264 round, both VP8 and H.264 videos yield approximately the same quality at the same bitrate. But the High Profile H.264 is by comparison very ahead of in quality which VP8 may never surpass it.

Compare WebM to MP4: Size

The video size of a file can decide how many movies or videos can be stored in your mobile devices, or whether your videos can be uploaded to video-sharing sites. Both WebM and MP4 in fact are compressed into a relatively small file size, however, differences still exist as for MP4 vs WebM comparison. Movies in MP4 can be downloaded quickly via the internet using the high-speed broadband connections currently available. But developed with a purpose for providing DVD quality pictures, a MP4 video can sometimes be very large.

Used more for Internet streaming, WebM videos are more popular on YouTube or other Google sites. As technology works by compressing the files, making the overall size of WebM much smaller compared with MP4, WebM videos are much more accessible and files can be downloaded quickly from the internet.

WebM vs MP4: Compatibility and Usage

Choose MP4 as your output video format if you want to play on your smartphone if possible, as the MP4 technology is widely compatible with Android and Apple mobile devices. You will benefit from having any devices iPhone, iPad, Android, browsers Chrome, Safari, IE 10 (with the help of HTML5 or Flash) and any players play this specific format with MP4 files.

Well in the comparison between WebM and MP4, it's obviously that WebM is the underdog. Currently, most web browsers have updated to support HTML5 WebM video playback, including Chrome, IE, Firfox, Opera and Safari (available for macOS Big Sur 11.3 or higher). But Safari for mobile version still doesn't work with HTML5 webM (VP8/9) yet.

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Part 2. MP4 vs WebM: Side-by-Side Comparison Between WebM and MP4




Codecs Supported

VP8 or VP9 video codec, audio streams compressed with the Vorbis or Opus audio codecs, and WebVTT text tracks.

AVC MPEG-4 and H.264 video codecs.

Streaming Supported

WebM is built for the Internet streaming.

Easily upload to websites and move and copy files.

Media Player and browsers Supported

Mozilla Firefox 4 and later, Opera 10.60 and later, Google Chrome 6 and later, Microsoft Internet Explorer 9 and later (requires WebM MF components) and limited player support.

Almost all the media players and web browsers.

Portable Devices Supported

Relative lack of support among mobile devices.

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


Very high quality video.
Great video playback performance, even on older computers.
100% free and open to everyone.
Supported on popular video sites like YouTube.

Higher quality video if compare WebM to MP4.
Great degree of compression (smaller files) without any noticeable loss of quality which can be delivered everywhere - from mobile phones to desktop computers.


Poor compatibility with mobile devices and players.

Online MP4 files requries pre-buffering.

Summary: From the above brief WebM vs mp4 comparison, you may have a rough understanding of the similarities and differences between WebM and MP4. Simple put, both WebM and MP4 has their own pros and cons. Which is better WebM or MP4? Or which one should you choose? That largely depends on the tasks you are going to do with them. As mentioned above, MP4 is widely used on almost all the mobile devices, so if you want to download or convert a video for mobile playback, choose MP4. While for WebM, as it is a web-friendly format, then WebM may be a good choice if you want to upload or share a video online. Well if you still have trouble figuring out the suitable format between WebM and MP4, always go for the latter.

Part 3. Make WebM or MP4 Compatible for iPhone iPad Android

Now you may have make your choice in the WebM vs MP4 fight and greatly care how to get your WebM or MP4 files played on mobile devices, or edited and uploaded to websites like YouTube. As just discussed, WebM may have trouble to get hardware support. While for MP4, claimed to be one of the most commonly used formats across platforms, may still meet problems if encoded with certain codecs, resolutions etc. when you run into WebM or MP4 incompatibility problems, the simple solution is to convert WebM to MP4 or MP4 to WebM to your device-playable format with a proper HD video converter.

Here MacX Video Converter Pro stands out for that job. With 320+ video codecs and 50+ audio codecs built-in, this WebM video converter can easily convert WebM to MP4 or AVI, MOV, FLV, WMV, MPEG4, H264, MKV, etc and transfer WebM/MP4 and other videos to 350+ latest mobiles, including iPhone 12/11, iPad Pro, iPad 7, Samsung Galaxy S21, Sony Xperia Z5, Surface Pro 4, PS4, etc with super fast speed and 98% quality reserved. Besides, it also has a knack of downloading online videos or editing WebM/MP4 videos for upload to YouTube, Facebook etc.

author- candice
Candice Liu

Candice's particularly skilled in writing and sharing video-related contents. Her guides cover from deep-seated video/audio parameters, to media entertainment on different platforms. She also enjoys shooting and processing videos by herself for a more reliable basis of informative info with her articles, which are never at the expense of eliminating an entertaining read.