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Common video Formats.

Videos make our lives more colour, and today’s advanced video play devices like iPhone, iPad, HTC, PSP, PS3, Kindle File, iPod touch let us enjoy videos at anytime and anywhere,  they make our life so easy and comfortable.

Different devices usually support different video format, and there are so many video format in the world, such as AVI, Mp4, WMV, FLV, MKV, SWF. Most users may not familiar with these formats, so sometimes may meet various problems. Today, we just talk about the most popular format we usually used MP4, AVI and WMV formats.


Mp4 is the most common format now, it is supported by nearly all the most popular video formatvideo programs and hardware devices, such as Windows Movie Maker, Apple iPhone/iPad/iPod, Apple TV, Galaxy Tab, HTC, Samsung, Kindle Fire, Motorola.

This format can be played by The KMPlayer, Media Player Classic, MPlayer, QuickTime Player, VLC media player and some other common players.  The best advantage of this format is it provides good quality but much smaller size, so it will save you much space and  bandwidth compared with AVI and WMV format.

Mp4 format has two common codecs,  MPEG 4 and AVC/H.264. H264 has a little high quality, not so much as we imaged. And actually we can’t find the difference on our most device(except play on big screen TV)  since the screen and the resolution.


AVI format  is a very old format, published in 1992 by Microsoft as one of its component, so it has high compatibility , it can be supported by nearly all popular video format with high quality--AVI formatplayers  with high quality but doesn’t need any special hardware. Its full name is  Audio Video Interleave. AVI files can contain both audio and video data in a file container that allows synchronous audio-with-video playback. Like the DVD video format, AVI files support multiple streaming audio and video.  It can auto detect the device and manage the proper resolution and aspect ratio like 16:9, 4:3. And it can support many video codec like mp4, Xvid, Divx.

During the years since the inception of the AVI format, many video techniques have been introduced that were not conceived during the definition of the AVI specification.   Below are the shortcomings of this format.

  • Large size.  The compression schemes used to optimize space requirements when writing AVI files is not as efficient as techniques employed in more recently developed media formats, and it can’t support some specific types of variable bitrate.
  • AVI does not provide a standardized way to encode aspect ratio information, with the result that players cannot select the right one automatically (though it may be possible to do so manually).
  • The codec used to create your movie is still required in order to play it, some codecs take a long time to create your AVI movie.


Windows Media Video (WMV) is a video compression format for several proprietary codecs developed by Microsoft. The original video format, known as WMV, was originally designed for Internet streaming applications, as a competitor to RealVideo.

WMV files tend to be quite small considering the amount of video information they preserve. Due to the small size, WMV can be used on websites without dramatically increasing load time. In addition, many Windows based programs use WMV videos. Many specialized programs, such as legal display software or early versions of Powerpoint, are only compatibleWMV format is also a popular format with a few formats, and WMV is often one of those formats.


The major disadvantage of WMV format is its compatibility with non-Windows platforms. It is difficult to find Apple or Linux players that are capable of playing WMV files. For this reason, WMV has not become a standard Web format, despite its small size. Most websites will use Adobe’s Flash technology, as it is widely available on multiple operating systems. Thus, while WMV may hold some advantage in compatibility with third-party Windows-based software, it lacks the cross-platform compatibility that would make it a more standard video format.


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