MPEG-4, also known as MP4 is a graphics and video file type developed by the Motion Pictures Expert Group who are considered industry leaders when it comes to digital and video file formats. The main feature of this file format is that it enables users to save subtitles and images besides storing the contents. This file is better suited to low bandwidth media like smartphones and broadband internet connections.
FLV vs. MP4
FLV files are used for online video streaming and are popular streaming sites such as YouTube, Netflix, and Vevo among others. This is attributed to the fact that FLVs stream progressively whereas MP4 must be downloaded in their entirety to play. These file formats also have their similarities considering that they contain similar video and audio codecs. The only difference lies in their storage (container). If you want to play an FLV file format in a smartphone or share it with friends, the better way to complete this task is to convert it to MP4.
Why MP4 file formats
One of the main features of the MP4 file format is its ability to support various bits of data. As a result, this feature allows for the mixing of various visual elements like text, animation layers, and graphics. MP4 also support things like stage descriptions and embedded interactivity features. This makes this file format resourceful when creating files used for multimedia presentations.
MP4 files are made for narrow bandwidths. Ideally, bandwidth refers to the amount of data transmitted by a device within a set amount of time. Bandwidth is expressed in bits per second. That said, the ability to use narrow bandwidths means that MP4 files are easily transferable across different devices using wireless technologies.
Compatible with most devices
Compatibility is not much of a concern when using MP4 files as opposed to FLV. Ideally, FLV is a proprietary format that is not supported by some key mobile devices. Also, consortiums that make electronic devices support MPEG -4 video files. Companies like Apple, Sony, Samsung, and JVC among others have media devices that actively use MP4 files.
MP4 files have their unique pros and cons. Compatibility with multiple devices is one of the main strengths of this file format. Their main limitation is that you can only play archived content and is not the best file format for live streaming. This explains why FLVs are used in video streaming sites and MP4s by most mobile devices.