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Video Formats

Common Video file extensions and their associated file formats.
3G2 3GP ASF ASX AVI DivX FLV M4V MKV MOV MP4
MPG MTS RM RMVB SRT SWF TOD VOB WMV XviD




3G2 - (3GPP2 Multimedia File) Audio/video format developed by the 3rd Generation Partnership Project 2 (3GPP2); designed for transmitting multimedia files over the Internet; basically an updated version of the .3GP format used by cell phones for saving video files.



3GP - (3GPP Multimedia File) Audio and video container format developed by the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP); designed as a multimedia format for transmitting audio and video files between 3G cell phones and over the Internet; commonly used by mobile phones that support video capture.



ASF - (Advanced Systems Format File) Media file stored in the Advanced Systems Format (ASF), a proprietary video and audio container format; developed by Microsoft primarily for streaming media; contains audio and video data and optionally metadata, such as title, author, and copyright bibliographic data. ASF files specify the structure of the audio or video stream, but not the encoding method. They often contain Windows Media Audio (.WMA) or Windows Media Video (.WMV) data. They can be compressed using a variety of video codecs.



ASX - (Microsoft ASF Redirector File) Multimedia playlist or shortcut to an audio/video file (often an .ASF file); references one or more URLs that point to the locations of the audio and video files; used for storing multimedia playlists.



AVI - (Audio Video Interleave File) Video container or wrapper format created by Microsoft; stores video data that may be encoded in a variety of codecs; typically uses less compression than similar formats such as MPEG and MOV. AVI files can be played by various video players, but the player must support the codec used to encode the video data. For additional information, view the FileInfo.com Playing AVI Files help article.



DivX - (DivX Media Format) DivX is a popular MPEG-4 video codec that is popular due to its ability to compress lengthy video segments into small sizes while maintaining relatively high visual quality. There are two DivX codecs; the regular MPEG-4 Part 2 DivX codec and the H.264/MPEG-4 AVC DivX Plus HD codec. It is one of several codecs commonly associated with "ripping", whereby audio and video multimedia are transferred to a hard disk and transcoded.



FLV - (Flash Video File) Flash-compatible video file exported by the Flash Video Exporter plug-in (included with Adobe Flash) or other program with FLV file support; consists of a short header, interleaved audio, video, and metadata packets; audio and video data is stored in a similar format used by standard Flash (.SWF) files. The FLV format is an open format that is also supported by non-Adobe/Macromedia programs. FLV files may be exported from QuickTime Pro or other applications that can export to the QuickTime file format.



M4V - (iTunes Video File) MPEG-4 file extension used for videos downloaded from the Apple iTunes store; includes music videos, TV episodes, and full-length movies; similar to a .MP4 file, but may be copy-protected using Apple's FairPlay DRM copyright protection. To play a protected M4V file, your computer must be authorized (using iTunes) with the account that was used to purchase the video.



MKV - (Matroska video format) MKV media files are similar in concept to AVI, MP4 or Advanced Systems Format (ASF), but are entirely open in specification, with implementations consisting mostly of open source software. Matroska file types are .MKV for video (with subtitles and audio), .MK3D for stereoscopic video, .MKA for audio-only files and .MKS for subtitles only.



MOV - (Apple QuickTime Movie) Common multimedia format often used for saving movies and other video files; uses a proprietary compression algorithm developed by Apple Computer; compatible with both Macintosh and Windows platforms.



MP4 - (MPEG-4 Video File) Movie or video clip that uses MPEG-4 compression, a standard developed by the Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG); commonly used for sharing video files on the Internet. The MPEG-4 video format uses separate compression for audio and video tracks. Video is compressed with MPEG-4 video encoding. Audio is compressed using AAC compression, the same type of audio compression used in .AAC files. MP4 files are supported by many video programs and various hardware devices, including the Microsoft Zune portable media player.



MPG - (MPEG Video File) Common digital video format standardized by the Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG); typically incorporates MPEG-1 or MPEG-2 audio and video compression; often used for creating movies that are distributed on the Internet.



MTS - (AVCHD Video File) High-definition MPEG Transport Stream video format, commonly called "AVCHD;" used by Sony, Panasonic, and other HD camcorders; based on the MPEG-2 transport stream and supports 720p and 1080i HD video formats. AVCHD stands for "Advanced Video Codec High Definition." The format was jointly established by both Panasonic and Sony in 2006. MTS files can typically be opened and edited using the software included with Sony and Panasonic HD camcorders.



RM - (Real Media File) Media file used by RealPlayer, an audio and video playback and streaming program; contains audio or video data or a link to a streaming media file, which is played back as it is downloaded; commonly used for Internet radio and Internet videos. Some Real Media files can be played using VLC media player, which provides partial support for RM files.



RMVB - (RealMedia Variable Bit Rate File) Real Media video file compressed using a variable bit rate, which is optimized for the content of the video; a newer variation of the standard Real Media (.RM) file format that allows for more efficient compression. RMVB files have become a popular format for Anime and Asian movie titles because they have smaller file sizes and lower bitrates with better quality compared to DivX (.DVX) files.



SRT - (SubRip Subtitle File) Text file containing subtitles used by various video playback programs; supported by DivX, DVD, and other video formats; includes the time each subtitle should be displayed followed by the text of the subtitle. SRT files are text files used in video playback. Therefore, they do not contain any video data.



SWF - (Shockwave Flash Movie) Animation created with Adobe Flash; may contain text as well as both vector and raster graphics; also may include interactive actions written in ActionScript; plays in Web browsers that have the Flash plug-in installed. Flash was originally developed by Macromedia, which was acquired by Adobe Systems in 2005. Therefore, Macromedia Flash is now called Adobe Flash.



TOD - (JVC Everio Video Capture File) Video file captured by a JVC Everio video camera, such as the GZ-HD3 and GZ-HD7; saved in a proprietary format that can be viewed using the Cyberlink software included with JVC video cameras. Some JVC Everio cameras save video files with a .MOD extension, which is similar to the TOD format.



VOB - (DVD Video Object File) Movie data file from a DVD disc, typically stored in the VIDEO_TS folder; contains the majority of data stored on the disc including video, audio, and subtitles; usually formatted as an MPEG-2 system stream and can be opened by various video playback programs.



WMV - (Windows Media Video File) Video file based on the Microsoft Advanced Systems Format (ASF) container format and compressed with Windows Media compression; similar to an .ASF file and contains video encoded with one of Microsoft's Windows Media Video (WMV) proprietary codecs. The WMV video files that require a license to play are DRM protected. Unless you will remove the DRM protection, you will not be able to play WMV files on other devices like iPod, iPad, iPhone, PSP, Zune etc.



XviD - (Xvid-Encoded Video File) Video clip or movie encoded using Xvid, an open-source video codec published under the GNU GPL license; compresses video data using MPEG-4 technology; allows for faster data transmission and more efficient storage of video files.



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