MP4 Codecs

January 5th, 2010 - Posted by Catalin in Hardware/software solutions for streaming

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A codec is the technology being used for data files compression/decompression processes. In the broadcasting sector the term reffers to a device being capable of turning analog audio and video into digital form. It is also capable of doing the turn back process: digital to analog.

Proper codecs installed avoids the situation when you encounter the unknown file format message trying to play specific video files.

MP4 or MPEG-4 Part14, is a standard (part of MPEG-4) for storing digital audio-video streams and also subtitles and images. MPEG-4 Part 14 files have the .mp4 extension.

The MP3 file format was a big hit with its compressing features, becoming the universal format of audio. The MP4 file format is the new revolutionary way to distribute and view videos. The MP4 can be viewed similarly, but for video files instead.

A high amount of bandwidth is needed to push a video stream and here comes the MP4 standard. With it’s compression quality this codec reduces the waiting time when you download a video file. Here is how it works: the intial video is encoded into a compressed file then this file is pushed to the video player.

Advantages of an MP4 Codec

– Audio / Video file compression and encoding from large files into small file formats with high quality results

– The long time needed for downloading the video file is reduced to a minimum.

– Raw video files are encoded into compressed data

– Keeps the file’s size very low even if it offers DVD video quality.

You need to make sure you have th proper codecs installed in order to access a compressed video.

Here are the most frequently used MP4 codecs

– MPEG-4 Part 2. This MPEG version is suitable when you need to store information or perform a live or on demand broadcast as for Internet surfing. Options like progressive scanning and interlacing are supported

– Advanced Video Coding (AVC) – H.264 or MPEG-4 Part 10. This is a video compression standard being capable of returning a better than MP3 audio quality.

– Advanced Audio Coding (AAC). Was created as being the MP3 successor being able to achieve better sound quality at the same bitrates. It is the standard audio format for the iPod, HD DVD/Blu-ray Disc, XBOX 360, iPhone.

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  1. […] be able to see when audio and video are active, check the streaming status and activate multiple codecs […]

  2. Scott Raines says:

    I’m new to the video world and just bought a new Go Pro Hero Wide HD Motorsport camera. The card I’m using is a PNY Optima, SDHC 60 HD, CLASS 4 Video card. I’ve made on video clipl, approximately 31 minutes long. I can view it on the TV, or on my computer via using the card direct or using the camera and a USB cable from the camera to the computer. But, when I want to import that movie to my computer, specifically, Windows Movie Maker, (Vista Version), a pop up sreen apears and said I don’t have the proper codec (MP4) to complete the action,
    It also says if you’ve tried to download the proper codec and are still having problems, turn off Windows Movie maker and try it all again. I did that several times and no help. Can I get a codec that works so I can continue on here?

  3. Catalin says:

    Hello Scott:

    We have not worked with Windows Movie Maker, yet we will go ahead and speculate that your video is encoded with a modified MP4 codec, most branded camera products tend to do so. We suggest you use your camera’s software to import and transcode, it should best recognize the format. Alternatively you may try GomEncoder ($34.95), VirtualDub (free), VLC Media Player (free), ffmpeg (free).

    Please let me know how can I assist you at this point.

    Professional Streaming Consultant