MP3 vs. MP4: What’s the Difference?

The main difference between MP3 and MP4 is that MP3 files are commonly used for music playback, portable audio devices, and online streaming platforms whereas MP4 files are popular for video sharing, online streaming services, digital video players, and multimedia presentations.

Before we move to more differences, let’s first understand MP3 and MP4:

  • MP3: MP3 is an audio-specific format that is used for compressing and encoding digital audio files.
  • MP4: MP4, short for MPEG-4 Part 14, is a digital multimedia container format that supports audio, video, and other media types.

Now, let’s get to MP3 vs MP4:

Major differences between MP3 and MP4

MP3 is exclusively used for audio content, such as music and podcasts. MP4 can contain audio, video, subtitles, images, and metadata, enabling the storage and playback of multimedia files.
MP3 uses a lossy compression algorithm, which sacrifices some audio quality to achieve significant file size reduction. MP4 employs various compression techniques, including both lossy and lossless methods, to compress multimedia data efficiently.
MP3 files have the “.mp3” file extension, indicating that they are audio files. MP4 files have the “.mp4” file extension, denoting their multimedia nature.
MP3 files are supported by a wide range of devices, media players, and audio streaming platforms, ensuring broad compatibility. MP4 files may require compatible multimedia players or devices that support the MP4 format to properly decode and play both audio and video components.
MP3 is primarily used for encoding and compressing audio files. MP4 is a multimedia container format that can store both audio and video content.

So, these are the main differences between the entities.

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