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Supported Video Formats

Tutorials > Supported Video Formats
Flash (Flash 8 SWF, Flash 8 FLV, Flash MX SWF, Flash MX FLV, Flash 3-6 SWF, Vector Flash SWF)
Flash format is another popular format that may appear on the web or standalone flash player. Compared to other video formats, the flash format is small, fast and ideal for web streaming purpose. SWF files are completed, compiled and published files that cannot be edited. FLV files are Flash video files, as created by Macromedia Flash, Sorenson Squeeze or On2 Flix. Flash SWF is only supported as write.
AVI (DivX, XviD, MS MPEG-4, Uncompressed, Cinepak and other)
AVI stands for Audio Video Interleave. It is a special case of the RIFF (Resource Interchange File Format). AVI is defined by Microsoft. AVI is the most common format for audio/video data on the PC. AVI is an example of a de facto (by fact) standard.
AVI Files are a special case of RIFF files. RIFF is the Resource Interchange File Format. This is a general purpose format for exchanging multimedia data types that was defined by Microsoft and IBM during their long forgotten alliance.
MPEG (MPEG-1, MPEG-2 Video)
MPEG is both a file format and a codec for digital video. There are actually three forms of MPEG: MPEG video, for picture only; MPEG audio; and MPEG systems, which includes both audio and video tracks.
MPEG files provide excellent picture quality but can be very slow to decompress. For this reason, many MPEG decoding systems are hardware-assisted, meaning that you need a board to play MPEG files reliably without dropping a lot of frames. Although software decoders definitely exist (and there are some very good ones out there), they tend to require a lot of processor power on your system and also usually support MPEG video only (they have no soundtrack).
A third drawback of MPEG video as a standard for the Web is that MPEG movies are very expensive to encode. You need a hardware encoder to do so, and the price ranges for encoders are in the thousands of dollars. As MPEG becomes more popular, those prices are likely to drop. But for now, unless you already have access to the encoding equipment or you're really serious about your digital video, a software-based format is probably the better way to go.
MOV Apple video format
Although QuickTime was developed by Apple for the Macintosh, QuickTime files are the closest thing the Web has to a standard cross-platform movie format (with MPEG a close second). The Apple system software includes QuickTime and a simple player (called MoviePlayer or SimplePlayer). For PCs, QuickTime files can be played through the QuickTime for Windows (QTfW) package, and the freely available Xanim program will play them under the X Window System and UNIX. QuickTime movies have the extension .qt or .mov.
QuickTime MOV supports many different codecs, particularly CinePak, MPEG-4, H.264 and Indeo. QuickTime MOV also support High Definition H.264 Video.
MPEG-4 (iPhone, iPad, MP4, IPOD, Mobile, PSP, Zune, MOV 7, M4V)
MPEG-4 is an ISO/IEC standard developed by MPEG (Moving Picture Experts Group), the committee that also developed the Emmy Award winning standards known as MPEG-1 and MPEG-2.
MPEG-4 is a standard used primarily to compress audio and video (AV) digital data. The uses for the MPEG-4 standard are web (streaming media) and CD distribution, conversation (videophone), and broadcast television, all of which benefit from compressing the AV stream.
(Advanced Audio Coding) An audio compression technology that is part of the MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 standards. AAC, especially MPEG-4 AAC, provides greater compression and superior sound quality than MP3 (MP3 is also an MPEG specification).
MPEG-4 AAC are supported on Apple's ipod, mobile, Sony PSP, iPhone, iPad and etc. MPEG-4 also support High Definition H.264 Video.
3GP (Mobile Video, 3GP, 3G2)
Third Generation Partnership Project sometimes called 3GPP it is a multimedia container format defined by 3GPP for use on 3G mobile phones. It is a simplified version of MPEG-4 Part 14 (MP4). 3GP files have the filename extension .3gp or .3g2.
3GP stores video streams as MPEG-4 or H.263, and audio streams as AAC or AMR formats.
WMV / ASF (Windows Media Video)
Formerly known as .ASF file format from Microsoft.
A .WMV file includes a video stream (compressed using MS MPEG4 or WMV1 codec) combined with WMA encoded audio stream. The file format is proprietary and backward incompatible. Currently, dedicated to slow dialup connections, this media format does not allow even sub-VHS video quality due to blurred picture. WMA audio quality, compared to MPEG Layer3 of the same bitrate, isn't better either.
You may wish to use Windows Media format to create smallest files that are suitable to send by e-mail, however you must keep in mind that .WMV file works like "one way ticket" - once created, it can't be edited anymore, without horrific quality loss. As opposite, AVI files compressed with MPEG4 video codec are still editable and often it is possible to retain source video quality.
If you are having problems creating or playing Windows Media files, download the latest codecs. These may be found at http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windowsmedia/format/codecdownload.asp.
RealMedia, write only
Real Networks Video, write only.
It is a streaming media format known as RealMedia with the file extension .rm using RealAudio audio compression and RealVideo video compression (RealVideo, also known as ClearVideo, is Iterated Systems fractal video compression).
Video CD, read only
Video CD or better known as VCD stands for 'Video Compact Disc' is a standard digital format for storing video on a compact disc. A VCD has the capacity to hold up to 74/80 minutes on 650MB/700MB CDs respectively of full-motion video along with quality stereo sound. VCDs can be played on VCD players, Computers, DVD players, and Video game consoles.
Technical Info:
1150 kbit/sec MPEG-1
NTSC:352x240 (Resolution), 29.97 or 23.976 frames per second
PAL: 352x288 (Resolution), 25 frames per second
44100 Hz, 224 kbit/sec MPEG-1 Layer2
Dual channel or stereo
DVD - Digital Video Disc (VOB), read only
VOB stands for DVD Video Object and is a movie data file from a DVD disc typically stored in the VIDEO_TS folder. VOB contains several streams multiplexed together; Video, Audio and Subtitles. VOB Video is MPEG-2, Audio can be AC3, Linear PCM, MPEG-2 or MPEG-1 layer-2.
HD Video (AVCHD, Blu-ray, MPEG-2 HD, MTS, M2T, M2TS, TS), read only
MTS, M2TS, M2T, TS are video file format that primarily associated with "AVCHD". AVCHD is a high-definition digital video format that suports 1080i and 720p with a reasonably small file size. AVCHD is based on MPEG-4/H.264 video codec, and audio in AC3. AVCHD was jointly established by Sony and Panasonic in 2006 for use in their digital tapeless camcorders.
Flash F4V Video, read only
Flash F4V is a new flash video format developed by Adobe Flash based on the ISO base media file format and is supported starting with Flash Player 9 update 3. Flash F4V is an MPEG-4 video file similar to FLV but with support for H.264/AAC content. Thus, making F4V the preferred choice for HD video delivery.
Matroska MKV, read only
Matroska Multimedia Container is an open standard free container format, which is designed to hold unlimited number of video, audio, picture or subtitle tracks in one file. Thus, making MKV widely popular to be used in the anime fan-subbing community (where users create subtitles). 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.
WebM Video, read only
WebM is an video file compressed using VP8 technology and Vorbis as audio streams. WebM is designed to provide royalty-free, open video compression for use with HTML5. The WebM file structure is based on the Matroska container. WebM video format widely supported on major web browsers as part of HTML5 video delivery.
OGG Media, read only
OGG Media uses the Xiph.org's open source OGG container format which may contain video streams that use one or more different codecs. It usually contains the Theora Codec for video and Vorbis Codec for audio. OGV files are often used for playing webpage video as part of HTML5 video delivery.
MPEG Layer-3 format. Very popular format for keeping of music.
The mp3 algorithm development started in 1987, with a joint cooperation of Fraunhofer iis-a and the university of erlangen. it is standardized as iso-mpeg audio layer 3. it soon became the de facto standard for lossy audio encoding, due to the high compression rates (1/12 of the original size, still remaining considerable quality), the high availability of decoders and the low cpu requirements for playback. (486 dx2-66 is enough for real-time decoding). it supports multichannel files (although there's no implementation yet), sampling frequencies from 16khz to 24khz (mpeg2 layer 3) and 32khz to 48khz (mpeg1 layer 3). formal and informal listening tests have shown that mp3 at the 192-256 kbps range provide encoded results undistinguishable from the original materials in most of the cases.
mp3 uses the following for compression:
- huffman coding;
- quantization;
- m/s matrixing;
- intensity stereo;
- channel coupling;
- modified discrete cosine transform (mdct);
- polyphase filter bank.
Compression ratio is 1:10...1:12 corresponds to 128..112 kbps for a stereo signal.
MPEG Version 2.5 was added lately to the MPEG 2 standard. It is an extension used for very low bitrate files, allowing the use of lower sampling frequencies. If your decoder does not support this extension, it is recommended for you to use 12 bits for synchronization instead of 11 bits.
Standard Windows WAV format for non-compressed audio files. Pulse Code Modulation (PCM) is the standard method of digitally encoding audio. It is the basic uncompressed data format used in file types such as Windows .wav.
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