MP3 Versus MP4

Here is a quick compare between MP3 and MP4.


MP3 is short for MPEG-1 Audio Layer III, a digital audio codec or method for compressing and decompressing digitized audio. MP3 files have an extension of ".mp3".

MP3 has been the de facto standard for digital music files since the early 1990's. Almost every computer media player recognizes and plays MP3 files, making them very popular for downloading and exchanging music with others.


MP4 is short for MPEG-4 Part 14. It is a media container or wrapper standard that was introduced in 2001 for storing digital audio, video and other multimedia. It is based on Apple's QuickTime format. MP4 files have an extension of ".mp4".

Because MP4 is a container format, it can store audio, video, and even images that have been compressed in different ways. An MP4 file could even contain audio that has been compressed via the MP3 specification. Note that a program or device that plays an MP3 file cannot necessarily play an MP4 file and vice versa.