.mp4 files

posted in Solutions

New: Windows Media Player 12 in Windows 7 can play MP4 files without any additional software.

Quick Solutions:
Any of the following can play back mp4 files
1. QuickTime player http://www.apple.com/quicktime/download/
2. VLC media player http://www.videolan.org
3. The mpegable DS (DirectShow) decoder http://www.mpegable.com * ***
4. The 3ivx codec http://www.3ivx.com ** ***

* It appears dicas no longer distributes this for end users, however you can probably find old versions of the decoder by searching for mpegabledsdecoder-setup.exe (we have mirrored here
** The slight annoyance with 3ivx is that the audio is limited to a 30-day trial. Past that delay, you will have an occasional popup telling you the trial is over (I’m not sure whether the audio in mp4 files will still play past that time).
*** The advantage of the 3ivx and mpegable filters is that they allow seamless playback of mp4 files in Windows Media Player. Their weakness is that they can only decode mp4 files with the MPEG-4, part 2 codec (fourcc mp4v). They won’t decode mp4 files with the MPEG-4, part 10 codec (fourcc avc1, also called H.264).

More info:
The mp4 container, originally based on the quicktime container, was intended to be the official container for MPEG-4 video, but it never caught on. Instead people have been implementing the video compression part of the MPEG-4 standard in different containers (mostly avi, some quicktime and windows media. examples: divx, xvid, 3ivx, microsoft iso mpeg-4, apple mpeg-4...)

For more information on mp4 files in general, read doom9’s wonderful FAQ on the topic: http://forum.doom9.org/showthread.php?s=&threadid=62723

They also have a great guide on creating mp4 files here http://www.doom9.org/mp4.htm


Miscellaneous: If you’re an advanced user and know how to use graphedit you can look up how to produce mp4 files with 3ivx (for example) and graphedit here http://www.3ivx.com/support/windows/encoding/ge_avi2mp4.html reply


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