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How to Wisely Choose Between MOV and MP4 File Format?

Wondershare Recoverit Authors

Jan 27, 2024 • Filed to: Recoverit Topic • Proven solutions

Whether you're just having fun or you're advertising your business, there's nothing as engaging as video. Most top sites that are popular today are mostly video-sharing platforms. Research has also known that the most effective campaign usually includes video. This confusion has led to a debate about which the best choice for video is. If you want to create videos professionally or just do it for fun, you have to pick the best video format. There are so many popular options today.

However, two stand out amongst them all - MOV and MP4. With so many questions and debates revolving around the MOV vs. MP4 file format debate, this article answers questions and explains features to help you make the right choice.

Part 1. Video File Format and Codec Basics

There are different video formats, and they mainly consist of a container and a codec. These two features come today to create a video file format. A container is like a storage unit that holds varying data. There's a lot of information inside a container, and to understand it and enable programs to play these containers, a codec is needed. A codec is like software that makes it easy to share and store data. It encodes the data and decodes the data, thereby decompressing it for viewing and editing. After a codec, a container is fully functional when played. To make the file work, you need to understand the different video file formats and how they work.

codec basics

As an aside, video codes works differently in different formats and players, if you want to learn more about it , let's get some tips and tricks today to fix your corrupted or unsupported video codec.

Part 2. Understand the Video File Extensions - MOV & MP4

mov vs mp4

Two popular choices of video file extensions are MOV and MP4. They are popularly used for professional and casual videos. To help you gain a better understanding, below is a breakdown of both video file formats and how they work.

MOV file format

MOV is quite popular because Apple developed it. The idea behind MOV is to enable it to play on a QuickTime movie player, so it popular used for movies and videos. This video file is one of the best quality video formats ever created. MOV video format makes use of an advanced algorithm that was created by Apple, which makes it compatible with different MAC and Windows versions. MOV stores data with the use of tracks. There are different tracks for different data like video, audio, and more. This video file format has many benefits, which account for its popularity, one of which is its top video quality. It is also compatible with devices beyond apple, although you have to deal with the sound issue.

MP4 file format

This video file format is widespread, especially in the online space, because it uses lossy compression to provide users with a smaller size. Like MOV, it is a multimedia file storage for storing videos, and like a container that controlled video and all the data, it comes with. MP4 is quite that industry standard, and others support operating systems outside Apple. It is popular with many media players and can also be used on different devices, such as Windows Media Player.

The best part about the MP4 video file format is its low-size option and support for hardware devices. MP4 is usually used as a base for other minor multimedia files like JPEG, 3GP, and many others. It contains the video and allows your various devices to play it. However, it is not the video itself. Most MP4 videos can be used in different software and programs to play videos, unlike the MOV, which is more selective.

Files For Comparison




Compatible with varying devices

Compatible with most Apple devices

Character of files

Files are compressed and lower in size

Files are higher in quality and tend to have larger sizes.


Can be used on different OS designs and media players.

More compatible with mostly used Apple devices


For entertaining videos on social media platforms

Mostly used in professional settings because of its top qualities


Not the best choice for Apple devices

Hard to compress

Both video file formats differ in terms of size, quality, and features. The comparison chart above clearly states the differences between both files and where the two video format files are similar.

Part 3. What Is the Better Video Format for You at the Moment?

When making your decision on the MOV vs. MP4 file format debate on which is the better choice, there are some factors you need to take careful note of. Below are the factors and the suitable video file format for each aspect.

Video Quality

In terms of video quality, MOV might be a better choice for you. This video file format isn't compressible and, therefore, offers top-quality video playback. That's why it is primarily used in professional settings like movies and television. It supports codecs which most professional editors would prefer for their videos. It is also a top choice because it allows professionals to combine videos 360-degree animations and videos in a single file.

Video Size

compare size between mov and mp4

Another factor you need to think carefully about is the video size. If you're looking for a smaller video size, MOV is not the right choice for you. To successfully compare, you need to consider the compressibility and the video quality. As we have earlier stated, MOV files are not compressible and therefore feature a huge video size. However, MP4 video formats are compressible and offer you a smaller video size that's easy to download, upload or stream. In the video size category, MP4 wins as the better choice.

Video Playback Platform (Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Sets)

playback platform

For the different video playback platforms, MOV is commonly used. One of the reasons is the smaller video size which it obtains by compressing top-quality videos. Due to this, it is far easier to edit, stream or upload. It is also a popular video format for casual videos or videos created for entertainment purposes. Most video playback platforms support MP4 because of its worldwide acceptance. Most offline programs and editing apps also fully support the MP4 video file format. Even YouTube clearly states its preference for the MP4 video file format.

Devices (Mac/Window)

If you're making use of Mac, then a better choice for you is MOV. This is because Apple created Mac to be compatible with QuickTime, Real, and Window media player. Some MP4 video files are also not compatible with Mac. If you're, however, leaning towards the Windows Operating System, then the MP4 is a better choice for you. It can be played across all media players because of its smaller size while maintaining quality.


Another critical factor to duly considers when making your choice is the scene. If you're playing the video online, then the best option for you is the MP4 format. This video file format compresses top-quality videos into smaller sizes which makes it compatible with low bandwidth. This means you can stream on a narrow bandwidth because of its small size. It is also easy to download and will save you space while still offering you quality.

If you're, however, downloading the file for editing, then MOV is the better option because it allows you to edit professionally and isolate elements. However, due to the high quality and size of the MOV file, it tends to exceed many other media formats and isn't compatible with many devices.

Part 4. How to Repair an MP4 or MOV Video File?

MOV and MP4 video file formats are prone to damages like every other video format file. Sometimes, you might end up deleting your video format by mistake or notice that they've been corrupted. The ideal way to get them back to the optimal stage is to use an efficient third-party tool like Wondershare Repairit to repair the video.

Using Wondershare Repairit for MP4 or MOV Video Repairing

Wondershare Repairit is a third-party tool that can be used for different purposes like repairin damages to your videos and retrieving corrupted files. The exciting part is that it supports all the major video file formats, including MOV and MP4 video file formats. Whether your video got frozen or corrupted, Wondershare Repairit can fix the issues with the media file. Below are the steps to make it happen.

Step 1: Add corrupted MOV or MP4 videos

To get started with the repair process on Wondershare Repairit, add the corrupted video to the interface. You can do this by clicking 'Add,' which is in the middle of the screen, or click the icon above the 'Add video(s) and start repairing'.

add corrupted video files

Step 2: Repair corrupted videos

After adding the corrupted MOV or MP3 video file, you will begin the scan and wait for the scan to be completed. When it is completed, an indicator on the screen will notify you. You can also watch the progress.


Step 3: Preview and save the repaired videos

Once the video has been repaired, Wondershare Repairit allows you to view the fixed content. Once you're satisfied, simply save the video to any location you would prefer on your device.

preview videos

Step 4: Do an advanced repair (optional)

This step is only necessary if the video isn't repaired the first time or not met your expectation. You can simply click on the 'Advanced Repair' option providers on the screen. To be more effective, Wondershare Repairit will require that you upload a sample video of the same video format. This sample video would be used as a reference in the advanced repair process.

advance repair videos

Once it's completed, you can save your video to your device once again. That's it! Your video is as good as new for viewing and editing.

The Bottom Line

MOV and MP4 video file formats are used by many people worldwide; deciding the best option is tricky. Most times, the better choice in the MOV vs. MP4 file format debate depends on the use of the video. You need the best quality you can get for professional settings, and that's only achievable with MOV. On the other hand, for video playback websites and devices, downloading, streaming, and uploading, MP4 is ideal. If your MOV or MP4 file ever gets frozen or corrupted for any reason, you don't have to delete it. You can't always use Wondershare Repairit to fix your video, and it would be as good as new.

Recoverit author

Eleanor Reed

staff Editor

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